Sunday, January 28, 2007

sketches of Frank Gehry

slow emotion replay (by ~ fernando)

«slow emotion replay»

There is nothing like accidental photography. I think the way this started was to walk over to the Walt Disney Concert Hall (just some 8 blocks from home), and go up to the top floor of the garage across the street. That vantage point offered a panoramic view of the concert hall, that was unobstructed as opposed to the street level. The parking structure is not very tall, but just right. Then, in viewing the entire hall, I figured to see if, given the dusk light, just try to see the outline, with some of the glare from the lights already on for the night.

I had not shot blurry photos, intentionally that is, before, but was rather intrigued by seeing way too many Holga and Lomo shots. I am not keen on using those cameras myself, and rather have more control over the distortions, but given the results from Murat, and Eduardo, I thought there was an emotional intrigue in blurring and increasing the contrast, and making the blacks really black, as the banding or halo from the bokeh should stand out as it does its gradient to grey or lighter. I wanted to capture the outline of the building. The idea was to "tame" the Frank Gehry's architecture so that I can focus on some texture that just does not work up close due to the tiling and shine/reflections. Other buildings make it easy to come up close and extract an element, and even "texturize" the architecture, but not the case with Gehry's buildings, at least of this ilk, or perhaps just this one. This unhappiness with the up-close shots drove me to see if blurring had an answer.

There is an answer, but as I try more shots, it is definitely not an easy approach. Hiroshi Sugimoto already tried using his camera focused at twice-infinity to strip down the building to the fundamental. His photos can show magnificent results, though I am not sure why just twice infinity as a focal point. The approach I take is to just shoot different focal points between me and the building, and see how much "deconstruction" can the architecture withstand. It is also certain to me that not all buildings can go through this process, regardless of the appeal to the eye.

A fundamental idea of a camera to me is to use its distortions, intended or not, to create something that does not seem like what it is... though sometimes this can only be achieved with some post-processing toning, for example. Therefore, here is a great appeal to pursue that idea of distortions at the expense of some kind of emotional reaction or connection. This, of course, it is not too different to what the Impressionist did for painting. It is not beyond irony to take a very precise camera/lens instrument, flawed but very precise in many regards, and an building that screams out details, and tossing that aside. That is kind of exciting, actually.

After watching the documentary «Sketches of Gehry», I have come to realize that this blurring at a distance is a bit like deconstructing the building back to the sketches that Gehry makes.

This is a topic that is sure to take a few more posts to explore. There is the aspect about other buildings, and the close ups of this buildings.

Finally, this series of photos, in a very originally named flickr-set called «Sketches of Gehry», is to be shown on the IN PIXELS WE TRUST tomorrow. The set, as of this writing, is incomplete and without music in the link given. I will be posting the slide show here in the near future.