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Architecture Re-imagined: The Photography of Dave Wilson
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Architecture Re-imagined: The Photography of Dave Wilson

Picture of Sasha Frost
Updated: 28 January 2016
From a beautiful black and white shot of the world’s only rotating boat lift in central Scotland to multi-frame night-time panoramas of the Austin skyline, photographer Dave Wilson adds extra dimensions to already stunning architecture. Using techniques that intensify shapes, colors and textures, Wilson uses his distinctive style to capture some of the world’s most impressive buildings.

A Scot living in Austin, Texas, Wilson has been taking photographs for publications and competitions since the early 1980s. Exclusively a digital photographer, his art images are produced using a variety of methods, including exposure blending and high dynamic range (HDR) techniques. Strong geometry and bold graphical elements are found in many of his pictures – often being described as minimalist. The interplay of color, texture and shape are stressed in his photography to provide abstract views of landscape and architecture. His art site is aptly named Altered Perspectives.

After graduating with a double major in Physics and Electronic Engineering, Dave transitioned into a computer software career, keeping him in touch with digital imaging. A move to Austin in 1994 offered him a brand new set of photographic opportunities. Having been brought up 6000 miles away, he was fascinated by ‘Americana’: cowboy boots, skyscrapers and the Texas landscape.

His photographs of urban landscapes combine unconventional angles, a wide range of lenses, and HDR techniques to create richly textured, immersive images. As he explains about his shot of the Great Court in London’s British Museum: ‘I loved the contrasting architectural styles visible here and, of course, the geometry of the shot.’

More elaborate images include the shot of the skyline of Taipei, Taiwan at sunset, which is an HDR panorama constructed from 35 individual exposures. As Wilson explained about his shot ‘The Flatiron Building’, in New York City: ‘Rather than the typical views taken from directly underneath the building or using a wide-angle lens, I choose to shoot this with a telephoto from a couple of blocks north. The compressed perspective makes for an interesting pattern picture (to me at least).’

The interior of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Lanark, Scotland.

The exterior of the Glasgow Science Centre in Scotland.

The Great Court in London’s British Museum. ‘I loved the contrasting architectural styles visible here and, of course, the geometry of the shot.’

The library at the Chateau of Fontainebleau, near Paris. ‘This is another example of shooting with a super-wide lens from a low angle to enormously exaggerate perspective.’

The skyline of Taipei, Taiwan at sunset. ‘This image is an HDR panorama constructed from 35 individual exposures.’

The interior of Everett Mill in Lawrence, Massachusetts. ‘The warmth here, only slightly enhanced in post-processing, was caused by the sun shining through stained canvas panels over each window.’

The skyline of Austin, Texas taken at dusk. This is a multi-frame HDR panorama.

Abandoned cabins in Johnson City, Texas.

The Stata Center, designed by Frank Gehry, at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

‘This tower at the intersection of Smith and Bell in downtown Houston, Texas was built for Enron but is now occupied by Chevron.’

The Flatiron Building in New York City. ‘Rather than the typical views taken from directly underneath the building or using a wide angle lens, I choose to shoot this with a telephoto from a couple of blocks north. The compressed perspective makes for an interesting pattern picture (to me at least).’

Waiting on Congress Avenue Bridge, Austin, Texas.

‘The Falkirk Wheel in Scotland, the world’s only rotating boat lift which connects the Forth and Clyde Canal to the Grand Union Canal in central Scotland. This is a composite of 6 shots taken as the wheel turned.’

Chicago skyline at sunrise. ‘This is a section of a large panorama shot from the North Avenue Beach Pier on a very cold March morning.