The A Dome and the twisted girder by gottheshot

The A Dome and the twisted girder by 

UNESCO World Heritage Site

I first visited Hiroshima in 2007 and I was awestruck with emotion.

My memories of Hiroshima 2007 brought me back to photograph it as it should be in 2008 – not as a ‘snapshot’ with blue skies – but a photograph – ‘an homage to the lives lost’ .

Buildings are usually photographed in their entirety.
The obvious reason is to see their scale and their shape
and how they fit into their surroundings.
This building is DIFFERENT.

This building is or should I say was the Hiroshima Library – now eerily just called the A-Dome. It is one of three surviving buildings after the atomic bomb in August 1945. My photo and I – try to show a feeling of emotion that can possibly come from a photo.

First of all, please note that the internal structure of the domed roof has miraculously survived the blast. with its
skeleton of beams which once supported an ornate dome.

My haunting part of this photo is tricky to see at first glance but like most things – when pointed out – becomes something one can’t shy their eyes from.

Take a look in the CENTRE of the photo. Their is a supporting piece of iron which once suported a wall or something like that. This solid bar of metal was superheated by the blast to become like a bendy toy and contort out of shape with the heat.

The reason why there are NO WINDOWS is not just because they shattered with the impact of the explosion. Worse than that – they did shatter – but as they shattered and the pieces flew in the air – THE HEAT OF THE EXPLOSION MELTED THEM INTO MOLTEN GLASS and the pieces melted onto the roof tiles as the tiles and glass fell to the ground.

Its totally beyond comprehension as to the heat of this area on that day on August 6th 1945.

Taken with a Nikon D80



  • Anita Inverarity
    Anita Inverarityalmost 6 years ago

    Its such a haunting image- I’m amazed at the detail in the shot- each detail tells the terrible story. I’m glad its still there, lest we not forget what happened.

  • satsumagirl
    satsumagirlalmost 6 years ago

    Haunting shot! I love the black and white.

  • Cheers satsumagirl, I tried to make the shot timeless and give real detail to the brickwork and focus in on the twisted girder that caught my eye on the sunny day.

    – gottheshot

  • Ron Hannah
    Ron Hannahover 5 years ago

  • Thank you very much. It is one of the most important photographs that I took in Hiiroshima. To show this building in a photojournalist format rather than a sunny skied snapshot format.

    – gottheshot

  • marcwellman2000
    marcwellman2000over 5 years ago

    this is an IMPORTANT image
    great work

  • Hi Marc, Thank you for saying that. The ‘energy’ and emotion that comes from standing beside this building is truly intense. I never thought a building could do that to me – and this is the only one that has.I stood beside it and looked at the structure with only moonlight and a few spotlights and the mood was even more intense.

    – gottheshot

  • Magi5760
    Magi5760over 5 years ago

    Congratulations from your hosts at No More Color!

  • Hi Colin and thank you,
    I was so pleased that the lighting was right for this day. I had tried to photograph this library the year before but it was a super sunny day and it looked like a holiday snapshot – this time I wanted ATMOSPHERE and I hope I got it right.

    – gottheshot

  • catnip addict manor
    catnip addict ...over 4 years ago

    excellent shot. so unfair that the dome remains after being so damaged when people also died and were destroyed but because they were flesh and bone they did not survive like the structures did. very sad. i hope it tells the story and hopefully helps the next leader and generation to think first before reacting so violently.

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