June 8, 2017

Today is the 150th anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright’s birth. I am one of Wright’s many admirers; in fact, for years I have kept a photo of him near my desk for inspiration. Most of the commemorations today will probably emphasize his architecture, and justifiably so. I love it, too.

Beyond design, however, Wright inspires for the way he lived. He wasn’t always a role model in his personal life, but Wright had a monumental spirit. He was a fiercely independent thinker, who had no regard for cant or sacred cows. With the exception of a few lulls, he was tirelessly productive, and he was still doing meaningful work in his 80’s and 90’s.

Above all, he seemed always willing to evolve as an artist. His portfolio contains a staggering variety of design. Works like the Larkin Building, the Guggenheim, the Johnson Wax Building, and the Beth Sholom Synagogue, to name a few, are in many ways as different as...

June 1, 2016

Do photographs lie?  It’s an old question, but no less important for that. Architectural photographers routinely edit photos to remove things like construction barrels, power lines, and other distractions, and I don’t think that has ever been very controversial. But when do we cross the line from dressing up an image to actual misrepresentation?


A prominent example was the dust-up last year over the El Centro building in Chicago. The building won an architectural prize based on the photographs submitted to the jury. After the fact, it was revealed that one of the photos had been edited to remove a large block of unattractive climate-control units from the roof. As Blair Kamin wrote in the Chicago Tribune, this “turned El Centro's jumbled top into a razor-sharp edge.” (You can read Kamin’s story and see some photographs here.) Subsequently, two of the three jurors said they would not have given th...

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Architectural Photographer

Charlotte, NC



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