The Cloisters

     On Saturday Angelia and I decided our next adventure should be The Cloisters Museum in Ft. Tryon Park. The Cloisters is easily accessible via the A train. A short ride to 190th followed by a quick bus ride on the M4 will get you there in no time. The Cloisters occupy about 4 acres and is home to thousands of works of medieval art dating from AD 800. To further challenge ourselves we left our zooms at home. I brought with me a 135mm f2 and a 28mm f1.8. Angelia was even more hard core, not only did she bring just the 50 f1.8, she also brought her pinhole camera. I had really hoped to due some extreme long exposures to that end so I brought my handy Kodak ND# 96. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, it’s a filter that drastically reduces the amount of light entering the lens. This particular filter reduces light by 13 1/3 stops. This allows you to shoot several minute long exposures in broad daylight. I digress, the forecast called for a partly cloudy day, so I was psyched to get some neat architectural shots with clouds streaking by. This was not to be the case. When we arrived, we found it to be a rather monochromatic scene with very little to offer in terms of spectacular photography. We walked the perimeter of the museum and were greeted by some rather unpleasant gusts of wind, and just a very flat scene overall. At that point we ventured inside. As you might expect from a museum featuring medieval art, this museum is very dimly lit. It is difficult to photograph without a tripod, and they require you to obtain a tripod permit upon arrival. In addition you are only allowed to shoot on sticks until noon Saturday & Sunday. Weekdays you can can shoot on sticks from opening until close. As you can imagine I was rather chagrined at that news. However, momma always said when presented with lemons, eat a box of chocolates… Or something like that. Instead of getting frustrated I made the best of it. There are amazing doors, all kinds of vaulted chambers, and a myriad of architectural goodness that can be photographed hand held. We ended our adventure in one of the gardens. We soon became mesmerized with a series of intricate reliefs carved into the walls and into the capitals of the columns surrounding the garden. The seem to be various depictions of the Passion of Christ.  This was an amazing little treasure trove of photographic opportunity, and ended our day nicely. The Cloisters are amazing. However, It seems like many things in the northeast, the best time of year to enjoy the Cloisters at it’s fullest is the summer. 

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