January 02, 2012

About the Author: Zach's passion for computers, art, design, and endless tinkering earned him a degree in 3D animation. He lives in San Francisco. Check out some of his recent mobile and DSLR work.

In the late fall, I took a week-long trip to northern Spain. I visited Barcelona (Catalonia) and Bilbao (Basque Country). While Spain has a tremendously rich tapestry of food (tapas), art (Picasso) and culture (bullfights), I was particularly drawn to the unique architecture of past and present.


In Barcelona, the magnificent work of Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí caught my immediate attention. His century-old work Modernist works feel they’re out of a Tim Burton film. A Hieronymus Bosch painting, even. The three buildings I focused my attention on were Casa Batló, Casa Milà and his unfinished opus, La Sagrada Família.


Though he’s American, Frank Gehry has left an impressive mark on the Spanish architectural landscape. Peix (Fish) is a sculpture built for the 1992 summer Olympics, one of the world’s largest. The Guggenheim Bilbao is arguably Gehry’s finest work of art. Metal panels twist and turn to create something radically brilliant. The museum houses a spectacular array of artistic work.


Stepping away from the obvious, I also took in some fascinating work by lesser known architects and designers. The buildings were extraordinarily fresh and playful, some paying homage to Spain’s rich past.


Create: I shot all of these images with a Canon EOS 7D and a handful of lenses, primarily a 24-105mm, a 16-35mm and a 70-300mm (all Canon glass). A minimal amount of editing was done in Aperture and Photoshop.


Grow: Shooting architecture is easy. Shooting it well is not. Lens distortion, poor lighting and compositional distractions can wreak havoc on an exposure. While shooting in Spain, I challenged myself with overcoming these obstacles and capturing what I saw in a tasteful and visually compelling way.


Hope you like what you see. Check out some recent work here.