Dominion Tower, 26 September 2010


Yup, another post for today…still trying to make up for all those “missing” posts from earlier in the month / last month / okay, okay…it’s been awhile!


Photo Information:

Camera: Nikon D80
Lens: Nikon Nikkor 20mm f/2.8
ISO Equivalency: 100
Color Setting: Vivid [1]

The subject of this photo is the Dominion Tower [2] in downtown Norfolk, Virginia. I’m actually not all that enthralled by the design, being all Post-Modern, as it is. [3] The utter lack of detail, and the monotony of the facades is just, well, boring. [4] On the other hand, it does have clean lines, and the proportions aren’t all that bad, so I suppose I shouldn’t complain too much. Oh, and it was there while I was walking around, so, er, yeah. It was something to photograph. [5]

Regarding the composition, I’ve been enamored of shots like this since, well, a very, very long time ago. There’s a long and convoluted history behind that, which I’m not really going to get into at the moment. I do like the perspective lines inherent in shots like this, which, I suppose, is just a fancy way of saying I like how the shot looks. [6]



[1]: Yes, I know…it’s a black and white shot, so the color setting probably doesn’t matter. OTOH, differences in hue and saturation levels do seem to impact the greytones in a black and white digital image, so maybe there is a reason to mention it? Who knows…

[2]: Official information available here, on the Harbor Group Website. I’m not entirely sure why the building is named “Dominion” Tower, though I think it was because of a bank? (Was there ever a Dominion Bank? I don’t recall). One of Virginia’s nicknames is the Old Dominion, so that may also have something to do with it. Regardless, I’ve just always known that it’s named as such, since it was built, anyways.

[3]: Being built in 1987, the building really didn’t have much say in the matter. Er, also, the fact that it’s an inaimate object, and would naturally have nothing to say.

[4]: Of course, this is subjective, and just my opinion. YMMV.

[5]: The fact that I enjoy trying to find beauty in ugly / mundane things when I photograph certainly had nothing to do with my decision to photograph this building. Honest. Besides, look at those clouds in the background…purty, right?

[6]: Sadly, I can’t easily get away with saying such things…well, not so much in my chosen profession, anyways. One of the primary lessons (which, admittedly, I didn’t learn well) in architectural design curricula is the notion that one must have a cogent rationale for designing in the way that one does. Central to this (at least, it is in the schools I attended) are concepts that are collectively known as Architectural Theory. I  happen to think that much of this subject is a load of, well, you get the idea, but academic types (and, for that matter, many designers) tend to love it. Cue the horrified looks on the faces of some of my professors when I’d say (with all seriousness) that I just thought the building looked good the way I had designed it. Oh sure, in terms of space, programming, etc., I had plenty of intricate and rationale reasons for what I had done, but in terms of aesthetics? Nope. Just looked good to me. Design aesthetics are entirely subjective, anyways, so the notion of some grand Theory underpinning any design just seems tacked-on to me, and intended not as an actual guide to “better” design, but a way to make the design process sound more fancy than it is.

Er, sorry for the diatribe there…as you may have surmised, I’m not a fan of Architectural Theory…or the fact that I was forced to take several classes in this subject for both my undergraduate and graduate curricula. As in, I would not have been able to graduate had I not taken these classes. Oh, and I suppose that I should at least admit the possibility that I’m just not bright enough to “get it” when it comes to theory.


One Response to “Dominion Tower, 26 September 2010”

  1. greysqrl Says:

    Great angle!

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