Archives for posts with tag: Quintin Lake

An Orchid Hunting Journey over the Peruvian Andes, 2008

An account of the Oxford University expedition along the InterOceanic Highway in Peru in which I participated has been published in the Orchid Digest VOLUME 74, NO. 3—July, August, September 2010. The photos in the article are a mixture of mine and the other expedition members. A summary of the project is available to read here. In 2008 a photographic exhibition from the journey was held at Canning House entitled Orquídeas Interoceánicas

Orchis Digest Volume 74 Cover

Epidendrum Secundum Orchid was found during the InterOcenaic scientific expedition to Peru from 1700 to 2300 meters near Limocpuco in Transect II. Orchid Digest Volume 74 Back Cover. Photo: Quintin Lake

An Orchid Hunting Journey over the Peruvian Andes, 2008. Orchid Digest

An Orchid Hunting Journey over the Peruvian Andes, 2008. Orchid Digest

An Orchid Hunting Journey over the Peruvian Andes, 2008. Orchid Digest

An Orchid Hunting Journey over the Peruvian Andes, 2008. Orchid Digest

An Orchid Hunting Journey over the Peruvian Andes, 2008. Orchid Digest

An Orchid Hunting Journey over the Peruvian Andes, 2008. Orchid Digest

An Orchid Hunting Journey over the Peruvian Andes, 2008. Orchid Digest

An Orchid Hunting Journey over the Peruvian Andes, 2008. Orchid Digest

VIEW MORE IMAGES of the Orchids here

VIEW MORE IMAGES of the Expedition here

VIEW MORE IMAGES of the Interoceanic Highway here

Outdoor Photography Magazine, September 2010

10 Questions interview with Quintin Lake in Outdoor Photography Magazine September 2010 Issue 130

Acclaimed architectural photographer, Quintin Lake, tells Nick Smith how he made the transition from architecture to photography and why geometry really matters

Quintin Lake is recognised as one of the top creative architectural photographers at work today. Before embarking his photographic career, Quintin graduated from the world renowned Architectural Association in London where he held a scholarship and worked at Grimshaw Architects on the Eden project. His architectural training gives him an understanding of the subject, while his photographic approach is characterised by a fastidious attention to detail, which translates into intelligent and refined images.

Quintin’s clients include architects, interior designers, various publishers and magazines. His new book Drawing Parallels: Architecture Observed is a source of architectural inspiration from around the world, with material drawn from travels in over 60 countries. Quintin is a member of The Association of Independent Architectural Photographers, as well as a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Society of Arts.

1 When did you realise you were going to become a photographer?
I was an architect before I became a photographer and I used a camera
as a sketchbook for ideas. Gradually, I became more interested in the images, rather than just using a camera as a tool.

2 What was your first camera?
It was one of those rotating disc cameras with which I used to take blurry pictures of my thumb when I was ten. But while learning photography as a teenager I used a Praktica SLR film camera. I became a ‘Canon person’ when I was about 20.

3 What formal training do you have?
I studied architecture for seven years and did modules on photography during that time. I learned what I needed to learn to do the job.

4 How important is it to specialise?
I think it’s important from some clients’ perspectives, but as an artist I don’t think so. I have different portfolios to show different clients in architecture and other areas; it’s called market segmenting, I think.

5 What is the best assignment you’ve been on?
Going to Pripyat, a large deserted city within the 30km ‘zone of alienation’ around the Chernobyl reactor. It was the most focused shooting I’ve ever done and a very harrowing time. It’s an entire city with no people in it; no one will live there for hundreds of years.

6 What’s the worst thing about being a professional photographer?
On the commercial architecture side it’s waiting for the sun to come out. Clients don’t want pictures with grey skies. Also, there’s keeping the work coming in. If ever I got an assignment that lasted more than a couple of weeks that would feel like incredible stability.

7 Film or digital? Why?
Digital. Half of the creative process is taking the shot, and the other half is the post-production. Commercially it can be a chore, but if it is an artistic image this is where you refine it and make it your own.

8 What’s the most important thing you’re learned from another photographer?
Cartier-Bresson had it right when he said it was the mind, the heart and the eye that meet in the moment. But geometry is vital. No matter what else is going on in the image; I think the viewer reacts to it first graphically.

