Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography by John Comazzi is a book all architecture photographers should own. No question. Within his photographs Korab shows a mastery of his art that any architecture photographer should aspire toward.
Comazzi’s wonderful book includes over 200 of Korab’s photographs which are mostly in black and white although there is peppering of colour work included.
Korab’s photographic style (if it can be called such) is rooted in the mid-century modernist architecture that he so often photographed. Sharp lines, elongated curves and ultra clean concrete surfaces are all in evidence. His greatest images capture the beauty of architecture as well as the essence of time and place.
It would be foolish to say Korab had a single style, far from it. There are nods to minimalism (see his shot of the Jefferson Expansion Memorial), an approach which really emphasises its arch in all its glory. In contrast there is a definite street aesthetic to some of his work. This is particularly true of his images taken at Lake Shore Drive Apartments (above) and Northside Middle School (below). These are fantastic pictures that show a photographer willing to experiment with style. It is genuinely inspiring to see work from one of the greatest architecture photographers that shows is there is more than one way to shoot architecture.
Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography really is a must own for any photographer who any interest in architecture and urban photography. His ability to create awe inspiring photography is obvious but for me it was his willingness to experiment with different styles that was most intriguing. Something we should all aim for in our own work.
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Title: Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography. Author: John Comazzi. Format: Paperback. Size: 8 × 10 in (20.3 × 25.4 cm). Pages: 192pp. Illustrations: 20 color, 200 b/w. ISBN: 9781616891961. Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press.