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Capturing the Seasons

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Photo of Capitol covered in snow

Chuck Badal is a photographer for the Architect of the Capitol (AOC). Below he reflects on how some of his favorite images of the U.S. Capitol were captured.

We first mounted a digital camera atop the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building in 2004. It was the perfect location to document the construction of the Capitol Visitor Center. Since the building was being constructed underground we needed to shoot from above to have a good view of the construction site, and this perspective provided a nice compliment to additional cameras we had mounted atop the U.S. Capitol on the House and Senate wings and the Capitol Dome.

It wouldn't have been realistic for me, and my fellow photographers at the AOC, to continually climb atop the Library of Congress to document all phases of the project (particularly in winter!), so the camera was mounted in a weatherproof box and set to automatically take a photo every hour. What we got was more than just a construction record; the images captured were breathtaking, showcasing a unique perspective of this national icon in all manners of daylight and in all types of weather.

When the Visitor Center opened in 2008 we made the decision to keep this camera running, and the photos we have gotten as a result are some of my favorites of the Capitol, capturing the Capitol throughout the seasons during snow storms, sunsets and ominous cloud cover. Here are some of my favorites!

Winter at the Capitol

Winter at the U.S. Capitol — condensation formed on the lens of the camera.

Spring Sunset at the Capitol

Spring Sunset at the Capitol.

Early Summer at the Capitol

Early Summer at the Capitol.

Late Fall at the Capitol

Late Fall at the Capitol.

View more on the Architect of the Capitol Flickr account.

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