February 18, 2014

Inside The Dome

While visiting the capitol building in Topeka, KS, we had the opportunity take the Dome Tour.  From what I gathered, this is something that was done in the past but discontinued many years ago.  With the renovations complete, the Dome Tour was brought back.  This was a really cool opportunity to see inside the dome.

This is the back of one of the pillars in the dome.  The front is the copper color you can see in the pillar to the left.  The back of all of these (which isn't visible from below) were covered with signatures.
1/40 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 100 - 24 mm

1/80 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 160 - 73 mm

No elevator to the top, we had to take the stairs.  Just under 300 of them, including the spiral staircase at the top.
1/40 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 500 - 40 mm

1/40 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 1600 - 50 mm

1/30 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 100 - 24 mm

1/30 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 125 - 24 mm

The dome is actually two layers, this is the inside of the upper layer.  The other side of this is copper and is what you see from the exterior.
1/30 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 1250 - 35 mm

1/30 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 320 - 28 mm

A decent view of the stairs.It's a little un-nerving to climb that section below the spiral, you are suspended over the lower dome, several stories below.
1/30 Sec - f/1.8 - ISO 160 - 5.2 mm

From the top of the spiral stairs, looking down.
1/30 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 400 - 24 mm

This is looking down from the base of the spiral stairs.  You can see the lower dome in the bottom left.  This is the glass dome that you see fom inside the building.  The three rows of windows around the exterior prove light to the glass dome.
1/40 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 320 - 40 mm

1/40 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 400 - 28 mm

1/30 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 1000 - 35 mm

Another view that includes some of the lower dome.
1/40 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 200 - 47 mm

These last two shots are for your reference.  This is the view from the ground floor, looking up at the glass dome.  Just below the dome, you can see the circle of copper painted pillars.  These are the same pillars as in the first image in this post.  The backs of these are covered in signatures.
1/30 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 160 - 24 mm

Here's the view looking down from just below the glass dome, the level of the pillars.  You can see the base of two of the pillars in the bottom corners of this image.  To give you a sense of scale, check out the people in this image.  You can see at least one person on most of the levels, including the guy on the ground level, standing where I was when I captured the previous image.
1/30 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 640 - 24 mm

So, there you have it, the Dome Tour.  It was well worth the effort to make the climb, even though I don't do overly well with heights.  Once we made it to the top, there was a very small landing with windows that allowed a 360° view of the city.  There was also a door that opened out to a balcony.  Yes, we were able to step out onto the balcony, and yes, the view was fantastic.  I'll show it to you, but you'll have to wait for an upcoming blog post.

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