Architectural Photography Built Environment Hamilton
Saturday April 9 2011
Hello, As site coordinator, All shots are recent, and some images from the following article may not be present. Some shots are HDR and most are from the Raw format.Enjoy the article and my newest images
Architecture is the ART and inspirational ideas from designers in the technology captured in the lens of a camera. Architecture is the ART we live in and Urban Design shapes our cities, as Winston Churchill said: “we shape our buildings and thereafter they shape us.” Today, architecture in the modernist design is more than copying shapes, but, rather functionality is the key element. Interestingly, there is also the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. Julius Shulman gives many interesting facts in his book entitled – The Photography of Architecture and Design. What you aim to capture in architectural photography is a magazine-quality photograph. Of all the architectural design values the NATURE and organic design applies quite well because the design value is based on nature – all sorts of living organisms. The basis of this design value provides inspiration, functional clues and aesthetics. SIMPLICITY (minimalist) is a closely related to the design value of Nature. Simplicity design value highlights TRUE (REAL) ART FORM and folk wisdom; light, shadow; colour and line. The VENECULAR design value emphasizes a simple life and its design value closely relates to Nature as it emulates the simple life being superior to modernity. In architectural photography with a camera lens your focus is to capture art in the buildings environment – light, shadow, color, and line . This environment gives the photograph simplicity of the image which emplifies several of these elements of architectural design values. The magic hour to photograph architecture can be about fifteen minutes before sunset when the ambient light inside a building matches the intensity of the evening sky. Or, locally at the CIBC Commerce Building at King and James Sts., Hamilton at mid-to-late afternoon can capture shadows and clouds floating in a mirror-image fashion into this glass structure. And at Dundurn Castle capturing the evening sunset or morning sunrise with the Lake in the backgrond can make the Castle glow using various light settings and filters. Then there is the new Downtown Library cloaked in eye-popping-state of the art glass facade with programmable coloured LED light built into it. Inside, the new library has spaces for WI-FI laptop use, reading areas with modular furniture and bright lights illuminating it against a colour palate of white and grey. A San Diego symposium speaker said : ” the modern library should look in design like an iPad; mirror the way customers will use it.” The architect, David Premi’s interest “is in how the built environment can help facilitate growth and interaction in the community…Hopefuly this wil have an impact on downtown renewal as well.” Hamilton has a professional history of architects designing buildings, such as, (1) James Belfour architect for Canadian Life Assurance Co., King and James (1883) and Hamilton’s Old City Hall (1888),; (2) John M. Lyle architect for New York Public Library (1897), the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto (1907), Union Station in Toronto (1914-1921); and (3) Bruce Kuwabara architect for the Art Gallery Of Ontario Phase 111, and Kitchener City Hall.
In multidimensional photographic applications digital-image processing and computer vision usually require specific integrated circuits and/or multiprocessor systems. Wavelet-based algorithms have been found promising among these applications due to the features of hierarchical signal analysis and multidimensional analysis. Because of the large size multidimensional imput data, off-chip random access memory (RAM) based system, have been necessary in algorithms in these applications. Here, either memory address pointers of data pre-processing and rearrangements in off-chip memories are employed. Photographing architecture in black-and-white (B&W) gives the image a more dramatic effect especially when it depends on the light and shadows to show details in the image. Unlike colour photography, B&W photography has a special impact on the viewer’s eye giving a dramatic effect compared to colour photos. Colour photography uses different colours to show the image, B&W photography abstracts the image to use only one colour. It is better to take photographs in colour and convert it to B&W, using your favourite image editing tools. This gives you the ability to control the B&W in the image as well with more control at all levels, brightness and contrast.
Locally beautiful architectural photography opportunities abound in the Hamilton Region. The fist stop would be Hamilton’s new Library, followed by, Dundurn Castle which has historical significance being Sir Allan McNab’s residence. In Dundas along South Street are many old homes. And, at 42 Osler Drive in Dundas is a historic century home built in 1827 which rests on a ravine overlooking Dundas and the escarpment photographs beautifully with all the greenery in its landscape. In Hamilton a drive along Aberdeen Avenue gives many architectural photography opportunities. As you climb up the Queen Street hill from Aberdeen there are several architectural opportunities and lots of wooded escarpment areas to photograph.
Globally there are some amazing mind-boggling architectural buildings including : Australia’s Sydney Harbour with its Arts Complex; The Great Bayan Sergey Skashkor (Russia); and the designs available for the future World Trade Centre in New York City. In a Wall Street Journal article, Glenn D. Lowry, director of the National Museum of Modern Art was quoted saying: “I think Integral House in Toronto’s Rosedale area is one of the most important private houses built in North America, in a long time.” Architecture Design Magazine has Integral House on Toronto’s tours. Integral House is owned by Dr. James Stewart, a Mathematics professor at McMaster University who made millions writing calculus textbooks, and interestingly, he was concertmaster violinist with the Hamilton Symphony Orchestra and violinist in Hamilton Philharmonic. In Canada 90% and in the U.S. 70% of University students use his math books that are translated into 12 languages, published by Thomson Learning Group. In 2,003 the James Stewart Math Centre at McMaster University was named after him. It is interesting that some of the money he earned from textbooks Dr. James Stewart renovated houses first in Hamilton and then in Toronto. Dr. James Stewart bought a home on this land in 2,002 and in 2,003 tore it down to build Integral House. Yes, Integral House is an architectural photographer’s dream to do a photo shoot ! Dr. James Stewart spent $30 million on this home and he interviewed architects around the world before giving the project to two young unknown architects – Brigette Shim and Howard Sutcliff. In this architectural project Dr. James Stewart gave the following expectations: to create his residence in a ravine in the Toronto neighbourhood of Rosedale: to make it 18,000 square feet; to design multitudes of seductive curves ,to use massive amounts of floor to ceiling glass, and build a spectacular glass staircase. He also wanted a private concert hall with lots of curves to seat 150 persons for concerts and costume balls. This was excluding a parina, a classical semi-Scandinavian simplicity that makes the house seem older, and more established than a new house. The staircase includes hand-blown blue glass with rectangle shapes (geometry) that these architects designed.giving a sense of dynatism as if the building were in motion, rolling along ever so slowly or perhaps coming to stillness after a long architectural journey. Only the first two floors are visible at street level, and the focus from inside Integral House is the trees outside in the ravine. The challenge of the architectural photographer, then, would be not only to capture the many features of this house, but to emulate in the photographs this sense of dynatism giving the viewer to say – Ah, look at that ! That shows you have created images that illuminate both the design and the stylized space that promote the photographed images in a successful light. Now, looking around Hamilton Region there are many spectacular architectural photography opportunities in Urban Design awaiting your camera lens. So, on the next sunny day, head out with camera, tripod and extra batteries for an exhilarating experience in architectural photography.
Sources: The Toronto Star, The Photography of Architecture and Design, The Wall Street Journal; Gallerie Spring 2,011, Hamilton Spectator
Doug Worrall Photography