Never trust an architectural photographer


I'm afraid that the time has come when we have definitely saturated the internet with billions of uploaded photos up to the extent of its capacity.

We have created an enormous showcase of images that accumulates in its majority an infinite repetition of instants that do not go much beyond its mere capture, of deceptive photographs that seem or want to resemble to many more others and of reiterating and irrelevant contents that we just forget with only looking at them.

Cuatrecasas HQ Building  |  GCA Architects  |  Barcelona

Surely we have lost the perspective of discerning the relevance of images, what pictures we are going to show on the net and how we are going to do it, when we have had the technical ability to upload them almost without thinking and, from that point, we have ended up granting all the images the same trivial value.

But the fact is that the scope of the photographs that we add to this global catalog is really vast because all its life happens on the internet, available to be seen anywhere worldwide 24 hours a day, a very powerful competence that we must understand and take advantage of as authors.

Our duty as a photographers is then to create unique images that stand out for themselves and to endow them with the ability to interpellate the viewer to look at them, not adding more photographs to an already more than crowded network in which they will be abandoned without anyone even knowing of its existence.

Imagina Building  |  Carlos Ferrater  |  Barcelona

All the work of an architectural photographer is based on a very simple fact, in looking at reality so that the viewer will stop in turn to contemplate the photograph that he has created to give him away his look. If you think about it, this exchange of looks happens briefly. But it is you as a photographer who has to create the opportunity to generate that moment in which the viewer and you meet because he observes your photograph and wants to know more about it.

Some have described this conscious strategy of looking at reality and interpreting it in a photograph that seduces the viewer as a discerning awareness, a harmonious way to intentionally organize the frame intended to make the observer to feel comfortable with what he sees so that he stops to contemplate the picture.

Olympus HQ Building  |  RCR  |  Barcelona

That’s why I say that you should never trust an architectural photographer, because everything he does is trying to attract your attention, to try to seduce you without you even being aware of it. A photographer will never fool you, he will devote all his effort to plant the seed of dialogue, to interpellate you, because this friendly conversation is the start of all art and communication.

A photographer will do whatever is possible to make you stop for a moment and, very quietly, look at his photograph. As Catalan photographer and Hasselblad Prize Joan Foncuberta has stated, it is also our time to recover the sovereignty of our photographs. 

Imagine doing that surrounded by all the sound and fury of the internet ...

David Cardelús