中国建筑摄影师15 | Seth Powers：好的作品应以舒适构图展现建筑架构编辑： 李菁琳 | 2017-09-12 10:49 |
I’ve been working as an architectural photographer for about 5 years now and I currently do it full-time.
After graduation, I did some administrative work in the university, then travelled in Japan and Korea while participating in multiple WWOOF（World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms） programs.I don't have any formal training in architecture or interior design, but I have always been interested in spaces and the emotions and feelings they invoke. I had been interested in photography for many years and decided that shooting spaces would be a good match creatively as well as from a business perspective.
I photographed Financial Street (Jing An) Centre for Dutch architecture firm UNStudio last winter. As the buildings are quite tall but also close to the road, to find the best angles, I walked all over the surrounding commercial, office and residential buildings, looking for rooftops and windows to shoot from. In the end, I scouted a window from the ground level then went up to knock on the door of a company; with their permission, I squeezed the camera out of a slightly opened window on their balcony and found a suitable angle.
金融街（静安）中心 - UNStudio
We had the good fortune to be sent to Kyoto by Shanghai-based Italian firm Kokaistudios.The all-day dining restaurant, Brasserie in the new Four Seasons Hotels, is close to “Shakusui-tei”, an 800-year-old Japanese garden. We ran into photographers commissioned by other architects during the photo shoot. A Japanese photographer and I both planned to shoot the restaurant terrace on the same evening at sunset. The best lightonly lasts for a short time, so we discussed beforehand the angles we each wanted, and we had to run to switch positions after each shot. It was a memorable evening.
日本京都四季酒店全日制餐厅Brasserie - Kokaistudios
近期还为上海More Design Office拍摄了西安环普科技产业园内两个办公楼。园区的绿地是设计中的一个重点，而我也希望在照片中展现建筑的周边环境。拍摄的第二天午后，正好有员工在绿地里踢足球，我看到后十分惊喜，就迅速带着相机和三脚架进入场地，以最快的速度捕捉了这一人与建筑互动的瞬间。
We photographed two office towers in Xi’An GLP I-Park for Shanghai firm More Design Office recently. The landscaped park in front of the towers was a feature of the design, and we also hoped to show the building’s surrounding environment. As we were walking around on the second day, we found some office workers playing football on the field after lunch. It’s a rare occasion when such a thing happens during a shoot, so we quickly ran in and set up our tripod and started shooting away. The game really provided a great foreground to our shots of the towers to show the use and the life of the whole master plan. Their blue shirts even matched the colors of the buildings!
西安环普科技产业园 - More Design Office
Generally, I spend at least a full day for most projects. Of course this may change depending on the size of the project and the requirements from the client. The longest was a 10-day stay on the project.
I always try to scout the site beforehand, during which I take time to see what the light will be like throughout the day and then plan the shoot around the sun as much as possible. Scouting is also very useful for identifying potential problems that might show up during shooting day and we can make sure the site is cleaned up and ready for photography. It’s also very important to discuss with the architect or designer beforehand about the key features of the project, their needs and thoughts for the photo shoot.
I think I am quite good at photographing interior spaces. Interior shooting requires great attention to detail; sometimes when a unique problem pops up, I need to think and experiment for the best solution. It can be quite challenging at times, but I enjoy the problem solving process.
Architecture exists to be used, so people will always play a part in architecture photography. With that said, some architects and designers prefer a more "pure" vision of their work, in which case, I will respect their choice. If the client has no strong preferences, I will decide on whether and how to place people in the photos.For our collaborations with WeWork for example, there needs to be a good mix of both. The photos need to show the viewers the charm of the architecture, as well as how vibrant and bustling the workspace is.
I’m generally trying to get photos of the project during nice weather, rather than grey or smoggy skies. But just the unpredictable nature of the weather means that you can't always get what you want. Sometimes the weather isn’t ideal but you just need to make the best of it. Shooting interiors on an overcast day often turns out nicer than if there is strong sunlight outside. Even with cloudy skies, shooting at dawn and dusk can give interesting light and colors.
As an architectural photographer, it is our job to take a complex 3D space that you experience with all of your senses and compress this information down to a 2D object that uses only the sense of sight. So it is necessary to simplify things greatly. Then it becomes important to provide information about how the space is laid out / connected, how light moves through the space at different times of the day, showing the sense of scale, and how the space is used.
Good architecture photos should show the structure in a pleasing composition. I think something that photographers should always keep in mind is the question "Is this a good photograph?" Not just a good representation of a building or interior space. The photos should also clearly show the relationship of objects and elements to each other. Also, the "collection" of photos is very important, rather than just individual photos. Photographers should strive for a comprehensive collection that shows the project at many different levels. Wide views, medium views, close vignettes, material details, with some abstract images thrown in for good measure.
Seth Powers：我对TsAO & McKOWN的音昱听堂、Kokaistudios改造的瑰丝·陈花园和WeWork威海路旗舰店这几组作品比较满意。去年拍摄的音昱水中天、以及今年初夏拍摄的杭州来福士广场也是我自己比较喜欢的作品，不过照片目前还亟待发布。
I'm quite satisfied with the photos of The Living Room by TsAO & McKOWN, House of Grace Chen by Kokaistudios, as well as shots of WeWork's flagship location in Shanghai. Sangha Retreat from last year and Raffles City Hangzhou from early summer are also my favorites; however the photos are still waiting to be published and can’t be shared yet.
I like The Living Room because of the simplicity and elegance of the spaces. The Grace Chen photos attract me because of the contrast of the modern interiors with the renovated historic building. I especially loved the ample light that floods into the space. The WeWork photos give me a sense of satisfaction that I captured the feeling of the liveliness of the space but without looking too posed or cluttered.
音昱听堂 - TsAO & McKOWN
瑰丝·陈花园 - Kokaistudios
Seth Powers：我有很多十分仰慕的摄影师。Fernando Guerra是我从摄影初期就开始关注的一位摄影师，我很喜欢他的照片的整体感觉和后期处理方式，我觉得他对一些独特瞬间的把握也很到位。
I have a lot of photographers whose work I admire. Fernando Guerra is someone whose work I've followed since the early days of my career. The look of his images and the processing has always attracted my eye, as well as his ability to capture unique moments.