Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Art of Architectural Photography 3-22-2014

Nature is the best architect.  Structure is defined by the organic growth of organic elements in the natural world.  The process by which nature combines stone, wood, water, foliage harmoniously in patterns is dynamic and infinitely subtle.  Many architects have used nature for inspiration, notably Frank Lloyd Wright.  Wright's fusing of nature with his magnificent architecture is a testament to his reverence of the natural world. Another master architect, Mies van der Rohe  was deeply devoted to having a harmonious relationship with nature in his Bauhaus architecture, creating as did Wright a confluence between natural structure and human structures.  Further, Philip Johnson's Glass House sought to incorporate nature into the house through its groundbreaking transparent exterior, which makes the house seem to "float" in the landscape. These architects knew that there are always abundant examples in which line, form, function, rhythm and composition may be learned from nature; one only has to observe and copy freely.

At the end of winter, branches that are beginning to come alive with foliage create a fretwork against  a landscape that still has vestiges of snow.  The outcroppings of rock provide texture against the patchwork of earth, snow and faded grass. These natural architectural elements provide wonderful subjects for my photography.  They are especially compelling and effective when presented in the black and white architectural photograph.  I recently walked through Manhattan's jewel: Central Park.  In a City teaming with people, business, skyscrapers and vehicles, the beautifully designed park is a respire from the chaos that surrounds it.  There I observed nature in tandem with Olmstead's architecture.

Central Park, NYC: Black and white architectural photograph

 To read more about Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe and Phillip Johnson's linking nature and architecture visit these links:

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