HOME by Orla Kiely Octopus 2013
New Paris Style by Danielle Miller Thames & Hudson 2012
The Iconic Interior by Dominic Bradbury Thames & Hudson 2012
Living Modern:Tropical by Phyliss Richardson T & H 2012
Piet Boon III by Joyce Huismann Terra 2011
New Natural Home by Dominic Bradbury Thames & Hudson 2011
Living Modern by Phyliss Richardson Thames & Hudson 2010
The Iconic House by Dominic Bradbury Thames & Hudson 2009
Beyond Bawa by David Robson Thames & Hudson 2007
Tropical Minimal by Danielle Miller Thames & Hudson 2006
This is an email interview for Architectural Digest - Germany ...... which takes care of the bio blurb.
Dear Mr. Powers,
We have the pleasure to introduce you to our readers. It would be great if you could answer me some questions in order to write a small article.
We show your photographs from an apartment in Sao Paulo. Did you know Sao Paulo before that shooting? Yes - I have been once before and loved it. What is the ambiance of this city? Sao Paulo is full of contrasts; a crazy megatropolis yet people are kind and gentle - you feel alive when you visit Brazil.
Are you specializing in one or two themes (for example in architecture and interior)? Why? Or: Why not? I started out shooting everything in sight but now I am more specialised - as I grow into my career I find myself shooting predominately interiors and architecture .. it has been a natural progression. Why ? To photograph something well you need to have a passion for the subject - i would have made a terrible fashion photographer !
What was the challenge when you photographed the home in Sao Paulo? Did you like it? One of my all time favorites - it was challenging because there are no windows in the living areas, only one enormous sky light - it was a challenge.
When I look at the pictures on your website I am impressed by the scenery, the composition. But what is for you the most important thing for a good photography? balance is key - what and what not to include is as equally important as the shadows and highlights.
What is the maxim for your work? I am working on a book project at the moment for Thames & Hudson shooting through a long list of iconic houses of the last century all over the globe - for me this is a "maxim" !
Was there any surprising, new or very pleasant thing (anecdote) during the shooting? unique, thought provoking architecture with creative interiors, furnishings, not to mention the art - it's a privilege to work in this environment and always a pleasant way to spend a day.
Please give me the most important steps of your vita: birthday, study, professional steps, family, the city you live. I am self taught - I have been taking pictures for as long as I can remember, composing the frame in my mind then choosing the moment to capture the light, only now there's a camera .... oh and I just turned 40.
Thank you very much for your answer and your help.
Published by Thames & Hudson
This is a Q&A for a piece Vogue Living ran on The Iconic House around the time of its release - giving an insight into a few of the experiences I had whilst shooting the book.
CHARLES GWATHMEY - GWATHMEY HOUSE & STUDIO - AMAGANSETT, HAMPTONS, LONG ISLAND, USA, 1965/1966.
It was very easy agreeing to do a project of this calibre, and an honour, to say the least, having been given the opportunity to photograph 60 architectural gems around the world. Many are still privately owned, such as the house Charles Gwathmey designed for his mother in Amagansett, Long Island.
This is a shot of the rear facade – the light was perfect that late spring day and really showed off the geometric volumes that Gwathmey created. Sadly, he passed away in July. He leaves behind a true icon that happened to be chosen for the cover of the book, something of which I can only hope he was as happy with when he saw the cover proof sent to him at the time it had just been finalised.
CHARLES DEATON - SCULPTURED HOUSE - GENESEE MOUNTAIN, GOLDEN, DENVER, COLORADO, 1965.
A photographer in my field spends a lot of time on the road – it is impossible for the subject to come to your backyard! It is a life of planes, trains, roadtrips and boats that have taken me across 6 continents. This house was no exception – late flight to Denver from Chicago to shoot the next day then a red-eye to JFK to shoot in upstate NY the following day. If it wasn’t for my heroic wife who did most of the driving on this particular trip I would have struggled - not sure how far I have travelled but two things are for sure – my air miles are plentiful and I am not proud of my carbon footprint! For this shot I wanted to emphasise the abstract nature of the design against the amazing cloud formations on the day – architectural photography is all about timing as the sun passes east to west – when you only get a day to capture a house as monumental as this, trying to pre-empt what the light will do on the house is paramount.
FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT - FALLINGWATER - BEAR RUN, PENNSYLVANIA, USA, 1939.
I had 6 hours to shoot the house due to budget constraints and access - I wanted to shoot as the leaves were turning and so risked bad weather. I had decided very early on in the project to make the most of what was dealt to me by the gods although I do look forward to a forecast of thunderstorms and the dramatic cloud formations they bring. On my pilgrimage to Falling Water I had flown from LA - Pittsburgh the night before arriving to sheeting rain – it wasn’t looking good for me – I awoke early to darkness and rain driving the 2 hours to the house - it rained the whole way. Pulling up to the house the rain stopped and the sun appeared, and throughout the day I had a light cover of high cirrus casting soft shadows (perfect for Falling Water as its shrouded in trees ) and thus had a great day shooting – as I drove out of the house it began raining again and didn’t stop until the plane took off and rose above the clouds! For this shot I wanted to show the elegant lines of FLW’s design.
ANTOINE PREDOCK - TURTLE CREEK HOUSE - DALLAS, TEXAS, USA, 1993.
I wanted to shoot each house from a new perspective. Even before contracts were signed with the commissioning editor at Thames & Hudson I made the conscious decision not to research any of these heavily photographed houses. I wanted to keep my eye pure and not be drawn sub-consciously to someone else’s angle. Arriving at some of the more obscure houses on the list, I had no idea what they would look like. Turtle Creek was no exception. It is located at the end of a very conservative cul-de-sac in uptown Dallas it took me a while to find the front door as it resembles a Mayan Temple from the street! The reflective mirrored steel panel was incredible and not such a difficult shot as a sky bridge built onto the side of the house gave me the perfect vantage point.
SCOTT TALLON WALKER - GOULDING HOUSE - ENNISKERRY, COUNTY WICKLOW, IRELAND, 1972.
This house defies the laws of physics. This image is among one of my favourites although it was particularly tricky at this time of year as it only gets about an hour of direct sunlight in the day because of the deep valley its set in to. To get the shot, I hiked for half an hour through the forest to cross the river, slid down a mud bank, then it was a matter of waiting for the right balance of light and for the leaves in the trees to be still.
I have previously worked on 2 projects for Thames & Hudson: Tropical Minimal and Beyond Bawa. Iconic was conceived by the writer Dominic Bradbury. When I was asked to join the project that involved shooting through a list of 60 houses around the world, around 80% of the material, naturally this was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse. Although it was definitely the most ambitious not to mention bureaucratically challenging project I have done to date with all the legalities of permissions and complicated, time consuming logistics – gaining access to privately owned homes such as the Craig Ellwood-designed Palevsky house in Palm Springs and Arne Jacobson’s Rothenborg house in Copenhagen. I hope it will be significant and stay on the shelves for years to come – I’d have to say this is the pinnacle in my career so far. I have 2 more books in production at the moment – New Natural Home which explores the concept that design doesn’t have to be compromised for eco principles and Living Modern (now published Sept 2010) – both by Thames & Hudson. As for an Iconic part two …. there is talk! (now in production!) The book took two years to plan and shoot with another year for production and printing – it’s a long process compared to the relative instant gratification of magazine features. It was amazing to see first hand the level of dedication given by the trusts, owners, guardians and caretakers to restore and maintain the integrity of the architecture of these houses – the book is truly a labour of love.