Alvin’s photography shows his love for design and architecture. His work ranges from photographing the peaceful Buddhist buildings in Colombo to the colors of downtown Tokyo. All with a simple goal – to capture the essence of places, people and time.
Tell us a little about yourself and your photography.
I’m architecturally trained. I personally think architectural knowledge is an added advantage in architecture photography. Given the knowledge we could easily eye the aesthetic of spaces, details & trend.
You do some timeless photos of buildings. What is your secret for photographing buildings?
It’s important to recognise architecture is like a piece of art. I always think paintings & photographs is an art in 2D perspective. I treat architecture as a ‘5D’ art, appreciation of void & space, you can touch & feel the texture of materials, you even smell & sense what is in a building. Indeed it’s difficult to capture all these elements in 2D form. Buildings will not last or in ‘perfect’ condition over the years. A timeless photo will.
The dusk shot has long been the signature shot of the architectural photographer or rather most photographers. Being able to create great dusk shots usually establishes a photographer as a legitimate architectural shooter. These shots also are crucial in an architectural photo.
Your love for the essence of places like the Buddhist pilgrimages in Sri Lanka is amazing. Tell me more about that?
I was in Sri Lanka to learn & experience the architecture of the late Mr. Geoffrey Bawa. He is the most renowned architect in Sri Lanka and was among the most influential Asian architects of his generation. While travelling in Sri Lanka, I had a ‘pit-stop’ in Kandy. This was shot at the inner court of Sri Dalada Maligawa, a Buddhist temple in the city of Kandy, Sri Lanka. Since ancient times, the relic (Buddha’s tooth) has played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country.
What are some other photographic projects you enjoy working on?
I enjoy shooting smaller scale projects still objects such as food & product. Architecture photography is rather tiring as a lot of walking & climbing required. Safety is also a concern. Food & product photography is pretty challenging sometimes, there is much work to be done before the photography even begins which make the photo-shoot session more interactive.
What kind of a camera and lenses do you primarily use and how do you select your equipment?
I’m a huge fan of Olympus. I’m proud owner of the E-series & OMD. They are known for a smaller body compared to other brands and uncompromised image quality. It’s great for those who travel a lot for photography. For architectural photography is best to use wide angle lens such as 14-28mm video or movie filming, 24-100mm electric zoom lens with 24mm wide angle capability & a fast 50mm prime lens for low light photography usually with wide aperture.
Can you name some tips for those who want to start taking architecture photographs?
Nature and landscapes with buildings are a favourite photographic subject, evoking memories of travel and senses experienced in a particular place and at a particular moment. It offers a lot of irresistible subjects like landscapes, gardens and individual flowers, trees, waterfalls, and animals. Look for interesting combinations of colour, light, shadow and texture, Morning light gives you warmer colours, evening light provides colours with a hint of red. Prevent sunlight hitting the camera lens and create flares.
Thanks Alvin for giving us a fresh insight into your amazing work.
Check out Alvin’s photography at his web site: