Last year my wife and I went on an amazing trip to Scandinavia. We were afforded this opportunity because I won a travel fellowship competition called Xref that’s awarded annually by HMC Architects where I work.
Recently I gave the following presentation of my epic trip to my colleagues. I told the story and accompanied it with ~500 slides of original photos and videos that I’m very proud of.
It’s a long presentation, but I think you’ll like it. Grab some popcorn and settle in.
When I think of summer, I think of vacation. It's a time for recharging my batteries and widening my experiences so I can be a better architect. Summer for my family means there's an adventure, and we went on a great one this year. We went to Lake Powell which is on the southern border of Utah and Arizona. It's picturesque, and not to be missed.
The latest ArchiTalks post idea was to write about our favorite place. That could be taken so many ways. Favorite architectural place? Favorite place for what activity? Favorite normal place or favorite place that I've only been once? Maybe it's my favorite place I've been to many times because I like it so much... I guess I'll have to pick one because I have all of these types of places zipping through my brain right now. Decisions, decisions.
I don't really know how to express it. This place is amazing. The Neurosciences Institute (NSI) in was completed in 1995 by Tod Williams Billie Tsein Architects (TWBTA) in La Jolla, California. It is described as "a monastery for scientists" and before I had read about it, I felt it when I was there in person. This is capital "A" Architecture, and deserves to be on your list of places you need to experience.
This is a short time-lapse shot from Watchman Campground in Zion National Park of the sun setting on Watchman Peak. Watch it in HD here. I made the mistake of shooting jpeg only so I couldn't pull as much out of the images as I had hoped, especially near the end of the sequence. I'll definitely be shooting more time-lapse now that I'm starting to get the hang of it. There is so much possible with time-lapse and the field has exploded with new technology lately. It's a great creative outlet.
Technical info: Shot on my Olympus OM-D E-M5, with a 12mm lens (24mm equiv), 1 shot every 10 seconds (393 frames) using Triggertrap (App Store link) on iPhone for a controller. Overall shoot time was just over an hour. Put together using LRTimelapse and Adobe Lightroom 5.
My wife and I went down to La Jolla a few weeks ago and did a small architecture tour while on our getaway. I brought my camera and made some photos so I thought I'd share (because that's what I do!). We visited four buildings in and around La Jolla, California that I'll be putting here on the blog in separate posts as I get through the images. I posted some of my iPhone shots on my Instagram feed but these are from my main camera and haven't been shown until now, and I'm really happy with how they've turned out.
First up is the Salk Institute for Biological Studies by the master, Louis Kahn, which was built in 1962.
It's always nice to get a little distraction from daily life. It's a great time to hang out with the family. I also like to use the Fourth as a time to get back into getting better at photography. This year we had a great fireworks show. The display was amazing and the wind was just right. I've been working each year to get a little better than the last at making fireworks photos, so here are this year's best.
These were all shot in bulb mode with a remote shutter release so it's all luck as to what you're going to get. Overall I'm really happy with the results. I hope you enjoy them.
I made this video from my backyard with my Olympus OM-D through a 6" Orion telescope. I don't have a tracking motor on the telescope, and this sequence shows just how fast things move when viewing our solar system. The dark area on the right side of the moon is the eclipse happening.
Watch closely at :36 for something (satellite?) flying from left to right in front of the moon!
I also shot a couple of decent photos, but I still have a lot to learn. These images were made before the eclipse happened. I couldn't shoot the full eclipse because there just wasn't enough light.
This is small collection of digitally designed landscapes that I've made. So far, all of these were rendered completely in 3d with FormZ and Maxwell Render, and I've written more about them here, here, and here. Post processing/compositing (yes, always) was done in Photoshop and Pixelmator.
Lately I've been having fun creating images from nothing. I've had a lot of experience working with visual effects and compositing (skills from a former life) and it's been a nice distraction for me while working on a new architectural project.
Frank Gehry's work is polarizing. This image was made the first time I visited the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown LA. His is an architecture of possibility. I don't know about you, but I couldn't stop looking. Looking in every direction. This image is of a typical vantage point I find myself in when experiencing his firm's architecture, and I find that to be a wonderful thing.
They are clearly pushing to see how far they can take it with steel and glass details like these. Beyond that, they are one of the few firms that are including how the sky becomes part of the experience. Good architects use light. This takes it to another level.
"Adrift" is a love letter to the fog of the San Francisco Bay Area. I chased it for over two years to capture the magical interaction between the soft mist, the ridges of the California coast and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. This is where “Adrift” was born.
We live in a beautiful world. Simon Christen has captured some amazing footage and put it to a mesmerizing score. Be sure to visit his Vimeo page and put some money in his hat which will go toward the creation of his next film. I did.