p.56 Make Ready Peter Maybury ISBN 978 0 9566293 3 3, Gall editions, 2015
Photographs of buildings occupy a curious position in that while they are central to the architect’s education and output, they may be of little interest in themselves. They could be seen as a complication, soft information, with only the best of them able to convey a sense of being there. The rest are about the photographer’s eye. Mostly of course they are about the light.The Standard or prime lens with a focal length of 50mm is said to approximate the true perspective of the human eye, but that hardly seems true. Or at the very least, it does not relate experience. Our eyes are constantly moving, blotting out extraneous information.Nowadays everyone (with a phone) is a photographer, and often a pretty good one. Always nearby, the (camera) phone suggests its own vocabulary, both what and how to shoot. For one thing, its flat physical form invites shots that tend not to occur to you with a more bulky camera: square-on or plan views, and the high-over-the-head view of the stage. Significant storage capacity allows a couple of years to be kept to hand at all times.In general my photographs have a function, to document a place or to illustate an idea. It’s most often only through spending time with something that the insight to photograph it comes about. The subject has to emerge. Or better, align with the camera. Formal composition in two dimensions is important, but is on its own a superficial outcome. Subject and frame need to align, so that the image, rather than being definedby its edges, reveals something of the place through its composition. The edges then have the opposite effect, concentrating the viewer on the centre and editing out the extraneous. The way you understand it rather than the way you see it. It might take hundreds of photos to achieve this.
Wyngates, Greystones (dePaor). photograph Peter Maybury