Night sneaks up on the Museum

Oxford University Museum of Natural History (1190)

Well, it’s hard to avoid references to the well-known movie in a place like this. You even get a proper T.rex skeleton looking at you in a not-so-friendly way as you walk into the main hall. No wonder this place is really popular with kids. Now that is a really good thing as this should go a long way to attract more future students to the sciences.

So how did we end up there? With a surprisingly good weather forecast for the weekend we went on a day trip to nearby Oxford. Since cities are her thing, R took care of the plans for what to do and where to go, while I took care of the logistics. We got to Oxford late morning, and after a quick and early lunch in the covered market we headed straight to the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. And spent essentially all day there, between geological samples, fossils, skeletons, etc. The building itself is exquisite, and a fantastic setting for a superb collection. The light of a beautiful day coming in through the glass panels in the hall’s ceiling are a photographer’s dream. Good thing I took my macro lens with me; I have a number of photos to share in forthcoming blog posts.

When we were done it was almost closing time. I could not resist the late afternoon sun reflecting off the windows and lighting up the stone in a warm glow. So I set up on a tripod at the far end of the lawn and took a few long exposures as R waited on a bench. The long exposure blurs the visitors’ movements, up to a point where most won’t even register. The few that do leave a dim shadow where they stopped for some time; I find this helps show that people were around, while avoiding distracting elements. In post I corrected for perspective and applied the usual selective curves to adjust contrast.

Click on the photo for a larger version; comments welcome, as always.



  1. It is a fabulous museum that one. I used to run a website called Nfolio, not sure if I ever told you about it? It was started back in 2002 and ran for a few years before the likes of Facebook and Flickr rook hold and was a social photography site…. we had hundreds of members and we often arranged photo walks with it’s members in various towns and cities. Oxford was one of our destinations and we ended up at the museum and I loved the Dodos!!

    • Hi Nick! No, don’t think you’ve told me about Nfolio, sounds like it was a great community you had there 🙂 Oxford is always great for a photo walk, so much to do there. And I agree, the museum is really something special.

      • I often toy with the idea of bringing it back in some way but keep starting and then faltering with it. It may just be it was great then but perhaps not now…. I have created a a Facebook group with many of the old members onboard. It is a closed group but you would be more than welcome to join it!

      • Yeah with some things that happens, timeliness can be critical. Thanks for the invite to your group, I really appreciate, but since I’m not much on Facebook (and had been trying to cut down for a while) I’ll have to decline. Really appreciate the gesture though 😀

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