Posted by: photochika42 | December 6, 2010

When one door closes, another one opens…

Public Citizen Building - Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C.

Jamaican Embassy - Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C.

Church of Scientology - Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C.

Council Building - Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C.

Beadazzled door - Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C.

Wayne Presbyterian Church, Wayne, PA

Washington Club - Dupont Circle, Washington D.C.


  1. Brianna’s photo essay is a look at different doors from around the city, and one from Pennsylvania. Brianna uses different colors, textures, styles, balances, and general differences to showcase the variety of building in our beautiful city. The shots are mostly medium and straight on. The title “When One Door Closes, Another One Opens” is very creative and well thought out. I am having trouble seeing the story behind the piece. I suppose the semiotics behind the piece are about diversity, and that our different building of D.C. represent the diversity we have here. However, the photos do not completely relate to eachother. Why is one door from Pennsylvania? Who is our audience? I love the lighting and angling on some of the pictures, but on others I do not see so much compositional variety. I would love to hear the artist’s insight into what the story is. I believe the work has intrinsic value, but I cannot put my finger on it. I love the idea of diversity, and the textures and colors in the photos are beautiful. However, I would need more synthesis in the general theme to understand the complete concept.

  2. This photo essay, as described by its title, presents a series of closed doors of important buildings. The only exception from this rule is the “Beadazzled” door, which is the entryway into a shop as opposed to a politically or culturally relevant building. The final image shows an open doorway to the Washington Club, suggesting, like the title, that while many doors might close, a few will always remain open.

    The photo of the Wayne Presbyterian Church is the most visually appealing. It uses many principles of photography, including juxtapositions of lines and curves, perspective, and the rule of thirds and captures the color in a dramatic way. First, the curved archway above the door and the contrasting straight lines of the doors themselves emphasize the religious purpose of the doorway by drawing attention to the building’s architecture. Next, the lines of the handrails use the principle of perspective to draw the eye toward the vanishing point, which lands on the black handle to open the door. Additionally, this dark black in these thin lines stands out from the lighter grey and cream tones, further emphasizing the journey up towards the doorway. The rule of thirds positions the doorway in the center third, with, of course, this darker black handle on the doors in the very center. Once again, this reflects a photographic skill to focus the eye on the action of walking up towards the entrance to this significant building. Over everything else, however, color truly stands out as the most dramatic element. The red doorway emphasizes the importance of the door to the entire essay and to this building. It provides a bold central focusing point for the viewer to look at and completes the journey up the stairs.

    Like the story in the Wayne Presbyterian Church photo, the entire essay guides the viewer to approach the various doors. Their central position in the photograph, with the line dividing the two doors typically dividing the photograph, suggests the importance of what is beyond the doors. The inclusion of light varies in the photographs, making some more visually interesting to look at than others but overall making the subject more interesting in its variety. The titling suggests one way to look at the progression of doors, and the open doorway at the end provides a nice conclusion, but just the simple examination of doors themselves makes these photos valuable. Considering doors as an important element of architecture is not typical—most people focus on the archways or columns of significant buildings. Including the “Beadazzled” doorway does take away from the overall theme slightly, but does add to this examination of the importance of doors. The way in which the photographer provides a new angle at the end also sums up this more simplistic analysis of the photographs, opening the door so the viewer can move through the doorway with a new perspective.

  3. Strolling through the streets of Washington, DC, there dozens of iconic buildings in which aspects of our civil society are contained. Though we often consider the architecture of these buildings, rarely do we focus on their doors, the portals through which civic leaders pass through daily. That’s what I liked most about this photo essay.

    Indeed, the designs of these doors are themselves a reference to visual design. The public citizen building’s door seems to represent strength with its heavy wood and square pillars. The Jamaican Embassy’s door embodies that country’s tropical nature with all the pomp and circumstance a door to an embassy deserves. The Church of Scientology’s door, placed back from the curb, seems to imply secrecy and exclusivity. Bedazzled’s door communicates cheap consumerism where the council building door highlights the annals of power. The Washington Club door seems to promote an idea of cold elitism, whereas the red warmth of the church’s door provides a portal through all.

