The Architecture of Cities: the World

Subway Station in Sao Paulo Brazil by Paulo Mendes da Rocha.

After the Rain: The Stolen Moment(s) Live in My Waking Dreams

Let’s travel: London, England, Nantes, France, Stuttgart, Germany, São Paulo, Brazil and more. My window to the world is heralded by guardian angels: The template for my vision lies in the imageries that greater photographers than I executed almost two centuries ago:

Marie Charles Isidore Choiselat and Stanislaw Ratel’s, “The Pavillion de Flore and the Tuileries Garden” circa 1849: Robert Macpherson’s, “The Theater of Marcellus from the Piazza Montanara” circa 1858: Eduardo-Denis Baldus’s, “Cloister of Saint- Tromphîe Arles” Circa 1861: Roger Fenton’s, “Rievaulx Abbey” Circa 1854: Otto Umbler’s, “Night in a small town” Circa 1930.

My mind has a capacious vault for imagery. It also leaves room for a dozen “Blade Runner” images Circa 1982.

My mind’s eyes host an archive of more than one hundred thousand images. Images of photographs and photographers dance around the maypole in my brain. A sizable archive of architects/architecture has a home nearby. My mind rests in a nest of altered visual states.

I have so many favorites and influences: From the visual image to the written word: I import information for inspiration but more importantly for sustenance.

Everyone has influences: a direction they lean towards: but the subject of favorites is for another time.

My appreciation for what I may discover in the space my lens provides is boundless.

Every waking moment I try and configure how to navigate space: How to navigate the light in space: how to navigate the space in light. I may as well be a poor man’s Copernicus

After the Rain

Mercedes Museum: Stuttgart, Germany by Ben Van Berkel UN Studio.

When taking a picture after the rain: there is a pause: there is almost a right of passage: and then  before the onslaught of activity: I think, “The Queen’s Gambit”.

When I read the Walter Tevis’ novel, I was not theorizing about how or why I was taking pictures.

But a passage in the book about playing chess in your mind or in this case through the windshield with the open roads in the distance, appealed to me.

Sir Norman Foster: City Hall, London England.

I have played chess poorly for my entire life. But since reading “The Gambit” I realized that I was making moves in my mind and across the known universe in a similar fashion played out in chess: I was pre-visualizing: I was constructing a photograph the way a chess enthusiast would plan his/her moves. I could see the future: I knew the endgame to the moment. But until that 1983 day I did not understand the parallel universe between  the Tevis’ book and how I saw my photographs. I have always known why I had become a photographer: But to place it in an intellectual context: to place it in a context of a game: to place it in the context of how and why I see what I do? Have you ever seen me dance?

Dominique Perrault: Aplix Factory in Nantes France.

When the rains came, it allowed me to prepare for when the rains would cease: I needed to be ready for the snap: The unrestrained activity would soon flood the landscape: The viewfinder would be filled with chaos. I wanted the audience to only hear my camera when they looked at the image: The after the rain silence.

The rain ceases in Brazil’s São Paulo: The summer rain had drenched my clothes. I snapped.

The cold rain ceases in Germany’s Stuttgart: The rain dampened my clothes: I snapped.

The never ending rain ceases in England’s London: most bothersome: I snapped

The rain ceases in France’s Nantes: I believed it a miracle as I raced to capture my assignment: I snapped. The rain ceases in America’s Miami: I was soon to capture my assignment: I pranced: I snapped.

Grimshaw Architects: Frost Museum of Science: Miami Florida.

I live for the moments I dream about. I love making and building images: Sometimes my friend and foe is the weather: What a game of chess it becomes when you play with nature’s realities. The skies become my game board.

I am no Captain Ahab: I am not obsessive. I have been living with the ways and means to make photographs for decades. It is my (to quote a famous book) “The Waking Dream”.

 I know the pleasures that come with the breath within the pause. “There you go”, my mind exclaims: There is the light: There is the space: “Shoot”.

All photographs by Richard Schulman.

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