Behind the Scenes, Gardens and Architecture, Getty Villa, Photographs, Film, and Video, Voices

The Transformative Outer Peristyle

“I think there is something magical about shooting in natural light.” This week on Getty Voices, Tahnee Cracchiola shares her photographic encounters with wildlife on site at the Getty. Her first photographic love was architecture photography. Her journey shooting the Outer Peristyle led to some breathtaking architecture images at sunrise and sunset, as well as a  surprising visit from a new feathered friend!


During visiting hours the Getty Villa’s Outer Peristyle is bright, green and rich with sunshine. But it doesn’t always look so saturated with color. Sunrise and sunset are ideal times to shoot landscape and architecture to get the golds and oranges of the sun rising through the atmosphere, or the pink and purple hues of the sun setting. Even the most subtle shifts in light quality can change an image dramatically.

Sunrise over the Outer Peristyle

Sunset over the Outer Peristyle


The Outer Peristyle may appear quiet and calm in these photographs. I didn’t think anything more than insects and the occasional hummingbird visited the gardens, but on one early morning I was photographing the sycamore trees when a duck landed on the side of the reflecting pool! He was like a hotel visitor lounging by the hottub…swimming, drinking, perhaps waiting for his mate. The gardeners told me that he came here at the same time every morning with his mate. But she never came. It’s a mystery that remains unsolved.

Perhaps it was a tragic love story amidst the art and the gardens that we’ll never hear the ending of. We do know that this little guy is welcome to the Getty any day of the week.

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      Olympian Census #4: Aphrodite

      Get the stats on your favorite (and not-so-favorite) gods and goddesses on view at the Getty Center.

      Roman name: Venus

      Employment: Goddess of Love and Beauty

      Place of residence: Mount Olympus

      Parents: Born out of sea foam formed when Uranus’s castrated genitals were thrown into the ocean

      Marital status: Married to Hephaestus, the God of Blacksmiths, but had many lovers, both immortal and mortal

      Offspring: Aeneas, Cupid, Eros, Harmonia, Hermaphroditos, and more

      Symbol: Dove, swan, and roses

      Special talent: Being beautiful and sexy could never have been easier for this Greek goddess

      Highlights reel:

      • Zeus knew she was trouble when she walked in (Sorry, Taylor Swift) to Mount Olympus for the first time. So Zeus married Aphrodite to his son Hephaestus (Vulcan), forming the perfect “Beauty and the Beast” couple.
      • When Aphrodite and Persephone, the queen of the underworld, both fell in love with the beautiful mortal boy Adonis, Zeus gave Adonis the choice to live with one goddess for 1/3 of the year and the other for 2/3. Adonis chose to live with Aphrodite longer, only to die young.
      • Aphrodite offered Helen, the most beautiful mortal woman, to Paris, a Trojan prince, to win the Golden Apple from him over Hera and Athena. She just conveniently forgot the fact that Helen was already married. Oops. Hello, Trojan War!

      Olympian Census is a 12-part series profiling gods in art at the Getty Center.

      08/03/15

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