Hélène Binet, Vardø - B (2011)
Hélène Binet, Vardø - B (2011)

Hélène Binet on pushing three dimensions into two

The brilliant architectural photographer talks through her early career and the challenges of her chosen medium

If you're looking for the reasoning behind the title of Hélène Binet's new book, Composing Space, you could do worse than read this excellent piece, published a few days ago on The New York Times' photo site, The Lens Blog.

"You're looking for this third dimension all the time, but it's almost impossible," says the architectural photographer, favoured by Peter Zumthor, Zaha Hadid, Peter Eisenman, Daniel Libeskind and others. "I try to see how I bring one experience out that somehow is referring to the third dimension...but not saying 'This is the building. I'm going to try to tell you everything about the building.'"

 

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It's an illuminating profile, published to mark the publication of our new book. In the piece, Binet talks through her earlier career, as a staff photographer at a Geneva Opera House, where she tried to get to grips with the challenges of capturing a series of dancers' movements on film.

 

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She also discuses her first few architectural projects, such as her shots of John Hejduk's "Subject/Object" structures in Latvia. She talks through her interest in cracks and fissures - "the crack is really about the fascination of shifting from architecture made by man to architecture made by nature" - and how her opera house work might actually be informing her approach to capturing buildings.

 

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"The sense of light, the sense of coming out of the dark, it's something that stays very much in the way I photograph," she tells the NYTimes. "There's the dark, then there's the things coming out of it. I say 'Oh, that's a performance'. Then they disappear. It's light again."

 

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Read the full piece here. If you like what you see, and we're sure you will, you really should consider buying a copy of our beautifully printed book, the only monograph on this fantastic contemporary photographer.