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Author Topic: Architectural photography - changes in shooting discipline  (Read 4018 times)
georgem
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« on: February 28, 2013, 11:19:43 AM »
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Or: What is AP coming to?!?  : )

I think the AP business and style changes at this moment more to a Iwan Baan style
[...]
I think traditional AP is changing towards a more loos and flexible style aka Iwan Baan.

Besides Baan, is there any other example of that kind of AP? I haven't been able to find any other photographer doing similiar work and being successful. I'd be happy to be corrected on that, though.

Using a DSLR and having a loose shooting discipline don't have to be synonymous and I can point to Fernando Guerra (link), also a leading AP, also using the same Canon equipment, also shooting a ton of images per session, and also (it appears) without lights. I find his work more appealing.

It was, to me, very interesting to do a comparison of the same building shot by Baan (link) and Guerra (link). Have a look...

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David Eckels
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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2013, 11:29:52 AM »
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Is Baan considered good? Serious question. IMHO, FWIW, his work is not enviable. IMHO.
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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2013, 11:35:30 AM »
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Is Baan considered good? Serious question. IMHO, FWIW, his work is not enviable. IMHO.

a) Baan won the first Julius Shulman Award
b) look at his list of clients,
c) I first heard about him from the CEO of Hedrich-Blesing who thinks he is different from them but very good.
d) my "better clients" like an AIA Gold Medal winner love his work

AP is changing.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 11:37:36 AM by Kirk Gittings » Logged

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georgem
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« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2013, 11:51:02 AM »
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d) my "better clients" like an AIA Gold Medal winner love his work

I am curious, have they said what it is they like in his work?

Also, would/do they use his work as the only photographic record of their projects? To publish to magazines and show to clients?

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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2013, 12:07:59 PM »
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I am curious, have they said what it is they like in his work?

Also, would/do they use his work as the only photographic record of their projects? To publish to magazines and show to clients?



I would say that my interpretation would be they like a more "lived in" look to the images with real people doing real things in their designs. I am definitely getting more requests for allot more people in my images and we are not talking posed mannequin types.

I can't answer your second point, but I have seen pictures of Coolhaus' office with IB images printed large and framed.

The trick is IMO to make the architecture still look killer and pristine but lived in by real people. I know that sounds lika a contradiction but its really a balancing act. The other somewhat similar example of this style is Dwell Magazine, which all my New Urbanist clients love and I have done some shooting for (article coming up in July)-bored yuppies in everyday clothes doing everyday things.
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David Eckels
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« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2013, 12:54:28 PM »
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a) Baan won the first Julius Shulman Award
b) look at his list of clients,
c) I first heard about him from the CEO of Hedrich-Blesing who thinks he is different from them but very good.
d) my "better clients" like an AIA Gold Medal winner love his work

AP is changing.
Obviously, I was speaking quite naively, but thanks for your reply. IMHO, there are many things that I will never understand.
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georgem
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« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2013, 12:59:25 PM »
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Kirk, thanks.

I would say that my interpretation would be they like a more "lived in" look to the images with real people doing real things in their designs. I am definitely getting more requests for allot more people in my images and we are not talking posed mannequin types.

Don't you/they have to address the model release issues? For a single residence, no problem, but in a public place, with all those recognizable people in the frame...

The trick is IMO to make the architecture still look killer and pristine but lived in by real people. I know that sounds lika a contradiction but its really a balancing act. The other somewhat similar example of this style is Dwell Magazine, which all my New Urbanist clients love and I have done some shooting for (article coming up in July)-bored yuppies in everyday clothes doing everyday things.

Yes, Dwell, good point. I enjoy Dwell, but is it architecture or lifestyle? Hmmm...

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tesfoto
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« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2013, 02:32:11 PM »
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Or: What is AP coming to?!?  : )

Besides Baan, is there any other example of that kind of AP? I haven't been able to find any other photographer doing similiar work and being successful. I'd be happy to be corrected on that, though.

