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.
For those of us living in California and the rest of the West Coast of the US, it’s been a crazy few months to say the least. Wildfire smoke has engulfed nearly every part of the region at some point over the past two months, turning skies grey and orange from Los Angeles to Seattle.
Many architectural photographers have continued to work through the fires and the resulting smoke – myself included – to great frustration and annoyance.
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.
Knowing how to accurately represent space as seen by the human eye into a bidimensional media is relatively new. Early art depictions tend to focus on the spiritual and not on a literal representation of the world. Size and proportion of the subjects responded to hierarchy levels. It wasn’t until the Renaissance (circa 1415) that Brunelleschi’s proved a rational system to precisely represent depth and space, the linear perspective.
I must confess that I have never pressed the record button on my camera. Lately, the growing number of video platforms and the demand for architectural video has made me think twice about dabbling in video. Watching or re-watching films paying special attention to the role of architecture is a powerful tool and source of inspiration available to anyone interested in both architectural photography and video.
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.
Imagine being on the frontline of the 20th-century transition in the artistic world of photography. From the pristine landscapes captured by Ansel Adams to man-altered landscapes through industry and construction, there was so much changing in the world. This was the reality that Hilla and Bernd Becher had to face.
It’s incredible to think about what people in the 1920s went through to put food on the table. The title of this video describes how the men in the film risked their lives to build iconic skyscrapers in New York. The likely truth is that they risked their lives for their families and futures and not for New York itself.
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.’
When you’re first starting out in the industry, you have a million and two questions racing through your mind. This is great because it shows that you’re interested and looking to learn more! Most teachers will probably tell you that there are no stupid questions. In most cases, this is true — although — there are a number of reasons why certain questions should be avoided.
In his recently published book, Beautified China: The Architectural Revolution, Belgian photographer Kris Provoost carefully curates dozens of the nation’s most spectacular architectural wonders. Focused on showcasing iconic projects dating back to the lead-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the book is a photo essay providing an abstracted, stylized glimpse into some of the China’s boldest, most dynamic buildings that collectively make up what Provoost dubs ‘the architectural revolution.’
From the stairs that Rocky Balboa ran in his training montage, to homes of Hollywood celebrities, to some of the most iconic public projects in the world, Black and African American architects have designed many of the architectural icons and integral buildings that we see and use every day.
What are the elements that build a photographer’s personal vision? In this lecture Dutch artist and photographer Bas Princen shares his thoughts on how experiences, previous photographs, text and visual references converge into one final image.
Bas Princen’s work has a special emphasis on urban landscapes and the transformations they undergo throughout time.
When you’re obsessed with something, say, architectural photography, you can’t imagine a life without it, so you’re going to find a way to do it no matter what. Even in the midst of a pandemic, even if you have to use an awful camera, even if you just underwent back surgery.
In October 2019, I decided to take a break from work to address stubborn back pain that hadn’t gone away in about six years.
The majority of people entering the photography industry tend to ask questions mostly about gear. Questions tend to be about lenses, cameras and what they should buy first, and while the gear is important, actually learning how and what to shoot is far more important. In a video from 30X40 Design Workshop, architect Eric Reinholdt covers a number of important tips that are extremely valuable for beginner photographers.