Friday, October 21, 2016

A nice place in North Carolina to take kids to learn about, enjoy science and nature

Having spent a good part of the previous day on foot with a relatively heavy DSLR and fast (f/2.8) lens, I chose to do my entire shoot at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, N.C. on Oct. 6 with my iPhone 6s Plus.

While the North Carolina Museum of Art (see previous post) that I visited the day before is a place any family could visit, the Museum of Life and Science is even more family-friendly. It features interactive exhibits designed to appeal to small children.

At the Life and Science Museum, I was with several family members, including a 23-month-old girl, so it seemed right to not be as intense about picture-taking as I had when I was on my own at the NCMA.

Unlike NCMA, the Life and Science Museum is not someplace I'd return to a lot ... unless I were with small children who would enjoy the interactive exhibits. The indoor area featuring NASA exhibits of space capsules (see photo leading off the post) and the like was interesting, and perhaps I'd appreciate returning when I had more time to study those more closely.

But the outdoor portion of the grounds were largely designed for children -- a very modest animal farm, exhibits of dinosaur likenesses, a train car to walk through, a circular pool with miniature sail vessels that children can navigate, and an enclosed, tropical-environment exhibit that houses butterflies.

In addition, unlike the NCMA, there is an admission fee to the Life and Science Museum. The fee schedule starts at $16 per person for adults, with various discounts available for seniors and military veterans and children. Yet another reason I'd be disinclined to return on my own.

Photo geek stuff: Short and sweet: Everything was shot with an iPhone 6s Plus. For a few of the shots, I used the phone camera's HDR feature, but to be honest, it made marginal difference.

To see a full gallery of my shots from the Museum of Life and Science, visit my site at SmugMug. As always, to view a larger and sharper version of a photo in a post, click on the picture. This is especially important if you access the post from a mobile device.

Above and below: Two of the beasts in the dinosaur exhibit area.  

The barn in the mini-farm area (above) and one of the alpacas (below) that roam the area.

Above and below: Water falls in a nicely landscaped natural area in the park. 

Above and below: Scenes from the circular pond where children can navigate the sailes on these small boats using steering mechanisms alongside the pond. 

Above and below: Two more scenes in the outdoors natural area. 

Above and next two below: I tried to capture at least one butterfly inside the tropical enclosure at the butterflies exhibit, but having only an iPhone to work with, I had no luck. I did grab the shots above and first below of the foliage and one of the blooms there, though. The spherical exhibit in the photo second below was in the housed area before you entered the tropical garden.  

Above: I may have failed at photographing a real butterfly, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to photograph this butterfly shaped bench outside of the butterfly exhibit. 

Above and next three below: Some more shots from the indoor science and NASA/ space exhibits. 

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