Using a DSLR and having a loose shooting discipline don't have to be synonymous and I can point to Fernando Guerra (link), also a leading AP, also using the same Canon equipment, also shooting a ton of images per session, and also (it appears) without lights. I find his work more appealing.

It was, to me, very interesting to do a comparison of the same building shot by Baan (link) and Guerra (link). Have a look...




Thanks for pointing to Fernando Guerra he is an interesting photographer. Iwan Baan is comming from photojournalism with a good sence of photographing people in space, that space happend to be architecture, I consider him to bring his reportage talent into AP. When we were on the same assignment, I walked around with a large tripod and he was just shooting handheld (even with a 17TS lens) covering much more ground and perhaps finding more interesting situations. He does not set people up, but shoots like a true photojournalist.

On the otherhand you will have the traditional AP who is very good photographing light and space, but have a hard time dealing with real people and life (partly due to techincal reasons, 50 ISO, F11, slow setup) - they know that their client want people in their architecture, so he will set up people as props (like moving a chair to the right spot) and then shoot. This however can be done very talented as seen by Fernando Guerra, sometimes you will shoot the scene then wait for people to pass by and the add persons from different frames later in post.

Iwan Baan brings real people into the scene of architecture, and I think that is partly why the Architects loves his image.
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tesfoto
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« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2013, 02:37:36 PM »
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Don't you/they have to address the model release issues? For a single residence, no problem, but in a public place, with all those recognizable people in the frame...


You dont deal with model release at all, you just shoot as a photojournalist and mostly the work is for editorial use. You can always discuss if the Architects use of images is commercial or editorial. The photographer gives the images and then it up to the client, magazines etc to take the chance without model release - perhaps nave, but this is how its done.

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bill t.
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« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2013, 02:46:27 PM »
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In regards to recognizable people...

There are agencies where you can hire people who want to be cinema "extras" for around $100/day.  They're used to being abused, but you may have to feed them lunch at least.  With about 5 you can shuffle them around the scene and get as many model-released bodies as want, thanks to Photoshop and layer masks.  Tell them to wear t-shirts and/or leotards so they can swap out different tops between positions without leaving the set.  OK, camera on a tripod, big deal, it never killed anybody.

For institutions there are always a bunch of oppressed employees who would like nothing better than to work a photo shoot, but get releases just in case.
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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2013, 02:48:33 PM »
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Kirk, thanks.

Don't you/they have to address the model release issues? For a single residence, no problem, but in a public place, with all those recognizable people in the frame...

I shoot spaces with multiple exposures with people moving through them. Its usually a combination of random humans and staff (with releases) I then layer the images and remove the people I don't want-like people who are looking right into the camera who have no releases. I also carry $5 bills and Q&D model releases and get my assistants to try to get obvious people to sign-works about half the time. With schools I have the principal include a release with registration so that every kid already has a release

Quote
Yes, Dwell, good point. I enjoy Dwell, but is it architecture or lifestyle? Hmmm...

I think a lot of architects would argue that architecture IS a lifestyle.


« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 03:00:30 PM by Kirk Gittings » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2013, 02:57:16 PM »
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Obviously, I was speaking quite naively, but thanks for your reply. IMHO, there are many things that I will never understand.

Here's what I think. Baan's style is a bit too casual to me. The images seem unfinished. But, in deference to changing client expectations, I always try and include "natural" looking people doing everyday kinds of things appropriate to the building design. In the old days I would have avoided people and treated architecture like it was an elegant piece of sculpture in a museum.
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tesfoto
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« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2013, 03:03:39 PM »
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Here's what I think. Baan's style is a bit too casual to me. The images seem unfinished.

I agree, BUT the architects loves his work. The more I look at the work, the more I can see what the architects like - and that is the casual unfinished style.

In the old days I would have avoided people and treated architecture like it was an elegant piece of sculpture in a museum.

Me too, and that is perhaps the reason for IB success, Architects simply grew tired of that look.
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tesfoto
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« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2013, 03:09:28 PM »
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I shoot spaces with multiple exposures with people moving through them. I then layer the images and remove the people I don't want.

