architectural photography finally addressed by the BJP

Much as I have been saying:

‘Both focus on the photography of architecture, as opposed to the discipline of architectural photography (which, according to Badger, “within the strict definition of the term, is product photography, and is actually not that interesting”,including works by Julius Schulman, whose photographs transcended their use value as architectural records, to Frederic Chaubin’s concern for the storytelling properties of a building.’

And again in this article:



log:will technology finally impact architectural photography?

log: anti image architects

Here is a studio that is dedicated to making architecture for people instead of creating spectacular structures or doing business. Hence, here is an example of where imagery is rightly put towards the rear of the list of priorities.

That said, they use structures that are reminiscent of Rogers’ kit of parts, and the website reflects that admiration – it looks a lot like the RSH+P website.

So once again we see how looking at something, choosing an aesthetic, is unescapably part of architecture. Or anything you do.

It would be interesting to hear a blind person’s response to that statement, though.

RL: Camera Constructs: Photography, Architecture and the Modern City

Andrew Higgott & Timothy Wray’s 2012 publication, Camera Constructs: Photography, Architecture and the Modern City, reviewed both by Valeria Carullo in the Journal of Architecture in 2013 and Pepper Stetler in the Journal of the History of Photography in 2014, is an all too rare case of transdisciplinary interest in an inherently interdisciplinary medium. It is also the only book I have come across that considers architecture and photography equally as its subject matter.


log: empty rhetoric about interdisciplinary studies

On the one had, they are a valued step towards a bright future, if you listen to the abundant rhetoric on the subject.

On the other:

research log: working on new portfolio

Latest versions here:





Older versions with critiques, here:


Feedback from colleagues is useful information so included on pdf above and in text (from different colleagues) below.  Page numbers refer to slightly different preliminary version of pdf, which include yet another set of post-its (so there are 4 commentaries in total spread across 2 pdfs):

fra comments

a.  how it looks on your monitors? We think that the resolution needs to be bigger so the images don’t get so pixelated when you zoom in. Looking at the portfolio on the small screen of our laptop, the quality already affects the crispness of the images. So think desktop, it will look even more fuzzy. So yes, definitely bigger even if it means less images
b.  if there are images that should be removed?

p3 the two big pillars in the foreground are not quite straight. Can you correct this or have you done it already and this is as good as it gets?  If so, then we think best to lose from portfolio

p8 picture on left looks a bit out of focus or whats in focus is not very obvious. Whereas in the pic next to it, the selective focus really works!

p16 lose images of kid immediately! Unless your aiming for IKEA

 we think the images are not particularly strong so if you need to cut a page, this would be a good place to start. Also, this building is repeated on p 19 no?

 left image looks a bit strange on its own on the page. We think either lose it or include in previous spread with the other three.  Perhaps have the image on the right as a 2ble spread if it fits

 Not sure these are ‘architectural’ enough to be in this portfolio, you have much stronger work to show! Unless we are being too old school, your more down with the kids these days so perhaps this is the latest trend?

and p41 these are beautiful images but do they both need to be included if this is a portfolio aimed to get you architecture work?
Same for p43.

c.  if you think the page order works?

Sequence is fine, perhaps some captions either adjacent to the pictures or at the back would be useful so that we know exactly what we are looking at.

d.  if there is stuff of mine i have left out?
Is it only your most recent work to show? Because there are some stunning pics on your website that could definitely go in. Ida likes the Coventry pics in particular. I really like Pen&Hammer, Sipo

log: defying Benjamin

She believes photographs have an aura:

The in focus section of the website is a great resource for architectural photographers.  Must contact them upon completion of the new website:

log: revisiting The Photographer’s Eye and The Nature of Photographs

01basic concepts 02basic concepts 03basic concepts 04basic concepts 05basic concepts 06basic concepts 07basic concepts 08basic concepts 09basic concepts 10basic concepts 11basic concepts

The Physical Level – the physical object that is the print, the qualities of that print, colour vs black and white, the style of the photographer.  It seems to me that confuses his categories a bit, here.  It would be tempting to talk just about the physical qualities of the object – the print – but I am interested in screen images, too.  However, it might be useful to talk about the conscious decision to make the viewer aware of the medium, like thick brush strokes in a painting, instead of trying to hide it and give you the sense that the photograph is a neutral, objective, scientific window on the world.

The Depictive Level – here he lists the following decisions that are crucial to depiction: vantage point, frame, moment and plane of focus.  This category nearly sums up Szarkowski’s book.  It also encompasses everything you have to think about to produce conventional architectural photography.

The Mental Level – the photographer makes many choices about focus:  lens, eye, attention, mind.  It think he is trying to point out that photography can send you thinking or imagining.  You don’t just stare at the content or at the forms contained in the frame.  A photograph can be a point of departure.  Or not.

Mental Modelling – this point is the most relevant one to my research question, so I will quote it in full.

The mental levels genesis is in the photographer’s mental organisation of the photograph

The mental levels genesis is in the photographer’s mental organisation of the photograph.  When photographers take pictures, they hold mental models in their minds models that are the result of prodding’s of insight, conditioning, and comprehension of their world.

At one extreme, the model is rigid and ossified, bound by an accumulation of its conditioning: a photographer recognizes only subjects that fit the model, or structures pictures only in accordance with the model.  A rudimentary example of this is a mental filter that permits only sunsets to pass through.  At the other extreme, the model is supple and fluid, readily accommodating and adjusting to new perceptions.

For most photographers, the model operates unconsciously.  But, by making the model conscious, the photographer brings it and the mental level of the photograph under his or her control.

Earlier I suggested that you become aware of the space between you and the page in this book. That caused an alteration of your mental model. You can add to this awareness by being mindful, right now, of yourself sitting in your chair, its back pressing against your spine. To this you can add an awareness of the sounds in your room. And all the while, as your awareness is shifting and your mental model is metamorphosing, you are reading this book, seeing these words – these words, which are only ink on paper, the ink depicting a series of funny little symbols whose meaning is conveyed on the mental level. And all the while, as your framework of understanding shifts, you continue to read and to contemplate the nature of photographs.

He ads the following in an interview with Aperture

If the signature style is something genuine, something inherent, as opposed to a stylization imposed on one’s
work, mental modeling is simply the natural inclination of that photographer. There has been this idea in
photography of previsioning (to use Weston’s term), which is having a mental image of the picture. The image an
experienced photographer has in mind, whether it be conscious or unconscious, can guide all the little decisions that
go into making a picture. It becomes the coordinating factor. With “mental modeling,” I’m talking about making
that conscious, becoming aware of it as an image, and not simply seeing out your eyes like out a window.

Stephen Shore interviewed by Luc Sante
Aperture #185, April 2007

log: that’s the way you do it