Justin Szeremeta

STAFF WRITER

I am a photographer based in Shanghai focusing on architecture and interiors. In my past life as an architect, I spent over a decade designing and delivering large-scale commercial architectural projects across China, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and the United States.

Together with my wife, Nicole, we operate StudioSZ Photo and travel throughout the Asia region for photography assignments.

The Story of an Image – GMP’s Bund SOHO

This edition of Story of an Image is not necessarily a showcase of how you should go about creating a beautiful image, but rather an exercise in being resourceful if you ever find yourself unprepared and without the proper tools.  This is the story of a somewhat random outing in Shanghai which led to the creation of one of my favorite images I have ever taken. 

Rural Studio: Love Stories – A Documentary by Filmmaker Dave Anderson and Photographer Tim Hursley

With Independence Day in America having just passed, I was feeling nostalgic when considering what I wanted to share with our audience this month.  I decided to go back to my academic roots.  Being from the South, I recalled how nearby Auburn University’s Rural Studio, and in particular its visionary co-founder, Samuel ‘Sambo’ Mockbee, were so inspirational to me during my architecture studies way back when. 

Eames: The Architect and the Painter

Icons of the modernist movement, Charles and Ray Eames, taught us to see the world differently.  “Eventually, everything connects – people, ideas, objects…the quality of the connections is the key to quality” Charles Eames famously stated.  Over their remarkable career, the Eames cultivated a design process where ‘learning by doing’ was their mantra and who vowed to never to delegate understanding. 

Shanghai Undressed – Exposing the Mega-City’s Skyscrapers in Their Natural Habitat

Shanghai is known for its glitz and glamor – a showpiece city exemplifying China’s thriving economy and emergence as a global superpower.  Its iconic skyline defines the city internationally and, compared to some of its ancient counterparts, many of which have rich histories dating back thousands of years, Shanghai is a Chinese city that is sometimes thought of as having little history at all. 

The Story of an Image – Woods Bagot’s Guohua Financial Center in Chongqing

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. 

Portfolio Tips Through the Eyes of an Architect – Courtesy of BlessedArch

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. 

2020 is Now (Thankfully) a Thing of the Past – Here Are the World’s Biggest Upcoming Projects to Get you Motivated for 2021

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.   

HG Esch Channels His 20+ Years’ Experience Photographing in China to Capture Beijing’s Tallest Tower

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.

Moshe Safdie: Another Dimension of Architecture – A Short Documentary Film by Jia Li

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. 

Why Great Architecture (And Photography!) Should Tell a Story – Ole Scheeren’s TED Talk

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. 

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