Slowly it dawned on me that this was not a photograph of a real building but a total digital fabrication. I was shocked, not in a moralistic way but, rather, with amazement at the masterful deception and amused pique at being fooled. — Places Journal
The technologies of representing architecture have advanced steadily over the years, from drawing to photography to digital rendering — and have lately taken a new leap.
On Places, Belmont Freeman argues, "the crafts of architectural rendering and photography have now merged into a common activity of digital image-making — so completely that one can conceive a work of architecture and produce a 'photograph' of it without having to go through the expensive, tedious and corrupting intermediate step of actually building the building. Welcome to the world of architectural photography without architecture."
He discusses the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibitions "After Photoshop: Manipulated Photography in the Digital Age" and "Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop"; the MoMA exhibition "9 + 1 Ways of Being Political: 50 Years of Political Stances in Architecture and Urban Design," and recent books of photography by Frédéric Chauban and Ezra Stoller.