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.
You see more of Balthazar Korab’s work here
More information about Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography can be found here.
You can also check out my book shelf for book recommendations
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.
Shortly after I purchased and reviewed the excellent This Brutal World (review here) I was made aware of an all-encompassing brutalist tome being constructed by the same publisher. Now available, Atlas of Brutalist Architecture (AoBA) is a colossus of a book. In size, weight, scope, and content, the AoBA is an ode to brutalist architecture. A lovingly crafted book by the Phaidon editorial team that is suitable for anyone who has affection for the often ostracized architectural style.
The book is arranged into nine different continental regions meaning if, for instance, your interest lies in Eastern European brutalism, you can easily navigate to the appropriate section. By organising the book in this way the editors have shown how deeply the brutalist movement took root across the globe.
The photography is excellent throughout and includes over 1000 gorgeous duotone photographs of 878 buildings from 102 countries. The AoBA provides the reader with page after page of beautifully shot images, all of which come with accompanying explanatory text. There is also a nice introduction providing an overview discussing the past, present, and future of the subject.
This is hardly a book you are going speed through in one sitting, rather the AoBA is book you can (and no doubt will) return to on numerous occasions for your architectural hit. Any volume of this size will always benefit from repeat viewing.
At £100 this is an expensive book. I am sure it will be available at a lower price by researching different sellers online but such a hefty price tag may dissuade certain buyers, especially those who are new in their appreciation to brutalist architecture. That being said, I doubt anyone would need to purchase any other book on the subject. Everything is here.
If you love big, bold, brutalist architecture then this big, bold, brutalist book is a must. The photography is excellent and effectively displays the breadth of architectural styles found within the brutalist movement. Brutalist architecture can be imposing, industrial, delicate, ornate, and beautiful, and it is all here in this single book.
More information about the Atlas of Brutalist Architecture and more images can be found here.
DETAILS: Title: Atlas of Brutalist Architecture. Author: Phaidon Editors. Format: Hardback. Size: 340mm x 240mm (13 3/8 x 9 1/2 in). Pages: 560pp. Illustrations: 1000 illustrations. ISBN: 9780714875668. Publisher: Phaidon
Glasgow in Bits is an on-going project where I document the often neglected aspects of architecture in and around Glasgow. Derelict buildings, small architectural details, textures, shapes, graffiti and Glasgow’s unloved back streets will all be included. The photographs will be varied in style and scope but will highlight the little details scattered around the city the come together to create the city as a whole.