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 Australian photo artist Ward Roberts.
Archinect: What is your relationship with architecture? What drew you to architecture, as a photographer?
Ward Roberts: Architecture has always interested me when traveling to a new location, it's what I tend to focus on first. I find the relationship between the colors and the design very intriguing.
It's fascinating how the architecture reflects its city/location.
Describe how you work... who are your clients?
WR: In the past, I would head to a selected region and would be drawn to where ever my eye would take me. However this is very hit and miss.
I find client work to be rare as I see myself being more of an exhibiting photographer. Saying that, I have been recently shooting for an advertising agency and have been working on a few commissioned pieces, which can be an interesting change as I am often required to photograph with a digital camera.
Do you mostly work in a specific region? What is your travel schedule like?
WR: A lot of my work is photographed in Hong Kong as the colors and repletion in architecture has always fascinated me. I had previously been studying so my travel schedule was done in-between.
Last year, I was living in New York which gave me a new perspective as I found myself shooting 35mm.
What is your goal when capturing buildings in photographs?
WR: I find myself drawn towards repetition in color, shape, space and form. When it comes to shooting, I am always trying to find the cleanest composition.
I have recently made the decision to focus my style more towards minimalism as I find it to be a very pure form.
What are your thoughts about including people in your photos? Is it important to photograph a building in use, or by itself?
WR: I will always try avoid people in my photos as they will take the focus away from the building, I’ve sometimes waited a few hours to take a clear shot.
Colors are very important when photographing architecture and I’m very selective which colors I include.
What are your favorite pieces of equipment?
WR: Currently most of my work has been photographed on a Hasselblad 503cw.
My next series I’m planning to shoot on large format.
Do you work alone?
WR: I always work alone when I shoot architecture, I find it very relaxing, and I often find myself drifting into my own world.
I’ve recently finished photographing my next series which will be portraits, this will be my first collaboration within a series.
How do you feel about seeing your photographs on blogs and websites?
WR: I enjoy seeing my photographs on blogs and websites as I view it as a compliment and it’s a way of getting my work out there. Though I don't like the idea of seeing my photography used for commercial profit without consent. Lucky I have not come across any issues with copyright.
Ward Roberts was born in Australia, and after living abroad in Hong Kong for a number of years, he relocated to Melbourne in 1994. Ward graduated with distinction from RMIT university with a Bachelor of Arts in photography. At a young age, he has achieved international recognition as an emerging artist.
He is currently based in Melbourne.