April 18, 2016

My recent photo of a Ferris wheel will appear in ArtFields, a juried art festival in Lake City, South Carolina, from April 23-May 1.  This is the fourth year for the event, which is gradually turning this small town into an artistic hub for the Southeast. The organizers have distributed some 400 works of art among assorted venues, and the week’s activities include artist talks, art walks, demonstrations, and other events.  In addition, the public and the jurors will select a handful of prize winners to receive significant financial grants for further work. Having grown up in rural Ohio, I love it when people prove that art is not limited to the big cities and the usual venues.


Working with this image got me thinking about things that are not exactly architecture, but aren’t exactly non-architecture, either.  (The best term I’ve come up with so far is “quasi-architecture,” though that’s kind...

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,...

January 26, 2016

Greetings, and welcome to the first installment of my architectural photography blog. It will feature material on aesthetics, philosophy, technique, and other topics relating to architectural photography. I hope it will be of interest to photographers, architects, designers, and anyone else with an interest in how the built environment is designed and portrayed.


A word of explanation about the name of this blog: I first encountered the concept of Notan in Richard Zakia’s marvelous book, Perception and Imaging.  Notan is a Japanese term for the way in which light and dark elements define one another, and contribute to the whole, in a work of visual art (Zakia’s example is the Yin/Yang symbol). It also connotes positive and negative space, the interdependence of opposites, and an emphasis on unity over dichotomy.


While this has obvious relevance to photographs and other pictures, I thought it also...

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Architectural Photographer

Charlotte, NC



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