The new Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo opens soon and it could easily become another landmark beside the Opera. Ordered by the brothers Selvaag and designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano, it will pride the waterfront scenery at Tjuvholmen.
I got the assignment to portrait the building from various angles by D2 magazine. Renzo Piano, who was selected by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, has his office in Genova Italy, at the sea level. His life is connected with the sea, and he has also constructed several sailboats in his own harbor by his office. No wonder that the museum, with it’s wooden spectacularity, has clear signs of nautic design.
After arriving on the set, the assignment turned out to be more difficult than expected. The building was not totally finished and still showed clear signs of a construction site. That the surrounding area was already open to the public did not make things more easy. As a photographer you get used to those challenges, and I tend to solve those assignments with the best possible authentic approach by avoiding retouchment.
A building demands an exact observation and changes it’s appearance with the light and with different perspectives. The clear and wonderful viewfinder of the Leica S2 is a joy to look through, and allows me to compose the final image with ease. On an architectonical location I use the camera on a tripod, almost without exceptions. We worked with all five lenses, but the wide angle Elmarit-S 30mm, the Summarit-S 35mm and the normal Summarit-S 70mm were attached to the camera the most of the time. Still, the Apo-Summarit 120mm is one of my favorite lenses, and allows an abstract approach to the assignment.
An assignment like this involves challenges of different kinds. You need to tolerate high places to get unexpected and dynamic perspectives. My assistant, Dag Dalvang, was brave and climbed up the highest crane he could find to shoot a spectacular image of the roof. You can see the results today on print in the D2 magazine.
– Damian Heinisch