CAPITOL DOME AND FRESCO, WASHINGTON, D.C.: True story… Several years ago, while in Rome, Italy, I was standing near St. Peter’s Square late in the evening. An American couple and their two children pulled up in a taxi and got out. They approached me, nodding to the dome, asking me if “that” (St. Peter’s Basilica) was the American embassy. First time outside of America, I’d guess.
The Capitol building dome in Washington does, of course, resemble the great Roman basilica. It has inspired countless other domes across the world. Washington D.C.’s Capitol dome is made of cast iron and weighs 8,909,200 lbs. The interior of the dome, as seen from the floor in these two photos, features a fresco painted by an Italian called Constantino Brumidi in 1865. The painting is called The Apotheosis of Washington. The painting depicts George Washington becoming a god (apotheosis) during America’s revolutionary war. Washington is draped in the royal colour purple. Forming a circle are 13 maidens, each with a star above her head, to represent the 13 original American colonies. And, above Washington’s head, is the banner E Pluribus Unum which means “out of many, one.”
Photos by John Ecker | pantheon photography
Top photo: Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, Nikon AFS 10-24mm lens at 10mm,1/60 sec., f5, ISO 640
Botton photo: Shot handheld with a Nikon D40X, Nikon AFS 18-200 lens at 170mm, 1/40 sec, f7.1, ISO 800
WASHINGTON MONUMENT, WASHINGTON, D.C. This monument is easily one of the most instantly recognizable landmarks in the world. It stands as a tribute to one of America’s greatest presidents. The idea to recognize Washington emerged in the 1780s. The 1791 plan for the new federal city made the monument the center of the action. The obelisk plan was approved in 1836. In 1848 the cornerstone to be laid. Along came the Civil War, further delaying completion. To speed things along, the Army Corps of Engineers took over and completed the project in 1884. The monument was officially dedicated on February 21, 1885.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, Nikkor AF-S 10-24mm lens at 15mm, f13, 1/1250 sec., ISO 640. Photograph by John Ecker |
WASHINGTON MONUMENT, WASHINGTON, D.C. The Washington Monument Society selected Robert Mills’ design of this obelisk in 1836. I would take several decades before the monument was finally dedicated on dedicated on February 21, 1885. The monument weights over 80,000 tons. It stands just over 555 feet tall. Walls at the base are 15 feet thick. At the top, they narrow to just 18 inches. The Society ran out of money in 1854 when the monument was just 150 feet tall. Construction stalled for about 25 years. A different quarry supplied the stone. While the two types seemed to match at the time, wind, rain, and erosion have caused the marble sections to weather differently, producing the now pronounced difference in colour. It’s 896 steps to the top of the obelisk. Visitors take an elevator to the observation deck where they can survey the city from the monument’s great height.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, Nikkor AF-S 10-24mm lens at 15mm, f13, 1/1250 sec., ISO 640. Image by John Ecker | pantheon photography
Capitol Building, view from Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., photo by John Ecker, Pantheon Photography
CAPITOL BUILDING, VIEW FROM LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, WASHINGTON, D.C. The U.S. Capitol building is such a dominant landmark in the city. The layout of the city affords visitors terrific views from a wide variety of places throughout Washington. Finding a new perspective is not easy. I came across this interesting angle while visiting the Library of Congress.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D40X with a Nikkor AF-S f 18-200 lens at 55mm,f7.1, 1/1600 sec, ISO 800. Image by John Ecker | pantheon photography
Washington Monument and Capitol Dome view from Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C., photo by John Ecker, Pantheon Photography
WASHINGTON MONUMENT AND CAPITOL DOME FROM LINCOLN MEMORIAL: The Washington monument and dome of the Capitol Building be seen in the distance from this photo taken at the Lincoln Memorial. The memorial also provides a commanding view of the reflecting pool and WWII memorial. Construction of the Memorial began on February 12, 1911, Lincoln’s birthday. The magnificent tribute to one of America’s greatest presidents opened on May 30, 1922 with Lincoln’s only surviving child, Robert Todd Lincoln in attendance. A year later, Memorial architect Henry Bacon received a Gold Medal by the American Institute of Architects for his Greek Revival design. The building is constructed of marble and limestone. This photo is taken on the southern wall exterior. The interior southern wall contains the full text of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D40X, Nikkor AF-S 18-200mm at 18mm, f11, 1/4000 sec., ISO 800, Photo by John Ecker | Pantheon Photography
5 RED TELEPHONE BOOTHS, LONDON, ENGLAND: Red public telephones in London are ubiquitous. But as long-time travelers know, their ranks are diminishing due to the explosion of cell-phone use. The booths in this photo are located on Broad Street. The origin of these icons was a 1924 design competition. The basic look was updated over the years, including significant improvements in 1929 and 1934. In 1935, to celebrate the silver jubilee of King George V, thousands of the red boxes were placed throughout Britain. It’s hard to imagine them in any other colour but there was widespread opposition to the bright scheme. The 1959 version introduced an even brighter red and it went on to be the standard colour. The classic British booth has even been exported for use in Malta and Cyprus. In Washington, DC, a red booth sits outside the British Embassy. Today, stop by virtually any booth in London and you’ll see it festooned with business cards for escort services. How long will the iconic booths last? Well, when was the last time you actually used a phone booth to make a call?
Shot handheld with a Nikon D70s, AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm lens at 48mm, f9, 1/320 sec. Photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography