Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Story in Pictures – Part-2 (Winterthur)

Next day we went planned to go to the Winterthur estate. This is a massive estate spread over several hundred acres (possibly several thousand). It belonged to a person called Henry Francis du Pont, who made his billions selling black powder (gun powder) and paints! He had a great fascination for furniture collection and his estate, which, by the way, also has 175 room mansion is a magnificent exhibition of this collection.

The each room in the 175 room mansion is exquisitely decorated with beautiful furniture and paintings. When you arrive at Winterthur, the first thing you will do is a tram ride.

So we took the tram to an interesting place inside the estate called “enchanted woods”. I will let the pictures do the talking now!

NOTE: I am really glad that they let me use external flash inside the mansion. Otherwise I would have had to live with the no flash or, worse still, the pop-up flash, which would ensured that those pics are never seen in any blog!

I used my Olympus E-30 along with very basic (but trusty) 18-180 lens. I needed the wide angle and the zoom it provided as I knew I would not have enough time to change lenses. I am surprised by the results my self, because I never thought much on 18-180.

Some of the indoor pics had a lot of noise because I made a very basic mistake of keeping the polarizer on indoor. By the time I realized, we we more than half way through the mansion tour(boy! did I curse myself!!). Anyway, my Noiseware came in handy as it was able to remove most of the noise. Some of them were really bad and I had to ditch those :-(

Having said that, the FL-36R was superb in combination with Gary Fong’s Lightsphere-II, amazing diffusion!

Until recently, I believed “RAW = Waste of space”. Now, I cannot imagine a world without RAW, a true convert :-)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Suni and Adi inside Winterthur estate
The Enchanted Woods! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Adi inside enchanted woods! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
What's inside that hut??? hmmm Curious! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Really enchanting! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Suni Got a little carried away though! What with a name “Enchanted Woods” and all, looks like she took it too seriously and was hoping for the magic to work!
(Let the frog go Suni, its metal! Its not going to run away!)
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However, as luck would have it, she is stuck with this guy ;-)
(Not bad, eh? better than a frog definitely I would say!)
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Enchanted Suni! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Yeps buddy! That's the way to the mansion!
But first a coffee break!

(This was taken without the flash, hand-held at 1/6 sec!
The IS on E-30 did an amazing job!)
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The entrance of the mansion!

(Same with this too. 1/8 sec. IS is really handy, whatever people think)
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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The man himself – Henry Francis du Pont.
The Grand father clock! One of the collections…

(Pic is little tilted as I couldn't get enough leverage on my right to get the whole thing)
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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Inside the guest bedroom! (Noise is due to the very low light and very high ISO I used)
The breakfast room! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The China collection! (And this is not even the tip of the iceberg)
The Master room (forgot the name, I think this the room where ladies assembled in the evening). The wall paper in this room was hand painted in one single piece in China. The wall had to be re-designed to accommodate the height of the wall paper, so its slightly curved at the ceiling! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA A chandelier inside the mansion.
A birthday party cake inside the mansion! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Painting of George Washington OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The dinner table inside the mansion. Imagine the amount of effort that must have gone inot keeping 175 rooms (let alone the whole estate) spic and span!
The estate was like a company in itself. It employed over 250 people at its peak just to maintain it!
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Looking up through the stair case of this 7 storied mansion (including 1 basement)! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Scale model of the mansion (this was inside a glass container, flash bounced from ceiling) OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Art in the mansion
and more…

(no flash, just the natural light!)
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I hope you enjoyed as much as we did! Don't miss the Winterthur if you anywhere near longwood gardens next time.

CIAO!!

Cheers