Architectural Abstracts

Burnout. It's something every creative person experiences on occasion but is always difficult to recover from. Architectural photographers seem especially susceptible to creative block. There's only so much you can do with a building as viewers naturally expect specific criteria to be met; the geometry must be perfect, lines straight and parallel, color accurate, and perspective natural. If your photograph fails to deliver on any one of these conventions people will immediately notice something is "wrong."

Every now and then, when I'm feeling a particularly strong lack of creative motivation, I find giving myself an absurd task or handicap forces me out of my comfort zone. Renting a 200mm lens and making myself photograph buildings with it, as I did this weekend, certainly qualifies. You might as well ask Itzhak Perlman to perform a Paganini Caprice on a violin with two strings. Just for reference, my most used focal length is 24mm, a 73.7 degree angle of view. Not only does a 200mm lens have a comparatively microscopic 10.3 degree angle of view, it has no tilt or shift movements necessary to correct distortion. In other words, if you even slightly tilt the camera up or down the image will be hopelessly distorted.

This series of abstract photographs was a satisfying challenge, and I hope they're as interesting to view as they were to create. Can you figure out where they were taken? Hint: They are not all taken in Omaha but none are more than a short drive away.