Showing posts with label The Craftsman Smackdown. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Craftsman Smackdown. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Widescreen Craftsman

What do you do with the challenge of photographing Craftsman houses? Sneak up on them in bright afternoon light, zero in on a piece of the architecture and go for a widescreen view!

(Well, that's my latest strategy. How am I doing?)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ultimate Craftsman


The Style of the house should be as far as possible determined by four conditions: First, Climate; Second, Environment; Third, Kinds of materials available; Fourth, Habits and tastes—i.e., the life of the owner.

--Charles Sumner Greene, 1906, The Western Architect

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Arts and Crafts (and Cloudbursts)

Talk about a Craftsman Challenge...

I ventured out the other day to shoot pictures of South Pasadena's beloved bungalows when it started to rain. Here, a lonely lawn chair gets another rinse. (I'll be those little plants are happy, though...)

For more on Craftsman architecture -- and a whole lot of pictures of houses -- check out my latest at Patch. It should post sometime before lunchtime today.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Craftsman Challenge: Round 6

It's been a while since I've taken the Craftsman Challenge but this cozy, green wonder seemed to be begging for a portrait. South Pasadena has hundreds of Arts and Crafts houses and each one is an inspiration -- not to mention a tricky subject to photograph. (Those shadowy porches! Those blindingly reflective slanting rooftops!)

I've already waxed rhapsodic about this period of design, but I can't help repeating myself:

Simple. Beautiful.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Craftsman Challenge: Round 5 (Sublime to Ridiculous!)

This has to be my favorite front yard in South Pasadena. I wonder... are contemporary Druids living here? I can think of no better image to revisit my beloved Craftsman Challenge. Here's a review to bring new readers up to speed:

The idea began with my complaint about how it's almost impossible to use a camera to capture the true beauty of a Craftsman home. My blogging pals stepped up to the plate to prove me wrong...

Petrea added her touch here and followed up here, Ben at The Sky is Big in Pasadena joined the fun here, Mister Earl came alonghere and here and started getting silly here, Sarah Jane over at Hatching a Patch jumped in with this , GOSP reader Barbra joined in with this, Keith at Gem City Images added to the collection with this great shot just as Elaine, our Northern California buddy in Willits added this, and fellow San Gabriel Valley blogger Pasadena Adjacent added my favorite hilarious addition to the Challenge canon with this beautifully irreverent (and well-spotted) example of Craftsman architecture.

And a little bit like the architecture itself, my challenge endures! I'm happy to say, yet another contender steps into the ring for a chance at the title of Craftsman Smackdown queen. This is the perfect opportunity for me to introduce a new Los Angeles-area blog, A Photographic Journey, by GOSP reader (and photographer-extraordinaire) The Chieftess. Take a look at her masterful shots of Craftsman homes, and be sure to check out her other photographs. I think you will enjoy the thoughtful, elegant and just plain beautiful images from around Southern California. Welcome to Blogland, Chieftess!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Craftsman Challenge: Round 4

Benjamin Madison over at Victoria Daily Photo offered a total knockout entry into the Craftsman Challenge. As Petrea at Pasadena Daily Photo wrote in Benjamin's comment section, "We'll have to go back at it, won't we?"

I'll say!

It all started with my lament that it's nearly impossible to get a picture of a Craftsman home that truly reflects the beauty and wonder of the architectural style. Well, never let it be said that my blogging pals pass up a good challenge...

Petrea stepped up here and followed up here, Ben at The Sky is Big in Pasadena added his two cents here, Mister Earl upped the stakes here and here and with a big laugh-out-loud here, Sarah Jane over at Hatching a Patch jumped in with this , GOSP reader Barbra came along with this, and Keith at Gem City Images tried to grab the title of Craftsman Smackdown King with this great shot only to be shaken when Elaine way up north in Willits snuck up with this great shot.

I'm thrilled that my call for photographs of Craftsman homes has spread out of the San Gabriel Valley, through Northern California and now to Canada. We can already see the differences in the way the Craftsman master ethic translated to different regions. I love the stonework in Benjamin's shot. It's very different than the river rock that is so prevalent here.

So it's game on, fellow bloggers. Who else wants to dare try to capture these elusive beauties with the snap of a shudder? I'll say it again: show me your Craftsmans!

Oh, and for those of you new to this madness, check out the details in these posts...

(If I've left anyone out, please let me know!)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Craftsman Challenge: Round 3

Gotcha!

Finally, after months of futile snapping, here is an image that begins to hope to dare to possibly approximate what a Craftsman house actually looks like in person. (Though still not exactly. I am beginning to feel like one of those obsessed types who try to snag a shot of the Loch Ness monster. Or ghosts in The Rialto.)

Isn't it gorgeous? I don't think I'll ever stop marveling at these historical gems. South Pasadena simply glitters with them.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Craftsman Challenge: Round 2

There are some things that just refuse to be pinned down -- like the meaning of life. And Craftsman houses.

I recently lamented my inability to adequately photograph the splendor of South Pasadena's many Craftsman homes. Shooting the moon without a zoom or a tripod is easier. Trying to effectively explain what a newborn baby's head smells like is easier. In real life, this house is a veritable wonder of texture and light, a majestic woodsy palace fit for a Goblin King. Here, in picture form, it's just a collection of pretty windows lost in the dappled shade. Some blame the recessed porches for creating too much shadow. Others curse the light bounced from the pitched roof. I just think all of these structures are equipped with some kind of magical early 20th Century cloaking device that won't allow reproduction in any form.

But kudos to my fellow San Gabriel Valley bloggers for stepping up to the challenge! Petrea presents a world-class effort here and follows up here, Ben gives us a nifty shot here, Mister Earl is on a roll here and here and with a most lighthearted touch here, Sarah Jane over at Hatching a Patch takes the initiative with this great entry , GOSP reader Barbra jumped right in with these lovely shots on her blog, and Keith may have earned the title Craftsman Smackdown King with this great shot although Elaine way up north in Willits throws it down pretty hard with this fantastic image. Nice job, gang. But we all still know that Craftsman homes belong to a rare breed of California superstars: they really do look better in person.

Still, the quest continues...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Craftsman Challenge

Beautiful, unassuming Craftsman architecture: it's part of what makes South Pasadena and several other sections of the San Gabriel Valley so special. Here we are, smack dab in Arts and Crafts Central. Street after street, lined with perfect examples of the period -- homes nestled amid tree branches, bright river rock tucked into dark earth, porches relaxing into shadow, pitched rooftops bathed with light. Each one a study of sun and shade, with subtle details disappearing into foliage.

And every one almost impossible to capture with a camera! Those architects 100 years ago succeeded in their goal of designing homes that blend seamlessly into the landscape. It's like trying to photograph someone in a jungle who is splattered with mud and wearing camouflage pants.

So, after months of frustrated attempts, I pass the challenge on to my fellow San Gabriel Valley City Daily photobloggers ... show me your local Craftsmans! (I'm counting on you Ben, Petrea and Keith!)

UPDATED January 16, 2009: Click here for links to bloggers who have accepted the challenge!

UPDATED January 25, 2009: Bringing up my amended request from the comments below: I may have mentioned my San Gabriel Valley cohorts but I include ALL bloggers in this challenge. Show me what you got!