John Gollings, Philip Goad, Vanessa Bird, and Alan Saunders spoke at a forum at the State Library of Victoria in July 2011. The transcript and audio are now available. Here’s a snippet.
“I think there’s actually no connection between the photograph and the building. What I would like to think at best is that the photograph does describe to the viewer the architect’s intent and the architect’s creative philosophy, but beyond that I sometimes wish the building would just burn down and just leave the photograph because the comparison is odious.”
John Gollings, photographer
Good services for those who want to become a architecture and photographer.
by job in new zealand on 17 November 11 ·#
Christopher Hawthorne at the LA Times draws a long bow and suggests Julius Shulman’s love of modern architecture and wide open spaces helped to feed the suburban lifestyle aspirations of late 20th Century Angelenos. He thinks this angle should have been examined in the recent biopic on Shulman. And I thought he was just taking good photos.
OK the film was a lightweight. I’m not sure this was a fault though – it’s not so bad if a film leaves you feeling like you’ve been out on a Sunday drive with a nonagerian master of photography, visiting old haunts.
Previous Shulman post: Selling Modernism
21.10.09 in photographers
wot – gimme a break – no bow, hawthorne is straight out wanker?
suburbs r universal post war scene. on da nose in overcrowded retrospection. LAs looked and feel killer. Soriano murdered as an architect. best of em all.
by hairdresser on 22 October 09 ·#
Some clever chaps at the University of Padua have mapped the ancient Roman harbour city, Altinum, lying under a paddock seven kms North of Venice. The city had sunk into a lagoon, but some infra-red aerial photography during the 2007 drought was enough to tease it out. Well, after the images were fiddled with to remove plant water stress variations. This article at Der Spiegel has more fascinating images in its photo galleries, including the town’s plan, and some beautiful infra-red aerial photos of crops and cities.
And what it looks like without the infra-red specs:
Los Angeles’ photographer of the 20th Century, Julius Shulman, died on Wednesday aged 98. Taking photos since the 1930s (except for a break while post modernism passed by), Shulman almost single-handedly raised the profile of LA modern architecture to what it is today. He stumbled into architectural photography after some of his happy snaps of a Neutra house found there way into the architect’s hands. Since then his client list has been a who’s who of LA architecture.
In the Shelter interview (see below), Shulman talks through a small slideshow of photos. He didn’t think much of ‘naked’ architecture, and discusses how his best shots, the ones with people, came to be: usually a combination of happenstance and choreography. The famous Koenig Case Study House # 22 at dusk photo is briefly discussed, but the LA Times obituary delves deeper and discovers that Shulman took one 7 1/2 minute exposure of the darkening city with a brief flash at the end**. Shulman: “I said, ‘Girls, sit up now and look pleasant. Look toward each other as if you’re talking and hold still for just a second and the flash will go off.’ I pressed the release. All this time the shutter was open and the flash illuminated the interior.”
PHOTOGRAPH: JULIUS SHULMAN
The LAT obituary reports that Shulman was defensive against attacks on his choreographed photos. He had a greater agenda – to sell modernism to the masses. “I sell architecture better and more directly and more vividly than the architect does.” And there he nabs it – the photograph is more than ever the vehicle for architecture, especially housing that is otherwise inaccessible.
Flattering photography can make a building much better than it is in person, as we see year after year at awards presentations. It can leave you speculating that photographers mustn’t get out of bed till 5pm. With the advent of “photos and plans only” awards like the WAF , perhaps we will see photographers becoming involved earlier in the design process, to guarantee the award-winning career-making money shot?
Can a commissioned architectural photograph become so good that it backfires? So good that you appreciate the lighting and composition of the photo rather than the design of the house? Despite the dusk photo launching his career skyward, Pierre Koenig wasn’t too happy that that it outshone the house. “It’s not just a photograph, it’s the house too.”
**The film says that the flash took place at the beginning of the exposure. Perhaps it doesn’t really matter.
Melbourne’s Nest Architecture , perhaps tiring of the lets-empty-the-place approach to architectural photography, worked with artist Tai Snaith to ‘people’ one of their houses with a collection of animals (stuffed, wooden, and real) and related bits and pieces. The result was then photographed by documentary photographer Jesse Marlow . They tell me a fun day was had by all. Maybe they can fit a horse in next time. More on their site .
Architect / protaganist: Nest Architects