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Old Mar 3, 2010, 11:59 AM   #1
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Default Ford Foundation Indoor Garden

I took pictures of a real, botanical (not plastic) garden inside a NYC building yesterday. It’s the lobby of the Ford Foundation on 42nd Street East. If you’re walking towards the UN Building by way of 42nd Street, you’d pass it as it’s very close.

The Ford Foundation was chartered in 1936 by Edsel (son) and Henry (father) Ford to “promote peace, freedom, and education throughout the world.” It provided funding for PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) and helped launch “Sesame Street”. Ford Foundation has had no connection to the Ford Motor Company. (source:wikipedia.org)

I’m often in the area but I didn’t know there was a garden in there until some tourists peered inside through the glass wall façade. The garden is not so obvious from the street because of all the reflections on the glass. A sign outside saying the garden is open from 9am to 4pm (if I remember right) served to me as invitation so I walked in.

The garden is not huge but the indoor jungle made an impact on me upon entering. There were actually gardeners maintaining it when I came in at noon and so right away gave me the impression that the garden was lovingly cared for. Every leaf was fresh, shiny, and green.

It’s not exactly a “natural landscape” and so wouldn’t appeal as much to me as a computer desktop wallpaper. But the tree branches and leaves staying absolutely still in the breezeless confines of the indoor garden was a welcome change and a sheer delight to render in HDR.

I thought Photomatix’s more surrealistic “grunge” tonemap made for a better photographic impact than any of DPHDR’s as the garden itself in the heart of New York City looked surreal -- I had to examine carefully that the plants were not artificial -- sort of like an out of place but nonetheless welcome oasis.


#1. The Ford Foundation’s indoor garden.


#2. Offices above the garden.


#3. I’m not familiar with plant species so I’m not sure what to call these crawling vines.


#4. Stairs lead up to where you can sit in silence and maybe read a book, as one man was doing when I came.


#5. The high glass ceiling lets the sunshine in.


#6. This woman said, “Excuse me,” as she walked in front of me then sat by the pool where my gorillapod-mounted camera was already aiming. So naturally I couldn’t resist taking the shot. This one is rendered in DPHDR to better handle “ghosting”.


C&C welcome. Thank you for looking!
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Old Mar 3, 2010, 1:04 PM   #2
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This is just jeffs opinion, a lonley college student :P

I think you over did it a tad, takes away from the achitrcture, and feeling of the building, some editing is nice, sometimes less is more, and i feel this may be one of those times.

thats just me

Jeff
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Old Mar 3, 2010, 1:37 PM   #3
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Thank you for your comments, pbjunkiee. I actually started editing with DPHDR but I thought the results were uninteresting that I thought of dropping the whole project.

Then I thought about Photomatix. I used the "grunge" tonemap then sharpened with PSE and adjusted the brightness (darkened) some. Only within the context of comparing with DPHDR's output that I liked Photomatix's so I posted them instead. I actually thought #1 and #4 were too busy for my eyes but had to include them to show areas in the garden that I thought were important.

Yes I agree "less is more" and very, very rare would be the time when it's not.
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Old Mar 3, 2010, 1:55 PM   #4
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Some of DPHDR's output:

#7.


#8.

9.

#9.


DPHDR's output are, to me, "OK". But somehow they didn't match the feeling I had while there. And I'm guessing it's not just me because other people also walked in and if I read their body language right they were mystified by the garden, too, as the woman sitting beside the pool would show.

Last edited by vvcarpio; Mar 3, 2010 at 2:01 PM.
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Old Mar 3, 2010, 2:13 PM   #5
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mucho better

maybe fix the barrleing in 3, really caught my eye o.O

but what is this place for? just a greenhouse?
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Old Mar 3, 2010, 2:22 PM   #6
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got to agree here the second set is indeed better looking ..... try easy hdr too vvcarpio i think the crawling vines are some type of ivy
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Old Mar 3, 2010, 2:43 PM   #7
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Thanks, Jeff. Yes, it's "just" a greenhouse. (See what I mean ? You probably don't share the feeling I had [or the others had] if you just look at the pics. That's why I opted to "overdo" it.)

What does "barreling" (spelled "barrleing" in your comment) mean? #3 is actually one of 2 pictures I originally intended on posting, the other being #2. But I felt obliged to include the other shots because I thought #'s 2 & 3 alone will not give the viewer an idea on the garden's somewhat articulate layout.
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Old Mar 3, 2010, 2:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simple View Post
got to agree here the second set is indeed better looking ..... try easy hdr too vvcarpio i think the crawling vines are some type of ivy
Thanks, simple. I trust you (and Jeff) are right. I am riding on a little bit of euphoria so I'm not entirely objective...

Thanks also for the "ivy" identification. Is it a tropical plant?

Last edited by vvcarpio; Mar 3, 2010 at 2:45 PM. Reason: Added "ivy" comment.
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Old Mar 3, 2010, 4:28 PM   #9
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Yes, the DPHDR treatments are more pleasing. However, I think that Photomatix could have done a better job than what you showed (IMHO).
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Old Mar 3, 2010, 4:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vvcarpio View Post
Thanks, simple. I trust you (and Jeff) are right. I am riding on a little bit of euphoria so I'm not entirely objective...

Thanks also for the "ivy" identification. Is it a tropical plant?
i know what you mean, you want people to see wand feel what you saw and felt, and a picture cant do that every time :/
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