One of the challenges of photographing architecture can be finding effective ways to show architecture in use. Being in architecture is of course the only way to achieve what is, a multi-sensory experience, and truly understand the building. So how can images convey this experience?
The use of video does two things, firstly it introduces the element of time and allows us to see the space occupied and animated by the people for whom it was made in the first place. People within the space can become another visible element within the images which illustrate the building’s function as well as scale.
Secondly, there is sound. This is where the atmosphere of the space can start to be conveyed in real time and clues as to the ambience, materials and acoustics can be provided (this is a subject I will come back to for a future post). So whilst we may not be able to engage all of the senses when viewing the images, doubling those used is not a bad start.
My approach is very simple, I try to make a series of ‘photographs’ with the video camera, literally moving images. I make separate sound recordings and edit the two together to create a short video of the building. This means that it is a process that I can manage myself – in this respect it is no different from sending a photographer to site – and there is no requirement for additional crew/equipment as would previously have been the case. Added to photography it creates another viewpoint from which to see the project and offers an engaging way of viewing the project online.