Fifth Appellate Court
Fresno, CA
Kitchell CEM

Today’s architectural photograph is the entrance to the Fifth Appellate Court in Fresno, CA shot for Kitchell CEM in 2008.

This was a really great project to work on because the architect and lighting designer did a wonderful job of communicating the gravitas of the function of the building. I experienced the approach to this project during the daylight hours and sensed the power, stateliness, decisiveness and visual authority of the design. I knew the best way to communicate these impressions was as a dusk shot.

At dusk I could give the exterior the imposing treatment it deserved and allow the interior illumination to enhance the depth and draw the imagination of the viewer deeper into the image hinting at the opportunity to seek resolution. I wanted to communicate that to pass through these imposing gates would place the individual in the presence of true power. This is why I allowed the strong vertical lines of the columns to fill half of the composition with the angles of the horizontal plane dramatizing the visual approach to the building itself. I felt leaving negative space above the roof line focused attention on the illuminated termination of the columns and enhanced the perception of the decisive nature of the design. I felt the composition is in effect saying “You come to us. We are the authority. We go here, and no farther.”

I didn’t bother to take into account the existence of the Supreme Court. I was in the moment, telling the story of this building, not our justice system.