London Art Deco

My latest project comprises images of Art Deco factories in West London. They are included in the Art Deco folder of my portfolio of London artchitecture.

The architectural style of Art Deco reigned between 1925-40, following Art Nouveau and preceding Modernism. Art Deco became popular following the International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts held in Paris between April and October 1925. In summary, it stood for elegance, glamour, functionality and modernity. These elements make up Art Deco’s majestic presence and it is this I am seeking to convey in my work.

All buildings are representative of the same architectural style and historic period. They are supported by the use of a documentary style of photography which depicts and conveys the majestic presence intended by the Art Deco architects of the time. Documentary style requires realism. Shooting architecture of this scale is only possible with natural light. Consistency was achieved through shooting with the sun at no more than a 45 degree angle to the subject. Depending on the longitude and latitude of the subject, shooting took place in the morning or afternoon, to achieve the best and most harmonious depiction of the subject matter. This provided consistency of brightness and hardness of light and resultant levels of contrast.

Colour was also tightly defined to ensure the most realistic and documentary presentation of subject matter. The Art Deco factories of West London are predominantly white in hue, meaning that they reflect rather than absorb light. Their whiteness is largely combined and contrasted with red, green and blue details, especially where they draw on Egyptian heritage. Where possible, I reinforced this palette with the same hues from the sky and surrounding natural environment. As a result, the overall range of hues was both consistent and narrow.

The value of the hues and overall brightness reflected that provided by sunlight in shooting. The same largely applied to the degree of saturation, with a focus on the natural. The contrast between hue, value and saturation was, therefore, kept as close to that shot at the time, with minimal adjustment in post processing.