For those of us who came to photography after already working in another profession, we know how liberating a feeling it is to finally free yourself from your original job to pursue your passion. Why not take that a step further, and truly zero in and direct all your energy into what it is you enjoy most.
In the middle of last month, Chinese tech company DJI made somewhat of a surprise announcement when they unveiled a new drone – the DJI Air 2S. This unexpected upgrade brings with it a larger, 1-inch sensor able to capture 20-megapixel images and record in 5.4k – specs previously reserved only for larger drones.
The second installment of my recently created Story of an Image series takes us to the western Chinese city of Chongqing – a massive, uninhibited metropolis that most people outside China may not have even heard of. While my previous article took you through my thought process for a non-commissioned portfolio capture, this time we’re on the clock working for global design firm, Woods Bagot, tasked with photographing both the exterior as well as the interior public areas of their Guohua International Financial Center project.
I have always viewed architectural visualization and architectural photography as two sides of the same coin. They bookend the architectural representation process, the former being created at the very outset, while the latter wraps up the project’s design and construction journey.
While I continue to wait (now, somewhat impatiently) for DJI to release the latest edition of their Mavic Pro series, I thought I’d share a video Dezeen produced about the impact drones will have (or perhaps already are having) on our lives and the way we relate to each other across space and the cities we live in.
So you’ve made the decision to pursue your passion for photographing architecture. Fantastic news! Your dreams of hopping from one beautiful building to another, capturing it as only you can, and getting paid for it are about to come true. But you’ve got one major problem – you don’t have any clients.
Sanjog Mhatre is an architecture photographer based in India. Now based in the country’s second-most populous city, Mumbai, Sanjog has at the ripe age of only 23 years, already photographed dozens (132 to be exact!) of the tallest and most significant buildings in this supercity of 20 million people.
Recently I came across a portfolio review video from Rishabh Wadhwa’s YouTube channel, BlessedArch. Together with Mariana Cabugueira Custodio dos Santos, a Portuguese architect working for Zaha Hadid Architects in London, they review and critique architectural portfolios.
While the criteria between an architectural portfolio and a photography portfolio are not one and the same, I believe there are a lot of parallels between the two.
A year after transitioning from architecture to architectural photography full-time, I wanted to share some initial thoughts comparing and contrasting the two professions. Hopefully, this will resonate with others who have, or are considering, making a similar sort of career transition.
Let’s face it, 2020 was rough. And while the new year will by no means see a complete return to anything resembling normal – there are certainly reasons to be hopeful. Vaccines are already beginning to be distributed in many countries and, more specific to our line of work, the construction industry seems to be picking back up.
What do you get when you bring together a hotel brand known for producing design excellence to traditionally less-traveled locales, a gorgeous, geographically-unique location, and an architecture firm known for designing some of the most extraordinary cultural buildings in the world’s most populous country?
As I continue to mature as a photographer, I am finding that I learn most from fellow peers who share a more in-depth analysis about a single image – taking us through their thought process in how they constructed the image and why they chose a certain composition or a particular way to light the scene.
Qi Xi is a Shanghai-based landscape architectural photographer. He and I met earlier this year at a mutual friend’s art salon where we both presented some of our respective work. Qi has been capturing some of the most significant landscape architectural designs all across China and I absolutely love his work.
German photographer, Hans Georg (HG) Esch is one of the world’s most acclaimed architectural photographers. HG Esch lives and works in Hennef / Stadt Blankenberg, Germany, but his work spans the globe, with a particular emphasis on some of the most significant projects in China. So when I saw that he had photographed the recently completed supertall CITIC Tower in Beijing, I knew I wanted to interview him to gain some insight into his process as well as share the gorgeous imagery with our audience.
Israeli-Canadian architect, Moshe Safdie, first visited China in 1973. Little did he know then, that nearly five decades later, he would realize one of the largest, most audacious architectural projects not only in China but on the entire planet.
Raffles City Chongqing is the latest city-defining mega-project designed by Safdie, one that has been beautifully captured by Chinese-American filmmaker Jia Li.
German architect Ole Scheeren’s TED talk from a few years ago has inspired me both as an architect and a photographer. Founder and principal of the architecture firm that bears his name, Büro Ole Scheeren, Scheeren’s talk underscores his belief that ‘form follows fiction’ and that buildings must do much more than simply provide form to accommodate functional needs.
Do I need a tilt-shift lens to photograph tall buildings? It’s a question I get a lot. The quick answer is pretty straightforward. Do you want to do it professionally? If so, yes, you need one (actually you need two). Do you want to do it as a hobby? Then no, you absolutely do not need one.
I am absolutely infatuated with tall buildings. Mike Kelley has his airplanes, I’ve got my skyscrapers. Or so I thought. For more than two decades, China (where I am based) has experienced unprecedented growth in the number of constructed high-rise buildings, but alas we may be seeing the end of an era for skyscrapers in the Middle Kingdom.
When it comes to public architecture, photographers are typically tasked with capturing a building prior to it becoming fully operational or occupied. This makes sense in many ways. Larger scale architecture can take years of effort to realize, and architecture firms rightfully want to start integrating photos of the building into their marketing efforts as quickly as possible.
As the pandemic brought on by COVID-19 rages on, traveling beyond our city limits (or perhaps even our living rooms) remains an unlikely reality, at least in the short term. Given that many of us are stuck at home, with more free time on our hands than we’re used to, I wanted to share a couple of photographers’ personal projects dedicated to showcasing the role architecture can play in crafting our sense of ‘home.’