Architectural Photographer Friday: Andrew Prokos

10/18/2013

National Museum of Brasilia at Dusk

The National Museum of Brasilia at twilight.

Architectural photographer Andrew Prokos is a winner at the International Photography Awards this year – he was awarded 2nd Place in the night photography category for his breath-taking work on Oscar Niemeyer’s Brasília. Andrew also won an honorable mention at PX3 this year. We see why.

Palacio do Itamaraty at Night, Brasilia

The buildings of the National Congress of Brazil at twilight.

View of the Palacio do Planalto at night, Brasilia, Brazil

The Planalto Palace at night. Planalto is the official workplace of the President of Brazil.

Andrew_Prokos_NIEMEYERS-BRASILIA_05

The buildings of the National Congress of Brazil at twilight.

Congresso Nacional at Dusk , Brasilia

Another view of the buildings of the National Congress of Brazil, at dusk.

Cathedral of Brasilia at Night

The Cathedral of Brasilia at night.

Praça Duque de Caxias at Night, Brasilia

Praça Duque de Caxias at Night.

P&A: What do you love about photographing buildings?
AP: When I was a child I used to love to build models of buildings out of LEGOS or cardboard and pore over books about fantastical buildings like Neuschwanstein Castle. So I often wonder if part of the attraction to shooting architecture is that I am just a frustrated architect at heart. It also stems from a tremendous appreciation of the architect’s work and a sense of awe about the buildings I love.

P&A: What aspect of photographing a building, interior or exterior, do you personally find the most challenging?
AP: There are a lot of challenges to photographing a building well. Some are inherent in location shooting, i.e. things are never as you expect when you get there. This is true especially in a bustling city like New York where buildings are fit into tight spaces and often the best angle is the one that is being blocked by the ConEd truck. You have to work fast and sometimes be very patient and wait to get the right shot.

P&A: How does working directly with architects differ from other types of clients?
AP:I find architects to be a fairly laid back bunch as a whole, unlike advertising shoots which tend to involve more people and sometimes a very compressed time frame. It’s harder to develop an affection for an abstract concept like a brand, but an architect is real person and often has a lot riding on the success of the building so it becomes more personal.

P&A: How did you come to photograph Brasília?
AP: I was on a shoot in Rio actually when good friend of mine asked if I wanted to tag along and go with him to Brasília, which is his hometown. It was only when I got there and spent some time touring around and learning about the development of the city that I decided to photograph these amazing buildings spread throughout the city. Brasília is an interesting city since so much of the architecture was handed over to one man, Oscar Niemeyer… and that man lived to be very old and worked until the end. One can argue that his buildings were becoming formulaic towards the end, but you can say that about many artists or architects. I don’t think that anything less than a brilliant architect could have handled such a massive job.

P&A: Do you have a favourite building?
I can’t honestly say I have one favorite building. I have favorites from different time periods and different architectural styles. Fallingwater, the Chrysler Building, the Niteroi Art Museum in Rio. New York hasn’t exactly been in the lead for amazing architecture for quite some time, but I think the job that Frank Gehry did with the façade of 8 Spruce Street is pretty amazing. You don’t really notice how detailed it is until you see it close up.

8 Spruce Street Detail

8 Spruce Street, New York.

Andrew Prokos Architectural Photography. Location: ; ; ; ; .