Two goals in this trip to Phoenix were photographing architecture (a teenage passion of mine) and test the Distagon 2.8/15 ZM that Zeiss kindly had delivered to my door two days before my departure.As you can see on this page, the first has been achieved (with more to come). As for the second, well … err. You see, I have that C-Sonnar I can keep my paws off.
Let me walk you through some of the sites …
For this first day of exploration, I settled on the Eastern side of Phoenix. After Los Angeles, I was expecting Phoenix to feel more compact but, man, this is one huuuuge city. After taking 45 minutes to drive across one third of the map, it seemed like a good idea to keep my hunting ground modest in scale. First stop Arizona State University. Keeping things in proportion with its host city, this is one huuuuuge campus. There were skaters here and there but it’s hard to imagine them covering more than a few percent of the surface with such muscle powered transportation.
Nelson Fine Art Center, by Albuquerque architect Antoine Predock. In the spirit of me being on vacation and lazy, I’ll shut up and let you view the pictures 😉
Very close, the Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium, by my teenage heart-throb, Frank Lloyd Wright. Since this looked half blancmange, half Liberace’s boudoir, I decided to move one.Surrounding architectural elements are very interesting, though. Architecture guides usually recommend a visit to the Institute of biodesign. But that left me cold and is probably more interesting at night. Stop 3: a slightly disappointing pilgrimage to Taliesin West, winter retreat and teaching academy extraordinaire of Grand Master Wright.While the place is every bit as inspiring as my numerous readings had suggested it to be, it is also a heavily visited site and very expensive to get into. The cost is probably justified for those wanting a visit, but for a photographer needing to wander alone and find empty spaces, not so good. Still, highly recommended for lovers of architecture, Hyperion (the novel) and history. Final stop of the day: the Arabian Library, by Richard + Bauer Architect. Located a couple of blocks away from Taliesin West at the very Northern limits of Scottsdale, this is another very interesting building.
If you’re in the area, the residential blocks along Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd are also very rich in spectacular houses. I’m not sure how this heavily guarded community would react to a photographer making portraits of their homes, but the houses are open to the road and not fenced in, so I’m hoping all goes well if/when I return.
So there you have it, some of the famous architectural landmarks of East Phoenix (Tempe and Scottsdale), an area twice the size of Paris. More soon. Tomorrow, I hope to get that Distagon 2.8/15mm out of its box. My plan from now on is to use a different lens every day, one at a time. Switching on the go while running after my family is just too much in this heat 😉
Be seeing you.
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