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From Industry to social housing
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By Kai-Uwe Nielsen

Architecture - From Industry to social housing

The definition of architectural photography is precised by the term of discribing already built architecture and interior design as the center of focus. But as normal we have a great variation of imagery. The simply and clearly description or reproduction with highend photographical equipment is the classical standard, but just the intension of the developers, the architect or the builder has to be transformed into the picture, if it is a commercial work. So, art or better creativity comes into play for the photographer. It is unnecessary to explain the whole history of architectural photography, but one must emphasize, that in the late 1960’ to the late 1990’ the so called German „Becher School“ art-students of the pioneering artists
Bernd and Hilla Becher have become revolutionary for the photography of architecture. In a form of documentation the married couple Bernd and Hilla Becher preserved the decreasing industrial architecture of the Ruhr for posterity. They used a simple largeformat field-camera with standard focal length lenses and b/w films and attached great importance in photographing without distorsions and always with a light and soft daylight - as one knows the strong, dramatical daylight produces deep shadows and very bright high tones and is therefore feared for its high contrast -. Their students and followers, like Thomas Struth, Andreas Gursky, have perfected this technique - or perverted, like other critics think - , by using color and by the mean of digital manipulation. But especially the digital manipulation of a file or a scanned slide gives the photographer unknown possibilities: Interior design, from the beginning of photography a great challenge, could be shown in an eye-like way especially in reducing contrast between inside and outside. The atmosphere of the surrounding area can be changed by deleting other buildings or by copying passers as a form of staffage. On the other hand the door is open for great photomontages like in the pictures of Andreas Gursky and the truth of photography is suffering. But a good architect is alway an artist too. His sensiblity is the correlative to transform his intension into a photograph. His architectural plans and drawing provied the guideline for photographical studies on his work. And after all these challenges for the photographer it is patience that is needed most. To wait for the right light situation or for dismantled scaffoldings is time consuming and can be faced only by a straight organization and thoroughly planning. In the decisive moment the photographer has to be very quick in handling his equipment, since a good image is unrepeatable.

We still believe in the authenticity of photography but we are cheated in nearly every photograph nowadays. The dancing act for a professional photographer in finding the balance between truth and appearance is very difficult since the expectations of beautifying are high. But for it is commercial work it is nice to see a customer happy and satisfied with the pictures and this safes your livelihood. More….

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