Friday, July 17, 2009

Julius Shulman (1910-2009)

Modernist architectural photographer extraordinaire, and part-time night photographer, Julius Shulman (Wikipedia) passed away last night in Los Angeles at age 98. Shulman is often credited with creating the allure of the Southern California lifestyle.

Below is his most famous photograph (a night photograph, no less), Case Study House No.22:

(Photo by Julius Shulman)

I've always had a soft spot for Julius Shulman. When I first became serious about my photography, I shot primarily daytime photographs on black-and-white infrared film. At that time, Shulman was the only big-name photographer known to me who had praised infrared photography. I had one of his books where he suggested that photographers had not yet exploited the full potential of infrared film for architectural photography. He instantly became my here. About five years later my focus switched from daytime infrared to night photography. As you can see above, Shulman was also doing some great night work.

So, here's to the only photographer I knew of who had his feet in both of the photography styles that I loved.

Most of Shulman's photographs reside in the Getty Center in Los Angeles. Here is his obituary, as well as a video where he talks about the photograph above. Here's a wonderful photograph of Shulman at work.


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