Architectural Photography Through The Ages

Architecture has captured the imagination of artists and photographers since the very beginning. ‘Architectural photography’ is exactly what the term describes – photography of architecture and the built form. Architects have used photography as a tool to gain inspiration from the surrounding built environment, as well as document their own projects in such a manner to capture the very essence of the project – to make the public eye see what the architect wants them to see. As is the case with any art form, architectural photography has gone through various movements over the years, in which photographers have experimented with various techniques, media, and technology. The invention of smartphones brought along a new era of ‘instant’ photography, and the popularity of iPhones led to the creation of ‘iPhoneography’. This new typology of photography has allowed a much larger population than before to explore various forms of photography, while the explosion of social media platforms created new avenues to share work with a wide and international audience. 

Lynette Jackson – iPhoneographer and Artist

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Lynette Jackson, an Atlanta – based telecommunications professional, is one such photographer that has captured the interest of the architecture industry for her iPhoneography. She has been selected as the Mobile Master 2014, received international recognition from leading Architectural blogs like Archdaily and Archidose, and has been featured in the Los Angeles – Mobile Arts Festival 2012. Jackson’s self-professed passion for architecture was sparked in her childhood after spending time around her father who was a brick-mason. She views photography as a hobby and an outlet for her passion for architecture. Her interest in iPhoneography was piqued when she came across Sion Fullana’s work in 2010, which led her to deep dive into learning and experimenting with mobile photography. She prefers to use her iPhone for her photography since it does not require much equipment and allows for more freedom. She views her device as her ‘digital canvas’. 

Design Philosophy, Process, and Methodology 

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No. 254 ©Lynette Jackson

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No. 444 ©2012 Lynette Jackson
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MSCED – 02092012 – 02a Remixed ©2012 Lynette Jackson

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When viewing Jackson’s work for the first time, it is difficult to comprehend that the entirety of it was made just on an iPhone. With a keen eye for graphics and through the medium of various apps, she transforms her architectural photography into modern art pieces. Her work typically consists of collages that use architecture photography as a base, which are then layered with filters, geometric patterns, and monochromatic colors. The photographs tend to be created as parts of a series of two or four. The photographs are usually perspectives that focus on highlighting parts of a building, like specific design elements of the building or the materiality. The graphic elements like the overlays, patterns, and color, work in harmony to guide the eye, and emphasize details of the building. Jackson’s photography provides new ways of looking at buildings and celebrates architectural details that may otherwise be ignored. Her work encourages the viewer to look beyond the literal aspect of the buildings and appreciate the concept and artistic value of the building through her abstraction. 

The apps that she uses for processing are SnapSeed, CameraMatic, PictureShow, Pixlromatic, PhotoToaster, and PicFix. For design, she uses iDesign, StripeCam PicFrame, Decim8, ImageBlender, PhotoWizard, and Phonto. Some of her personal favourite apps are Union for masking and blending, PerspectiveCorrect for correcting perspectives, iDesign for creating shapes, and Phonto for typography. She typically uploads her photographs to Flickr (https://flic.kr/ps/VGrC1), Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/_lynettejackson/?hl=en), and her website (https://www.lynettejackson.co/).

Inspiration, and Influences

Jackson believes that architecture is art, and is drawn to lines, shapes, symmetry, and order. Her favourite design periods are the mid-20th century and mid-century modern. While she has professed that she does not have a particular style, she is inspired by monochromatic photography, modern architecture, and International Style graphic style. She is inspired by creatives like Mark Weaver, Stéphane Massa-Bidal, Aitor Oritz, Julius Shulman, Alex Varanese, Andreas H. Bitesnich, Oscar Niemeyer, Richard Neutra, Reid Miles, Richard Paul Lohse, and others. Other sources of daily inspiration include music, and work posted on Flickr and Instagram. She will shoot almost anything that moves her – from landscapes and buildings to lights and shadows, but refrains from candid photography if strangers. 

References

  1. https://www.flickr.com/photos/p67/
  2. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-06-15/an-artist-reinvents-architectural-photography-via-iphone
  3. https://theappwhisperer.com/2014/10/mobile-photography-interview-day-life-lynette-jackson-talented-mobile-photographer-unique-style/
  4. https://lifeinlofi.com/2012/01/18/iphoneography-spotlight-lynette-jackson/?utm_medium=website&utm_source=archdaily.com
Vidhi Agarwal
Author

Vidhi Agarwal is a practicing architect and designer, striving to be a better person and architect every day. She loves reading fiction, exploring new cities, finding the next best spot for brunch, and drinking coffee. For her, architecture is about resilience and optimism, capable of limitless positive change.

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