Last week I posted an image (click here to see it) of a new Shopping Mall, known as MK1 Shopping Park, on the southern edge of Milton Keynes, on Stadium Way near Stadium MK.
Two of the visual delights, for a photographer, of a well-designed modern building are firstly how light impacts upon it, and secondly how light creates interaction, or interplay, either with neighbouring buildings, or within the structure of the building itself, or sometimes both.
See this mall on a dull overcast day and it may make little impact on you. See it on a day of bright sun and blue sky – preferably, as I did, in late September when the sun is not too high in the sky – and I defy any photographer not to see the potential for images that are almost everywhere you care to look.
The sun shines through the high, slatted portico casting alternating bands of shadow and light onto walls and floor. The paneled walls add their own contrasting contribution through strong geometric lines. And then there are the semi-abstract rippled reflections of light and shade thanks to the extensive use of reflective float glass.
And it has resulted in a few sessions of highly enjoyable processing work in CS5, with help from Topaz plug-ins – Adjust, Clean and Detail. I am becoming an enthusiastic user of Topaz Clean for the way, if used carefully, that it simplifies line, and removes minor detailing thereby concentrating the eye on the geometry and design. In addition I used a selective Colour Solarization + Inversion to enliven the sky in a couple of images.
As a result, some of what you see is unashamedly more graphic illustration than straight photography. I’m happy to hold my hand up to that and say that I think the result of that approach enhances the design’s properties rather than detracts from it.
The Architects – q2 Architects – deserve a mention for what at first glance may appear to be a relatively simple design, but one that reveals itself as a first class example of how a clever design not only delivers a well-crafted functional building but creates – given the right weather – a genuinely moving artistic installation.
The only pity is that so many of those who visit, will swivel their eyes at eye level or below, and so intent will they be on their retail therapy, that they will be oblivious of the visual spectacle above their heads.
There should be a sign saying: Look Up!
Are you a lover of Modern Architecture? Do make a comment if you enjoy today’s selection of images.