Archive for Exercise16

Exploring function

Posted in Project work with tags on July 7, 2010 by Judy Bach

Preparing to photographing  buildings and spaces from a users point of view will mean looking at these from an entirely different perspective than is used for architectural photography.  I hope to include people in some of my exercise shots and explore what the same space means to different users.  ( See Thoughts on progress section also )

 Architectural photography is concerned with showing the creative workmanship of the building with a clinical eye . Approaching this project therefore meant looking at, and photographing, not necessarily  from the most attractive point of view, but considering the space from the users viewpoint . I read an interesting  review last week by Rowan Moore of his sister’s book Hancox: A House and a family”  by Charlotte Moore on the subject of their childhood home who states ” Hancox  is the place that first shaped my feelings about architecture and set me on a career of studying, writing about, and occasionally designing buildings” but more interestingly later in the article he comments ” Hancox is also an example of the double role of buildings: they are both tools and symbols a house  shelters a family but also represents it…………………………………… Building and content are intertwined…………………..Hancox was very like a personRowan Moore, The New Review , Observer newspaper 27/6/2010.  The building/space that was their family home is seen not just as  bricks and mortar but as a real entity, that from the users point of view is tangible.

Function: look @ purpose and effectiveness of a space/building.

Purpose.For this exercise I chose to photograph the interior of a museum in Marazion, Cornwall. It is housed inside an area of the town hall building that once contained the very small branch of a bank, and was  also the former fire station . A step inside the museum reception area leads down into the main display area. It is very small area for a museum, but is crammed with artefacts depicting local life. The museum is used by local people, holiday makers, and schoolchildren. Contributions to its collection are always welcome, but due to its size a local curator rotates the displays, keeping un-exhibited items in safe storage.

What space should be doing.

Display in an interesting and attractive way historical local items of interest.

Generate interest in the past and its importance/contribution to the future.

Be appealing to all ages.

Provide a safe “home” to its exhibits.

Provide knowledge in an informal way.

How well it succeeds.Although it seems small the museum is fascinating and contains a really diverse collection, including some really cherished articles contributed by local people. It has a really relaxed and intimate atmosphere , helped by the knowledgeable  voluntary staff who man the museum.

My biggest difficulty was deciding how to photograph the museum room from a users point of view, and how it works as a usable space. I considered a few viewpoints that I felt would demonstrate this aspect. I wanted to include exhibits within the frame as they are so important to the integral purpose of the room. I decided to take my image from inside  looking back out towards the reception area in a attempt to show the eclectic and informal nature of the museum collection,  I feel this is why the space works so well from a users point of view.

A practical problem I had not (stupidly) considered prior to visiting the museum was the available light, hence I have actually taken 2 shots, one with flash, one without. I like the tones of the latter image as this is more representative of how I saw the room as I was looking around it. . 

F 6.3         1/50           ISO 400       @ 28mm     Custom WB @ 4550

F 3.2          1/80          ISO 400           @28mm        Custom WB @ 4024