As the first ever Chicago Architecture Biennial approaches, the design world is beginning to focus on the Windy City and its architectural legacy. Long known for its iconic skyline, Chicago is a natural fit for a global architectural expo, and later this year, 63 architects and studios will convene in Chicago to kick off the inaugural biennial. And in addition to highlighting the world's greatest design studios, architectural photography will play an important role in the international gathering. A specially commissioned photo essay from Dutch architectural photographer Iwan Baan will be one of the highlights of the first biennial, which begins in October. And while Baan might be one of the best known living architectural photographers, Chicago has some notable homegrown talent. Photographer Michael Salisbury has been populating his Flickr and Instagram accounts with dreamy portraits of Chicago's most famous buildings. And in many cases, Salisbury's lens captures a city that almost looks unreal. The meticulously composed images highlight the beauty of Chicago's famous skyscrapers, and the city's ever-changing (and sometimes dreadful) weather plays an important role. While Salisbury's work won't be featured at the inaugural Chicago Architectural Biennial, he's certainly one person that folks interested in design, architecture and photography will want to keep an eye on. We recently reached out to Salisbury to learn more about the inspiration behind his work.
How long have you lived in Chicago?
I grew up in Evanston, so I've been in the Chicago area my whole life.
You update your various photo accounts pretty regularly, how many photos are you taking on a daily basis?
I've got my camera with me pretty much at all times. Usually I'm getting photos on my way to and from work and during lunch breaks, but the bulk comes when I'm out shooting with friends. Sometimes I might go a week without shooting anything, but I have enough postable photos stacked up that I can keep a nice consistent flow.
Chicago's architecture and streetscape are the focus of most of your content. What is it about the city's buildings that you find fascinating?
My dad is an architect, and because of that I've grown up with a deep appreciation for good design and architecture. The city of Chicago has an amazing mix of classic and contemporary architecture that's so fascinating to me. I like to document it through my photography while adding my own artistic style at the same time.
Many of your images have a dark, subdued feel to them. How does the weather play a role in your work? Or are you just trying to make the best of Chicago's notoriously terrible weather?
Weather definitely plays a role in some of my shots. Usually I use the bad weather to my advantage in order to get a real moody photo. It's not always bad weather that's useful though, harsh light and sunshine are also great to play with too.
Do you have any suggestions or recommendations to people just getting started with architectural photography or photography in general?
Each photo I take means something to me, it's never careless or taken on a whim. Everything is calculated, after shooting for so long I'm constantly evaluating composition and seeing photos in every day situations. Over time these things just become a part of your life, and that's when you know it's bigger than a hobby. But, my biggest advice, is that these things take time. Some people progress more quickly than others and that's fine just as long you're progressing at a pace that's comfortable. Best I can say is that if you want to progress, then take it seriously. Shoot a lot, experiment with things you're not comfortable with and most importantly network with other people, especially those you want to learn from.
·Michael Salisbury [Official Website]
·First Ever Chicago Architecture Biennial Taking Shape for 2015 [Curbed Chicago]
·Chicago Architecture Biennial's Lineup Looks Stellar [Curbed National]
·The State of the Art of Architecture [Chicago Architecture Biennial]
·Adventures in Architecture [Curbed Chicago]