In Focus is Archinect's series of features dedicated to profiling the photographers who help make the work of architects look that much better. What has attracted them to architecture? How do they work? What type of equipment do they use? What do they think about seeing their work in blogs?
In this feature, we talk to British photo artist Simon Gardiner.
Archinect: What is your relationship with architecture? What drew you to architecture, as a photographer?
Simon Gardiner: I have always been drawn to architecture, being seduced by complex structures for a long time, going back to my time as a Fine Art student. It wasn’t until 2010 when I visited New York City that I realized what potential I could tap into regarding my own photography. At that time I had just purchased a full frame Canon 5d mkII that produces wonderfully detailed images. As a street photographer who fuses the street with a cinematic feel, the city and its architecture just blew me away.
Describe how you work... who are your clients?
SG: As an artist, most of my series doesn’t start with a given idea as I tend to respond to what I experience visually and emotionally. Music is big factor in cleansing my mind in order to get “in the zone”. The creative outcome is further developed when I am back in the studio with my MacBook Pro and experimenting within Photoshop. Most of my series make it to blogs, online magazines and galleries around the world.
Do you mostly work in a specific region? What is your travel schedule like?
SG: Traveling has been very instrumental in the developmental process of my work, recently visiting London, Paris and New York with a trip to Berlin in Spring next year organized. I am always looking for new opportunities to engage with spaces that make me look at them with a new out look.
What is your goal when capturing buildings in photographs?
SG: Each location or building has its own character and I try to respond visually to my own
interaction within the architectural space. I am interested in creating a cinematic expanse
with a twist of pessimistic sensibility that might be called melancholic reminiscent of the
paintings of Edward Hopper where lighting plays a key role to the mood.
What are your thoughts about including people in your photos? Is it important to
photograph a building in use, or by itself?
SG: A flexible approach is important. It is also important to illustrate how people interact with and enjoy these spaces. When I have people in my final images I hope that this will illustrate this interaction. Once again my Hopper/cinematic influence kicks in with my “think different” approach.
What are your favorite pieces of equipment?
SG: The clue was in my last answer. My Apple equipment, be it my iPad to view the web, and my iPod to play my music. Oh and my Canon 5DmkII and supporting L series lenses.
Do you work alone?
SG: Yes. Photographing structures is quite a contemplative, almost meditative process for me, so therefore a solitary one. Having said that It doesn't necessarily mean I wouldn't work with someone in the future.
How do you feel about seeing your photographs on blogs and websites?
SG: Flattered indeed and as yet I have not experienced the downside to it. I think if images are properly credited in interesting blogs, it can be a very positive force.
April 1961, Nottingham, England.
Studied Fine Art at the University of Northumbria.
Teacher of Photographer and Fine Art.
Lives in Lytham St Annes, Nort West of England.
Travels the world in pursuit of interesting Architecture