Rodin Sculpture Garden

The Rodin Sculpture Garden at Stanford University is home to 20 bronzes by the famed French artist, Auguste Rodin.

Most people are familiar with Rodin’s The Thinker sculpture. There are a number of casts of The Thinker around the world, and one used to be on permanent display in front of Meyer Library; right now it’s on loan to a worldwide travelling museum. The Burghers of Calais is another one of Rodin’s famous sculptures. They used to be situated “randomly” in the garden when I first came to Stanford. Now, they form a circle along the walkway to Main Quad. This new orientation forms a much stronger statement of solidarity, appropriate for the heroic actions of Eustache de Saint Pierre and Calais’ leading citizens against King Edward III during the Hundred Years War in 1347. The Hundred Years War was really a series of conflicts from 1337 to 1453. Can you imagine being engulfed in such a situation for a hundred years? Even in the current climate, we should be thankful the world’s not like it was back then.

The Gates of Hell is without a doubt the showcase of the Rodin Sculpture Garden. Rodin worked on the piece for over twenty years, with Dante’s Inferno acting as the initial inspiration. A smaller version of a number of Rodin’s pieces, including The Thinker, adorns the top of the Gates of Hell. Can you imagine working on something for twenty years? This man had a definite passion for what he did.

Colors are less saturated than they are with the D30, even on Color Matrix 3. While the colors are probably closer to reality, the 1D lacks the visual punch that are characteristic of D30 images.

Love was in the air for two visitors to the sculpture garden. These 30-something people were going at it practically the entire time that I was taking pictures! I guess if you gotta go, you gotta go. To hell with the rubberneckers!

After almost 40 minutes of shooting, I returned to Main Quad, stopping first to take a picture of the William Gates Computer Science Building. Gates was built during my four years at Stanford and its construction was wrought with great navigational difficulty. It looks nice, but it’s not going to win any awards for user interface design! I hear that the nearby Paul Allen Center for Integrated Systems building (CIS) is equally confounding. Thankfully, I never had the pleasure of taking classes there.

Afterwards, I walked to Memorial Church for some interior shots. When shooting at high ISO’s with the 1D, there’s visible banding in the shadow regions, along with a dark horizontal line at the top of many images. This is something I discuss in more detail in my 1D Analysis page, for those who are interested.

If Canon can fix these issues — they should since the 1D is their “pinnacle product” — many of the criticisms and concerns of the camera are going to wash away. I hear that Canon is aware of the issue, and I am “cautiously optimistic” that they’ll come up with a solution.

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