Hélène Binet

Swiss photographer

Hélène Binet (born 1959) is a Swiss-French architectural photographer based in London, who is also one of the leading architectural photographers in the world.

Hélène Binet in Prague, 1991

Quotes edit

  • Shadow is an amazing subject. Shadow is an absence. As an absence of energy you can compare it to silence or maybe cold air....We talk about photography being simple and architecture being complex and how do you convey something that is more deep, that allows you to dream or think This is weird so you start to dream and think and you maybe go out purely from the picture but into yourself. The light and the shadow are tools to allow you to do that.
Museum of World Culture, photographed by Binet.
  • I shoot only on film and plate. I don’t touch digital. There are many reasons: mentally it’s very different to work with film. It’s expensive, it’s heavy, so you have to prepare. It’s precious and every photograph you have to say yes! It’s now! There's no fiddling about and fixing it later. I really believe the soul of photography is its relationship with the instant.
  • In the end, what I do is about feeling. Certain buildings, certain architects generate a strong emotion. It is hard to explain, but, if am I lucky, I can find this feeling, these emotions, slowly and quietly in the darkroom when my pictures come to light.
  • My interest in working sites is linked to an investigation of what is behind the extravagant forms and perfect lines of Hadid’s Architecture; it is an interest in the relation between the elegance of her gesture and her radical way of making a building. Something very primordial and out of time is present in those situations. I think of this as a process of forming.
  • On the other end of this process, there are the finished forms which I sometimes portray at night with sporadic illumination. The obscurity isolates them and the light accentuates their volumes. My focus is on creating images of the buildings which have a sense of being unreal and that have a certain autonomy. Small and big parts of the building can now stand on their own and become independent characters.

Quotes about Hélène Binet edit

  • She is an artist who is successful at the extraordinarily difficult task of capturing a building without flattening it or turning it into yet another pretty picture. Her work reveals architecture's inner intensity by materialising the phenomenon of light, texture and density, all within a composition that is wholly conceptual.
  • Hélène Binet has emerged as one of the leading architectural photographers in the world. Every time Hélène Binet takes a photograph, she exposes architecture’s achievements, strength, pathos and fragility.

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