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 captured the idea of blending words and images, which is a central theme of the blog. And, just as Yin and Yang together constitute a greater whole, perhaps the right words and images can deepen our experience of whatever it is in design that transcends them both.
Until next time, here’s a photographic example of Notan (or at least a lot of light and dark!)
Thanks for reading,