Laura Macky Photography

Journey of a body on this earth

The Pope’s Hat


So now that you’ve seen some interior shots of Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, California, I thought I’d show you the outside.  Yes, this is over the top but for some reason I couldn’t help myself!  (The image was tone-mapped using Nik HDR.)

One of the things I learned about this cathedral’s architecture is the purposeful marriage of ancient (concrete and wood) and new (glass and steel).  This concept is not only used in the construction but in the symbolism as well, which I hope to share more of in the near future.

The Old:  I was amazed to learn that the first recognition of concrete was 12,000,000 BC in Israel where reactions between limestone and oil shale during spontaneous combustion occurred to form a natural deposit of cement compounds.  In 300 BC, Egyptians furthered the discovery of lime and gypsum mortar as a binding agent for building the Pyramids.

The New:  The outside is shaped like a pope’s hat and is made of newer materials, glass and steel.

This “pope’s hat” is a beautiful piece of architecture in my opinion and changes depending on the light hitting the glass.  At night, it is beautifully illuminated!  I will have to go back and some night shots.



Author: lauramacky

Journey of a Body on this Earth

45 thoughts on “The Pope’s Hat

  1. Delightful. Awesome design and neatly captured.

  2. What an eye-catching building indeed!

  3. Great photo, interesting shapes. i did not like the Nik software and had it refunded. Turns out I don’t have the additional software that runs with it. Not much of Nik seems to be intended for stand alone use. Unless I just plain old missed something which is entirely possible.

  4. That so reminds me of my Shard photos! It does look amazing 🙂

  5. That is an interesting piece of architecture. Your little history lesson on concrete reminded my time in the Middle East. We would occasionally find 1000+ year old building foundations that looked about the same as modern poured concrete foundations.

  6. That building is some serious architecture and your history lesson was fascinating, giving me facts I did not know before. There was cement in 12,000,000 B.C.? UNBELIEVABLE!

  7. Nice exterior work here and yes, I would love to see what you do with a night/evening shot of this.

  8. Truly beautiful. Thank you so much for describing a little about the architecture! I love the history and symbolism in buildings like this. You captured the mood wonderfully 🙂

  9. Lovely shot, Laura. Great title.

  10. Gorgeous picture.! Perfect shot.!

  11. Only you can do “over the top” and make it look good! Good? It’s beautiful!

  12. It has a HDR touch – i like it! it´s not too much, but close. well done! great to see a building being so “lively”!

    • Thank you so much! You are correct. I used Nik HDR to tonemap it. I didn’t bracket the photos so it’s not an HDR but I do like the use of that filter for a single image sometimes.

  13. Amazing shot Laura! Actually like the construction quite a lot 🙂

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