Nylda Hamchaoui is a third year architecture student at UEL and blogs about this subject for Your Universe. Her opinions are her own.
Architectural photograph says far more about the photographer than it does about the building you are capturing.
Photography in this social media era is clearly a medium popular for individuals across all industries. However, in architecture, it is a vital tool used to capture or evoke a single moment in time, whether speculative or not. It is a storyteller. Like ink to paper, it is the platform we can use to explore what we want to see just as much as what we do not. For instance, if your interest lies in the surface of a building, we could capture these moments from a close angle that you would not personally be able to.
One of my favourite ways of photographing is by capturing architecture at an angle looking upwards, whereby I can be consumed by the sheer volume of what is in front of me and not be afraid to be smaller than everything else. It becomes a moment that can be shared with everyone, relatable and real. A single photograph sometimes enhances the experience of a typical everyday space into one that has particular details we wouldn’t have noticed otherwise.
Since we are always on the lookout for (quite literally) different perspectives, we are able to better understand our human experiences of where we are. By seeing things differently, we are able to design in ways that celebrate the human experience or curiously explore new ways of approaching design. This is one way of looking at photography, and there are many ways to go about using photography when studying architecture, but this interpretation understands the simplicity of choosing what we share with others.
In saying that, we have the ability to control what we take in the images we capture. It is up to us to evoke certain experiences by highlighting the things that matter the most to us, whether we want to experience the density of being crammed between buildings or up in the sky with the birds, or simply just walking by everyday facades and surfaces that draw our attention. By using a lens in any appropriate format, we are able to create the ideal experience for what we want to happen as much as discover what could happen when we decide to look at this differently.