In honor of April being World Landscape Architecture month (#WLAM2018), here are some of my favorite types of LA projects and why I really enjoy photographing them for my clients.
As a pro photographer, to capture what may appear as simply “a bridge”, is much more when you take a closer look. Given the industrial, everyday nature of the subject while envisioning how to tell the story of it’s elegantly executed results is a story of this client ultimately solving a problem. The photographer’s challenge: find the visual beauty in concrete, asphalt, piping and guard rails. Using plantings to frame the composition in this natural setting, with the right balance of lighting, exposure and time of day brought the shot together to communicate engineering magic.
Fuss & O’Neill, Inc.
The setting of a university campus has a sentimental feeling to most when they find themselves in the midst of one again as an adult. For the client, after several years of waiting for the plantings on this project to mature, then add in the sculptural seating element, it creates an opportunity to cue the drama factor on a photo shoot like this one. The trees begin to fill in between the walking paths, paired with the curves, the paver patterning, they layer in the composition of the image if you look for it. The foreground, mid and background of the image layer themselves to create a stunning image packed with interested front to back.
The meaning of a space designed for people to visit in memory of others. It’s at the heart of what drives a landscape architect on most of their public, community-based projects. Not only is a space captured in use to show the size of scale, but also to show it’s function or purpose. This important memorial project (CT ASLA awarded) took nearly seven years to be realized and the aspect I enjoyed most about it was photographing it multiple ways. It’s an approach I suggest to clients on unique occasions — this is a great example of that in action. When there’s very flexible site access to a newly built project, before it’s been used over time by the public, there’s no time to waste. This project was photographed three different ways: 1. on the day it was inaugurated/in-use, 2. in the evening at blue hour, and 3. during the day. You can see more of the project images here or read about the project collaboration here .
Did you know that this is landscape architecture? I didn’t know that when I first started working on these types of projects. An intersection with a crosswalk, or a streetscape, as it’s referred to it in the industry is something you see dotting most every Main Street in Connecticut. There is planning, engineering, feasibility study, and more that goes into it, even before the building materials and construction come into play. It’s like an artichoke of complexity resulting in something so common to our eye. I enjoy this type of project because it’s set in the heart of our New England towns. Where people are shopping, out walking, or gathering near where they live and work. We can all relate to it.
PUBLIC PARKS & GARDENS.
TO Design, LLC
I’m a lover of gardens and parks. It started when I was a kid out in my own backyard garden, or attending summer camp in a park. We’re so fortunate in the Hartford, CT area to have the nation’s oldest public rose garden and this park entrance is one of the gateways to it; Elizabeth Park. I can’t think of a more Zen place to photograph than in a garden, or throughout a public park. There are always people around using the space, enjoying leisure time in a place built just for them to gather or clear their mind. That always feels good, to be part of something bigger than yourself. The work of landscape architects on these types of projects gets me excited to capture them. To tell the stories of these spaces is to visually communicate how they grow, adapt and change as time moves on. Yet another way to share the improvements and restoration of places we know and love in our local communities.
Anne Penniman Associates
These type of projects align with the “water nature” of my being. So it’s easy to understand why I would be drawn to them as an artist, a pro photographer and a human being. The water and the stories of the projects built in and around it instantly draw my soul in. Whether a coastal area like this one (above), a river, a nature preserve, waterfalls or other bodies of water, the element adds an extra dimension of interest. In addition to communicating the value of these installations, is the intention behind their design and the the inspiration to create gathering places near the water. It takes simple projects and elevates them visually. Who doesn’t want to be around the peace and tranquility, or the rush and excitement of it?
To conclude, there is a particular soft spot I have for these types of projects and why I get a lot of creative, artistic and professional satisfaction from photographing them. My interest in varieties of shrubs, trees, plantings, flora and more, only adds to my appreciation for the uniqueness of each project. Living among the beauty of Connecticut is where much of the natural landscape is like a picture postcard, it’s easy to stay inspired.
Visually sharing the finer details by telling the stories of these projects unites all of us within our communities. I look forward to sharing more new stories as the build season starts to unfold.