‘Neath the Elms

Summer on a college campus (with all of the energy of a reunion weekend) buzzes and burbles with the remembered excitement of perfect afternoons. On the quad of Trinity College, in the shadow of elm trees and the enormous Neo-Gothic chapel, this reaches its apex. I particularly enjoy the father and son talking on the bench in the foreground, adding a touch of the intimate to an otherwise crowded scene.

'Neath the Elms

Tree Rivals the Steeple

Snow levels and re-makes the world, if only for a short time. My sense of scale decouples slightly from reality; though I know that the chapel is far taller than any form, man-made or otherwise, on St. Lawrence’s campus, I can’t help but imagine these trees stretching to impossible heights.

Tree Rivals the Steeple

Flying Over St. Lawrence I

This image, taken from the air over Campus Security and with the restored steeple of St. Lawrence University in the background, might not be quite up to my normal quality standards. I find it more interesting for another reason: it’s the first (good) picture I’ve captured with a quadcopter drone. I have to admit, the potential of the technology for landscape photographers is pretty exciting. Now if I can just get a drone to carry something as heavy as my DSLR…

Flying Over St. Lawrence I

Redox Steeple

The new steeple on Gunnison Memorial Chapel is installed (remember when it arrived?) and beginning to react with the atmosphere around it. This chemistry, in which copper metal transfers electrons to non-metal atoms from the air to become an ion, is called “reduction-oxidation” chemistry—abbreviated “redox.” Seeing this reaction happen on such a large scale, and produce such an awesome array of colors, is a treat.

Redox Steeple

Night Before the Steeple

In the fall of 2013 at St. Lawrence University (on Parents’ Weekend, no less!), the gorgeous old copper steeple of Gunnison Memorial Chapel burned down from an electrical fire. Renovations and repairs are finally done, and the new copper steeple was delivered yesterday. Today, it will be hoisted up and returned to the top of the repaired bell tower, but last night I paid it a visit during the blue hour to get a feeling for the scale of the structure.

Night Before the Steeple

Chapel by Night

After a trip back to my alma mater, Trinity College, for reunion weekend (but not my reunion), I’ve had some time to process both my photographs and my feelings from the trip. Standard touchy/feely closure stuff—appreciating my time there, but recognizing that I’m glad I’ve moved on. (If you can call teaching at a different small liberal arts college moving on…) This image of Trinity’s awesome Neo-Gothic chapel is reflective of two things: first, of the imposing nature of the structure, and second, the way in which its white stone can take on many colors depending on the available light. Perhaps that flexibility is an overly-obvious symbol of how feelings for a place can shift with time.

Chapel by Night

Neo-Gothic Projection

Trinity College’s gargantuan Neo-Gothic chapel is never more intimidating than at early dusk in the winter. The pale stone and the snow on the ground exert a pressure in the brain of everyone around them. In capturing an image of the chapel, perhaps I can bottle some of that intensity.

(And I had the opportunity to continue my recent trend of 1:1 aspect ratio photographs, to boot!)

Neo-Gothic Projection

The Chapel

Trinity College’s massive Neo-Gothic chapel is enormous and imposing and an utter masterpiece. Though the school has no official religious affiliation, the campus centers on the building both geographically and conceptually. In these final moments of the day, as the sun sets and paints lovely golden shadows on the structure, I appreciate how the building achieves this.

The Chapel