Plymouth Congregational Church

The summer of 2011 found me in Downtown Seattle, circling Plymouth Congregational Church with my camera several times a week. I had enrolled in the Intro to Architectural Photography class at the University of Washington with John Stamets, and the main project was to pick a building and explain it well photographically. I chose the church for its elegant Bauhaus simplicity and sprawling layout.

My experience with the beautiful and versatile Plymouth Congregational Church building taught me that one doesn’t get to know a building after one visit. When I was forced to come back and produce better exposures of the church, I discovered new angles every time, pun intended. The light shifted and the shadows changed.

The class as a whole and the project in particular were a turning point in my photography. My prior focus was on the most interesting angles of a building, to the point of abstraction. That summer, I started showing buildings as accurately as possible, keeping the vertical vertical and the horizontal horizontal.