An interview on deconarch.com
German architecture curator and writer Simone Kraft interviewed me about my 2013 International Photography Awards featured photographs on a post for deconarch.com
Deconarch is the first magazine dedicated to the remarkable combination of art and architecture, available exclusively online. Reports and interviews introduce artists whose works circle around questions of architecture and buildings, housing and dwelling, space and urbanity. You can read some excerpts of the January 26, 2014, interview below:
“What fascinates you about contemporary architecture and cityscape …
Contemporary architecture is essentially graphic and truly determined in the way it dialogues with the urban landscape. It is also an extremely powerful vehicle of transformation that represents the way society thinks about itself and wants to last in time. Abstracting in a photograph the essence of all these forces of change so mighty that they blow up in our immediate human environment and how they relate to us really overwhelms me.
… and photographing it?
What interests me most about photographing the urban landscape is finding in it the simplest plastic qualities that make it absolutely surprising to my eyes and to share this fascination with others, both of the search and the discovery. Actually, I think that my work is based on a constant search for irresistible plastic harmony moments in a quotidian environment thatis continuously changing and rapidly transforming.
What makes a good architecture photograph?
A good architecture photograph is a photograph that purely attracts the viewer’s attention for itself, by the harmony of its composition and how it simplifies and abstracts, in shapes, colors, lines and textures, the essence of the architecture that it is representing without never betraying the spirit of the architectural project. Architecture photography uses strictly photographic resources to be both a compelling aesthetic object and a communicative tool to interpret and explain an architectural project.
Most people first get to know about the existence of a new building or architectural project form the pictures that represent it. Architecture photography is a serious matter of persuasion that, to be consistent with its photographic nature, must always interpret the architectural project and not merely document it.
How is your working process? How do you “explore“ your motive?
My intent is to abstract what I see and find in the urban landscape and also, more specifically, in an architectural project when I am shooting professionally. I have to admit although that I make no distinction as to my approach between my more personal or more professional work.
I cannot photograph a space or cityscape that I do not know, a space in which I have not previously been because then I am completely unable to understand it. If I do not have a prior experience of that precise space and especially of the light that sculpts it, I cannot really interpret it.
I usually try to recognize a simple harmony of form and color in a space or cityscape to abstract it as the simplest and most straightforward approach posible, with my camera mounted on a tripod, and normally using tilt-shift lenses. Always and without exception, I work with just the existing light – the one that better simplifies the plastic elements of the frame that I’m building – and I arrange or remove from my frame any distracting elements that could move the viewers away from what is really important in the image, from what I want them to to first perceive when they look at my photograph.
Anyway, all this work of arranging, abstracting and illuminating the frame is always done before taking the photograph, before releasing the shutter and actually exposing and creating the photograph, never after. When the photograph is shot, I process it via Lightroom and edit it in Photoshop to clean and delete the elements in the image that are irrelevant, and to intensively enhance those key elements who are really important for the idea I am communicating in my photograph, particularly to improve and simplify the shapes and the colors in the image.
Are there role models, influences, which inspire your work?
I think I became an architecture photographer because of two particular images: “Moonrise over Hernadez” by Ansel Adams and “The Flatiron” by Edward Steichen. When I later studied the history of photography I began to recognize myself in the work of the Straight Photography and the New Objectivity photographers, but especially in the photographs of Edward Weston and, from him, in the works of Albert Renger-Patzsch, Minor White, Paul Strand and without any doubt in Ezra Stoller’s impressive photographs.
Of the contemporary photographers I have to mention Andreas Gursky, Thomas Ruff, Candida Höfer and Hiroshi Sugimoto, and for their incredible use of color, the works of Piet Mondrian, Vasily Kandinsky, Mark Rothko and Sean Scully.”
You can read the complete interview as published on deconarch.com on this link.