Born in Munster – Germany and now based in Berlin, Christian Richters‘ working area is currently all over Europe, the USA and Asia, shooting projects for some renown architects like Bernard Tschumi, Toyo Ito, Zaha Hadid, UN Studio and David Chipperfield among others. He studied design and photography at the Folkwang Art School in Essen, but it was architecture that finally drove his career to the next level… And we are very lucky for that. He now works with VIEW Pictures, where you can check out his extensive portfolio of amazing architecture.
1. When and how did you start photographing architecture?
I have always been photographing – it started as a hobby when I was a young boy, and already then it was buildings, streets, industrial sites, ships which fascinated me.
After finishing my studies at Folkwang Art School in Essen, Germany, I initially mainly photographed historic architecture for books and magazines. In the early 1990s there was a shift towards contemporary architecture, and more and more architects were becoming my clients. This is what I am focussed on today, but I still maintain working on long-term historic projects for book publishers or NGOs.
2. Are you an architect?
No. I am interested in finding and describing, not in inventing.
3. Why do you like to photograph architecture?
It’s the magic of arriving at a place for the first time, discovering it, visually reading and deciphering it – may it be a landscape, a house, a whole city or just a small shelter. Photographing architecture is slow work, a way of resisting the ubiquitary acceleration. It’s the pleasures of fieldwork. Above all, it keeps me travelling the world for a reason.
4. Favorite architect?
Hard question – I think I shouldn’t be name-dropping here. I much appreciate the enthusiasm of young architects today, who keep their studios running and work hard to get better and better.
5. Favorite building?
The Kandalama Hotel, Dumbulla, Sri Lanka, by architect Geoffrey Bawa.
6. How do you work?
It depends on the project, the client, the time given.
Ideally it’s a long-term client, an architect whose work I have been photographing for two decades – I get an email, attached a pdf site map, a few drawings or words, a phone call, and off I am. As for the work itself, see 3.)
7.- What kind of equipment and software do you use?
Alpa cameras, Schneider and Rodenstock lenses, Leica M9, Phase One digital back and software, Apple, Photoshop