Category Archives: Sculptures

The Wissahickon

140522_Swan Fountain 1 by 2013 Karl Graf. Fuji XT-1, XF18-55mm @ 50mm, f/11, 1/80 sec, ISO 500

Swann Memorial Fountain (aka The Fountain of the Three Rivers)
Alexander Stirling Calder1924

This fountain in Logan Circle depicts the three rivers that converge at Philadelphia:  the Schuykill, the Wissahickon, and the Delaware.  In this image I was trying to capture the fountain image and the Philadelphia City Hall in the background.  I also wanted to capture limited blur in the flowing water.

Tuscan Girl Fountain

140521_Swimmers by 2013 Karl Graf. Fuji XT-1, XF18-55mm @ 46mm, f/10, 1/20 sec, ISO 400

Tuscan Girl Fountain
Oskar Stonorov, Jorio Vivarelli, 1965

Philadelphia is full of sculptures. Walking around Center City, sculptures are everywhere you look.  The overall sculpture draws my initial attention, but typically does not make an interesting photographic image to me.  It is very difficult for me to capture the three dimensional aspects.  I then usually just walk around and try to get a detailed aspect and perspective of the sculptures essence.  I moved around this sculpture to capture an interesting element and a “nondescript” background to frame the image.


The Printer

140520_The Printer by 2013 Karl Graf. Fuji XT-1, XF18-55mm @ 55mm, f/8.0, 1/120 sec, ISO 400

Benjamin Franklin, Craftsman
Joe Brown1981

Ben Franklin, “The Printer”, provides the foreground against the Philadelphia skyline.  I worked this image from multiple angles before I came up with this perspective.  I had to wait patiently as other tourists posed in front of the sculpture.  It was worth it.



140421_Bend_Wheel by Karl G. Graf. Canon 7D, Tamron 18-270mm @ 42mm, f/11, 1/125 sec, ISO 400

This sculpture is located in the Old Mill District of Bend Oregon.  Karen and I spend several hours just walking around and enjoying the day.  I took the opportunity to focus on different shapes of structures around the area.


Viet Nam Memorial Reflection

130614_Viet Nam Memorial by Karl G. Graf.

This view of the Viet Nam Memorial is quite different that most that I have seen.  The camera was placed directly on the marble side of the Memorial.  The scaffold-enclosed Washington Monument is seen reflecting on the Wall.  Our tour guide pointed this angle out.  I would have missed it otherwise.  Again, the same lesson applies:  Keep my eyes open … an image will appear for the taking.

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Listening for News on the War

130612_FDR Memorial by Karl G. Graf.

This sculpture is part of the FDR Memorial.  As we sit with our computers and devices in our current information burdened environment, it is hard to imagine what is was like in the 40’s being in the “dark” yearning for news on the War.  This sculpture made me sit back and think what it was like before TV … I can actually remember listening to the news and shows on quiet evenings at home.

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WW II Memorial

130611_WW2 Memorial by Karl G. Graf.

This World War II Memorial image is taken from the Memorial steps looking down the Capitol Mall at the Lincoln Memorial.  The Pacific and Atlantic arches are outside the view on the left and right.  We only had 15 minutes to spend, not enough time for a panorama.  Below is the Pacific arch.

130611_WW2 Memorial_Pacific by Karl G. Graf.

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Iwo Jima Memorial

130607_IwoJima_Hands by Karl G. Graf.

From the Air Force Memorial we shot down to the Marines Memorial.  While I took several images of the overall sculpture, I felt like these two detail photos captured the feeling best for me.  The above image reflects the consolidated effort required to win the battle.  The expressions on the two soldiers faces shown below seem to project focus and determination.

130607_IwoJima_Heads by Karl G. Graf. Shadows from the high noon sun hid the details on the soldiers faces.  I used NIK Viveza and Color Efex Pro to brighten their faces while still maintaining the shadows and not blowing out the highlights in the rest of the image.  To accentuate the structure details, darken the blue sky, and keep the patina from the bronze, I first converted to black and white using NIK Silver Efex Pro.  To finish the photo, I blended the B&W version back into the color image.

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Integrity, Service, and Excellence

130606_Missing Man Formation by Karl G. Graf. It was high noon on a cloudless day when we visited the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, VA.  The Memorial is 270 feet high and appears to be soaring. Its array of arcs against the sky evokes a modern image of flight by jet and space vehicles. At the same time, it enshrines the past in permanent remembrance of the pioneers of flight who came before, and pays homage to those of the future.

The number three in the vertical design of the spires signifies several elements.  “Three” is resonant with significant associations for the Air Force, including the three core values of today: Integrity first, Service before self, and Excellence in all we do. It is also the smallest number of elements needed to define and enclose a space. The spires also reflect an exploding bomb burst as well as the “Missing Man” maneuvers. The spires are asymmetrical and dynamic. Each is a different height, causing the view of the Memorial to be different at every angle.

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