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Picture This: The Kogod Courtyard over Time
December 15, 2009

New Media Initiatives intern Lauren Pond recently made this time lapse of the light in our Kogod Courtyard. Here's her story.

Timelapse of the Kogod Courtyard. Timelapse by New Media Initiatives Intern Lauren Pond. Depending on your internet connection, this may take a few minutes to load.

On the first day of my internship at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the other interns in my program and I went on a museum tour. One of the places we visited was the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard. I remember marveling at its unique architecture and appreciating its tranquil atmosphere.

Over the next several weeks, I regularly spent my lunch breaks in the courtyard, a popular lunch spot for many. It was during one of these visits that I noticed the latticed shadow pattern cast on the wall by the courtyard’s roof. As a photographer, I’m interested in the interplay of light and shadow, and I began to think of ways I could incorporate these shadows into a project.

Capturing the images for the elapsed time piece took most of a day. Starting at about 11 a.m., I fixed my camera in a certain position, then set it to shoot one photo every fifteen seconds for the next six hours. Afterward, I used a video-editing program to combine the approximately 1,500 photos. In the resulting video, the shadows are no longer the seemingly still pattern that one would see during a visit to the courtyard; instead, they shift quickly with the sun, illustrating the building’s continual interaction with the outside world.

Posted by Jeff on December 15, 2009 in Behind the Scenes, Museums & Technology


That's pretty cool! Would be even cooler to have some music to it. or something. or during an event there with set up and performance and breakdown. That'd be sweet.


What a wonderful perspective on one of the loveliest spaces in the city. Bravo Lauren!

Ricky, we thought about adding music but the only music that seemed appropriate was a Phillip Glass piece like Koyaanisqatsi.

Seriously, there is something nice about the silence while watching the light slowly move across the building.

My favorite professor from Harvard loved arranging trees that would cast shadows across the landscape.

Really marvelous angle you got there..., nice clean simple modern space.

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