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Steel Volcano | by Surrealize
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Steel Volcano

Steel Volcano ready for eruption? Not exactly... This is the Museum of Glass located on the Tacoma, Washington waterfront that houses many fine works from the world renowned glass master, Dale Chihuly. The exterior of the museum has an interesting profile; a steel cone that rises at an angle 90 feet in the sky, offsetting the buildings horizontal thrusts. The structure overlooks the waterfront and Puget Sound. Ironically, you can also see a real volcano in Mt. Rainier just off in the distance. In this studio, or hot shop, visitors to the Museum of Glass can watch the glass artists at work performing glass blowing demonstrations. There are areas to walk around the studio, as well as 130 seats to relax and watch the process for a while. Next to the museum is the Bridge of Glass that links connects to the University of Washington Tacoma. The museum was designed by Arthur Erickson and opened in 2002.


On this particular day, it was blistering cold outside, 30 degress Fahrenheit with steady 20 mile per hour winds chilling you to the bone. Needless to say, very few souls were brave enough to venture out this day which left me with some nice people free shots. I literally ran around the structure (to stay warm) while taking a look at all the angles, ultimately deciding on this shot as it really captured the pronounced angle of the cone. I was also treated to some very nice clouds in the backround that really enhanced the scene. I chose to shoot this right before sunset so I could get the most light on the structure along with some cool reflections. What's so wonderful about this place is that depending on where the light is and sky color/cloud combination, the structure changes color based on what is reflecting on it. This photo is comprised of 9 different bracketed exposures, all taken from a tripod, in order to bring out the full range of color and light in the scene.

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Taken on December 6, 2009