architecture is boring part II

I so wholeheartedly agree with Sascha. I cannot seem to be able to enjoy taking architectural photography. It’s like taking pictures of photographs done by others. It’s art by other people that I’ve never made my own. I do enjoy certain types of architectural photography, maybe long-exposures with crazy cloud-shapes, maybe certain angles that want to signify symmetry or what have you. On Instagram you get lost in spiral-staircases, windows in skyscrapers and the like…. me not like. The greatness of that art is lost on me.

If on the other hand I do go out and do photography with architectural elements in it then it’s mainly for a different reason – as a payoff for sunset-photography, an element of contrast in long-exposure light-trails or as an establishing shot for exploring the architecture in more detail. The main image here is the Jenisch-Haus in Hamburg. Built between 1831 and 1834 it’s part of a rural farm overseeing the river Elbe. It’s one of the most beautiful houses in Hamburg and has a history rich in progressive thought (for that time). Today it houses a museum. 

Photographing the Jenisch-Haus and the spacious park is an ongoing project of mine. The park has a small river meandering through it and is home to many old trees. The house itself houses (see what I did there?) a museum showing bourgeois life and taste. To me it’s a glimpse into the former glory of Hamburg with some even mystic elements.  If you want, then click on the images in the gallery for getting acquainted with the park, the house and the spirit they emote.


Architecture is boring!

Don´t get me wrong. Architecture is pretty exciting. Since I´ve dived deeper into the Bauhaus-era I get a new feeling for Design and the conception of buildings. There is so much to study about, it really enlightens my mind. And if you see impressive buildings nowadays it´s always awesome to see what architects are able to create.

Nevertheless if there is a topic in photography I am hardly interested in then it´s architeture-photography. A building can look amazing, but it´s an static object. You can move around or maybe get a look inside, but the sweetspots are always the same. If you try landscape-photography you can walk through the landscape and see how it changes. If you try studio-photography you can shoot objects in different contexts and if you try street-photography it´s always about that special moment to capture. But a building is a building and the possibilities are pretty limited. I think that´s why architecture-photography always – and I mean always – looks the same. Everyone takes the same picture. From a higher or lower angle, maybe with a different focal length or different focuspoint, but it´s always the same damn picture. And these pictures generate interest just because of the buildingconcept and not because of the photographers skills. That´s why I think architecure-photography is pretty boring.

But maybe I´m wrong. If you know someone who really takes extraordinary architectural pictures leave me a comment or write me a mail. I haven´t found one yet.

In my photography-course I had to take architecural photos, so I went to the artmuseum in Bonn. It was build in 1992 by the architects Dietrich Bangert, Bernd Jansen, Stefan Scholz and Axel Schultes. The modern geometric stucture is international style. That´s why I tried to capture these strict lines and geometric shapes.

I´m sadisfied with what I got, but I don´t think that I found a new perspective. Decide yourself. Here is what I got.

Fogrise…. and negative space

Hey Sascha, your last post was a headscratcher for me, it really made me think about why I take pictures in terms of which compositions make me hit the shutter. I guess I am usually very literal about my images. There is something I want someone else to see and so I go close. Composition takes the backseat to some degree. Or so I thought.

I remember the first time we went out together, we walked through Hamburg. You can find my old post here. You took  a picture of the Spiegel-building with lots of negative space, heavily angled to one side, I saw it and tried to recreate the look, but it didn’t work for me. I liked your image, but not mine. The difference is that we see different things. All in all, negative space is not something I explicitly look for (very often).

Three weeks ago it jumped me in the eye. I went up the Michel, Hamburg’s main church after doing some sunrise photography. The fog crept up so heavily that I could not see anything straight on, so I thought about shooting the Michel from the inside. When I found out that there was an escalator going up the tower and not just my legs, I rose to the challenge and went up. The fog went just below the viewing platform next to the bell and all of Hamburg’s landmark-architecture peeked out of the fog. I liked the tops of the buildings looking very abstract, lost and almost frail and I recognized the beauty of this view in terms of negative space. And here it was. I found the content in the negative space; if that is understandable. From here on, I think it belongs to my arsenal of techniques, because I can connect an emotion to it. 

I hope you enjoyed these, but they made me wonder. These are images that are not typical for my photography. So Sascha, now I know how you see. But what are your favourite subjects to shoot? I’m looking forward to Sunday. Cheers!