Course Syllabus

Full Semester Course: Architectural Photography: From Model to the Built Environment

Michael Vahrenwald


Course Description:


Architecture and photography have a symbiotic yet sometimes problematic relationship.  It could be asserted that the majority of the buildings we see today are seen through looking at photographs. Photography is very good at conveying certain qualities of architecture while it is completely inept at depicting other forms of experience.

In the first half of the class we will focus on photographing various constructed spaces both exterior and interior.  We will discuss approaches to photography from “objective” to “ expressive” and explore notions of the iconic, the narrative and digression in architectural photography.   This half of the course will take place both inside and outside the studio.

In the second segment of this class we will look at various ways of photographing architectural models from standard depictions in which the images are meant to closely resemble a full-scale construction to alternate approaches that play with what the architectural model can communicate. We will attempt to address themes beyond the presentation of a finished building or a rendering.  The first half of the class will take place in the studio.

The class will present mixture of technical, historical, theoretical and practical information. We will look closely at numerous examples of the relationship between photography and architecture while making images of models and buildings.  Students should have a working camera and access to the Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.

Course Summary:

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