Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Architectural Photography

New Orleans architectural photographer Frank Lotz Miller (1923-1993) maintained a prolific career photographing the city's architecture, food and festivals. Although born in Shreveport, his family moved to the Crescent City when he was a child. By the late 1950s, he was a regular contributor to Architectural Forum, Architectural Record and Progressive Architecture, frequently drawing comparisons to modernist architecture photographers Julius Shulman (1910-2009) and Ezra Stoller (1915-2004).

In the mid-1960s, Frank Lotz Miller wrote essays for The Louisiana Architect magazine. He used this forum to articulate the aims and principles of architectural photography, and to establish guidelines for architects hiring photographers:

"To truly appreciate architecture one must experience it first hand; be present in the space it encompasses, walk through and around it. The ideal is not always possible, but the best substitute, and I will be the first to admit its limitations, is photography."

"The photographer should not be asked to work on speculation. This is another reason why whenever possible the architect and the photographer should visit the site together."

To read more, see: "Photography and the Architect." The Louisiana Architect (May 1965): p. 10. Louisiana Research Collection, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

The Southeastern Architectural Archive retains Frank Lotz Miller photographs and negatives for the following architects/firms: James Lamantia, George Saunders, John Lawrence, and Curtis & Davis. To view a selection of digital reproductions, click here.

Image above: Frank Lotz Miller Advertisement. The Louisiana Architect (October 1964): p. 15.

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