Joshua Fowler here, and for this blog post, I would like to discuss a side hobby of mine regarding architecture… photography. I have been on a photography activity spike and have recently had some interesting conversations with some people on the subject. As this is just a hobby of mine I may not be the best authority on the subject but I do have experience as well as personal opinions on the subject of architecture photography.
My very first architecture studio project here at SIU as an undergrad involved an experimentation with the methodology of observing, recording and diagramming motion as it exists within space. Through the use of photographic and custom lighting techniques I realized a marriage between photography and videography as a means to visually display the entirety of motion via luminary emitters within the confines of a single image. These techniques function to track conditions similar to the anatomical visual perceptions of kicking a ball over a period of time…
This was my first conscious experience with the dialogue between architecture and photography, and I loved it. Since that project I have learned a great deal in composition, lighting, etc. symbiotically between architecture and photography.
While having a recent discussion with a man named Bob from B & L Photo here in Carbondale, some very interesting points came up from this discussion that made me think. Just as there are many different avenues of architecture and art, there are many different types of photography. I personally prefer artistic photography, just as I prefer more artistic expressions of architecture. I would align myself with the post-modern movement of art, architecture, and thusly photography. I also like to express a sense of motion in my photographs as I feel it gives what is thought of a traditionally stagnate entity, more of a dynamism and energy. The act of capturing a great deal of energy and motion in a single photo fascinates me. There is also more traditional means of photography, as in portrait photography, which serves its own purpose as well; it is all just a matter of preference.
Composing a photograph is not much unlike capturing similar elements in architecture, both have a composition, both exhibit a choice of color and how much versus no color, materiality choices, positive & negative space, the list goes on. Just as there is a notion of scale and a sense of parts to a whole whether it is architectural drawings or the architecture itself, architectural photography can express these same values and notions if done well and correctly. Such elements of architecture can be highlighted in photography in an almost redundant bold statement. Just as the building is composed, so must the photograph be, and the choice of focus or perspective of the photograph can range from the entirety of the building to a single door handle within it. Architecture photography is in a way architecture itself, as the various elements that are composed, in both architecture and the photographs of it, in such a way to either stand alone or relate to one another in some form of context. Architecture photographs have the ability to embody the essence of the architecture they convey.