Jonathan Fleming's Blog

A Photography Blog

The Academy of Sciences: Monochrome Edition

with 11 comments

I have yet to visit San Francisco’s Academy of Sciences during the daytime. Instead, we always end up there during Night Life, a 21+ only event where the big kids get to enjoy the Academy’s exhibits with the added benefit of cocktails and music thrown into the mix. .and no little kids.

During the daytime, the building relies heavily on natural light for interior illumination, so it gets pretty dark in there at night. While there was no shortage of color to work with inside the building last night, I wanted to try something a little different photographically on this visit and create some black and white images of our experience. Lots of wide open, high ISO shooting that night, mostly with my Fuji X100. The high ISO files are so clean from that camera, however, that I added grain to these images for a better black and white look.

My favorite exhibit has got to be this giant glass dome that houses a four-story rainforest. Birds and butterflies whiz by your head as you examine plant life from different parts of the planet. Oh, and it’s terribly humid in there!

The aquarium is equally awesome:

There’s usually a special theme involved with each week’s Night Life event, and this week’s involved robots. Pretty cool:

Once you’re done with the exhibits, you can just hang out, get some food and drinks, enjoy the music, or just run around photographing things, if you’re a photo geek like me anyways.

Everything screeches to a halt at 10pm when the Academy closes, which always feels too early. I suppose that’s a good thing if you have to wake up for work on Friday morning, however.

You know, Night Life is great and all, but in the end it’s all about the company. =)

Images: Fuji X100
B/W Conversion: VSCO’s Kodak Tri-X

Written by Jonathan

February 24, 2012 at 10:53 am

11 Responses

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  1. awesome bw photographs! I want to go there one day 🙂


    February 24, 2012 at 11:18 am

  2. Great photos! I was one of the many architects who worked on this building for many years. It is always rewarding to see it through the eyes (or lens) of someone else. Thanks for making these publicly viewable!


    February 24, 2012 at 11:55 am

  3. LOVE THIS. in black and white, it looks so different (yet the same!). and also, it’s so much emptier there at night, apparently! that must be so nice. the aquarium is my favorite, but you’ve made the rainforest look so interesting! (i always get so hot in there that i wind up leaving too soon.)


    February 24, 2012 at 9:58 pm

  4. great photos! Nothing more intimate than BW =) did you shoot RAW of JPEG on the Fuji?


    February 25, 2012 at 2:21 am

    • Shot JPEG this time around. The files still took to the black and white conversion pretty well though.


      February 27, 2012 at 6:55 am

  5. Wow! You got a new BnW conversion tool? These BnWs are awesome!


    February 27, 2012 at 1:36 am

  6. Great pictures! I especially LOVE the last one, with Bridget!

    Pia Olsson

    February 27, 2012 at 6:41 am

  7. amazing place…
    I want to go there in May… thanks for this good suggestion!
    Fuji looks great in BnW shots in low lights! wow!


    February 28, 2012 at 3:45 am

  8. What a great place. The rainforest dome reminds me of the film Silent Running!


    February 28, 2012 at 10:28 am

  9. Oh man, the black and white here just nails it—the dynamic details of the space could not look better. Well done!


    February 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm

  10. […] I usually find the people to be the most interesting element of every visit. So when I go to a NightLife event like this one, my camera is typically pointed at human interaction, either with one another or with […]

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