Shooting the Geisel Library in San Diego

Shooting the Geisel Library in San Diego

During my trip to Los Angeles, I drove down to San Diego for a couple of days. I wanted to photograph two specific buildings at the University of California San Diego: the Geisel Library and the Salk Institute. Unfortunately, the latter was closed and under construction.

The Geisel Library is a stunning brutalist building by William L. Pereira. It is like no other building I have ever seen before, with its cantilevered structure. Here are two wide shots that will give you a good idea of the overall design.

Geisel Library - San Diego, CA

Geisel Library Southwest

Geisel Library - San Diego, CA

Geisel Library South

My goal was to shoot more detailed and abstract images. Using a telephoto lens, I first focused on the hard edges of the structure, with a series of images called “Sharp Teeth”:

Geisel Library - San Diego, CA

Sharp Teeth #1

Geisel Library - San Diego, CA

Sharp Teeth #2

Geisel Library - San Diego, CA

Sharp Teeth #3

Geisel Library - San Diego, CA

Sharp Teeth #4

The building’s symmetry was pretty irresistible, so I got a number of wider images with very symmetrical compositions.

Geisel Library - San Diego, CA

Glass Palace

Geisel Library - San Diego, CA

Concrete Treehouse

Geisel Library - San Diego, CA

Under Geisel

I used the telephoto again to “fill the frame” with interesting patterns of the windows.

Geisel Library - San Diego, CA

The Great Deception

Geisel Library - San Diego, CA

Alternating Realities

The Geisel Library is a stunning building. Brutalist architecture is not my favorite, but this building is truly unique, and it photographs so well! I highly recommend visiting if you’re in the area.

2 Comments

  • Angie April 16, 2017 4:38 pm

    Great shots, as usual! The really blue sky looks great with it.

    • Michael Muraz April 17, 2017 10:14 am

      Thanks, Angie!

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