Architecture Photography: Need for changes?
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Published: June 19, 2012

I've been overseeing the Architecture Photography gallery for a couple of months now and often I would stumble upon deviations of abstract architectural patterns and details that I'd like to feature, but which would turn out to be submitted under Photography > Abstract & Surreal > Abstract. I never dared to move them, because they were indeed Abstract and it would be the artist's choice to submit them either in the Abstract & Surreal category or in any of the proper Architecture sections. 

As these days I was doing some more research for the upcoming projecteducate week that will focus on Architecture Photography, I started to seriously question myself whether the Architecture gallery was indeed lacking a Photography > Architecture > Abstract sub-category. I believe the abstract architecture style is pretty strongly developed within the community, as it is a very personal and creative way of capturing architecture. It allows a great variety of results with a strong visual impact.

So to explain it to you a little better, if this sub-category was to be added, I would most likely describe it as:
Photographs in which a building, through clever use of composition and camera angles, is not actually recognizable as such. The result is a graphic image constructed purely from lines and shapes.

Here are a few examples:
To infinity and beyond IV by mitazu08 Curves by zuckerblau Mes souvenirs de recif by LeMatos Paragon by FxSanyi :thumb101704752: bibliothek 3 by Ivan-Suta

I should remind you that the current Architecture sub-categories are defined according to the nature of the main subject photographed: Bridges & Suspended Structures, Exterior of a building, Interior of a building, Statues & Monuments. Unlike the mentioned sub-categories, this new one that I'm suggesting is not about what is photographed, but about how it is photographed and the visual impact it creates.

Now I'd be all for this addition, but I need to know your opinion! Here are some questions that you could ask yourselves:
  • Is there a need for an Abstract Architecture sub-category, or should these photographs be submitted in Abstract & Surreal?
  • Will people really have the reflex to check out the Architecture gallery in their search for Abstract photographs?
  • Should the Architecture gallery stick to its current division according to the nature of the central element photographed, or does it allow for a style-related sub-category as well?
  • Will this new sub-category be relevant enough, or will it overlap with the currently existing ones?

I'm really looking forward to hearing your opinions on this! Even if the suggestion happens to be relevant, it won't be implemented unless the community (and that means you!) finds it necessary. So please comment below with what you have to say on the topic and feel free to leave any other suggestions that you might have!


:new: Update!


Two days into the discussion, and I already read many opinions on this matter! Thank you! I'm going to try to recap your feedback so far and introduce you to the new turn that this discussion has taken.

So most of you consider that an emphasis on 'architecture' in an abstract photograph would defeat the purpose of Abstract or, basically, that the object is of no importance whatsoever in an abstract photograph. People should only see the non-figurative, graphic outcome. I have to agree with this. For more on this topic see: comments.deviantart.com/1/3094…

Some others went further to suggest that, if Architecture would have an Abstract sub-category, one should also be added to Animals, Plants & Nature, or to Macro photography or many others. But that would basically go against the purpose of Abstract, as stated before, and would put an end to the Abstract gallery in general. Do people care about what's portrayed in an abstract photograph? Probably not. That means that browsing through figurative categories, such as Architecture, in order to reach for abstract works wouldn't make much sense.

But at the same time, I still think the Architecture category would need a sub-category for close-ups, details, that don't really find their place in Exterior or Interior photographs, which imply something wider. Think of doors, windows, patterns... little elements that don't necessarily look for an abstract visual impact, but just zoom on the small things that compose a building and gives it a human scale.
These are a few examples of what I'm talking about:

:thumb100815671: :thumb98492853: bahnhof stadelhofen by Ivan-Suta Misendeavor Regretter by sputnikpixel

  • Do you think these should remain in their existing categories with all the Exterior and Interior photographs, or do you believe there's a need for an addition of a Photography > Architecture > Details gallery?
  • Is a 'Details' addition to the category really essential, or do these photographs find their legitimate place in the current divisions?
Please join/continue the discussion! :heart:



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Comments (93)
hughharan's avatar
hughharan|Student General Artist
Details would be a good addition to the architecture section. Irrelevant but related in the fact that some expansions would be nice!