9 What does photography mean to you?
It encapsulates the enigma of life. It seems so simple as a still image and yet it can have infinite meaning with a unique visual language. In terms of my own life, it’s an excuse to keep a childlike curiosity.

10 What makes a great photograph?
It just grabs you and you know you’ve been grabbed. It’s an emotional thing.

Quintin – IN BRIEF
Age: 34
Time as pro: Ten years
Where based: Oxford
Specialities: Architecture, documentary and expedition
Studio or home: All on location, but post-production at home
Digital or film: Digital

In Quintin’s kit bag
Cameras: Canon 5D, Canon 5D MkII
Lenses: Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 L, Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5, Canon 24-105mm f/4 L, Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS

Quintin Lake’s new book Drawing Parallels: Architecture Observed is available from all good bookshops. RRP £25

Quintin Lake “Drawing Parallels: Architecture Observed” Papadakis, 2009
ISBN 978-1906506-04-9 (Hardcover, 208 pages. £25. Colour throughout)

Reviewed by William Arthurs, Editor, London Society Journal

This fascinating book collects about 200 photographs of natural features, buildings and architectural detail from many countries around the world. Each page spread presents two photographs, with brief commentary, for the reader to compare and contrast. It is reviewed here because fifteen of the images are drawn from the London area and it is on some of these that I comment below, along with their comparisons.

On pp. 22-3, a bleak Thames estuary landscape comprising the Barking Creek tidal barrier, resembling a giant guillotine, and the outfall of the Beckton Sewage Treatment works, is compared with a drier and more mysterious landscape in Yazd, Iran, with two square brick wind-towers, a conical brick building used as a refrigerator, and in the background a Zoroastrian Tower of Silence. I noted here the hidden nature of disposal – in the case of the Tower of Silence, the laying out of the corpses of the deceased on top of the tower is ritualistic, while the sewage works operate a mechanised and secular process of disposal (though one could compare some Victorian views of the sewer system, outlined by Dobraszczyk in “Into the Belly of the Beast”, also reviewed in this issue, and for which Quintin Lake provided the dustjacket image).

Next, on pp. 32-3, a comparison between the stump of one of the demolished Moorish-style chimneys at Abbey Mills pumping station (1865-8; these chimneys became redundant in the 1930s and were demolished during the Second World War) and the stump of the 14 th century Alau Minar brick minaret in Delhi, never completed. (Incidentally the Abbey Mills station as originally built is depicted on p. 114 of “Into the Belly of the Beast” and the chimneys are described on pp. 139 ff.). The Abbey Mills chimneys were 209 feet tall. The Delhi minaret was a more ambitious project as it was originally intended to be taller than its extant neighbour, Qutb Minar, at 240 feet the world’s tallest brick minaret.

On pp. 36-7, a view familiar to our readers from the cover of issue 457 – the columns of the old Blackfriars Railway Bridge – are compared with some Doric columns at the Temple of Hera at Paestum (550 BC). In both cases, columns are left supporting not much, but still standing – but compare the materials and finish, and how they have weathered.

On pp. 48-9 a detail of the terracotta columns around the main entrance to the Natural History Museum (Alfred Waterhouse, 1860-1880) are compared with 12th century lathe-turned sandstone temple balusters at Angkor Wat. Here we are invited to compare texture, colour, to imagine the different processes for firing terracotta and turning sandstone, and to consider the
function of the buildings – a temple of science, and a Hindu temple.

Later photographs include the Gherkin, the Tower of London, Rachel Whiteread’s “House”, and vernacular settings in Walthamstow and in South London. A thought-provoking and beautifully-photographed collection to which I have found myself returning on many occasions.

William Arthurs, Editor, London Society Journal

The London Society Journal is the magazine for members of the London Society and is published twice a year. The London Society was founded in 1912 and works to stimulate appreciation of London, to encourage excellence in planning and development, and to preserve its amenities and the best of its buildings.

