Photo Frame: ‘Contemporary building with an expressive massing thanks to the use of shadows and light’

The image that inspired me: Manufacturers Trust Building (Ezra Stoller)

My own photographs, ‘Tilt to the Light’

The American architectural photographer that inspired me with my photography of the art of architecture was Ezra Stoller, who managed to immediately attract me with his image of the Manufacturers Trust Building. He was considered to be very influential in the 20th century, and I could see why as soon as I saw how he used light and shadow within this image.

Very much influenced myself, I used the same technique as Stoller to capture images that had “A contemporary building with an expressive massing thanks to the use of shadows and light”, which i named ‘Tilt to the Light’.

Stoller used the rainy weather to capture the light reflecting off the building’s wet street in order to show the “brilliance” (Peter Aaron 2009) of that glowing building. Inversely, my approach was to use the shapes and the granite floor inside the building to display the reflections (that light gave birth to) of the architecture itself. These reflections can be seen where light bounces off inside the shadows that were caused by the multi-levelled floors.

Stoller used mixtures of shadows and light from the building’s lighting, whereas I used the daylight that my chosen building’s architecture purposely allowed through the use of transparency — something that Ezra often uses in his works.

Additionally, Stoller often angled his camera straight. I, however, tilted the camera — even in one image using the direction a woman was looking towards— to hyperbolise the light coming through the intentional transparent ceiling, & also to replicate how we see everything admirable in different angles.


·, Manufacturer’s Trust Company, Fifth Avenue, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, New York, NY, 1954, 2016, viewed 26 March 2016,

· Kimmelman, M 2013, Capturing Modernism’s Chic and Sheen, The New York Times, viewed 26 March 2016,

· Avinash 2010, ‘Ezra Stoller: Canonizer’, Metropolis, viewed 26 March 2016,

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