The Seattle Public Library is probably my favorite building in Seattle. The designers went all out on the inside and the outside. If you are ever in Seattle, I highly recommend a visit (best of all, it’s free!). The library is a sort-of tourist attraction, so you won’t look too out of place if you whip out your camera. For today’s edition of “5 Photos I Like”, I’m only including photos of the Seattle Public Library.
Before beginning, I’m curious what you think about the following comment which was posted under one of these photos:
IT SEEMS AS THOUGH MANY OF YOU ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH THIS BUILDING. THE COMPOSITIONS AND COLORS YOU ALL ARE THRILLED ABOUT ARE NOT DONE BY SOME FRUITLESS FILTER IN PHOTOSHOP. THESE ARE ALL CREATED, INTENTIONALLY BY THE ARCHITECT. THERE ARE NO LIGHTING TRICKS, AND THE SKY ON THAT DAY DIDNT HAPPEN TO BE GREEN, BLUE OR RED.
IN FACT ANYONE WITH TWO SENSE ABOUT PHOTOGRAOPHY CAN TAKE THESE PHOTOS, GIVEN THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENT. LET US GIVE CREDIT TO THE ARCHITECT WHO HAS BESTOWED UPON US SUCH GREAT ARCHITECTURE AND YOU WITH SPECTACULAR IMAGERY. I IMPLORE YOU TO VISIT THE WEBSITE AND ENLIGHTEN YOURSELVES.
AND YES I AM AN ARCHITECT. – London Brigs (Flickr Name)
Ignoring the all-caps typing and the ignorance of photography, what do you think about his argument? Architectural photography is a thing and I hope my previous post gave some examples of the many ways a single scene can be interpreted by just one photographer. I’ve also written about photographing art, but I think photographing architecture is a long way from even being a gray area in terms of ethics. I hope the photos I’m sharing here will convince people that not just anyone with “two sense about photograophy” can take great photos, even in a location as interesting as the Seattle Public Library. Of course the architect deserves credit for designing a beautiful building that we photographers can enjoy as our playground. Credit goes to the photographer, however, for producing a worthwhile image.
The Mixing Chamber, by Victor Szalvay
This is the shot that inspired me to make this post. Victor took this photo in a library, but it wouldn’t look out of place in a science fiction film. The architect did a good job of exposing for the highlights and boosting the contrast so that the people’s faces would be lost in shadow. Oops, maybe the photographer had something to do with that.
Seattle Public Library, by Jeff Maurone
There are a few shots on Flickr taken from this vantage point, but I thought this one was particularly well-executed. The little girl playing on the reading-bench-thing is a fantastic detail.
Ventilated Geometry, by Victor Szalvay
Here’s another shot from Victor, who likes the blues. The directions of the ventilation vents make them look like creatures who are curious about the strange blue world they’ve found themselves in.
IMG_3432a, by Cassidy Curtis
This portion of the library is eerie to walk around in. I think this shot captures that feeling pretty well, and the exit sign is a nice touch, too. Cassidy nailed the exposure here as well.
And Dream Up Some Dreams, by Thomas Hawk
The first four pictures I chose use color as a significant part of the composition. However, the bright colors of the library can be distracting for certain photos, so Thomas chose to go with black and white. A potentially cluttered image like this benefits from the focal point of the walking man and the strong geometrical order.