The Architecture of Cities: The World

St Marys Church, Tokyo by Kenzo Tange.

I remember sitting astride my motorcycle. I raced along blvd’s as if I was Steve McQueen in “The Great Escape”. My passions rise. Cinema delivers a boyhood joy of adventure.

One day while re-enacting McQueen’s exploits I landed in the hospital. Collateral damage can be an experience to celebrate. At some point you must realize that nature has a requiem for you.

I am not Cicero, merely passionate for the moment.

The triumvirate: We three became me.

The Spider Monkey can seem anxious, almost rabid. Their eyes constantly dart across Brazil’s tropical forests eyeing food and prey. The Golden Langur Monkey eyes a secret life of serenity along the Bhutan tree tops.

When I was very young, possibly as recent as yesterday, I dreamed that my camera’s eyes should embrace  the monkeys’ behaviors. I was one, now I am three.

Preposterous? I realized it has already happened: My mind runs, rants and raves through the world’s streets. Yet my body hides in plain sight: I stand quietly in secret: My mind in a trance infused by an imagined mass of anabolic steroids. My mind flexes: My body flexes: I snare a few frames of architecture. My camera exposes the greats of past, present and future designs: Gehry’s, Hadid’s, Niemeyer’s Nouvel’s, Kuma’s. My images present their best sides, their best impressions of greatness. “We three” made some spectacular moments in photography.


It isn’t the geography that impresses an audience. It is always the images we share. The geography is merely about catching a plane, train or automobile: But the images elicit what dreams are made from:

One dream for instance, was to follow the Silk Routes conquered by Genghis Khan: When I landed In Hong Kong and Shenzhen my eyes filled with fairy dust: my fantasies’ realities were near.

My dreams to travel and make photographs were becoming my reality. In my quest to shoot and/or discover architecture and the light it wears, I travel. I travel  from New York to New Orleans. I travel from Copenhagen to Amsterdam. I travel from Vienna to Paris. I travel from Tokyo to Kyoto.

I have stood in front of many buildings with only one objective: to make the reality seem unique.

Raleigh, North Carolina Museum by Thoma Phiefer.

But every day in every city must have a unique identity: Iight has been my friend and adversary. My entire career has been challenged by the light made, the light nature gave me.

I am game to confront the A.S.M. (art, science and math) of photography each time. Whether the clock strikes 3:00 pm or twilight’s 5:00 pm I am there. Each landing on a new continent or in a new city presents my conflict with light-hued balances.

Oscar Niemeyer’s home in Rio.

My mind pauses: I conjure up a witch’s brew, a discourse within my photography. I exhume a few past visual dreams. I begin my interview with myself: photography 101 course: Where to begin.

You would think that after so many decades of making pictures: it would be a “snippety snap-snap”.

The world has a funny way of telling you what to do: It is almost like you have an obligation to the medium to make something more: This is Rio: This is Santa Fe: This is Delhi: This is Yusuhara: This is Earth: This is my light: This is my photography

Without my motivations, the pictures would land lusterless.

My interior metronome has a new pulse. My monkey’s in tow.

We begin again.


Richard Schulman is a photographer and writer. His books include Portraits of the New Architecture and Oxymoron & Pleonasmus. He lives in New York City.