Intro to Architecture Composition, Class 1 Recap

pritzker pavilion, frank gehry, millennium park
This fall I began teaching my first 7-week course at R.S. Chicago Photography Classes (CPC). Kind-of a full-circle situation given I took classes here years ago when I was still shooting film. To be here now, teaching, is an honor.
For my first session, I’m teaching about Architectural Composition. Each week the students share their favorite image from the previous week’s assignment, I give feedback, then share a couple of my own images, giving tips on editing techniques. We then cover a new compositional tool/assignment in the classroom followed by a couple hours of on-location shooting of that assignment.
The first week’s topic was Isolation: filling the frame and negative space. First, I’ll share the images I made followed by the students work.
Our first stop was Aqua and my focus related to isolation was on filling the frame.
aqua, studio gang, radisson blu aqua
While this next shot isn’t technically Aqua, it’s the Blue Cross Blue Shield Building (BCBS) just south of Aqua…Aqua’s rippling balconies are reflecting in BCBS.
chicago blue cross blue shield
The next few images are back to Aqua – focusing on its wavy balconies, edited in a high-key way.
aqua, studio gang, radisson blu aqua
aqua, studio gang, radisson blu aqua
aqua, studio gang, radisson blu aqua
aqua, studio gang, radisson blu aqua
We then walked over to Millennium Park, photographing the Frank Gehry designed BP Bridge and Pritzker Pavilion. The following shots are of the Pavilion. All fit the negative space aspect of isolation, meaning there’s a portion of the frame that is empty. In this case, the sky. Given we shot midday, the light was very harsh. I tend to like this when shooting a shiny structure like this, it creates a little more drama within the image.
pritzker pavilion, millennium park, frank gehry
pritzker pavilion, millennium park, frank gehry
pritzker pavilion, millennium park, frank gehry
Our final stop was the newly completed Washington & Wabash CTA station. The fist new station in the Loop in 20 years. Again, using the filling the frame concept I focused on the contrast in the modern architecture of the station against the more historic buildings of the Loop.
washington & wabash, exp.
washington & wabash, exp.
washington & wabash, exp.
And, below, are some images from the students :)

Image by: Evelina Snell

Image by: Aura Mena

Image by: Lin Witte

Image by: Natalie Weber

Image by: Patrick Johnson

Image by: Tim Prosch

Image by: Yvonne Kamps

I also wanted to mention, I’ll be teaching another 7-week course at Chicago Photography Classes on Monday’s beginning October 30 – December 11. The course is titled Introduction to Architectural Series and will follow the same format as the class mentioned in this post – photo share/critique, post-processing, assignment, on-location shooting + printing of your images. Check here for all the details.



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