Thursday, June 16, 2011

Photography, means to create a Different Visual Experience.

Architecture can be appreciated in various mediums, styles, dates and so on. People, generally don't take the time to evaluate an architectural work the way it should be evaluated - as a work of art, with functionality. Its scope is difficult to grasp as a normal person. It is therefore the architects responsibility to present the work the way he wants it to be interpreted. This is where the architect looks into different media for expressing his ideology and work. The photographer plays a vital role here. Photography is the closest and the most efficient form of universal media we have. This form of visual art fascinates any observer that is open to appreciating its manifestation and discerning the hard work that went into its creation.

The world of photography is changing. Ever since photography has been invented, men have been trying to make the best out of it as a tool, dreaming of new ways to make it what human eyes cannot, of speeding time or slowing it down to learn how things behave actually. The traditional methods are being replaced my Digital means. Experimental photography has given us vast options to express the idea. Image editing also plays a key role in the present times by letting the architects express certain features that cannot just be communicated using a raw image. Photography has also globalized architecture, thus bridging the gap between various architectural communities in this world.

This research will be briefly looking at how this whole process evolved, the way the photographer, photograph and Architecture are connected. Different techniques and post processing work that help reveal a totally different story of the building are also to be documented. Considering the fact that both are from the Design entity they have certain components in common, such as the symmetry, geometry, aesthetics, abstraction, composition. Just like constructing a building, the photographer constructs an image using the various components and the available resources.

Ezra Stoller, the American architectural photographer, was modernist to his bootstraps. He made some iconic images that helped establish the hegemony of the modern movement during his heyday, which lasted from the 1930s into the 1970s.

Stoller, who died in 2004 at age 89, was the foremost chronicler of Modernist architecture, using his large-format camera to record seminal 20th-century works like Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram Building, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater and Guggenheim Museum, and Eero Saarinen’s TWA Terminal at Idlewild Airport (now Kennedy).

He had the ability to capture the building according to the architect's vision and to lock it into the architectural canon. His photographs convey a three-dimensional experience of architectural space through a two-dimensional medium, with careful attention to vantage point and lighting conditions, as well as to line, color, form and texture.

Stoller was the seminal figure in a group of talented American photographers who first emerged about 1930. They were devoted modernists and their images were crucial in introducing modern architecture to the larger culture. Architects, in turn, were influenced by the photographers, and designed in the hope of inspiring a great image
from Stoller, Julius Shulman, Balthazar Korab,
Hedrich Blessing, Joseph Molitor, Morley Baer,
or Cervin Robinson.

Stoller's usual procedure was to walk the structure with a rough floor plan in hand. He would mark on the plan the best vantage points, and note the moment of the day when light would be optimal for each shot. He was a master of chiaroscuro, the abstract patterning of shadow and light, in a manner that sometimes evokes Hollywood films of the noir era. He almost always worked in very deep focus, with every detail from the foreground to the horizon pin-sharp.

TWA Terminal at Idlewild (now JFK) Airport,
Eero Saarinen, New York, NY
Ezra Stoller: Kitt Peak (Myron Goldsmith/SOM), 1962.
Gelatin silver print


16th June 2011, 3:00pm

More about Stoller: