Bringing Context to Architectural Photography

This piece from <em>The New York Times</em> profiles architectural photographer Iwan Baan, whose style differs from the status quo to emphasize the urban and social context of the buildings he's photographing.
January 29, 2010, 9am PST | Nate Berg
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"His work owes as much to Diane Arbus and Henri Cartier-Bresson as to Julius Shulman or Ezra Stoller, the pre-eminent architectural photographers of the late 20th century.

And where Shulman may be best known for exalting glass houses that hovered above Los Angeles, Mr. Baan often does the opposite, chartering helicopters to photograph buildings as small objects amid relentless urban sprawl. If Shulman and Stoller's glorifying of pure form was an ideal match for the purist Modern architecture of their era, Mr. Baan's conjuring of real life may be ideally suited to a time when architects like Mr. Koolhaas are creating buildings meant to absorb and reflect the messiness of 21st-century cities."

Often taken from helicopters, Baan's architectural photographs sometimes view building projects as tiny specks in a dense urban environment. His work also buck tradition and integrates people into photos of buildings.

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Published on Friday, January 22, 2010 in The New York Times
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