Buy Drawing Parallels from Amazon UK here

“When you look at a city, it’s like reading the hopes, aspirations and pride of everyone who built it.”
Hugh Newell Jacobsen

The greatest architectural gestures of our civilisation, the very epitome and physical embodiment of that civilisation, the apparently random and chaotic surge of something intended and planned, the phenomenal paradox of achievement and disaster, the home of ultimate construction and destruction, the Twenty-First century city, is outpacing any attempt to define its nature the very second an image is formed of it. How to represent, how to see, how to know, this most mercurial of forms, that constantly defies notions of what is attainable? As a photographer, the emerging conurbations, the fresh unimagined megalopolises demand a perspective. This is a quest for scope. These horizons, where the patterns and grids of vast populations are assembled out of seeming chaos, are a bright optimistic contribution, a means of attempting to see a future that is happening right now.

Constant sky

left: Downtown São Paulo seen from the top of the Edificio Italiano.With a population of eleven million residents São Paulo is the most populous city in the Southern hemisphere. São Paulo, Brazil, 2008

right: Cuzco seen from Christo Blanco. The city has a population of 350,000 and is located at an altitude of 3,300m. Peru, 2008

Click on image to enlarge or download Print Res (300dpi) PDF of this spread here

Slicing cities

left: Highway in downtown São Paulo. Brazil, 2008

right: A man ascending an arch of Lupu Bridge over the Huangpu River. Shanghai, China, 2007

Click on image to enlarge or download Print Res (300dpi) PDF of this spread here

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“Architecture [is] a theatre stage setting where the leading actors are the people, and to dramatically direct the dialogue between these people and space is the technique of designing.”
Kisho Kurokawa

Public places and buildings have the added dimension of acting as arenas for our lives. In the virtual era we have a heightened awareness of the nature of illusion, of the fact that we are at one and the same time both observing and participating.We see buildings as the backdrop to history and human drama, no longer as organic wholes to which we are connected. In a global village we become tourists and visitors to the sets of a world of other cultures. The photographer, always the contriver and exposer of visual illusion, is attuned to this particularly contemporary phenomenon. Cities and places continually present new ironies, making the observer constantly aware of the layers of transparency. People become orchestrated crowds, and architecture a grand theatrical set, yet individuals are still glimpsed, asserting the defiantly human amongst the towering forests of forms.

Up to the neck

left: Fibreglass shark sculpture erected in 1986, on the 41st anniversary of the dropping of the first atomic bomb. Created by sculptor John Buckley for Bill Heine, who lives in the house. Neighbours tried to force Heine to remove the shark, but after an appeal to the UK’s Secretary of State for the Environment, it was allowed to remain. Oxford, England, 2009

right: Sculpted heads surrounding a front door in Lambeth. London, England, 2009

Click on image to enlarge or download Print Res (300dpi) PDF of this spread here

Spectating space

left: Seated viewers in front of Formal Session of the StateCouncil onMay 7, 1901, in honour of the 100th Anniversary of Its Founding by Ilya Yefimovich Repin, 1903, oil on canvas, State Russian Museum. St. Petersburg, Russia, 2007

right: A tour group outside Injeongjeon Hall (the throne hall), Changdeokgung palace. Originally built 1405, destroyed in the ImjinWars, restored 1609, destroyed by fire 1803. The current structure dates from 1804. Seoul, Korea, 2007

Click on image to enlarge or download Print Res (300dpi) PDF of this spread here

< Previous Chapter Extract

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Book cover of "Jim Stirling and The Red Trilogy: three Radical Buildings" Photo: Quintin Lake

An assignment to photograph three seminal buildings by British architect James Stirling for an upcoming book edited by Alan Berman and published by Frances Lincoln featuring essays by prominent contemporary architects. The book is titled “Jim Stirling and  The Red Trilogy“.

The three buildings featured in the book are The Florey Building at Oxford University, The History Faculty Building at Cambridge University and the Engineering Building at Leicester University.

The book includes essays by: Eva Jiricna, Mark Cannata, Richard Rogers, Alan Stanton, Will Alsop, Norman Foster, Sunand Prasad, Richard MacCormac, Peter Ahrends, Ian Ritchie, John Tuomey, Peter St John, Ted Cullinan, M.J. Long, Ed Jones, Spencer de Grey, Glenn Howells, Bob Allies, Patrick Lynch, Graham Haworth, Shane de Blacam , John Allan, Sarah Wigglesworth and David John.