YES this is my method too, BUT I am now working on a more casual and loose style (or perhaps a blend) - It was an eyeopener for me to meet and discuss AP with IB, I could not believe how casual he was just walking around, click click click high ISO even on a sunny day.

I think we might have to change our approach to AP, and not treat people as props but more shoot real life scenes. IMO
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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2013, 03:22:33 PM »
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I agree in spirit, but I also have MY style. I can't be just a pimp to someone else's style chasing aesthetic fads. I have my own well established style and look. Also it takes time to get set up and activity I saw 20 minutes ago that looked interesting is likely to be gone or moved so I am oftentimes stuck recreating some activity I witnessed earlier.
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alan_b
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« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2013, 07:13:41 PM »
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Great thread idea!

...Architects simply grew tired of that look.

I went to A-School in the 90's, in the middle of big transitions in technology.  Tedius hand-constructed perspectives fading out, quick low-quality computer model snapshots coming in.  Dwell magazine came into being shortly after this time as well.

Students from this period are now mid-level people in firms, or running their own.

Also, during the design process, people are stock art that are placed into presentation drawings in attractive groupings.  Many people in firms are used to this point & paste mentality, and expect it with photography as well. I've come across other photographers who practice this - kind of rubs me the wrong way.  

I wouldn't write these things off as fads, more that the visual language that's been burned into our clients is evolving.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 07:25:59 PM by alan_b » Logged
FredBGG
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« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2013, 11:36:34 PM »
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a) Baan won the first Julius Shulman Award
b) look at his list of clients,
c) I first heard about him from the CEO of Hedrich-Blesing who thinks he is different from them but very good.
d) my "better clients" like an AIA Gold Medal winner love his work

AP is changing.

What I find remarkable about his work is that the images are very credible and not the artificial look of
so much over processed and over produced architectural work.
His pictures flatter the buildings and rooms, but they LOOK REAL and they look like something you could see if you were there...
or just feel like that.

It's sort of like comparing the photography of Peter Lindbergh for IWC watches to the horrible IMO over detailed, over processed
photos of most watches, cars etc that start to look like illustration, 3D rendering and an exhibition of photoshopping.

Same thing goes when comparing Peter Lindbergh's slightly scruffy fashion photos to the over produced and retouched fake skin
stuff that comes from hyper image quality and "death by photoshop"

What is also interesting is that the over produced and over retouched imagery that loses that touch of photo veritas
has lead to many watch companies and car companies to use 3D rendering rather than photography. This is because so much
photography in the end looks so artificial that it is so far from reality that it maked 3D acceptable.

However
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JohnBrew
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« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2013, 07:41:00 AM »
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Using a DSLR and having a loose shooting discipline don't have to be synonymous and I can point to Fernando Guerra (link), also a leading AP, also using the same Canon equipment, also shooting a ton of images per session, and also (it appears) without lights. I find his work more appealing.

It was, to me, very interesting to do a comparison of the same building shot by Baan (link) and Guerra (link). Have a look...


[/quote]

Thanks for the comparison. Guerra's work is certainly more inspiring (to me).
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bill t.
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« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2013, 01:11:15 PM »
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Guerra has definitely solved the identifiable face problem.

http://ultimasreportagens.com/biarritz/index.php
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Walt Roycraft
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« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2013, 04:33:16 PM »
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I agree in spirit, but I also have MY style. I can't be just a pimp to someone else's style chasing aesthetic fads. I have my own well established style and look. Also it takes time to get set up and activity I saw 20 minutes ago that looked interesting is likely to be gone or moved so I am oftentimes stuck recreating some activity I witnessed earlier.
Bold added.

You spend a huge chunk of your career developing a style and you get known for that style. I have no interest in change and don't like this new aesthetic. I am willing to become a dinosaur. This kind of reminds me of when Jaime Ardilles-Arce came on the scene in the early 80's. He changed the way interiors were photographed and almost took over all the shooting for AD.
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