The Wisconsin State Capitol

Wisconsin State Capitol and Statue - Madison, Wisconsin

Wisconsin State Capitol and Statue – Madison, Wisconsin

It’s natural for me to compare the Texas State Capitol with the one in Wisconsin. I’ve lived in Austin for 25 years and I’ve photographed my state capitol often (though I don’t post many images of it). On my recent trip to Madison, I was looking forward to shooting another dramatic building.

At an Angle, Wisconsin State Capitol - Madison, Wisconsin

Nothing says “important government building” than ornate flourishes and a giant dome. The Wisconsin Capitol does not disappoint. Unlike the tall but skinny Texas dome, I think the Wisconsin’s is more full-figured and substantial. The capitol is set in the center of Madison, on a giant city square, that affords the building 8 angles, 4 corners and 4 sides. Each view is subtly different and it took me shooting several angles until I realized its overall architectural design.

Walkway to the Wisconsin State Capitol - Madison, Wisconsin

I think HDR worked particularly well to capture the soft glow of the dome as well as the surrounding grounds. The increased dynamic range helps in these cases. As usual, I shot this on tripod at ISO 200. I used the Olympus 9-18mm wide-angle.

I’m glad I took these exterior photos on the first night. Subsequently the weather only became more foggy but at least it was uncharacteristically warm.

Christmas Tree, Wisconsin State Capitol - Madison, Wisconsin
Dome Interior, Wisconsin State Capitol - Madison, Wisconsin

During the second day, after the tour of the University of Wisconsin, my boys and I viewed the interior. It’s a very impressive structure, one that I can spend hours inside. Because I was there with two impatient boys, I opted for some quick handheld snaps. Because the Olympus E-M5 Mark II’s impressive image stabilization, I was able to make decent photos at least, without a tripod.

Hallway and Skylight, Wisconsin State Capitol - Madison, Wisconsin

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Comparing the Texas Capitol with the one in Wisconsin might be asking for trouble, but I must admit that I was more impressed with the one up north. Not to say our Austin Capitol is not nice, it is. However, both buildings are superior, in my opinion, to the California and Virgina capitols.

Reflection, Wisconsin State Capitol - Madison, Wisconsin

Finally, to create a slightly uncharacteristic image, I shot this. I liked the capitol’s reflection and the modern counterpoint to the old. The dome, like an apparition.


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