July 26, 2016

Shadow is a color as light is, but less brilliant; light and shadow are only the relation of two tones.
                                                                     -Paul Cezanne

In a world of shadows and highlights, the highlights seem to get the most attention. We watch highlight reels on TV, mark our documents with highlighters, and describe positive events as the highlights of our days. When it comes to photography, most of us are probably more attuned to highlights than to shadows, if for no other reason than because they are the brightest and most readily...

April 4, 2016

This article is the first in an occasional series about the elements of good architectural photography. It is intended for art buyers, marketing professionals, and anyone else who commissions or creates photographs of the built environment.

Architectural photography is full of choices, because there is rarely just a single way to photograph a space. Becoming an informed viewer of architectural photography can help you navigate the possibilities, and obtain photographs that say what you want them to.

One choice that is sometimes overlooked is color versus black-and-white. For much of the twentieth century, black-and-white had a significant presence in architectural photography. This mainly had to do with the vagaries of film: compared to early color films, black-and-white films were more archival, less expensive, and easier to develop. Moreover, color films did not always reproduce color accurately,...

March 18, 2016

“God is in the details.”

                       -Mies van der Rohe


You’ve probably heard of the 80% rule, which says that 80% of effects are produced by 20% of causes. One corollary is that you can get 80% of the results from the first 20% of work, and then spend the next 80% of your time chasing that last little bit. A further corollary is that this is often not worth the aggravation, so just settle for 80% and use the rest of your time more wisely.


I will freely admit to relying on this principle when it comes to things like raking leaves or washing the dishes.  But I won’t let it anywhere near my photography. That last 20% - even that last 5% - has a real effect, and it’s often what separates an adequate photograph from a great one.


Here’s why: People who study these things tell us that a vi...

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Architectural Photographer

Charlotte, NC



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