One name that comes up whenever famous architectural photographers are mentioned is Julius Shulman. Shulman’s architecture photos have had a great influence on modern architecture and on the way we see the world. His work played a big role in shaping the careers of some of the most influential architects of the 20th century, including John Lautner, Richard Neutra and Frank Lloyd Wright.
The clarity of his photography demanded the recognition of architecture photography as an independent form of art. His images placed emphasis on a building’s place in the landscape that surrounds it. His compositions always carried a sense of humanity and reflected the hopes and visions of an entire age.
Shulman died in 2009 as a legend, a photographer who really helped to shape our perception of architecture. Let’s discuss some modern-day famous architectural photographers who are most likely to continue this legacy.
Contemporary Famous Architectural Photographers
Since she started focussing on photographing architecture in 1998, Erieta Attali has earned wide acclaim and had her work published in monographs and esteemed magazines. Her work has been exhibited in museums across the world and she has received numerous rewards for her architectural photography.
The reason for Attali’s fame can be found in her interesting approach, influenced by her previous work as an archaeological photographer. Archaeology sees an ancient building rising gently from the landscape by digging back in history. The architecture and its environment is one fused entity until the building finally becomes visible.
In her architecture photos, Attari will often place the building in such a way in her composition that it becomes subsidiary to its environment. In some photos she even manages to make the environment seem architectural, as if the building is lying beneath, waiting. She often chooses extreme locales such as arid landscapes, remote mountains, cliffs overlooking water, which makes for very dynamic imagery.
Attali has been working as a professor of Architectural Photography at Columbia University, shaping the minds of aspiring photographers to also view architecture from a different perspective.
Hufton + Crow
Hufton and Crow are two very famous architectural photographers who have gained a lot of international acclaim while working as a duo. They won the 2012 World Architectural Photography Awards with their series of photos of the Museum of XXI Century Arts. In their work, you can feel the massiveness and density of the concrete structure they photographed.
There is always a lot of space in their architecture photos, with a deep depth of field and a long horizon line, which makes the photographs feel expansive and monumental.
Iwan Baan must have been one of the most famous architectural photographers in 2014. His photo of a darkened Manhattan after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy became very well known after appearing on the cover of the New York magazine.
His architecture photos usually focus on the luminous windows of structures. When photographing architecture, he manages to soften the industrial materials and harsh lines modern architecture is made up of, to make it into a more homely, welcoming space.
Baan was awarded the Julius Shulman Prize in 2010.
Based in Germany, a country that has undergone a lot of transformation in the past couple of decades, Josef Schulz seems to incorporate the theme of transformation and transition in his work.
Shulz loves photographing architecture considered to be everyday structures, bringing an air of mystery and history to them. Otherwise benign buildings are brought to life and show personality through Shulz’ lens. Abandoned factories and gas stations gain new confidence in his photographs and their characters are captured in a truly unique way.
The Path To Fame: Architecture Photos That Are Different
A question that arises is what do these photographers do to gain recognition for their work? How do they approach photographing architecture in such a way that people start talking about it?
The answer is simple: Famous architectural photographers usually have an extra quality to their work that sets them apart from the rest: the wow-factor that makes people take a deep breath and see the world from a new perspective.