Posted on Mar.13, 2011, under Architecture

(Olympus E-3, 7-14mm at 14mm (2x crop factor), ISO 125, Exposure 1/200 sec @f/6.3)

I’ve always been a fan of great architecture and at one time was planning on becoming an architect. I didn’t follow that career path, but my love of architecture remains. One of my favorite architects is Frank Lloyd Wright. I think his work was always imaginative and often times groundbreaking. I’ve visited several of his structures and the one thing that always surprises me is the actual size of the building. I will have seen pictures of some building or house and have an image in my mind of how big the thing should be, but when I actually get a chance to see the structure, it’s always smaller than I expected. A couple of years ago I was finally able to visit the Guggenheim Museum in New York and I felt the same way. The musuem sits along Central Park and spans the width of one city block, but the Wright designed portion of the museum is not imposing at all from the outside.

The picture you see above was taken from right out front with a wide angle lens. One of the distinguishing features of the Guggenheim is the spiral ramp which is used for exhibition space, and the spiral is completely visible from the outside. I wanted to capture this feature as well as the interesting typography used for the museum lettering. When I was processing the image, I wanted to create an image which looked more like an abstract design for poster than an actual photograph. Processing involved painting black in the sky and underneath the building overhang, and using curves layers to darken and lighten other portions of the image. While the image was mostly black and white even in the color version, the ‘whites’ were a little blueish so I converted the image to black and white using Silver Efex Pro 2

Love to know what you think. Please leave any thoughts or comments below.

Copyright © 2009-2011 James W. Howe – All rights reserved.

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  • John Barclay says:
    The B&W is SOOOO strong! Bravo. Seems like we were both in a b&w mood…
    • James Howe says:
      Thanks! I seem to go through phases and right now I’m in a black & white mood. Perhaps when spring arrives for real I’ll do some more colorful images.
  • Dave Wilson says:
    I read your latest 2 posts out of order. The later image is great but this one is, in my opinion, even stronger. I love the minimal, geometric composition. The fact that you retained the “Museum” text really makes the picture as far as I’m concerned. You have a great geometric abstract without it but by including it you help me, all of a sudden, to realise exactly what I am looking at.
    • James Howe says:
      Thanks for the comment. I actually have another image which is similar to this one which has the word ‘Guggenheim’ and take from a slightly different angle. I prefer this one.

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