Architectural Photographers: Cristobal Palma

Sombras de Color - Eduardo Castillo | ©

Architecture can be experienced in several ways, from writings to a travel, but so far it has been photography the main medium to transmit this experience. At ArchDaily we’ve had the chance to work with some of the world’s best photographers (amateur and pros), and in this section we present you more about their work and thoughts.

This time we present you Cristobal Palma (@CPalmaPhoto on Twitter, and Facebook), who has been featured several times at ArchDaily with his work that not includes architecture  but also urban and documentary photography, which appears in media such as The New York Times, Monocle, Wallpaper, among others.

Back to the “experience”, Cristobal has been experimenting with video, exploring an enhanced experience that allows us to see architecture in a different, dynamic way. Take for example our recent feature about the Clifftop House in Maui by Dekleva Gregoric Arhitekti, in which the combination of video + text + drawings offers us another experience.

You can watch more videos by Cristobal Palma here. Full interview:

1. When and how did you start photographing architecture?

I started shooting architecture as a student at the Architectural Association and then I learned a bit more about the profession working as an assistant to Sue Barr. After working for Sue I slowly started to work independently for small practices in London and Santiago and for magazines.

Biblioteca España - Giancarlo Mazzanti | © Cristobal Palma

2. Are you an architect?

I went to the Architectural Association (AA) in London but I left after my fourth year so I never graduated.. which in retrospect was a good thing because If I had become an architect I would have made a very average one.. so I was lucky to leave in time to do something else but also lucky to be able to do something that was related to the subject.

Xi’an Expo 2011 - Plasma Studio | © Cristobal Palma

3. Why do you like to photograph architecture?

I enjoy the slow pace, sometimes I enjoy the travelling as well.

Nicanor Parra Library - Mathias Klotz | © Cristobal Palma

4. Favorite architect?

To have a conversation: Rodrigo Perez de Arce.

To listen to: Fernando Castillo Velasco.

To built my own house (if I ever do): Pezo von Ellrichshausen.

PUC School of Design - Sebastian Irarrazaval | © Cristobal Palma

5. Favorite building?

I don’t have one but El Zocalo in Mexico City -although not an actual building- it is a very intense architectural experience. The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark its a lovely place to spend a whole day. I also love SESC Pompéia by Lina Bo Bardi in Sao Paulo. And if someone is visiting Santiago I always tell them to go to any of the ‘Caracoles Comerciales’ (a kind of shopping arcade), a very interesting experiment from the 80s.

Orquideograma - Plan B Arquitectos + JPRCR Arquitectos | © Cristobal Palma

6. How do you work?

I get commissions from architects mainly from Chile and Latin America, and I also get commissions from publications like Monocle, Wallpaper, Dwell, New York Times, etc.

The Geometry of Conscience - Alfredo Jaar | © Cristobal Palma

7.- What kind of equipment and software do you use?

As these days I am combining making short films as well as doing pictures I am using mainly Canon (lenses and body). For software: Capture One, Photoshop and Final Cut.

Cien House - Pezo von Ellrichshausen | © Cristobal Palma

Videos by Cristobal Palma:

Cite: Saieh, Nico. "Architectural Photographers: Cristobal Palma" 28 Feb 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 Oct 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=201872>