Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Art of Architectural Photography 1-25-2014

Often my preference in photographing architecture runs to older buildings that have marvelously apparent examples of craftsmanship.  Heavily carved stone, swirling ironwork, intricate glass designs inspire and attract my lens.  However, modern or contemporary architecture can offer equally great presentations of art.  This ceiling in a new building in Germany has wonderful line, movement and form.  I divided the ceiling for more tension in the image which is one 25"x25" square black and white photograph.

Geometric Ceiling: Germany, Black and White architectural photograph

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Art of Architectural Photography 1-19-2014

Night architectural photography is especially challenging because the buildings frequently blend into the shadows and each other.  Of course, illuminating architecture at night with giant strobes has been done often enough by excellent photographers who have the massive lighting equipment trucked to the site. There are also smaller, more compact light fixtures used especially for night photography. However, I am glad for the ability of digital photography to provide the "lighting" via computer.  I am able to bring out various shadowy forms in Photoshop, Lightroom or a variety of other software applications.  However, too much manipulation can cause an artificial or forced image.  This sepia street photograph was taken outside a brightly lit tavern in Berlin.  The interior light from the oldest restaurant in the eastern part of the city cast some light onto the cobblestones and buildings.  The romantic antique street lights also created pools of light along the street and produced dramatic shafts of light against the darks.  Although the buildings fade into the dark sky, there are hints of solid form.  I still feel the magic of the Berlin night when I look at this photograph.

                                                                     Berlin, Germany

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Art of Architectural Photography 1-12-2014

Looking at architecture from different angles provides an understanding of how the structure is built.  It also gives both the photographer and the viewer an opportunity to discover new ways to see form and shape.  There are unique contours and configurations around building corners and under archways.  Shadows and light emphasize and alter form as the day progresses, too. 

This sepia architectural photograph was taken at mid day.  The front of a rather grand building in Sydney, Australia appealed to my love of older stone structures.  As I shot around the building, I found that a side view of the front staircase also attracted my attention.  The "look through" aspect of the image is augmented by the diagonal side of the staircase; the foliage of different values and the contrasts of building materials.  Often a different perspective sparks creativity.

Sepia architectural art photograph: Sydney, Australia

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Art of Architectural Photography 1-7-2013

Black Star Rising, a marvelous photography publication, printed my article: The Best Pictures Are Always on the Other Side

Moving Train Photography: Germany, 2013

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Art of Architectural Photography 1-4-2014

When I think of color in my architecture photography, I consider it a condiment.  Color enhances form, composition, structure as does salt add to the flavor of food.  For me.  I prefer to concentrate on appearance of the architecture without distraction; therefore, I use black and white and sepia to present my architectural art photography.  Monochromatics give me a chance to focus solely on the subject's lines and form.  However, I do love color.  For many years I worked in oils , pastels and watercolor media.  From time to time I still go back to these.  In those instances my palette is a full color spectrum.  I have even been known to add some fairly unusual colors to flesh tones and landscape, such as Indigo, Madder Violet, Van Dyck Violet and Gamboge among others.  Payne's Grey is a great favorite, too.  But with photography my colors run to shades of black and white and sepia: there are an infinite number of these.
Once in a while I see a subject that will only do in color.  There is a wondrous quality about how the forms, shapes, lines and composition RELY on color.  For me the image would be diminished considerably without the key element of color.  This photograph was taken in Dresden, Germany a few weeks ago.  In a light, chilly rain I was walking quickly back to my hotel across one of Dresden's many bridges, hoping for warmth and a relaxing drink as it was about 5:30 PM: magic hour.  My eye caught the sight of a lighted feris wheel way down the darkening river.  The whole scene was in violets, indigos, phthelo greens, burnt umber, sparkling with brilliant cadmium yellows.  I unpacked my gear and shot till dark in the rain to capture the color and mood. 

Dresden, Germany: 2013