As important a tool as geometry is my Nikon D-60 digital camera. I could not overestimate the impact this tool has had on my design work. I take endless panoramic pictures of projects. The house, the land, the placement of trees, the views out the windows-I take many more pictures than what I could possibly need, as they are as easy to get rid of as they are to keep. The camera is a single-eyed machine. The printed pictures come with edges; what I photograph is a composition. It records what we have become accustomed to, and don’t see anymore-like the trash cans on the terrace.
My clients are sometimes surprised by these pictures; the camera enables them to take a step back from what they think they have, and see with some detachment. A landscape designer I worked for many years ago was fond of saying “the plants don’t lie”. A client who insisted they were not overwatering their landscape would be gently reminded that the plants will tell you what’s not being done properly; you only need to listen. The camera is a party to the design process with no agenda. It can help you see what’s there, and it can help you understand what’s being proposed.
I sometimes draw on these photographs for clients who have trouble visualizing from a drawing. I am very used to drawings, but why should they be? Interested in what furniture would look great on your terrace, or which pots would work at your front door? Bring your pictures.