Dennis Radermacher — our 3D printing hero, and Project of the Week star — has constructed a bit of a different gift to the architectural photographer community today. Weighing the pros cons of working with an assistant, Dennis delves into the nitty-gritty of shooting solo and why it works best for his architectural photography workflow.
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.
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.
Have you ever thought about the accuracy of GPS data? I actually didn’t, until I was commissioned to take a photo of a particular place before any work was done, and a photo from the same exact vantage point after the place has been renovated. Would that even be possible? I didn’t know, but I responded with my standard answer “Sure, no problem!”
After leaving the APAlmanac Architectural Photography Census open for almost six months in 2020, we are here to report the results. An incredible 1,259 professional architectural photographers from all over the world completed and contributed to the survey, which has provided an amazing cross section of how and why we’re working, where we struggle, where we succeed, and so much more.
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.
When it comes to Photoshop tutorials and luminosity masking software I have two clear favorites: Unmesh Dinda and Lumenzia. It was a no-brainer to share this PiXimperfect video featuring an extensive review of Lumenzia.
Unmesh’s teachings are extensive and clear. This allows you to easily transport the techniques learned into your architectural photography workflow.
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.
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.
Being a newcomer to drone photography, I was quite upset to know that my Mavic 2 Pro was not able to snap vertical photographs right off the bat. Luckily the workaround for the situation is a rather simple one, and one already known by most photographers — creating a vertical panorama.
I know that many drones, including mine, have built-in functions for shooting vertical panoramas.
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.
James Turrell is an American artist recognized for his work with light and space. This LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) produced documentary shares his personal background and experiments with light as a medium that creates spaces and alters perception. It also gives a short virtual tour of his works, from small rooms called Skyspaces to the ongoing project of a naked-eye observatory within an extinct volcano; Roden Crater.
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.
When I wrote the first part of this series, I intended to only talk about post-production, but the way I tend to photograph projects affects a lot of my post-production techniques. I’m the guy who likes to shoot as many angels as I found interesting enough to photograph, which ends up being a selection nightmare as I sit in front of the computer.
One of my first posts featured my visit to one of the first projects ever built by Peter Zumthor: The Shelter for Roman Ruins in Chur, Switzerland. Recently, the Youtube algorithm redirected me to an ArcDog’s video featuring an architectural film of the same project. Although I have not yet created videos, I notice the appeal of them as a media that reinforces the narrative of a project.
Have you ever had a client ask you to take a photo that looks like a previously made render? I bet that most of us architectural photographers have been confronted with this (at times impossible) task. As a result of quarantine boredom, an interesting thought occurred to me: What if I were to invert this process, trying to replicate one of my actual photographs using a rendering program?
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.
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a portfolio? Normally I would think of a digital portfolio or — if budget allows — a printed book. However, during the quarantine, I made some test prints that were accidentally about the size of a postcard. This made me think: How about making a postcard portfolio?
This is a shootout to the Nice Art Prints Youtube channel by Mitch Boyer. Unfortunately, I just discovered that the channel has not been updated since July 2020 due to business closure. However, it stands as one of the best resources out there for people interested in knowing more about printing.