After his architecture studies at London’s Architectural Association School of Architecture (AA), Cristobal Palma worked as an assistant in London for a couple years, a time where he honed his photography skills. After this experience he took a more independent route working for some of the best architects in Chile and most renowned publications in the world.
As you may have noticed, since last year we’ve featured a series of Architecture Videos by Palma, the latest of his artistic endeavours that enable us to experience the projects in a different way. Considering this type of media offers a completely new range of opportunities for both architects and publications, we think it’s worth getting to know Palma and his professional journey incorporating audio-visual elements to the representation of architectural projects. The video above, Cristobal’s first completed video and now published online for the first time, presents the España Library in Medellin-Colombia, one of the most iconic buildings of this city’s renovation.
You can read an interview with Palma after the break.
What do you think is the future of architecture photography?
Any type of photography depends greatly on the context in which it’s produced and published (or shown), which is why it’s difficult to predict what’s going to happen in the next few years when you consider the speed and amount of changes that are happening in the editorial world right now -the consolidation of new media platforms, new business models, etc- and it’s difficult to know how all of this its going to affect the field of editorial photography. Nowadays –as it has been stated many times by now- anyone has the potential not just take a great photo but to publish it, and this fact -although hard to say exactly how- should eventually have great repercussions on the discipline.
How and why did you go from being a photographer to a filmmaker?
I was able to start making videos by accident really, thanks to the development of the video capability that most good digital SLR have now. However the word “filmmaker” doesn’t sound quite right or accurate, I would describe myself as a photographer doing film work. In that context –and in parallel to my photography work- my goal now is to try to document architecture through film in what it could be very loosely describe as “short documentaries”.
What is, according to you, the difference between showing an architectural work in photos and in video?
Although photography and video obviously describe what they see in different ways they also complement each other quite well and share much of the same language. There are situations when a picture can better show a situation than a video, and visa versa. In the context of architecture I thinks that the strength of film is mainly that is able to capture elements of time and sound that a photograph would find very difficult to get across. This of course does not mean that photography can’t represent time but it does it in a different way, and the narrative element of a space -or place- sometimes is much easier to construct through video. For me the most novel part of working with video has been the ability to incorporate sound in the overall description of the space.
You can check some more videos by Cristobal Palma at ArchDaily:
Flor del Campo School (Giancarlo Mazzanti + Felipe Mesa)
Clifftop House in Maui (Dekleva Gregoric Arhitekti)
W Houses (Barclay & Crousse)
Cien House (Pezo von Ellrichshausen)
Casa Martos (Adamo-Faiden)
Water Cathedral (GUN Architects)
Memory Museum (Estudio America)
Gimme Shelter at the Shenzhen & Hong Kong Biennale (Sebastian Irarrazaval + Hugo Mondragon)
Ultra light village (Clavel Arquitectos)
Color Shadows (Eduardo Castillo)
Nicanor Parra Library (Mathias Klotz)
El Porvenir Kindergarten (Giancarlo Mazzanti)
Sports Facilities (Giancarlo Mazzanti + Plan B)