I’m finishing this mini-series from Utrecht with the Dom Tower, the symbol of the city. At 368 feet, not only is it the tallest building in Utrecht, but it’s also the tallest church tower in the Netherlands. While the height no longer impresses by modern standards, it has something our new cities and vanity projects don’t have — a sense of proportion.
Clearly the ornate Gothic style imparts a sense of gravitas and must have awed the people, especially back in the 1300’s, when it was built. But what strikes me, even in the 21st century, is its beautiful proportion to the surrounding city, scaled for human beings. Here, the Dom Tower is framed between the other stately buildings. Clearly showing its importance but not overwhelming them.
The 35mm equivalent focal length from the Fujifilm X100S works especially well here, allowing ample opportunities to explore all the buildings, while being wide enough to give an urban context. As you go wider, the Dom Tower would appear smaller and more distant and would become lost among the additional buildings pulled into the frame. Use a longer focal length and the subject shifts increasingly to just the Dom Tower. The relationship to the city becomes lost.
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