Architectural Photography - in search of the 'genius loci' 3 August 2021   

IHL 2The club has had a diversity of interesting speakers this summer and tonight was no exception. Speaking to us from Bilbao, Spain, Iñaki Hernández-Lasa FRPS FIPF AFIAP gave us an insight into his work photographing contemporary buildings in his own very individual style.
With the famous Guggenheim Museum near his family home he became interested from an early age in the architecture. Now living with his family in Ireland he has built up his own very distinctive style of photographing the iconic buildings of many countries.

IHL 1Iñaki uses light, reflections, angles, curves, shadows and colour to produce almost abstract studies. He showed the images he produced to gain his fellowship in the Irish Photographic Federation. A stunning set of images using mainly the complimentary colours of blue and yellow. Later when he was working on a panel for his Royal Photographic Society Fellowship (below) he wanted to try something different so this time his images were very soft and subtle with just hints of colour. Paying great attention to every detail he showed the trouble he had taken to select, set out and print his panel of 21 square format images.

Iñaki says he sets out to show the ‘genius loci’ or in other words the ‘pervading spirit of a place or building. To show the buildings at their best he goes early before many visitors arrive. Occasionally he incorporates a figure to give a sense of scale but more often his images are deceptively simple details showing aspects of the interiors and exteriors of contemporary buildings. Many images were of iconic buildings abroad but some amazing images were taken nearer to home in the Central Library, Liverpool.
IHL panel
The images were all of very clean-lined modern buildings and bridges but he did say that sometimes, he has to clone out litter or bird droppings to get his very pristine looking images. Always using manual he carefully selects his camera settings. Many images were in monochrome but others showed subtle colours to great effect. He carefully looks at every aspect of his composition, eliminating any distracting elements. Symmetry is perfect and every angle and curve considered.

He takes great care that components in the architecture do not overlap and that he is in exactly the best place to get the image he wants. He advises spending time looking around to get the best angle and best light and sometimes uses long exposures to get just the best effect.
A master of his craft, Iñaki was thanked for giving the club such an inspirational evening. PM
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