A couple of weeks ago, a developer asked me to take photos of some warehouses in Brooklyn. The buildings were on a street that had a lonely, barren industrial look. The structures were huge, boxy structures. No ornamentation. No interesting ironwork or mullioned windows. But the warehouses were brick, which always appeals to me.
After the initial feeling that the shoot would be kind of boring, I noticed that the builder or architect who designed the buildings gave each window and door a brick border that contrasted with the exterior walls. While I stood on a cold Brooklyn Street off the highway shooting great big brick rectangles, I began to really notice things that were outstanding about my subject.
Through my lens the bricks took on character. Some were oddly shaped as if they were broken or incorrectly molded. Some of the bricks were deep red; while others ochre or sienna. The textures of the bricks differed as did the mortar between them. I could go on and on: I became inspired!
Interesting Through an Artist’s Eye
Photographing architecture is not always about shooting mansions in the Hamptons or glamorous penthouse apartments. The architectural details that captivate me, such as decorative wrought iron railings and gargoyles carved in stone are not at every shoot. Occasionally I run into what appears to be a plain brick wall. But it never is just that.
Bricks are as interesting as any objects if you look closely. The variation of texture, color, symmetry and the patterns that bricks create when laid together amazes me. Moreover, the images I needed for my client had to amaze his client. That is galvanizing in itself.
Work Must Intrigue, Inspire
As an architectural photographer, my work has to convey the feeling that I am intrigued and inspired by my subject. That I am fascinated by what I see through my lens. Otherwise why would someone be fascinated when looking at my work?
I have always been passionate about architecture. That’s why I chose to shoot it. But I also feel the need to make others passionate about architecture, too. It is the creation of humans and, as such, exemplifies civilization. The plain brick warehouse wall or the ornate limestone configurations of Palace of Versailles’ walls are all marvels of architecture if one is inspired to see the art. My inspiration comes from perceiving architecture through my lens and the gratification of capturing its beauty and essence in the shot.