Architecture has always fascinated me. The interplay of design, form and function creates structures that define the landscapes we inhabit. And, to some degree, shape our behaviours. I rarely struggle to find something in any built environment I happen to be in that I want to take photographs of. Here's why it scratches a particular creative itch.
Celebrating human ingenuity
Architecture can be a testament to human creativity. At its best, it represents the marriage of art, engineering and vision. Whether it's the newest skyscrapers of a bustling city or the intricate details of historical monuments, each structure tells a story of human endeavour.
Discovering hidden stories
But it's not just in the epic buildings and the totemic monuments that architectural beauty can be found. The hidden corners, the forgotten houses, the humble buildings that speak of a different time, even the retail parks and industrial estates of modern metropolises tell their own stories. Each angle, line and texture tells a tale of the past, present and future.
Architecture acts as a time capsule. But it can also – especially in cities – disappear and change quickly. It's rare to see a city these days without a squadron of construction cranes twirling away above the skyline. Urban architecture photography is a way to preserve what used to be and document that change (this was the impulse behind my collection Out of Nothing Comes Something about the shifting vistas of Watford).
Playing with light and shadows
Architectural photography composition is often all about the play of light and shadow. The interplay between natural and artificial light can bring out the depth, texture and mood of a structure. Whether it's the soft morning glow illuminating a cathedral or the dramatic shadows cast by a scrum of skyscrapers at sunset, capturing these moments allows me to create what I hope are evocative and visually compelling images.
Perspective and composition
Architecture photography challenges me to see the world from different perspectives. By experimenting with angles, lines and framing, I can highlight either the grandeur or intricacy of a building. The symmetry or the seeming haphazardness. The old or the new. Each photograph challenges me (even though the subject is not moving!).
We are all in an intimate relationship with the places we live, and architecture is a part of that. The buildings around us can inspire us, annoy us... evoke all sorts of emotion. And it's this human response to the built environment that keeps me coming back to architecture photography.
For me, lots of things come together in architecture photography. Discovery, storytelling, creativity. Sometimes nostalgia. Occasionally awe. Capturing architectural beauty or heritage or oddness or even dilapidation, somehow strikes a unique chord in me when I'm out in the city taking photographs.