Raising the Bar in Jefferson’s Rotunda

27 02 2010

Thomas Jefferson designed the early phases of the University of Virginia to place the student body in close proximity to the library and members of the academic community. At the center of Jefferson’s Academical Village is the Rotunda. The building is a symbol of the University of Virgina and is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The building is best known for its dome and columns; it was based on the Pantheon in Rome.

I gave myself a quick tour of the Rotunda and enjoyed the history and architecture of the building. It was an enjoyable building to tour because there we not many people around. The lack of people made it easy to get some good photographs of the building’s interior. The photos below are among my favorite from the past weekend and of the year so far.

These stairs lead up to the dome room. I really like the symmetry, lines, and curves of this shot.

I like how this image shows the shape of the room and the unique architecture of the columns. Again, solid symmetry.

I was able to use a wide angle lens to capture the seating arrangement of the Dome Room with the Skylight in the dome ceiling. The sun was also shining through to add some pattern to the shot.

This shot was taken looking at the skylight in the dome. The sun was shining through onto the dome creating a unique pattern. The image reminds me of a jellyfish.

My sister commented on a previous post and said that I was raising the bar. While I appreciate compliments that people share, I am often critical of my own work. But this is one case where I would agree by saying that these photographs are among my better shots. I guess I am raising the bar.





Visiting Jefferson’s Treasures

26 02 2010

“I’m a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” ~Thomas Jefferson~

This quote seems to fit my photography pretty well. As I have focused more time and energy on photography, I continue to find better “luck.” It’s also a polite way of saying don’t just sit around and wait for things to happen.

Last weekend I spent part of a day in Charlottesville, VA while my wife spent the afternoon at a conference. I burned a few hours by visiting two of Thomas Jefferson’s historical locations. I was able to visit Monticello for the first time and tour Thomas Jefferson’s home. While the grounds were snow-covered it was still enjoyable to walk around. I was pleasantly surprised by the time I spent there. I thought that I would just be seeing an old house, but I good tour guide re-sparked an interest in the history nerd that lives inside me. The architecture of the building was also very unique and made for some good shots.

I also visited the center of the University of Virginia’s campus and took in the Academical Village and the Rotunda. As a college administrator, I found this area both unique and amazing. I have to admit that one of the first thoughts I had as I walked a corridor along student residences was “isn’t a fireplace a significant fire hazard”. The Academical Village is Jefferson’s idea of a university. It is a place where faculty, staff, and students closely interact benefiting the educational experience of the student. The Rotunda, which is the central building of UVA’s campus, is a great building. I will share some photographs that focus on this building in another post.

Here are a few more photos from my afternoon:

Jefferson’s thoughts also seem to provide a good life lesson. Hard work yields results. And while I do believe that luck does exist, effort leads to more positive outcomes. You’re probably better off putting in a little effort instead of just hoping things break your way!

To view more photos from Virginia, please click on any of the images in this post. My gallery of Virginia is a new project. I still have many places to explore.