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A day at Madame Tussauds

Albert Einstein at the Madame Tussauds, Sydney

Yesterday I spent the day at the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Sydney. It had been years since I’d been to any wax museum. I think the last time I was at one was the Museo de Cera in Mexico City probably over 5 years ago and before that I vaguely remember the Madame Tussauds in Amsterdam maybe 15 years ago.

I have no idea why I left it until today, but I’m glad I went. I had a great time and I was pretty impressed by the quality of the was sculptures. The guys that do them sure are talented. Some figures are so life-like it almost feels like they’re looking into your eyes.

Look at Albert Einstein above. Doesn’t he look real? I can even sense some emotion in his eyes. Weird.

I had a blast shooting them, although as with most museums, the light is awful for photography. It’s mostly pretty harsh and coming directly from above, which casts horrible shadows below the nose and the eyes. Mix that with other lights of a million different colours coming from every angle and it sure gets challenging. Colour correcting is a major pain, but I think they came out ok.

As you’d expect from a Madame Tussauds in Sydney, several of the sculptures are of Australian celebrities and local prominent figures. I actually enjoyed that and thought it was a great idea. It gives it a local flavour and I’m sure sets each museum apart.

For those interested, they were all shot with the Fuji X100S and post-processed in Apple Aperture using a beta version of Rob Boyer’s Portra Presets For Aperture and a lot of manual white balance and curves tweaks to correct colour.