Governor’s Office in Massachusetts State House, Boston, MA

One of my bucket list items is to visit and photograph every state capitol building, sometimes called the state house. When I set the goal, I’d only toured Sacramento (California) and Austin (Texas). Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to visit Denver (Colorado), Augusta (Maine), Richmond (Virginia), and Boston (Massachusetts). I’m sad to say, I developed this plan after visiting some other state capitols and not touring or photographing their capitol building. That, of course, means I’ll just have to go back. Okay by me! Any excuse to travel, right?

I think this goal developed as a result of my slight obsession with rotundas. They are my favorite architectural design element. What I’ve found interesting is the various interpretations under the dome that’s almost obligatory on a state house in the United States. Virginia, for instance, doesn’t boast a rotunda comparable to Austin, but it’s no less majestic in its presentation. (I just realized I’ve never posted a photo from the Richmond building. My bad!)

When I was in Boston two weeks ago, I spent the better part of my Friday walking the bulk of the Freedom Trail. I did this 3.5 years ago, but didn’t have the opportunity to go into the state house at that time. Not this trip! I kept setting off the alarm (first it was sunglasses in my jacket pocket, then it was the hotel key card in my jeans pocket, then my watch, and keys… at least we were all amused!), but eventually I made it through security and was allowed to amble around. They have an open door policy so I just walked around shooting photos to my heart’s content.

Massachusetts Governor's OfficeAs a former history major, I love when the capitol building keeps the original rooms preserved in their original decor, capturing a moment in time. Boston is no different. I loved seeing the Governor’s office. It is magnificent!

I love the warm tones of the woodwork, furniture, and draperies. The lighting was just right… just enough that I didn’t have to adjust any setting, but not so much that everything washed out or dulled.

Massachusetts Governor's OfficeSomewhere I have similar photos that I shot in Sacramento. Unfortunately, they were taken about five years before the advent of the digital SLR. At the time, I was shooting film on my Canon Elan IIe. I know I still have the negs, I just don’t really know which box they’re in. But I digress… The interesting thing is that both the photographs in Sacramento and those in Boston, while not utilizing the same camera body, did have the same Canon lenses. That’s right, I’ve never upgraded my lenses. I didn’t have to. They were fast enough for the digital format, so why shell out the cash for new ones? Some day I will, but as long as they produce beautiful photographs, I’m not forking over any dough on new ones.

As much as I like the first photo, it’s really the second that captured my attention. With the vertical shot, I was able to capture the ornate ceiling in the frame. In so doing, I got the advantage of a natural light bounce. (No camera flashes were harmed in the shooting of this photograph.) The soft illumination from the off-white circular feature on the ceiling brings light to the photograph that is soft. And since I was still able to capture the chandelier, fire place, and red velvet couches, I quite enjoy this photo. Quite.

I guess this means I either have to go visit Sac again or find the negatives… for comparison purposes, of course.

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