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  • DPR Offices (map)
  • 945 Front Street
  • San Francisco, CA
Russel image.png

Thursday, January 24, 5:30 pm- 8:00 pm
DPR Offices, 945 Front Street, San Francisco
Curated Lighting Products Tabletop Showcase

The architectural photographer negotiates the connection between the on site experience of a building or place and its graphic representation, and thus has an especially intimate relationship with light. Russell Abraham, one of the leading practitioners of the art in the US says “Pictures tell stories whether in film or digital. With architectural photography, the story is about the building or the space. How does it work? How big is it? What holds up the roof? What happens under it? If I can show all that and then add some sex appeal, I have succeeded. Our goal is to create images that are inviting, that spark the viewer’s imagination and let them feel they are in the space”

Like lighting designers, photographers understand architecture by how it harnesses and interacts with light, and must observe closely how people interact with buildings, albeit for slightly different reasons. Photographers also see light in highly analytical ways, and the tools and metrics they use both overlap and diverge considerably from the tools lighting designers use to understand and shape light – in fascinating ways.

In this talk Russell explores his experience of light in buildings and in the camera over a long career of reading and mastering the interplay of light in architectural form. He will discuss differences and similarities between lighting design and architectural photography, lighting buildings, people, and people in buildings, and describe early studio work that explored and documented color, white, and shadow rendering in LEDs. 

5:30 – 6:30 Networking & Tabletop Architectural Lighting Showcase

6:30 – 6:45 Introductions & Announcements 

6:45 - 7:45 Presentation 

7:45– 8:00 Questions & Audience Discussion   

Non Members: $25
IES, AIA, IIDA or ASID Members: $20
Emerging Professionals and Students: $10
IES, AIA, IIDA or ASID Board Members: No Charge                                                                                           

About Russell
The well-crafted image has always been a central part of Russell Abraham's life, no matter what the tool used to create it. Russell started life with a paintbrush in his hand. He traded in that paintbrush for a T-square and graduated with a degree in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley (cum laude) before eventually swapping his T-square for a view camera. These days, his tools of choice are a digital camera and a high-powered desktop computer. He has taken the time to learn the new technologies and develop enough of a mastery of them to both teach and write about them. He is an active member of the local photography community and serves on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP). When not behind the camera or in front of the computer screen he is the proud father of four children, three of whom are graduates of the University of California and one a graduate of Sarah Lawrence in New York.

Learning Objectives

1. Identify the approaches common to architectural photography and lighting design in interpreting, enhancing, and communicating people’s experience of architecture. 

2. Compare the various metrics and tools used by photographers to analyze and control light and how they relate to the practice of lighting design today.

3. Explore the concept of mastery of a craft in the design professions and how it’s still highly relevant, especially in light of automation and widespread availability of powerful software tools. 

4. Use approaches to lighting people in buildings to improve lighting design outcomes.