With another APALMANAC Architecture Photography Awards season on the horizon, I’ve found myself going back and pouring over the longlisted entries from the 2021 awards. One project I was particularly stricken by was Miranda Kimberlin’s photographs of Taviawk by Imbue Design. For this week’s featured project, let’s dive in and get to know Miranda and her work a bit better!
Miranda Kimberlin is an architectural photographer based out of St. Louis. She photographed this gorgeous desert house Taviawk for Imbue Design, with the primary emphasis of the shoot to “capture the feeling of the structure within the context of the greater landscape.” If that was her goal, she really knocked it out of the park on this one!
The home’s materiality and color palate work seamlessly with the desert landscape surrounding it – echoing the soft browns, reds, and pale greens that the house emerges from. Miranda orients herself to capitalize on the best possible light while creating compositions that allow us to see the hills and peaks reaching up just over the roofline.
This is the kind of project where the longer you stare, the more things you find to love! For example, when I first looked at this next shot, I was immediately drawn in by the one-point perspective with powerful lines and bold shapes being softened by the organic forms of the plants in the foreground. After looking for a bit longer, my favorite aspect of the photo became the faint reflection of the mountains behind the camera. We feel fully immersed in the landscape and are able to note just how much this house interacts with its surroundings.
Miranda had traveled down to Southern Utah to photograph this project in addition to one other for Imbue Design. She shared that it was a perfect day, and that everything went off without a hitch. You can feel that calm sentiment expressed by the quiet mood of her photographs here.
Miranda tells us a bit about her post-processing workflow, sharing “I strive to get images very close to how I want them in-camera, but can definitely agonize over the post-processing phase. I direct my effort toward color first and foremost, aiming for the careful balance of clean and natural. I think I could spend an infinite amount of time perfecting an image, but I try to abandon each shot with a sense that there’s nothing to distract from the design intent.
I frequently use a little cube timer to keep my post-production workflow moving. I’m someone who can miss the forest for the trees, so it’s useful to mark time in that way.”
We catch a glimpse at what’s happening in the rooms beyond, noting the primary bedroom’s relationship to the bath, and making sense of the floorplan in our minds. Miranda does this masterfully without giving too much away.
“To me, the interior of this home is such a great example of a successful design collaboration between the architect and homeowner,” Miranda tells.
She continues, “Unexpected details like the hot pink faucets in the main bath really make the interior of this house interesting and playful. It was inspiring to observe how the home is utilized and experienced by its inhabitants. “
Back outside we see Taviawk meshing perfectly with its surroundings. From this perspective, it’s stepped shape feels reminiscent of the canyon walls surrounding it. The warm gentle light creates dimensionality and pulls color and texture out of the scene.
We’ll wrap up this Project of the Week with the hero image – both Miranda’s personal favorite and mine as well.
She shares “The evening landscape was incredibly serene, and I think that really comes across in the shot. The lighting is exactly what I’d hoped for. Making the photo primarily involved timing the light, and ultimately a lot of yelling over the wind about how best the model (my spouse and assistant for the day) could walk back and forth for my composition.”
If you have a project you’d like to be considered for Project of the Week, you can submit it here.