Cantor Arts Center at Stanford – A Sunday Favorite

One of our favorite places on the Stanford campus is the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts – otherwise known as the Cantor Arts Center.

Lady Madonna

Today, on an amazingly warm and delightful Sunday, I took the quick two mile trip over to Cantor to try out my new Canon EOS 5D Mark II on some inside the museum photography – Cantor is one of those museums that empowers photographers – inside the non-exhibition galleries and for non-commercial use only. Here’s the quick result – today’s “raw” (unadjusted) set on Flickr.

For today’s shooting, I left the 5D Mark II in full automatic ISO selection – turned out that for indoor shooting inside the Arts Center this was a real delight compared to the 40D’s limited automatic ISO adjustment. I ran the 5D Mark II mostly in Picture mode – letting the camera automatically select shutter speed and aperture.

IMG_0058

The Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS lens ran mostly wide open while inside – and some of the shutter speeds came down as low as 1/40th of a second. While perhaps not up to “super sharp” standards, the shots still look beautiful to me!

A few of the outside shots in the Rodin Sculpture Garden were shot in Aperture Priority (f/4) to get a bit of bokeh in the background.

After brief break (to read more the 5D Mark II’s manual!) and to enjoy a great Cobb Salad lunch on the outdoor terrace of the Cool Café at Cantor, I also tried a couple HDR shots of Rodin’s Gates of Hell. But, I haven’t been able to post-process them to my satisfaction just yet – I’ll share them once I’m happy with them.

[Update – 1/13/09: here’s the first result from those initial HDR shots using the Canon 5D Mark II.[

Note 1: If you visit Cantor, be sure to visit Andy Goldsworthy’s Stone River sculpture just across the street from the front of the musuem. Here’s my first Flickr set of Stone River shot in late 2005.

Note 2: One of the reasons we really enjoy heading to Cantor on Sundays is the outdoor seating at the Cool Café. We can enjoy a walk around the Stanford campus ahead of time and then head for the Café with our dog Lily – and share a delightful mid-day meal outside in the sun in a beautiful setting. The food (by Jesse Cool) is great and the setting couldn’t be more idyllic. They’ve got a couple of picnic tables below the terrace just for us dog folks! For us, a Sunday lunch visit makes for a very special treat!

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