How many years have you being working as an architecture photographer? Is it now your full time job?
I have been working full time as an architectural photographer for just over six years.
Could you please talk about your experience before doing architecture photography?
Peter Dixie：14岁的时候我就在夜校学习黑白摄影，那时候学了一些基本的冲洗和印刷技巧。之后我又去了布里斯托大学（University of Bristol）读哲学，这段学习经历对我的创作和思考都有着特别重要的影响。在那之后，我去了日本，在那里工作了4年，同时在一个专业的工作室DOI Tech学习后期处理、彩色和黑白印刷，也是在这段时间，我开始使用大画幅相机拍摄。回到英国之后，我开始攻读商业摄影学位，但后来放弃了，因为我觉得摄影实践比研究理论更有用。之后我来到中国，在这里继续摄影，从而酝酿出《上海荒原Shanghai Hinterland》这个摄影项目，在上海不断扩张的城市版图边缘探寻百态的郊区景观。最终，在2011年，我辞了其他的工作，与我的妻子一同创立了洛唐建筑摄影工作室。
From age 14 I studied black and white photography in evening classes leaing basic developing and printing. I then studied Philosophy (Bristol) which was hugely influential on my work and thought. I then lived in Japan for 4 years, where,while working, I studied processing and printing in colour and black & white at a professional lab (DOI Tech). It was also at this time that I started to work with a large format view camera. Retuing to the UK I started a degree in Commercial Photography, however I left the course feeling that practical photography would be more valuable than academic study. I moved to China to work on my photography leading to the project Shanghai Hinterland exploring landscapes on the periphery of Shanghai’s expanding Metro network.Finally in 2011 I left all other work and founded LOTAN Architectural Photography with my wife.
What projects have you been working onin the past 6 months?Are there any special stories during the shooting?
Peter Dixie：我们有一些长期合作的客户，我大部分的工作就是为这些客户的项目拍摄，目前比较受到关注的项目包括直向建筑（Vector Architects）设计的海边教堂，芝作室设计的“家.村落”——安德厨电展厅和丹麦SHL建筑事务所在上海西岸设计的“云”展馆。
We have several clients that give us regular work and these projects make up the bulk of our activity. Some outstanding recent projects include Vector Architects'' Seashore Chapel, the Arda kitchen showroom which we shot for Lukstudio and Schmidt Hammer Lassen''s Cloud Pavilion on the West Bund in Shanghai.
Most of the time everything runs smoothly and easily, but in the course of shoots I have been stung by ants, bitten by countless mosquitoes, hung off all sorts of precarious and inaccessible points on buildings and walked on rooftops so hot they melted the soles of my shoes.
The Arda kitchen showroom by Lukstudio
Seashore Chapel design by Vector
How long it usually takes you to shoot a project? Could you please share with us your personal ways of shooting?
Actually shooting a project will normally take between one and three days, however this is a very small part of the process. Before shooting I try to consult with the designers as much as possible to understand the logic and concept of the project, as well as which aspects are most important to communicate through the photographs. I work with site plans, floor plans, maps etc. to develop a plan of where and when I want to be shooting according to activity in the project and the movement of the sun throughout the day. After shooting I go through avery thorough process of post-production, once again working closely with the client to produce the final series of images.
What kind of projects are you good at shooting?
I have shot projects at all scales from a single toilet cubicle to an Olympic stadium, but I think small to medium sized projects on a very human scale, like the British Pavilion, Cloud Pavilion or Seashore Chapel are what I do best, however given the inevitable constraints of business economics I have also become very good at shooting commercial residential projects...
Cloud Pavilion design by Schmidt Hammer Lassen''s
How do you deal with the relations between architecture and people in the image?
The job of photography is to clarify the project and make it understandable to the viewer. To that end I will try to only include people where it adds to the overall clarity of the series. It is not always possible (or desirable) to shoot with no people in shot, but I would certainly not automatically include a figure. I try to use people naturally, sparingly andonly where it is necessary to do so - handrails, seating, cars etc. give human scale in most cases. Where scale is unusual a figure may be needed to disambiguate. A person may also necessary to define layersor depth in space or to indicate entrance/exit points. If flow of people is important to the function of the space, then certainly that ought to be shown.I would avoid use of people for people''s sake.
How do you balance between the weather and architecture?
The weather is going to do what it is going to do so I have no choice but to work around it – given that it is important to have the best weather information that I can get. The climate that a building exists in is as much a part of the architecture as any other aspect of its context and for that reason I would prefer to shoot on a typical day. I will avoid rain however, unless it is absolutely essential to the architecture to show that. Photographing architecture it is unavoidable to be out in the weather – but contact with the climate and the seasons is part of what makes this type of photography appealing.
猪圈 design by 陈浩如
How do you think of the objective presentation of the architect’s work and the recreation of the photographer?
Photography and architecture are both essentially concrete with strong conceptual structures attached to the physical material end product. If we can find a way to correlate those conceptual aspects so that the two physical outputs manifest the same abstract body, then perhaps we can succeed.
What kind of qualities do you think are crucial for architecture photography? What are your favourite works of your own by now? Why?
Architectural photography should express all the qualities of good architecture that it can.It must go far beyond simply being pictures of buildings – it is the creation of tools or guides to understanding a project. Beyond that I think an honest response to a project is vital.
What projects are you most satisfied with, why?
Tony''s farm I think is the best expression of my aims as an architectural photographer. I was given a lot of freedom to produce a set of images as I thought best. In this case I think the individual images are solid, but also mesh well as a series to describe the space. This is not the same thing as the best set of images, which I hope is always the latest project. I still lea about photography and architecture, both conceptually and practically/technically from almost every project.
Tony''s farm design by playze
Who is your favorite architecture photographer? What have you leaed from his/her works?
Peter Dixie：对我影响最深的建筑师有Julius Shulman、Balthazar Korab、Helene Binet和Ezra Stoller。很多非建筑摄影的摄影师也对我产生过很大的启发，比如土门拳（Domon Ken）对细节的注重、Larry Clark对顺序和层次的拿捏、Diane Arbus的诚实和强烈的目的性、Bas Princen对图像处理过程的敏感度、Marten Lange独特的表现语言，还有Lee Friedlander的构图。
Looking at architectural photography I have very practical conces. Some of the most important to me are Julius Shulman, Balthazar Korab, Helene Binet, Ezra Stoller. The photographers I have leat most from are not architectural photographers and I have had a lot of influences... Domon Ken for the importance of detail, Larry Clark for sequencing and juxtaposition, Diane Arbus for honesty and intensity of purpose. Bas Princen for sensitivity to the history of image making, Marten Lange for articulating a unique new language, Lee Friedlander for composition.