Architecture can be a fickle occupation. Many designers spend years planning and constructing their masterpiece, only to have it never be publicly recognized for the sensational achievement that it is. While not all designers are fame-seekers, like most people they would like recognition for their work. From the first initial napkin sketch at the coffee shop, to the ribbon-cutting unveiling of the finished structure, the entire process is a labor of love, determination and sacrifice for any architect. Obviously, they would like their work to be noticed and appreciated by a group of their peers; enter the world of architectural magazines and websites. Professional and amateur architects alike can submit their pictures and articles to various well-read magazines (or their counterpart websites). Snap a few pictures on your Digital SLR, e-mail them off, and hopefully you’ll soon be regarded as a new industry leader. If only it were that simple. Architectural magazines and websites, although possibly interested in your design, want your boring, standard pictures of your building as much as your online friends want to see the pictures from your weekend hike. Although they do capture the general essence – why yes, that is a building – they lack tone and emotion.
Perhaps that is why the niche market of architectural photography has come to fruition in the past few years. Architects want pictures of their designs to be as bold and imaginative as the structure itself; they want the photographs to be as captivating as seeing it in person. Michelle Sourisseau of Domain7, a website design company just outside of Vancouver, B.C., recommends professional architectural photography for her architect clients’ websites. She thinks that photos of her clients designs should command as much attention as the building itself, to truly capture the theme of the structure. A photographer that can realize the artistic beauty of a building and accurately record it in their work can help to determine the success of a design. Therefore, when Domain7 needed photos that could convey the community value of Roger Hughes’ The Reach Gallery & Museum facility, they hired Revival Arts Studio’s Jason Brown, an award-winning architectural photographer. Jason managed to successfully capture the unique exterior lightning and building angles of The Reach facility, without making it seem too sterile or cold, as well as take time-sensitive shots that amateurs would not have been able to replicate. Domain7 was then able to create a simple, understated website that emphasized Jason’s photos, with very successful results.
Michelle Sourisseau and her client were so impressed with Jason Brown’s architectural photography, they recommended him to another of Domain7’s clients, Keystone Architecture. Keystone Architecture had Jason take photographs of some of their biggest buildings. Joanne Weins, a project assistant at Keystone, was thoroughly impressed with how professional architectural photography gave her firm’s designs a life of their own; she admitted the quality of the photographs superseded what anybody in her office could have achieved. Keystone Architecture loved the attention to detail and the use of natural light to emphasize their structures, and they felt that the avoidance of shadows and minimization of distractions in the photos was imperative to the integrity of the photographs. The use of light is very challenging for architectural photographers, because they cannot rely on portable lights that could cast shadows on big buildings. This resulted in photographs that appeared effortless and simple, highlighting Keystone Architecture’s buildings in a very natural way without any distortion or inconsistencies.
As with architecture itself, for truly successful results, the designer must collaborate with the right people and resources. Therefore, when hiring a photographer, the designer must consider a few factors beforehand. Initially, the architect should determine why they want the photographs taken, and where and how the images will be used. From there, the designer should interview various professional architectural photographers, making sure to explain the reason for the photographs and the theme of the subject building. Like Jason Brown, good architectural photographers will have a working understanding of architecture, and will appreciate the technical challenges involved. Designers should also take into consideration that the best time to shoot an interior of a building is when it is brand new, whereas it is often better to wait a year to shoot the exterior of a building, so that landscaping will have an opportunity to mature. Remember, any photographs should reflect your design’s quality, value, professionalism, and credibility; the photographer should understand the meaning of the design to capture it accurately. The whole reason for architectural photography is to retain the personality of the building, while transforming it into a work of art. Talented photographers will be able to observe and highlight both aesthetic and functional details of the design, as well as use their images to draw attention to certain aspects of a building.
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Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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