Museum of the North

DSC_9677The Museum of the North, located on the campus of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks was designed by the . This amazing facility designed by architect Joan Soranno, FAIA and Vice President/Design Principal HGA, Inc, Minneapolis, MN. sits high atop a ridge overlooking the UA Fairbanks campus, the City of Fairbanks, AK, and on a clear day “The Great One”… Denali!  This one is definitely on my top 10 list of amazing buildings! ‪#‎Coolbuildings‬, ‪#‎Architecture‬, ‪#‎Fairbanks‬, ‪#‎Alaska‬

 

Salute to M. Cartier-Bresson

SCPS-150922-063In 1952, Henri Cartier-Bresson published a book entitled à la sauvette.  The English-language edition of this volume was titled The Decisive Moment. It included a portfolio of 126 of his photos from the East and the West. For his 4,500-word philosophical preface, Cartier-Bresson took his keynote text from the 17th century Cardinal de Retz, “There is nothing in this world that does not have a decisive moment”. Cartier-Bresson, widely regarded as the father of photojournalism, applied this philosophy to his photographic style. He said: “To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organization of forms which give that event its proper expression.”

This image of the 19th-century Inverness Castle located on the banks of the River Ness was captured in the waning light of the day.  While sitting in a nearby cafe w/ friends just as it was setting on the distant horizon, the sun poked out from behind a heavy cloud bank sending glorious golden rays streaming across the landscape. Grabbing my camera and racing to the rivers edge this image was captured in the fleeting last light of the day!

Wandering along the banks of the River Ness on my way back to the cafe, and my travel companions, I was reminded of a quote I had once read from M. Cartier-Bresson “…creativity happens in a fraction of a second when you are taking a picture. Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera. That is the moment the photographer is creative… once you miss it, it is gone forever!”
 
Amen to that!

The Royal Crescent

SCPS-150929-075Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, more commonly known simply as “Vitruvius”, was a Roman author, architect, civil engineer and military engineer. He once wrote that Ionic design is “an appropriate combination of the severity of the Doric and the delicacy of the Corinthian.” This magnificent example of an Ionic columned colonnade on located on the “Royal Crescent” in Bath England, UK is, I am certain, a classic example of just what he meant! ‪#‎Classic‬ ‪#‎Architecture‬ ‪#‎Design

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Architectural Photography

FCDC-151004-020An example of architectural exteriors work recently commissioned by a property management firm located in the Capital Region of New York State.  When photographing landscapes (natural or man made) the “rules” remain the same… compositions that lead the eye and invite the viewer to explore, even enter the image combined with directional lighting that serves to reveal the shape and form of the design will always produce the most successful images.

Utilizing Nikon cameras and lenses exclusively, and working in 35mm digital format, SCiraulo Photography is able to produce high quality, color and levels corrected digital images in a range of resolutions suitable for trade show displays, prints & wall décor, corporate publications, annual reports, press kits, advertisements, e-books, editorial & magazine publication, and web pages. To learn more about our specific services, and to view additional samples of my recent work, please click the services link above.

Eagle Encounter

_DSC1382Prior to returning to photography full time and while still working as the Director of Design for DASNY (Dormitory Authority of the State of New York) I began commuting by bicycle from my home located in Troy, NY to my office. On most days of the work week, I would set out before dawn on my wife’s re-purposed Schwinn “Sierra Runner” which I had converted into a commuter bike for the 10 or so mile ride down the Hudson River to Albany. My usual route would take me through South Troy, and over one of the area’s best known river crossings, the historic Troy-Menands Bridge. Built in 1933, the main span originally featured two towers (long since removed) that lifted the central span of the bridge to a height of 135’ above the water surface to allow tall ships to pass. Recently, the Troy-Menands Bridge was altered to include a pedestrian/bicycle lane connection to the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail which from this point south runs along the western bank of the Hudson River.

Always a peaceful ride, the section of the bike-hike trail located along the Hudson is particularly enjoyable as it rolls along easy grades and gentle slopes just yards from the river’s tree lined shore. Each morning, oftentimes with the faintest rays of the day’s first light over my shoulder I would approach the westernmost end of the bridge and cross high above the river’s shoreline barely visible below. Swinging first north then south and north again before making a final sweeping turn to the south I silently coasted down the double switchback ramp from the bridge onto the bike-hike path below.

Some mornings the beam of my headlamp would expose a small group of deer grazing on nearby grasses or a rabbit would scurry from the brush and dart across the path just ahead of my beacon as I arched through one or the other of the switchback turns. This particular morning however held no such drama, or so I thought.

On this particular Fall morning I remember a “stillness” in the air, and the soft “snapping” sound as my 1.75” x 26” tires rolled over dried leaves scattered on the asphalt paved path. Propelling myself forward up a slight rise while crossing under the bridge the rapid and rhythmic “tick, tick, tick, tick, tick…”sound of the freewheel faded into the dawn as I applied pressure to the cranks, crested the rise and accelerated down the other side of the incline. Perhaps it was the sound, or the movement that first caught my attention… I’m really not certain… but as I glided across the smooth pavement just beyond the tree line and very near the river’s edge I sensed something moving in the dim morning light.

Looking to my left there it was fifteen or twenty feet at most above the still, glass like surface of the Hudson… a bald eagle wings stretched wide gliding silently in the pink light of dawn! Appearing to match my speed and direction the eagle and I moved along on more or less parallel courses as we “soared” silently through the cool early morning air. As I marveled at this magnificent creation, warm orange light from the rising sun dramatically illuminated the streamlined torso, tail and enormous wings of this beautiful bird. Each fine movement and subtle adjustment of tail and wingtip feathers clearly visible as the eagle maintained a steady course. Then without warning, and with several flaps of its powerful wings, the eagle broke formation and silently rose up and away while turning east toward the opposite shore.

As I continued south along the bike path to my office and the challenges of the day I watched the eagle steadily move off into the distance and thought to myself how very fortunate I had been and no matter what else happens on this day, today will be a very good day!

Less is More

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Turku, FI 2013

It has been wisely said, that which is less complicated is oftentimes better understood and more appreciated than complexity.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, one of the twentieth century’s most influential architects is credited with coining the much cited architectural axiom “Less is more.” In fact, this succinct and astute observation was first voiced by the young van der Rohe’s mentor, German architect and designer Peter Behrens.

Brevity in communication, be it verbal or visual, when thoughtfully articulated leads to clarity and a simple eloquence.

 

Adirondack State of Mind

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Camp Bearberry Lake Placid, USA 2015

One of my latest images from a recent “impromptu” interiors shoot at Camp Bearberry located in Lake Placid NY.  This bathroom which features an antique “dough cabinet” re-purposed as a lavatory base for one of the “coolest” bowel faucets I’ve seen in some time.  Warm wood, earth tones and tiled floor and shower wall finishes complement the Arts & Crafts styled vanity lighting,

The rustic elegant ambiance of this space is topped off with two uniquely “Adirondack” touches, a classic Adirondack basket pack and a miniature Adirondack chair.

Winters Calm

Adirondack Chairs on Bearberry Porch

Lake Placid, NY 2015

Winter.  A time of cold, and sometimes frigid temperatures.  Shortened days spent “hunkered down” with woolen socks on our feet, and warm drinks in our hands.  Also a time to slow down, relax, recharge and reflect upon goals achieved, opportunities missed, blessings received and bestowed.  In the words of that master of photography, Ansel Adams “When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”