(P1) We spoke with Rodrigo Dávila, an ARCHITECTURAL photographer based in Bogotá. When he was a teenager, Dávila INHERITED a camera from his grandfather and NEVER LOOKED BACK. After working as an architect for two years and taking pictures in his FREE TIME, Rodrigo moved to Melbourne, Australia to study photography. Back in Colombia, Dávila established a photography business through which he expresses his passion for design and contemporary buildings.

(P2) 1. Are you an architect?

(P3) I studied architecture at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, and I worked in the offices of architect Daniel Bermúdez before becoming a photographer.

(P4) 2. When and how did you start to photograph architecture?

(P5) Photography was always my great passion.  When I was 14 years old, I inherited my grandfather’s old camera and I started to photograph in black and white. When I graduated from university, I was able to travel and photograph buildings designed by important architects. I had the opportunity to study commercial photography in Melbourne, Australia. By joining my experience as an architect and a photographer, I became an architecture photographer.


(P6) 3. What do you like about your job as an architectural photographer?

(P7) Finding the ideal moment when all external VARIABLES come into play to create a “perfect moment.” One waits until the weather, the light, and even the people in the building are at an ideal point in order to take the picture.

(P8) 4. Favorite architect?

(P9) My favorite architect is Alvar Aalto. I love his ORGANIC shapes, which at the same time are not OVERLOADED or EXTRAVAGANT.

(P10) 5. Favorite work?

(P11) The Sydney Opera House by Jorn Utzon.  It is a perfect example of how a building can change a city.

(P12) 6. Favorite architectural photographer artist?

(P13) I like the OLD SCHOOL, the work of architecture photographers Ezra Stoller and Julius Shulman. Through their photography, I see that they understand the function of space in modern architecture.


(P14) 7.  How would you define your style?

(P15) I seek strong and clear COMPOSITION in my photographs.


(P16) 8. What advice would you give to a person who wishes to start to photograph architecture?

(P17) Take many, many, many pictures and always keep in mind what the idea behind the building being photographed is. One should keep in mind that an image is a combination of emotion, NARRATIVE, and TECHNIQUE.

WORDS: 386



If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do you enjoy taking photographs? What sort of camera do you use?
  3. What are the most famous buildings in your country?
  4. Describe the architecture of the house or apartment building that you live in.
  5. Davila suggests taking many pictures in order to become a good photographer. What skill did you have to practice a lot in order to become good at it?


What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.

  • Never look back
  • Free time
  • Old school

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