Pixel Party Recap: An Artist’s Perspective on the Wiess Energy Hall

December 14, 2018
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HMNS Pixel Parties are small, informal after hours gatherings of professional photographers held at our main campus quarterly. Each party is hosted in a different exhibit and during the two hour event attendee’s have free range to capture anything they want, any way they want. Needless to say, a lot of creative experimentation goes on at these events. 

Mike Rathke, HMNS’ resident photographer, hosts the events and today on Beyond Bones we’re presenting Mike’s favorite shots from last month’s pixel party held in our Wiess Energy Hall.

1. Anti-gravity Chamber

This image was shot by Mike (who also posed for the photo) and his fellow photographer Quy Tran. In case you’re wondering, we don’t actually have an anti-gravity chamber (I remember being super disappointed when I found this out on my first visit to HMNS when I was 10), what you’re really seeing is a convincing illusion created by two skilled photographers. 

To give the image a 3 dimensional quality they lit Mike with four separate lights, each powered to a different value, resulting in crisp shadows that silhouetted his body evenly, causing him to contrast with the background.  The lighting, combined with a super-fast shutter speed, lends a quality of stillness to the image that creates the illusion the that Mike is floating. A lot of hard work for a playful shot.

2. Ah, nuts!

Normally when I think “Ah, nuts” there’s a decidedly negative connotation, but in this case it’s more of a revelation than an expletive. In an enormous hall the size of a football field, filled with epic eye-candy gadgets and gizmos, this is what caught the eye of photographer Alyson Toups. There’s something rather pleasing about the smooth, shiny textures and geometrical shapes. The sheer variety color, shape and texture fuels the imagination. Do you see a tree or a castle? Or maybe something else?

3. I’m Blue

Debi Beauregard used soft focus to give a dreamy quality to her photo of the ceiling of our future technologies hall. 

Here’s a another photo of the hall by Tim Stanley to give you an idea of what the hall actually looks like:

Two artists tackled the same hall with totally different results. Although I personally prefer Debi’s photo (there’s just something so calming about it, it’s like a scene from the deep ocean) I also admire Tim’s use of light and perspective to create a very dynamic and engaging photo. Debi’s photo is beautiful, but photos like Tim’s allow our halls to come to life on screen so that even people far away can have a great HMNS experience via our blog.

4. Pipe Dream

In mike’s own words, this photo by Sandy Grim “takes your eyes on a journey”. The curved pipes draw your vision to the center of the photo then the line of wheels draws you to the left side of the photo. The visual balance and stability of this picture hones in your focus and allows you to better appreciate the dazzling variety of colors and textures.

HMNS’ Pixel Parties are something that everyone, professional photographer or not, should get excited about because the work produced by attendee’s allows us to see the museum’s exhibits from a completely different perspective. In the case of Wiess energy, the smallest details produced some of the most beautiful photographs. 

I hope you enjoyed this blog and that maybe seeing all these beautiful images will inspire you to pay us a visit. There’s so much more to see in the Wiess Energy Hall and a whole world of other topics to explore in the rest of our exhibit halls.

Authored By Chris Wells

Adventure is my middle name. Well… actually it’s French. Literally, it’s Christopher French Wells. But the spirit of adventure lives in me, and has always inspired me to go out and seek new experiences. I’ve traveled to Europe, Mexico and South America, as well as few places in the U.S. I’ve seen different places with different cultures, learned some things about humanity and about myself in particular. My goal is to lend my unique perspective, carved out of my own triumphs and tragedies, fears and fancies encountered during my years of college and international travel, to the other great voices of this blog. Hopefully to the enjoyment of our readers…

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