What motivates you to document/photograph the architecture/sites you visit?
Photographs are mostly to supplement my memory (I donâ€™t have unlimited cloud storage). So snapping photos as I come across things that are beautiful, interesting, different, strange, SUPER ugly, etc. is a way for me to be constantly journaling. For better or worse, itâ€™s much quicker than sketching and, sometimes, if I really capture a scene, it can be more effective for my learning.
Any special interests in photography or equipment? Do you find the buildings/landscapes more exciting or the photography?
I usually have my iPhone in my pocket so most of my photos come out of that machine. Sometimes Iâ€™ll buy a couple rolls of film for a special occasion or a trip (usually an architecture field trip). I am definitely more thoughtful with my film camera, and not coincidentally the photos end up meaning more to me (nice how that works out). I also have a bigger digital camera but I am still figuring out when I need that much power.
The buildings are usually more exciting than the photographs. But if I really find a good photograph (find is how I like to think of composing a shot), it can eclipse the building in my mind. This is not often the case and never happens in the presence of great architecture.
How do you use the images you shoot? Do they influence your design thinking? How does photographing architecture inform your thinking?
Photographs are a mental pause. Henri Cartier-Bresson describes them as brief affirmations of the world around you, a quick yes. I agree very much with his perspective. And in the setting of architecture, it can be an acknowledgement of a great moment, a threshold, a dramatic scale shift, a detail, really anything that makes me say yes to myself. In this way, they become how I study a work of architecture while I explore.
Where's your next destination? Are you searching out locations with a particular theme, or region?
Right now Iâ€™m in Seattle working for Olson Kundig through the summer. The theme of my thoughts is usually similar, so in that way, the photographs I take and the explorations I go on will always deal with how we design and plan better for the people. My research in Mexico City was focused on how we handle our civic duties as architects. In that way, Seattle provides wonderful fodder as a dramatically sited, rapidly growing city. Future travel plans are always up in the air but my girlfriend and I would like to someday head across Russia on the Transsiberian Railroad (Snowball Territory is what the locals call it).