    It is through these elements of design, color, framing, symmetry and placement that portals to buildings communicate much about the buildings themselves. In placing these images in direct juxtaposition to each other, this piece enables many to make value judgements about an organization based on their door alone. Is it judging a book by its cover? Perhaps. But that’s part of the power of it all.

  4. This is a photo essay about various doors and designs in Washington, DC. The doors belong to various buildings such as a government building, churches and a club.

    The photos are not cropped or angled in a particularly exciting manner, but that’s okay because it’s the subject and detailed design of the actual doors that make the photographs interesting. The crossed patterns of the first door is very interesting and draws the eye in a smooth line, along the other square ridges of the door. The first door is made up of smaller squares and rectangles. The second door is more ornate with an intricate metal door in front, molded into a swirled design, giving it a look of hearts of climbing ivy. The door of the Scientology church looks like a cross between an old-timey phone booth and a time machine. The wooden ceiling gives it a sophisticated look as the straight lines up and back lead the eye right to the entrance of the church. The color of the door also makes it stand out. Again it is comprised of smaller squares and rectangles. The next door uses lines, circles and arks to again obtain a decorative and fanciful feel. The door for “Bedazzled” is not a very interesting door in itself, but the image behind it is what makes it visually appealing. It’s a boring plain door with a colored, wistful tapestry filling the window. The door of the Presbyterian Church is the only door to use an arc, a design element seen in many religious buildings, particularly churches or mosques. Again, the door is paneled into small squares. The final door is made up of mirrored squares with circular flowers within each. These doors use geometrical shapes, balance, and symmetry

    The various doors convey a message of opportunity in DC. There are so many different things to do, places to see, and that’s evident just by looking at the varied designs of doors. There are intricate details left and right, but nothing is exactly the same. Someone is always coming up with a new idea, a new design, a new place to go. This ties in with Brianna’s title, “When one door closes, another one opens.” The focal point of each of these images is the actual door and the way it’s framed.

    I think the message is definitely effectively conveyed. Also, in the final image, the frontal door is open, beckoning the viewer to come inside and explore. It’s a nice way to bring closure to the series. I really like photo essays like this because I am fascinated by the design that is all around us in every structure and building. My neighborhood in Tennessee did a similar poster where they photographed doors of numerous historical houses and composited them to show the varying intricacies. It was really neat to see all the variation and this photo essay conveys just that.

  5. This photo essay is of photos of various doors. It uses establishing shots, and is meant to focus on doors as an essential piece of architecture. The photo essay uses lines, bilateral symmetry, emphasis on doors, and form as elements and principles of design to emphasize the doors. The grandeur of the doors as the focus of the piece is expressed by the tall vertical lines.
    I am not sure of your intended message of the piece. If it is to emphasize doors as a focus of architecture that is rarely appreciated, then that is well communicated because it is aesthetically pleasing. If it is to show opportunity in place one would not expect because of the open door at the end, then that is achieved too. However, the story lacks cohesion, because one of the shots is in Pennsylvania, while the rest take place not just in Washington, D.C., but in a specific area of the city, Dupont Circle. The randomness of that one shot distracts me from the rest of the photo essay. Also, the last shot is supposed to be different because it is the door opened, but it is at a different angle, and not an establishing shot like the previous photographs.
    The photo essay is beautiful and aesthetically pleasing, and it does take a different approach on architecture by emphasizing doors as a valued piece of architecture rather than other parts of architecture that are commonly displayed, such as columns, windows, balconies, or landscaping. However, because of the lack of cohesion, it is confusing as to what the story and message of the photo essay is, thus it detracts meaning from the original beauty of the photographs. I am not quite sure who the audience is, because it is hard to determine whether it is residents of Washington, D.C. (which was my original thought, because most of the photos take place in Dupont circle). If it is, it the message is almost communicated effectively, until the disruption by that one photo, and it does have intrinsic value for emphasizing the rarely appreciated value of doors as gateways to new opportunities, or blockers and guards of new opportunities.

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