How my love for architecture photography changed the way I see my city


AMPt Architecture is here! Come on and join the group if you're into architecture photography. In future we will feature artists, provide interviews, discussions, tutorials and a lot more. As a teaser I'd like to post this one to all of you. 

We are also in need of some more admins for AMPt Architecture. Visit the groups page for more information. The following post can be found there as well.

How my love for architecture photography changed the way I see my city

Roaming a city you have never been before can be quite an experience. It's different to the way you see your hometown. Everything is new and unfamiliar, maybe bigger or at least very different. Walking the city you pay more attention to everything around you. Your hometown is well known, you may know every street, every building, maybe grew up with most of them, saw some of them rise over the intervening years. Let's compare that to the fact that we do guided tours on vacation for all kinds of sights or landmarks, to a greater or lesser intent interesting. But do we ever do that in our hometown? Do we actually know as much about it, do we actually know anything of interest about it except how to get to work and to this tapas bar around the corner? 

I have to admit that it was exactly what I used to do for years. But with my interest in mobile photography growing and later on my interest in architecture photography growing, my interest in my own city began to grow as well.
Not only that I walk roads and districts I never walked before, I now pay attention to nearly everything around me. Buildings, lines, how the buildings are composed and how everything is set up. I also prefer walking instead of taking the tube or tram, detours included. Walking the city I always look for buildings, lines, compositions. Walking close to and looking up those buildings to find a good composition. Sometimes I feel like a tourist in my own city, stopping by every now and then taking pictures with my iPhone. Which leads us back to the tourist argument again. Looking at all those people in the city, the tourists are the only ones paying attention to their surroundings. Most other people just go their way they know by heart, they could walk it blindfolded and some seem just as if they do.
I really like the way I see my city now. I got to know it so much better. I'm very interested in it's layout, it's feel and it's look. But I'm also much more interested in it's history. Some weeks ago I even did two guided tours and visited some sights.
As a tax auditor for the state I really have no clue about architecture in it's technical details, technical terms, names of styles and so on. But what I do know is weather I think a structure is beautiful or not. I can tell weather the lines of a building fit to what I have in mind or not. And fortunately, my job is field work, so I can range the city nearly every day.
On one hand my architecture photography brought me closer to my city but on the other hand my photography abstracts the city a lot. In order to get an interesting composition you can't help yourself, you have to abstract the object a lot. So that would be the difference to the tourists then. Nearly all of my architecture shots include well known buildings, but seeing them as I place them in composition you can't tell which one it is at first glance. Some works alienate the city that much, you realy don't recognize it anymore. Letting it look much more futuristic as it is or it makes the buildings seem much bigger as they are. I also use to shoot perspectives many people never thought of looking from at the city. 
As architecture photographer you learn a lot about your city but you deliver a whole new point of view for all others. And that's what architecture photography is for me. It's all about showing new perspectives. It's not only documenting architecture and buildings and styles. There's more to it. It's an abstract portrait of a city.
What's your experience?

Views: 553

Tags: AC Artist Editorials, Minimal, Minimalism, Photography, abstract, architecture

Comment by Adam Conner on December 9, 2012 at 1:34pm
Martin! Totally impressed with these images AND your wonderful writeup and introduction to the AMPt Architecture Group.

It's obvious your passion for shooting architecture goes beyond the images themselves. Sharing how its changed the perception of your own city brings more depth to both your vision for the Group and what architectural photography is all about.

If this is just the start of your efforts here...I can't wait to see where you take this. - Adam
Comment by Latife @latibod on December 9, 2012 at 4:45pm

Fantastic images. Although I wasn't very much into this style I think I will give it a try. So inspiring...

Comment by diet_mar on December 10, 2012 at 3:37am

Hey Adam!

Thank you very much for your kind words, I really appreciate that! 

I'm still about to work out how this system within the groups leads, what the possibilities are and so on. I have a lot in mind and I'm working on these ideas at the moment. When Phil is done with the major works with the site he's going to join me here. Hope it will work out.

Comment by diet_mar on December 10, 2012 at 3:46am

Hey Latife,

thank you very much.

I'm glad you like the pics even if this is not your kind of style. I can understand why architecture and minimal architecture in special is not the most popular kind of genre regarding photography. I guess it's why the pics are cold, everyone will admit that there's definately beauty in architecture, but in the end it's (only) steel, glass and stone, it hasn't feelings. It's not as natural to us as nature or people I guess. But with photography you can bring some feelings into it, you can provide different moods with it. On the other hand architecture puts the architectures visions and dreams across to so many people. That's something I really love about it. Architecture ist visions taking shape and at the same time creating new visions.

Comment by MaJo Chávez on December 10, 2012 at 9:10pm

Hi martin! 

I like this post very much, you describe very well what architecture means to you. And I totally agree with you when you say that architecture photography is all about showing new perspectives, because in the end; that's what architecture stands for; give new perspectives for each situation that needs to be attended. I'm an architecture student and what I've learned in school and what I've discovered trough photography and sketching is that, what's most important of architecture is the emptiness, in other words, the space that creates within itself. I also believe that architecture can have feelings or better said; it can transmit feelings; it only depends on how the architect uses light, materials, colors and so many other elements, however -in my opinion- minimalism it may be the least of the styles that transmits feelings. But that's a topic for another day.
Anyway, nice meeting you and reading your thoughts.
Greetings, MJ.


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