BUY PRINTS/LICENSE and see more Architectural Photography of James Stirling’s Architecture here

Detail of Engineering Building, Leicester University by James Stirling Architect

Engineering Building, Leicester University by James Stirling & James Gowan, Architects. Photo: Quintin Lake

Detail of Engineering Building, Leicester University by James Stirling Architect

Detail of Engineering Building, Leicester University by James Stirling & James Gowan, Architects Photo: Quintin Lake

Axonometric style aerial view of Leicester University, Engineering Building. Photo: Quintin Lake

History Faculty Building, Cambridge University, James Stirling, Architect completed 1968. Photo: Quintin Lake

Interior of History Faculty Building, Cambridge University, James Stirling, Architect. Photo: Quintin Lake

Florey Building, Queens College, Oxford University, Designed by James Stirling, Architect, Completed 1966. Photo: Quintin Lake

Detail of Florey Building, Queens College, Oxford University, Designed by James Stirling, Architect. Photo: Quintin Lake

BUY PRINTS/LICENSE and see more Architectural Photography of James Stirling’s Architecture here

See more architectural photography in my book Drawing Parallels: Architecture Observed

Text & Photography © Quintin Lake, 2010

Oxford University Expedition 2008: An orchid inventory along the transects II and IV of the InterOceanic Highway.

Location of the Interoceanic Highway in Latin America

Location of the Interoceanic Highway in Latin America

The Interoceanic Highway is a multi-country, multi-region, $1.3-billion project to create a paved highway that links the Peruvian coast with the lowland Amazon Jungle and ultimately the Atlantic ports of Brazil. Peru is counting on the road as a means of opening up its long-neglected interior for development. Brazil is looking for access to Pacific ports. The finished route, planned for 2009, will create the first paved roadway connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans on the South American Continent.

A traveller through Southern Peru can wake up in the harsh chill of the high Andes in the early morning and spend the evening sweating it out in the jungle. From an engineering point of view the IOH poses a legion of difficulties including extreme elevations, incessant downpours and dramatic geography. “It is an incredibly complex project”, says Peru’s Minister of Transportation and Communications, Veronica Zavala. From a social point of view the highway links a variety of interests and development hopes that are not always lined with environmental governance initiatives.

Among the major goals of our expedition was the development of a comprehensive inventory of as many orchid species as we could identify (e.g. we found 103 species of orchids in flower, 1 of them has already been confirmed as new to science (Telipogon manucensis), and 3 others are pending examination. Orchids are an excellent ‘indicator species’ in ecology, and their delicate, often soil-less existence usually renders them the most sensitive residents of a changing environment. We now possess a snapshot of the ecosystem from July 2008, ready to be compared to a later snapshot to evaluate how seriously industrial road-building, climate, and social pressures can affect biodiversity.

In order to share our data with the scientific botanical community, our records will be entered at Oxford’s Virtual Field Herbarium, and also transformed into Rapid Color Guides at the Chicago Field Museum’s website. Our inventory is also being used as part of an ecotouristic initiative to promote green tourism along the Interoceanic Highway.

Expedition members: Rosa María Román-Cuesta (Expedition Leader), Norma Salinas Revilla (Leading Botanist, Oriel College), David Rueger (Financial Officer, St Hugh’s College), Theresa Meacham (Pembroke College), William Nauray (Botanist), Quintin Lake (Medical Officer and Photographer).

Our utmost gratitude to our sponsors: The Stanley Smith (UK) Horticultural Trust; The AA Paton Fund; The Oxford University Expedition’s Council; The Mike Soper Fund; The Oxford Society; Pembroke College JCR,, Oxford; St. Hugh’s College Travelling Funds, Oxford; The Anglo-Peruvian Society; The Tambopata Reserve Society (TReeS)

Download the PDF Expedition report here

Download the PDF photo summary of the orchids here

VIEW MORE IMAGES of the Orchids here

VIEW MORE IMAGES of the Expedition here

VIEW MORE IMAGES of the Interoceanic Highway here

Text © 2008 Rosa Maria Roman Cuesta

Maps & Photography © 2008 Quintin Lake



Lesotho Rock Art Survey 2000: Expedition Report by Simon Aitken & Quintin Lake

Download the full expedition report as a PDF here

A printed copy of the report is also available to view at: the Department of Archaeology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, the Cambridge University Expedition Society and the Royal Geographical Society

Text & Photography © Quintin Lake, 2000

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