Carl Capobianco is not your average photography student at the Northern Virginia Community College in Loudoun. But then, neither is his photographic show there, entitled "Alexandria and the Temple," your average show.
The 66-year-old Capobianco, who is entering a second career as a photographer (he is a retired construction engineer), has chosen to show a series of 34 prints in which Alexandria's Masonic Temple appears in every photograph.
And it's an impressive effort.
Capobianco uses a viewfinder camera which, with its large negatives, adds great detail and power to the prints.
It also has enabled him to capture the feeling of Alexandria as both an urban center and a small town.
What Capobianco has done is use the temple as a sort of ground zero. While it appears in every photograph, the town that emerges from the various angles varies dramatically--from graveyards to beauty salons to construction sites, each at once unique and yet all Alexandria.
Why the temple? Capobianco, a native New Yorker who has been a Woodbridge resident since 1959, says it reminded him of how the Empire State Building used to dominate Manhattan.
"They are both visible from any point in their communities," he said.
"Ultimately the Alexandria tower became the unifying element within the diverse elements of the city."
"Alexandria and the Temple" is on view through Feb. 22 at the Northern Virginia Community College Loudoun Campus, 1000 Harry Flood Byrd Highway (Rte. 7), Room 107, Sterling. For more information, call 323-4529.