This Photographer Travels the World Making Minimalistic Portraits of Buildings

Florian Mueller’s new series Singularity IV adds a new selection of images to his architectural portfolio. The photographer left his Cologne base to travel the globe in search of two things: striking buildings and a cloudless sky.

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Florian is a multi-award winning architecture, fine art and landscape photographer whose work has been exhibited all over the world. His extensive portfolio of the world’s buildings is testament to a lifestyle of travel.

Pasted against the canvas of a blank sky, each building pops out in its own intriguing and idiosyncratic way, appearing both as monuments to bold architecture and to the aesthetic principles of powerfully composed images. This latest iteration of the Singularity series continues the tradition of debunking a common misconception: standing tall in even the greatest of cities does not protect you from loneliness.

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We crossed paths with the digital nomad to find out more about his artistic process.

THE PLUS: This series is one of your more minimalistic. Was it difficult to keep the images so free from distraction?
Florian Mueller:
Well, to be honest, I cut the buildings. With these types of buildings, the problem is that you find most of they are never truly alone or separated from other buildings. But this is the fascinating effect of the whole series. The buildings are in reality always connected with a completely different surrounding. 

But even then there are some difficulties, for example trees. Oh these trees! Don’t get me wrong, I am a nature fan and I love trees. But when they stand in front of a building I like to shoot, I sometimes wish I had chainsaw. Just kidding. If I can’t find an angle I skip the building. 

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TP: What was it like waiting in each location for a blue sky?

FW:
The sky is actually not always blue. There are pictures with a greyish or a mostly white sky. I rebuild the sky of the darkest and the lightest tone in the “real” sky of the photography. So I show the ideal state of the respective sky. But you are right, sometimes the weather does not fit. Sometimes I have to come back the other day or I have to wait. It’s not only the sky itself that’s important, it’s also the reflections in the windows too. When they reflect too much sunlight or too many clouds, I have to come back later.

TP: Where do you plan to go for Singularity V?

FM:
I am working on it! When I have around 200 Buildings maybe I will publish a “Singularity” book.

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TP: Is your editing workspace very neat and tidy?

FM:
Funny question. I am not the tidiest person but I am most productive when my workplace is neat and tidy. So I have to push myself from time to time.

TP: What equipment do you use?

FM:
My work horse is a Nikon D800E and I use a combination of different lenses. Most of the singularity pictures were shot with a Sigma 35mm f1.4 ART lens.
But I also work with a Cambo Wide camera in combination with a Phase One medium format back – it’s the best way to shoot architecture. For post-production I use Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom and Capture One.

TP: What time of day did you go out for these images?

FM:
Anytime during the day. But I love the very early morning when you find this beautiful soft light.

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