Due to the boundaries of conventional photography, it’s necessary to see the Grand Canyon in person if you want to have any real sense of it. Even then, the limitations of the human eyeball and depth perception make it challenging to compute what exactly it is that’s before you. The scale. The structure. The origin story. They combine to form something like nothing else, and so by definition, laying eyes on it is a moment for which you cannot be prepared. Even as you’re looking at the Canyon, it’s hard to know where to direct your eyes first, next, or last. The result can be a sort of dizzying rush of astonishment and adrenaline.
As man made things go, the $1 Million Staircase — located in the New York State Capitol Building in Albany, NY — sent my head into similar spaces. Capturing a photograph that could successfully illustrate both the massiveness and nuance of the Stairs seemed impossible. In an effort to instead take a series of mental snapshots, every neck contortion and eye swivel I could muster felt insufficient. There was simply too much to the space, also referred to in Capitol parlance as The Great Western Staircase, to feel like I’d seen or digested it all. To try and add it up as I walked it was to be transported into a real-life composite of MC Escher artwork, someplace at once concrete and impossible.
The Staircase is a singular sight with a remarkable story ; for someone interested in art, architecture, or history, it’s an absolute must-see. And believe it or not, the tour is free ; not a bad deal for a look at something priceless that may just leave you speechless.
For a sneak peek and more on how the $1 Million Staircase came to be, read my Steller Story on it by clicking the photo below.