How Do You Photograph a Green Building?


Paul Hester on photographing Lake/Flato's World Birding Center Headquarters in Mission, Texas, "I just waited for people to do something"

An interesting article in Architect Magazine about the problems of photographing green buildings. I would not have assumed that it was any different than shooting regular buildings but photographers differ.

""The problem of sustainable design is a great one," says Washington, D.C.—based photographer Prakash Patel. "What is it we're trying to represent? Is it just what you can see?" Fresh air and thermal comfort are experienced by the entire body, not just the eye. Though balanced daylight is critical, photographers routinely rely on heavy artificial lighting, and the results often appear flat and unnatural.

"These habits can send the wrong signal, says Texas photographer Paul Hester. "Sustainable design isn't about monumentality. It's about livability." Shooting green requires a shift from what he calls the iconic to the experiential. "What's important is to capture what it's like to be there."

Hester notes that digital cameras are making photographers more like journalists."You don't need strobe lights or double exposures or any other effects. You can focus on the experience and not the technology." ::Architect Magazine , hilariously sponsored by our ::Favourite Greenwasher
Image: By dramatizing the effects of light at different times of day and year, Prakash Patel's photos of Carrie Meinberg Burke's Timepiece House render time visible. Patel used a fog machine to help define the lightstream. For three years, he reshot the space at every equinox and solstice, capturing the light's path through the room. Photos: Prakash Patel

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