As soon as my friend Carl and I walked into the Marriott Hotel in Atlanta we were both reminded of HR Geiger’s stunning artwork. We didn’t spend much time in the hotel but whatever time was spent there, was spent looking up, and I’m sure that you can see why. Atlanta was on my list of stops on my recent road trip up and down the Eastern USA. My intentions were to have some down time with friends Jaime and Carl while staying with them, and the photography was secondary on this stop. I had seen a few photos of the Mariott and it was definitely on my list of places I wanted to photograph. At the risk of getting some negative feedback, I just have to say that I’m glad that there was something interesting to photograph in Atlanta, because I was having a really hard time finding anything worth taking my camera out for. I mean come on, World of Coca Cola? CNN? These are your landmark places to visit… Yawn
‘God is in the details.‘ — Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Wherever I go, I look for the cool architectural details that really are unique to the place I am visiting. To me, architecture is living, breathing, functional art that we often take for granted. Sometimes grand designs fall victim to form over function, and in far too many cases it is the exact opposite. While I’m no expert on architecture, I know what I like in terms of design, and what I enjoy photographing. For example the interior courtyard of the Marriott has such incredible visual lines that I could easily spend a couple of days hunting for the best angles and times of day to shoot. It would be interesting to see a group of ten photographers all converge on the site and have them photograph the courtyard with their unique vision. Wouldn’t that make for a great exhibit? I think that John C. Portman, the architect that designed the building, would be happy to know that so many people are in awe of his amazingly detailed work.
Celebrating the spectacular
Photography is not just a great art form, it’s also a wonderful medium to be able to showcase and celebrate other forms of art such as architecture. Each photographer that photographs a place does so in his or her own way and I’m always amazed at how other people see the world. I get this visceral reaction to photographs that inspire me and that inspiration can come in many forms. For example I can be inspired by a breathtaking image that I want to try and capture myself, or see just a hint of photographic possibility in a place through another photographer’s image, and that makes me want to try something different. No matter how many times a place has been photographed, I always remind myself that while it’s been shot before, it hasn’t been done by me!
So while the world is getting smaller due to ease of transport, and more people are taking photos than ever before, I have to look at this as a challenge to do the best work I possibly can, each and every time I pick up my camera. I have so much more of the world that I want to see, photograph and share, and I hope that you’ll continue following me as I make my way to the next incredible place that I’m so fortunate to be able to visit.
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