School of Architecture College of Design

ARCH 3250: Architectural Photography: Imaging by Design

  • Bestiary of Illumination

  • Ordinary Things
    Not Ordinarily Seen

  • Order & Abstraction

Architectural Photography: Imaging by Design

Fall Semester 2009

Christian Korab

Course Description:
This course will explore the principals of architectural photography as a language of design through lectures, demonstrations, and critical discussions about weekly submissions of your work. Students will engage in ongoing photographic study under a framework of conceptual themes. Specific photographic problems drawn from the ongoing process will be examined in detail; the application of standard compositional forms, graphic styling, use of natural and artificial light, technical issues relative to image acquisition, rendering and presentation & etc.


Course Description and Requirements








Students will collect a substantial body of work using their own digital cameras and will handle their work editorially and technically using Photoshop and Adobe Bridge. Weekly work will be formatted and submitted to a class server for review in the classroom, group discussion and critique. Students will design and produce an exhibition drawn from their best imagery. In forum discussions, we will examine conceptual topics such as the distinction between "taking pictures" vs. "making images", and we will question our assumptions about what photos are and how they function.

Bestiary of Illumination
Light primarily defines architectural space - without light, we have no perception of space - and light is the primary signal recorded in a photograph. We will examine characteristics and behaviors of light, and you will produce photographic specimens to illuminate a catalog of lighting behaviors and effects in relation to architectural subjects.

Ordinary Things Not Ordinarily Seen
A great deal of the built environment - the architectural photographer's subject matter - is not obviously photogenic. The object of this exercise is to engage your design sensibilities and demonstrate the transformative potential of photography. You will be put to the task of looking for beautiful imagery deliberately within the spheres of the more ordinary built environment.

Order & Abstraction
Order is built in to architecture. The photographer must visually parse and remap that order to compose meaningful description of place and our experiences of it. The outcome of this assignment will be pairs of architectural photographs depicting the same subject with contrasting levels of abstraction.

School of Architecture
145 Rapson Hall
89 Church Street
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Fax: 612-624-5743


Contact Information

College of Design

Saint Paul Offices

32 McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108

P: 612-626-9068 | F: 612-625-1922

[directions and maps]

Minneapolis Offices

101 Rapson Hall, 89 Church St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-626-9068 | F: 612-625-7525

[directions and maps]

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