“Architecture should be beautiful with all its weathering and cracks and surroundings.” Deepshikha Jain on Photoshopped Architecture

Deepshikha Jain

Deepshikha Jain

Share Post:

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email

“Photography has the power to make banal architecture look beautiful,” says Deepshikha Jain, “contradicting myself, it is also possible to take bad pictures of great buildings.”

Armed with a degree in architecture as well as photography, Jain’s work is distinctly characterized by imagery which combines the aesthetic of high art with the social ideals of design – an expertise she draws upon when we discuss with her the often blurred boundaries between artistic emphasis and blatant deception in architectural photography.

She broaches the topic with her personal approach to the practice “In my work, the most I do in terms of editing is very basic. Exposure control, contrast, colour and perspective correction – that’s it… I do think this basic correction is essential and I cannot skip it.

Her methodology is straightforward; photo-editing, for her, is a tool for streamlining the process of conveyance of the ground reality, not a medium of artistic accentuation or falsification of information. “I have to admit, I do essay the role of a cleaner sometimes – cleaning roads, compounds, gardens, floors, of specks of dirt during editing”, she says, highlighting how she uses the technology for the purpose of bringing clarity and emphasis to the subject – with its intrinsic flaws, and without extrinsic noise – rather than to project artifice.

Architecture should be beautiful with all its weathering and cracks and surroundings.

Institute of Indology - Ahmedabad - Photoshopped Architecture
Pictured – Town Hall, Auroville; Source – Deepshikha Jain

I am not too fond of photo manipulation when it comes to Architectural Photography, she expounds further, her stance relying primarily on honesty of expression,I have had clients tell me to add and subtract buildings, trees, wires, etc. from my photographs. I have even had them cut buildings and paste them elsewhere within the same photograph, thereby changing what I had visualised.

It’s a sentiment that finds resonance with her peers; it is notable – in a dialogue that chooses to focus on the onslaught of over-processed visuals – that many architectural photographers are opting out of this sterilization of their subjects, choosing instead to focus primarily on how buildings fit in the matrix of people, place and time. This attention to the context is crucial – especially as it reasserts the role of photography as the true documenter, one that plays a key role in mapping sociological and environmental (both natural and built) trends.

This counterculture has proven essential for restating the distinction between social and individual art.

Jawahar Kala Kendra - Photoshopped Architecture - Deepshikha Jain
Jain’s works combines the aesthetics of high art with the social ideals of architecture (Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur; Photograph by – Deepshikha Jain)

For Jain’s part, she relies on premeditation and preparation to channel her vision, her efforts deliberate and thorough. “I spend maximum time cleaning and setting up and straightening things before the shoot begins, so that I don’t have to do that later in editing. I detest having to fix things in Photoshop; I prefer to do them pre-shoot… I believe if you do things well before, your time at the editing table is reduced.” 

The argument, essentially, comes back to ethics, necessities, and demand. Photographers cater to both users of architecture as well as the producers of it, their imagery influenced by the demands of both. In a time where opinions are increasingly being shaped by split-second exposure to large amounts of graphic information, intent and integrity – including that of architectural photography – have become vital in determining the very DNA of our world.

Jain’s outlook, however, is optimistic

To me, this shift in preference from graphics to photographs signifies the willingness of the society to both show and look at reality, honestly – to appreciate the nuances, details and innovations in architecture, and to also look beyond its imperfections.

Read more views on the issue

Deepsjikha JainDeepshikha Jain is an Architectural, Industrial and Travel Photographer from Bombay, India. After graduating in Architecture from Bombay, she pursued a Master’s in Photography from Paris. She can easily be seen as a hybrid, having embraced one world without abandoning the other. Having a flair for Travel and Architecture/ Infrastructure, she has traveled across continents, some times just to see why a certain piece of Architecture/ Infrastructure was so rated and at times to be mesmerized by it. She has worked with a number of magazines including, Domus, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Architectural Digest, Australian Architectural Review, GQ, Tasveer Journal, Platform, Home Review, Indian Architect and Builders and Design Detail.

4 Replies to ““Architecture should be beautiful with all its weathering and cracks and surroundings.” Deepshikha Jain on Photoshopped Architecture”

  1. The photograph that is labelled as Institute of Indology, Ahmedabad is incorrect. It is The Town Hall Complex, Auroville by Anupama Kundoo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You May Also Like

4 BHK Apartment at, Ahmedabad, by Shayona Consultant

4 BHK Apartment at, Ahmedabad, by Shayona Consultant

The client simplified his requirement with-“a calm space, using fewer colors and more simplicity with materials, with maximum possible storage, light and ventilation.” This is 4 bedroom apartment, converted into 3bhk with another room as workspace.

Entering through a small vestibule one is impressed with – “The overall aesthetic of the home that is, one of openness, where spaces are multi-functional without crowding the overall layout of drawing, living and dining.” – Prashant Parmar Architect and Shayona Consultant

Read More »

The Bombay House, at South Mumbai, by RC Architects

The Bombay house is a unique typology that has existed since the colonial times. The space is restored and redesigned to its true time but creating opportunities and interactions for today’s use. A unique blend of time and function. The sequence of spaces within the house forms a loop. One enters the house in a library and then moves through a verandah to reach the living spaces. A passage from the living room leads to the bedrooms and the kitchen. Through the bedroom one again reaches the verandah that completes the loop. The design interventions intersect within this sequence enhancing the experience and creating opportunities within the house. – RC Architects

Read More »
Framed House, at Bangalore, India, by Crest Architects

Framed House, at Bangalore, India, by Crest Architects

Located within a gated community in North Bangalore, the square-shaped plot of this residence abuts the road on the southern and western sides and enjoys views of the encompassing greenery. Based on the client’s requirements, our approach was to design a modest house with a specific emphasis on natural light and ventilation.  

Read More »

TIGER TIGER – Nisha Mathew Ghosh

TIGER TIGER is part of a series on animals and their implied symbolic narrative appropriated politically and socially. This series studies the perception of people and conjures up new imaginaries as form is divested of its power by dematerializing it via the act of weaving a narrative shorn of the power, panache, swagger associated with the cultural, symbolic or naturalized form. – Nisha Mathew Ghosh

Read More »
Conserving The Commissariat Bulding, DR DN Road, by Vikas Dilawari

Conserving The Commissariat Building, DR DN Road, by Vikas Dilawari

Mumbai was the first city in India to have heritage regulations to protect its living heritage. This listing and the corresponding regulations binding these precincts would also protect these old areas from burdening the fragile infrastructure with high-rise buildings. These precincts, more than individual structures, puts forward each city’s uniqueness. Heritage awareness is certainly increasing on paper with more nominations of World Heritage Site ensembles. But in reality, its protection on the ground is decreasing at an alarming rate.

Read More »

Subscribe to Architecture and Design Updates