Friday, May 22, 2015


During our recent trip to Salt Lake City to see family, I paid another visit to the Utah State Capitol, actually two visits on consecutive days during our visit.  Unlike with my previous visits, this time I brought along my tripod.  Here first is an exterior shot of the building (which didn't require a tripod).

Utah's capitol is not as large or as ornate as some of the other state capitols that I have visited, but it is one of my favorites.  Its large atrium includes a central dome flanked on either side by stone-clad staircases.  I took a couple of shots of the dome from directly underneath, with the camera on the floor pointing straight up.

These shots were trickier than they might appear.  The ring of circles in the images is actually a light fixture that hangs down considerably below the level of the dome.  As a result, if I had simply set the focus on the center of the image, it would have brought the base of the light fixture into focus but might have left the remainder of the ceiling and dome area out of focus.  So I moved the focus point off to the side so that it was focused on the base of the dome.  These were shot at f/16 with a shutter speed of 0.4 second.

Here are a couple of photos that illustrate how far down the light fixture extends.

Following is one more image that features the dome.

I liked this shot as a quasi-abstract.  It reveals that the dome includes a mural that features a partly cloudy sky, including a flock of gulls primarily in the upper right, representing one of the legends relating to the Mormon history of the area.  (Don't strain your eyes.  The gulls are only visible in a blown up version of the image.)

On to the staircases.  Here are three shots of the same staircase that demonstrate how different perspectives can result in very different images.

This first was taken from the second floor at the other end of the atrium.

I took this at the telephoto range of my lens, 120 mm.  As a result, the components of the image are foreshortened, typical of telephoto shots.  Note, too, how the pillars on each side appear essentially vertical (of course they actually are).  Contrast that image with the following.

Here the pillars are "leaning in," and the staircase appears to be retracted.  This was taken on the main floor with the lens set as wide angled as my lens allows, 24 mm.

Finally, below is another wide angled image, again, at 24 mm, but from a spot much closer to the base of the stairs.

Note how the stairs seem to project toward the camera.

Lastly, here is a shot of one of the staircases from the side that features a couple of the pillars.  Just a little Escher-esque, I thought, particularly as a black & white.

I felt that including the pillars in the shot added depth.


1 comment:

  1. John, The pictures are great!! I love the Black and White the most.