Monochrome master: the beautiful architectural photography of Michael Kenna

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There’s something monumental about black and white photography. Especially when it concerns itself with architecture. 

Nowhere is this better demonstrated than in the work of photographer, Michael Kenna. Born in 1953 in Widnes – famed in the north-west for its chemical plants – Kenna graduated from the London College of Printing and became a commercial photographer.

While working on paid jobs, Kenna developed his unique style of landscape photography, and in 1977 moved to San Francisco where he began to exhibit his images. Over the years he developed a unique style, working at night or early in the morning, and using exposures of up to 10 hours.

Now, a new book celebrates his work. Beyond Architecture is an in-depth look at Kenna’s urban landscapes, which take in everything from the Eiffel Tower to Venice’s Bridge Of Sighs – every image imbued with soft, ethereal light and shades of grey and black. 

It’s not just familiar places he covers, either: you’ll also find silhouettes of coal mines, geometric roof patterns and the brooding cooling towers of power stations, too. In an age where photography is instant – and mostly instantly forgettable – Kenna’s work is proof that putting time and effort in delivers unforgettable results. 

Beyond Architecture: Michael Kenna is published by Prestel, prestel.com








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