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Exploring New York City: Stunning architecture with IAC Building by Frank Ghery

it’s always a pleasure when you can combine things that you love to photograph. As you probably know by now, I love New York City and I love contemporary architecture. And my favorite architects being Frank Ghery and Jean Nouvel, it was a pleasure to take a stroll in Chelsea and photograph one of the most beautiful buildings in the Big Apple, the  InterActiveCorp‘s headquarters (aka IAC building) located at 550 West 18th Street on the corner of Eleventh Avenue in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.

Before going further, I think that if you ever go on a stroll in the neighborhood, be sure not to miss spending some time on the Highline, you will be delighted by this aerial park located in the heart of Chelsea which is just a few blocks away from the Highline, like you can see for yourself here:

IAC Building viewed from the Highline Park

IAC Building viewed from the Highline Park

For this short series, I was equipped of:

  • Nikon D800
  • Nikkor 16-35mm F/4 G ED VR
  • Nikkor 24-70mm F/2.8 G ED
  • Nikkor 135mm F/2 DC
  • Gitzo Leveling 6X tripod GT2540LVL
  • Manfrotto 410 Junior Geared Head

What I love about architecture photography is capturing details or abstracts from the buildings I photograph. And even though it’s not my main lens for architecture, the Nikkor 135mm F/2 DC can be very useful to capture them like you can see in that example below.

IAC Building abstract by architect Frank Ghery Nikon D800 + Nikkor 135mm f/2 DC | ISO160 - 1/1600s - F/3.5

IAC Building abstract by architect Frank Ghery
Nikon D800 + Nikkor 135mm f/2 DC | ISO160 – 1/1600s – F/3.5

However, most of the time, I like to use the Nikkor 16-35mm F/4 G ED VR or the Nikkor 24-70mm F/2.8 G ED to capture most of architecture. What is striking in the picture below is how well the Jean Nouvel’s 100 Eleventh avenue blends in with the IAC building. Both have unique features and a style that is very unique.

Jean Nouvel's 100 Eleventh Avenue and Frank Ghery IAC Building Nikon D800 + Nikkor 16-35mm F/4 G VRII @ 28mm | ISO100 - 1/50s - F/16.0

Jean Nouvel’s 100 Eleventh Avenue and Frank Ghery IAC Building
Nikon D800 + Nikkor 16-35mm F/4 G VRII @ 28mm | ISO100 – 1/50s – F/16.0

When shooting architecture, it’s always a good idea to include some movement into the picture by adding some people to give a sense of scale or traffic to make the scene more dynamic.

traffic on north west view of IAC Building by architect Frank Ghery Nikon D800 + Nikkor 16-35mm F/4 G VRII @ 27mm | ISO100 - 1/25s - F/16.0

traffic on north west view of IAC Building by architect Frank Ghery
Nikon D800 + Nikkor 16-35mm F/4 G VRII @ 27mm | ISO100 – 1/25s – F/16.0

Or simply wait for traffic to clear out for a clean shot of the building without anyone around.

Vertical panorama of north west view of IAC Building by architect Frank Ghery Nikon D800 + Nikkor 16-35mm F/4 G VRII @ 35mm | ISO100 - 1/50s - F/13.0

Vertical panorama of north west view of IAC Building by architect Frank Ghery
Nikon D800 + Nikkor 16-35mm F/4 G VRII @ 35mm | ISO100 – 1/50s – F/13.0

Sometimes, it’s worth getting close and stay wide to enjoy a fun perspective and play with the lines.

Detail of north west side of IAC Building by architect Frank Ghery Nikon D800 + Nikkor 16-35mm F/4 G VRII @ 16mm | ISO100 - 1/50s - F/13.0

Detail of north west side of IAC Building by architect Frank Ghery
Nikon D800 + Nikkor 16-35mm F/4 G VRII @ 16mm | ISO100 – 1/50s – F/13.0

However, when I’m close and that I am already shooting very wide (16mm), I like to combine two photographs into a vertical panorama (aka vertorama) and then correct the perspective.

Vertical panorama of South west view of IAC Building by architect Frank Ghery Nikon D800 + Nikkor 16-35mm F/4 G VRII @ 16mm | ISO100 - 1/125s - F/8.0

Vertical panorama of South west view of IAC Building by architect Frank Ghery
Nikon D800 + Nikkor 16-35mm F/4 G VRII @ 16mm | ISO100 – 1/125s – F/8.0

The versatility of the Nikkor 16-35mm also allows me to capture details or abstracts from really close.

IAC Building abstract by architect Frank Ghery Nikon D800 + Nikkor 16-35mm F/4 G VRII @ 35mm | ISO100 - 1/160s - F/8.0

IAC Building abstract by architect Frank Ghery
Nikon D800 + Nikkor 16-35mm F/4 G VRII @ 35mm | ISO100 – 1/160s – F/8.0

But my favorite time of the day is when the sun is coming down and dusk sets in.

IAC Building detail at dusk by architect Frank Ghery Nikon D800 + Nikkor 24-70mm F/2.8 GI @ 50mm | ISO400 - 1/250s - F/2.8

IAC Building detail at dusk by architect Frank Ghery
Nikon D800 + Nikkor 24-70mm F/2.8 GI @ 50mm | ISO400 – 1/250s – F/2.8

I love how the sky turns blue and gives wonderful tones to the pictures with the blue tones of the sky reflecting them into the windows like below.

IAC Building detail at dusk by architect Frank Ghery Nikon D800 + Nikkor 24-70mm F/2.8 GI @ 45mm | ISO400 - 1/400s - F/2.8

IAC Building detail at dusk by architect Frank Ghery
Nikon D800 + Nikkor 24-70mm F/2.8 GI @ 45mm | ISO400 – 1/400s – F/2.8

My favorite time of the day to take pictures is the blue hour, when the colour of the sky changes into a deep blue. It usually happens 30 minutes after sunset and only last a few minutes. In the picture below, I love how the yellow tones blend into the blue tones of the sky and the car trails really add movement to the whole picture.

Rush hour at IAC Building by architect Frank Ghery Nikon D800 + Nikkor 16-35mm F/4.0 G VRII @ 17mm | ISO100 - 10s - F/13.0

Rush hour at IAC Building by architect Frank Ghery
Nikon D800 + Nikkor 16-35mm F/4.0 G VRII @ 17mm | ISO100 – 10s – F/13.0

 

Rush hour at IAC Building by architect Frank Ghery Nikon D800 + Nikkor 16-35mm F/4.0 G VRII @ 27mm | ISO400 - 1s - F/8.0

Rush hour at IAC Building by architect Frank Ghery
Nikon D800 + Nikkor 16-35mm F/4.0 G VRII @ 27mm | ISO400 – 1s – F/8.0

Thanks for viewing!

Oh and if you have a moment to check those nyc photos on Fine Art America, I would be really grateful!

David Giral is a published Montreal/Toronto based editorial and commercial professional photographer specialized in architecture, interiors, portrait and travel photography.

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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright David Giral (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without permission from David Giral.

David Giral
1 Comment
  • Funny because i am at this very moment in NY and was wondering about this building…

    I told myself it looks like a Frank Ghery, but worst haha!
    So that’s how i landed on your portfolio.

    Great pictures by the way. Thanks fo sharing!

    Y

    2015/09/06 at 11:53 pm

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