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Thread: Passing of Marvin Rand - Architectural Photographer

  1. #1
    Dave Karp
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    Passing of Marvin Rand - Architectural Photographer

    This obit was in the LA Times today: http://www.latimes.com/news/obituari...,4139177.story.

    The article includes a link to 13 photographs.

    Interesting how he "fell" into his life-long profession, in a manner similar to Julius Schulman.

  2. #2

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    Re: Passing of Marvin Rand - Architectural Photographer

    Dave, many thanks.

  3. #3
    Dave Karp
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    Re: Passing of Marvin Rand - Architectural Photographer

    I keep thinking about the parallels between Rand and Schulman. Both became noted architectural photographers. One because his friend worked for a famous architect, the other because he took some photos as a favor for a friend. The architects later saw their work, and started paying them for it. Then a long career ensued. I wonder how common this is/was?

    Kirk, how did you get into architectural photography?

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    Re: Passing of Marvin Rand - Architectural Photographer

    Dave, thanks for letting us know. Marvin Rand did marvelous work, much of it I recall from Architectural Record, over the years. It is interesting, the parallel of his and Julius Shulman's careers.

    A few years ago I was in a home in Glendale that Shulman had photographed, and in the livingroom was a large print from the shoot. It was beautiful, a composition that captured the complete feeling of the place. Architects choose their photographers for good reason, the photography of architecture is a special skill.

  5. #5
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Passing of Marvin Rand - Architectural Photographer

    Kirk, how did you get into architectural photography?
    Thanks for asking David. This is a rough sketch.

    I had always had an affinity for prehistoric and historic buildings since exploring ruins in my early youth near our house. My father was an avid amateur 35mm photographer. We had a primitive darkroom in our house. My first camera was a hand-me-down rangefinder Leica. After doing a bachelors at the University of New Mexico and b&w MF for about ten years and showing in galleries (but making my living other ways), I got a 4x5 in '78 and started wondering what else I could do with a 4x5 to make some income. A friend was an architect at the largest construction company in the state and he asked me to shoot some color of their buildings for a brochure. I had never shot color up to that point. That was the start, 1978. I loved shooting architecture and found I had a real affinity with architects. It took about two years before I could go full time and make a halfa__ed living. Then I went and took off and went to graduate school in Canada for an MFA, thinking I would teach art photography for a living but when I got back to New Mexico in '82 there were no teaching jobs. So I threw myself into AP with a vengeance, hooked up with some local architects who were making a splash nationally with Post Modern architecture and started getting published in and assignments from national magazines. That was about 1986? I did finally end up teaching part time (to keep the juices flowing) architectural photography at the University of New Mexico and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

    Interesting where life takes you. I have been very fortunate.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 68
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  6. #6

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    Re: Passing of Marvin Rand - Architectural Photographer

    In a sense, the architectural photographer is hired to make a critical assessment of the architecture. In addition to being of high quality and aesthetically pleasing, more importantly the photographs need to help sell the concept/design the architect's trying to sell. And as this can be a subjective interpretation unless explicitly discussed in the contract, I wonder how often is the case where the photographer and the architect do not see eye to eye. I recall the story about Ken Hedrich butting heads with Frank Lloyd Wright, to whom Mr. Hedrich replied, "Sir, you're just an architect, I'm the photographer." Or like the case in your story Merg, when the architect was not satisfied with Morley Baer's photographs (BTW, great solution)

    Thanks for the article Dave, and Kirk for sharing your experience.

  7. #7
    Dave Karp
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    Re: Passing of Marvin Rand - Architectural Photographer

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Gittings View Post
    Thanks for asking David. This is a rough sketch.

    I had always had an affinity for prehistoric and historic buildings since exploring ruins in my early youth near our house. My father was an avid amateur 35mm photographer. We had a primitive darkroom in our house. My first camera was a hand-me-down rangefinder Leica. After doing a bachelors at the University of New Mexico and b&w MF for about ten years and showing in galleries (but making my living other ways), I got a 4x5 in '78 and started wondering what else I could do with a 4x5 to make some income. A friend was an architect at the largest construction company in the state and he asked me to shoot some color of their buildings for a brochure. I had never shot color up to that point. That was the start, 1978. I loved shooting architecture and found I had a real affinity with architects. It took about two years before I could go full time and make a halfa__ed living. Then I went and took off and went to graduate school in Canada for an MFA, thinking I would teach art photography for a living but when I got back to New Mexico in '82 there were no teaching jobs. So I threw myself into AP with a vengeance, hooked up with some local architects who were making a splash nationally with Post Modern architecture and started getting published in and assignments from national magazines. That was about 1986? I did finally end up teaching part time (to keep the juices flowing) architectural photography at the University of New Mexico and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

    Interesting where life takes you. I have been very fortunate.
    Hi Kirk,

    Thanks for posting this. Interesting. Again, like Rand and Schulman, you ended up drawn into architectural photography by a friend. Like Rand (and unlike Schulman) your college training was in photography. A lifelong career entered by chance due to your relationship with a friend!

    I wonder how common this is with architectural photographers. I'll bet that some started out as architects and started photographing their own stuff, and ended up as photographers.

    It would seem that this is a less likely scenario with other forms of commercial photography. Or perhaps I am mistaken.

    Very interesting.

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