...In descriptors on the ID widget I find it annoying that I can't call myself an architecture student as such, "I am an Artist(maybe not)...Student...VARIED?!!?"
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AnaNaszynska's avatar
AnaNaszynska|Student Filmographer
I agree with you. I'm an architecture student as well and enlisted myself as 'Other'. But at the same time I don't think architects see themselves as artists, even though it does imply a lot of artistic input.
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EveLivesey's avatar
EveLivesey|Professional Photographer
Yes - add it :-)
Reply  ·  
AnaNaszynska's avatar
AnaNaszynska|Student Filmographer
Thank you for your input! :)
Reply  ·  
EveLivesey's avatar
EveLivesey|Professional Photographer
Most welcome - I love doing abstractions :-)
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Anoya's avatar
Anoya| Photographer
I also like the 'details' as a sub-category, especially with the examples you posted =)
Reply  ·  
AnaNaszynska's avatar
AnaNaszynska|Student Filmographer
Sweet! Thank you, smexeh! :heart:
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EveryNextDream's avatar
I like the idea of Photography > Architecture > Details rather than a specifically Abstract sub-division :nod:
Reply  ·  
AnaNaszynska's avatar
AnaNaszynska|Student Filmographer
Sweet! Thank you for your input! :heart:
Reply  ·  
TarantulaLdAmn's avatar
I like the idea of 'details' sub-category.
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AnaNaszynska's avatar
AnaNaszynska|Student Filmographer
:w00t:
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FxSanyi's avatar
FxSanyi|Hobbyist Photographer
I agree with ^DpressedSoul. When I take my shots and prepare my deviations I constantly have the abstract output in mind. I try to make my photos less architecture than abstract, but sometimes it is more architectural than abstract and I choose the adequate category. I don't know if that makes sense or not. Anyway, I understand your point of view also, since I also am frustrated that I have to browse a totally different category to find some abstract works, but a change would further increase the chaos in my opinion. Some change should be made, but the one you suggest, in my opinion, doesn't solve the problem.
Reply  ·  
AnaNaszynska's avatar
AnaNaszynska|Student Filmographer
Thank you for your comment! :) Would a 'Details' sub-category be more pertinent? I tried to discuss more in detail in the following replies: [link] and [link] I'd like your opinion on that! :highfive:
Reply  ·  
FxSanyi's avatar
FxSanyi|Hobbyist Photographer
I don't know if that's a good idea either. Two different ways of approaching photographs are at collision here: subject and method. Someone mentioned this not long ago and I like the idea very much: why not categorize every photo this way. You should be able to chose your topic (architecture, people, nature etc) and the method used (macro, abstract, surreal, still life etc). This also has its problematic, but maybe would help solve this dual approach.
Reply  ·  
AnaNaszynska's avatar
AnaNaszynska|Student Filmographer
Considering that a complete system change is not under my area of influence, I'm trying too look for the best options for the submission system that we already have. :) I understand that this suggestion would probably make things easier, but it should be rather discussed in the #hq blogs.

And about the subject — I don't think that a building and a window are exactly the same subject. If we can separate photographs of the exterior of a building and the interior photographs (it's the same building, thus same subject according to your definition), I don't see why we wouldn't be able to separate Exterior photographs from Details? :)
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MaddLouise's avatar
MaddLouise|Hobbyist Photographer
Interesting thought. I think that if you were to create the sub-category of abstract architecture, you may have to do the same for macro and/or nature abstracts. Maybe instead of having architecture's sub-category of abstract, you could create sub-categories for abstract photography such as nature, architecture, objects, macro. Yet again, that would kind of be defeating the purpose of abstract. :shrug: Therefore, I find this idea to be unnecessary. It's the discreation of the artist to categorize their photograph as such. Most of the time I think the artist should just categorize it as abstract as it's being portrayed as such.
I apologize if I'm reiterating what someone else has said, I've yet to read any of the comments.
Reply  ·  
AnaNaszynska's avatar
AnaNaszynska|Student Filmographer
There are many of those who reacted that think the same way, and I have to agree that Abstract photographs have to remain abstract. Another suggestion that came up within the discussion is that maybe there's need for a 'Details' sub-category instead. Read more about it here: [link] & [link] and feel free to join the discussion about that! :)
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adinatan's avatar
I have a radical suggestion... Allow photographs to belong to more than one category ! (similar to a word tagging system)
Reply  ·  
AnaNaszynska's avatar
AnaNaszynska|Student Filmographer
Well that goes way beyond my capabilities, but you can suggest changes in the #hq blog posts. $danlev will be able to read them and bring them up within the staff team if necessary. :D
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FxSanyi's avatar
FxSanyi|Hobbyist Photographer
I like your idea very much. Give deviants the possibility to put their works in two categories.

Maybe dA should change its whole approach to categories. The subject and the manner in which photographs are taken are two different things. This is what causes the contradiction here; which is more important for the artist/work: the subject or the method?
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ackapella's avatar
I love your suggestions and ideas here. I think it is fabulous and forward thinking of you to begin this category. I have often taken pictures that would fit right into this category, but that look out of place in our traditional categories. We must start to think about abstract as it relates to all the arts. This is way overdue. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
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AnaNaszynska's avatar
AnaNaszynska|Student Filmographer
Thank you for taking your time to read the article and react to it! :)
Anctually ^DpressedSoul, who oversees the Abstract & Surreal Photography gallery has written a very well argumented comment here: [link]
I invite you to read through that and see if you still think there's need for an Abstract Architecture sub-category.
From all the discussion so far, I believe a new question arose, since many think all abstract photographs, be it of a building or something else, should remain in the Abstract & Surreal gallery. So the new question is: "Would we need then a 'Details' sub-category instead?" because the all current details either go into Architecture/Exterior, Architecture/Interior or Abstract galleries. More on the topic here: [link]

Your input is much appreciated!
Reply  ·  
RosleinRot's avatar
RosleinRot|Professional Photographer
I think an abstract subsection would be okay...I'm just not sure how relevant it would be. I'm sure people would continue to submit to abstract & surreal, despite the change.
Reply  ·  
AnaNaszynska's avatar
AnaNaszynska|Student Filmographer
Well I think many could find a place for their deviations in there, but from all the discussion a new question arose: Would the Architecture Gallery need a 'Details' sub-category instead? Just so it doesn't overlap the existing Abstract Gallery and people can place there their deviations of architectural details, which nowadays are (in my opinion wrongly) submitted under either Interior or Exterior. I encourage you to join the discussion here: [link]

Thank you for your time and your input! :)
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anonymous's avatar
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