Thursday, August 15, 2013


On our recent trip to Salt Lake City, I paid a visit to the Utah State Capitol, along with my camera.  The capitol building sits on a hill directly north of the downtown area and as such is a great landmark for the area.  Because the street around the front of the capitol was blocked off, we were not able to approach the building from the front and wound up entering it from the rear.  As a result, because of limitations of time, I did not get a shot of the front of the building.  Next time.

The building, like so many state capitols, includes a dome that dominates its exterior architecture.

I have a photo of the full dome, but it seems too mundane.  I like this shot that clips one side, creating a bit more interest.  Besides, anyone looking at this can fill in what's missing from the shot.

There is, of course, an interior side to the dome and I used my camera-in-the-middle-of-the-floor-pointing-up technique to try to capture it.

My problem was that there is a major chandelier hanging from the center of the dome and it is evident that my lens was focused on the chandelier rather than the dome above it.  I shot this at maximum depth of field (f/22), which helped, but there is still a difference between the crispness of the chandelier and the dome above it.

Here is an oblique shot of the edge of the dome that I liked for the series of curved lines that it incorporates.

Major wings of the building lead off from the central atrium, and I liked the skylights above those wings.

I think this shot conveys a real sense of size and depth.

Here's another shot looking from one of the wings back toward the central atrium.  Again, I liked the variety of curved lines that reflect the building's architectural complexity.

We were able to look in on both the Senate and House of Representative chambers, which were predictably ornate.  Here are a couple of shots from the House chamber.

For me, the most striking features of the building's interior were the stairways at either end of the central atrium.  I wanted to get a clean shot of one of the two stairways, but a gentleman had seated himself at the base of the opposite stairway and didn't seem to be in any hurry to move on.  Impatient, I took a shot with him in the picture.  Not bad, really, as it provides some perspective.  (Note, by the way, the chandelier that was the "problem" in the shot of the dome interior.)

Then a couple of guys walked through and I took another shot that included them as well as the gentleman on the stairs.  Even better, I thought.  You might even call it an "action shot."

Later, I finally got a clean shot of one of the stairways.

Actually, I got several, but I liked the light in this one the best.  On a lot of these shots let's just say that I spent a fair amount of time in post processing trying to get the symmetry right.

This year I have spent time photographing three different state capitols, all of which were built in the same general era and have similar architectural styles: Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Utah.  Of the three, Wisconsin's is perhaps the largest and most ornate, but all three are terrific subjects and worth the visit, and each has its own unique features.


1 comment:

  1. We loved it out at Salt Lake City. Great pictures.