Have you ever snapped a quick photo … only to look at it later and find something interesting that took you completely by surprise? Have you ever driven by a particular building or structure many times and didn’t realize that it had some unique feature until you walked by?
Don’t worry, you’re completely normal: We often look without truly seeing, particularly in this age of digital distraction.
So how do we get people to see things? I believe photography is the key, and it has become accessible to the masses like never before with the ubiquity of the smart phone. Now nearly everyone has the means to capture the world around them — and share it.
A few years ago I helped launch the Architectura Obscura architectural photography competition through the American Institute of Architects Central Valley Chapter. The goals of the competition are simple: Increase awareness of architecture and design; provide a stronger connection of non-architects to the profession of architecture; and provide yet another creative outlet that can be experienced by all who choose to participate.
Our traditional gallery quality print submissions continue as an important part of Architectura Obscura but this year, we have expanded the competition to include digital submissions through the social media platform, Instagram. This serves to provide opportunities to connect to an entirely new generation of photographers.
Kristopher Barkley, AIA, Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture
2016 Architectura Obscura Chair
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