As Time Goes By

Today’s Post by Mildred Alpern

“You must remember this…”

In a soft misting rain, I spotted the five-foot time capsule on its black granite base outside the Weston Pavilion plaza entry at the New York City Museum of Natural History. Silver and gleaming with welcoming wings, the closed capsule is not to be opened until January 1st, 3000. A plaque identifies the sculptor, Santiago Calatrava, who has described his work as a flower. Although the capsule has been photographed countless times, the raindrops added translucent pinpoint patterns of texture to the stainless steel container and thus suggested a new take on the image.

At first sight, the sculpture stands sleek and sinuous before a brick wall and an abundant row of holly bushes. From another angle, the intricate overlapping panels of steel reveal graceful curves and circular flow. Buried within are random items including a Brazilian soccer jersey, New York Times magazines, post-it-notes, penicillin from France, a Beanie Baby, and hair samples from people all over the world, including Dolly, the cloned sheep.

So there it stood on this particular day drenched in rain, sealed until the first day of January, 3000, and filled with items of questionable value. You decide.

All photos were shot with the Olympus E-M5 Mark II and the Olympus M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro lens; the plaque at 40mm with an exposure of 1/800 at f/4.5, -2/3EV, ISO 100; the entryway at 32mm with an exposure of 1/250 at f/4.5, +1EV, ISO 100; and the Time Capsule at 40mm with an exposure of 1/200 at f/4.5, -1 2/3 EV, ISO100. All were processed in Adobe Lightroom in black and white and then enhanced in Silver Efex Pro.