Contemporary art and photography in artPublications

Terry Hope in Architecture Rotovision 2001

Terry Hope: Buckingham Palace by Thomas Kellner, in: “Architecture”, Terry Hope, RotoVision,2001

“I was determined to find an original way of tackling architectural photography, something that would show well known buildings in an unusual manner and which would allow me to make some kind of personal comment about them.

My inspiration came from studying the work of impressionist and cubist painters such as Robert Delauney and I decided that I would try to 'deconstruct' the buildings on film, to photograph them in component form and to piece them together in the way that I wanted through the medium of a contact print. My aim is to visit landmark buildings in capital cities all around Europe, places that are photographed all the time by tourists, and to make the point that these are places of mass photography where people really waste film. I want to say that this is an over-photographed building: don't waste more time or materials on it.

The parameters I set myself at the start of the project were that I would only put together one black and white and one colour contact picture of each building and that I would photograph in strict frame order, a fact that would be reflected in the continuity of the frame numbers. I also decided that there would be no faking: I would not take a second roll of film and substitute pictures, so I had to get everything right in the one take.

With the picture of Buckingham Palace I first worked out what time of day I had to be there to achieve the lighting that I wanted - I also need to keep exposure consistent throughout the sequence so that the contact print has even density - and then I set up my camera on a tripod a suitable distance from the building. I needed to produce a rough sketch of the scene before I started to work out what needed to be included in each frame and I also needed to plan things so that I could complete the image within the 36 frames on my film. By allowing seven frames to cover the width I knew that I could make the image five frames deep and I then worked my way down from the top, building up the picture as I went.

I planned this image so that the bottom layer of pictures was fixed but all the other layers had movement within them as I tilted the camera at angles to create the distorted effect that I wanted. If I get anything wrong as I'm working with a 36-exposure deconstruction then I need to start the whole process again: I have produced pictures made up from anything up to 36 rolls of films - huge images made up from a total of 1296 exposures - and with those I can simply re-shoot one film within the sequence if I realise at the time that I've made a mistake.”

Kellner, T., 2001. Buckingham Palace. In: Hope, T. Architecture. Developing Style in Creative Photography. Crans-Pres-Celigny: RotoVision pp. 112-113.

>>> Buckingham Palace 1999