Skokomish Tribal Community Center - 7 Directions Architects

1 great project in 2 great days for 7 Directions Architects!

Last Fall I had the pleasure of fielding a call about photographing the new Skokomish Tribal Community Center for Daniel J. Glenn, AIA, AICAE.  Daniel is the Principal Architect of 7 Directions Architects/Planners, a Native American-owned firm based in Seattle, Washington, specializing in culturally and environmentally responsive architecture and planning.

He was close to officially turning over the keys to the community center to the owners, the Skokomish Indian Tribe, and needed architectural photography for a pair of upcoming book projects: Our Voices: Indigeneity and Architecture and The Handbook of Contemporary Indigenous Architecture.  He is a contributing author to both and co-editor of the Handbook. Image deadlines were looming so we needed to strike right away!

Architectural photographer's need to learn as much as possible about the program of each building to be successful. And so we chatted at length about his project, what was unique, best angles, key features of the design, and why!  As we talked I learned there is a rich and deep process to his design.

As shared in his book Our Voices: Indigeneity and Architecture, "With each Tribe, we seek to design for the Seven Generations: three generations of the ancestors, the present generation, and three generations into the future. Through the Elders, both those who are still with us and those who have passed, we seek to learn about the traditions, the history and the culture of the people and the place. We analyze their architectural and design traditions."

The East elevation of the new Skokomish Tribal Community Center located in Skokomish, Washington.

Culturally-Responsive Design for Seven Generations. With each Tribe, we seek to design for the Seven Generations: three generations of the ancestors, the present generation, and three generations into the future.
— Daniel J. Glenn, AIA, AICAE Principal Architect / 7 Directions Architects/Planners

During the first of two visits the primary focus was on exteriors elevations. How it plays with the environment. So I headed out at 3:30am the next day to ensure I ready to shoot at dawn's first light. Fortunately the deteriorating weather held off and I came back with 5 beautiful images throughout daybreak.

Following the post production artwork I shared the images and met his deadline. The success of any project relies on customer satisfaction. HIs reply?

Hello Doug

These are wonderful!

It will be hard to choose!
— Daniel J. Glenn 7 Directions Architects/ Planners

I am happy to report these images have secured a prominent place in both books and a also a place of honor amongst his ongoing marketing and publishing efforts.

Nestled against a forested backdrop, this space features an extensive array of Solar cells

The structure reflects enormous linear cedar plank houses that once lined the coasts of Puget Sound and celebrates the building tradition of the Skokomish people.Nestled against a forested backdrop, this space features an extensive array of Solar cells, also called photovoltaic (PV) cells, bringing energy from the sun, its air to air heat exchangers drawing energy from the air, and its structural insulated panels providing a super insulated building envelope, and is on track to be the first Net Zero project on tribal land in the United States.

The Ceremonial East entry to the gathering space with welcome figure details.

Earlier this year Daniel had me back for a second day to photograph the the interiors spaces. I arrived to a torrential downpour, many inches per hour, and so was faced with that task of offloading gear beneath the eaves escaping the deluge by mere inches. 😬 With a solid plan in hand I worked each space determining best perspectives and coaxing the natural light working through the space. I often need to augment forms and surfaces with supplemental lighting to kick off shape and texture but found less intrusion to best showcase the peace, reverence and solitude of this great space. I was met with a wondrous scent of cedar as I worked throughout the day. Ahh.

The best laid plans...the second day not quite as idyllic as the first! Such is architectural photography in the Pacific Northwest!

These stunning interior spaces were designed by Kimberly Deriana, Architectural Designer at 7 Directions Architects/Planners. Her design elements married traditional Coast Salish artwork with solid functionality throughout, matching the beauty and grace of the exterior structure in its natural settings!

This image of The Skokomish Tribal Community Center's gathering space was featured in AZURE Magazine’s piece titled UNCEDED IS CANADA’S EXPLORATION OF INDIGENOUS ARCHITECTURE.  This is a glorious tall space, with cedar wrapped clerestory windows and large circular lamps giving a sense of daylight.

With each Tribe, we seek to design for the Seven Generations: three generations of the ancestors, the present generation, and three generations into the future. Through the Elders, both those who are still with us and those who have passed, we seek to learn about the traditions, the history and the culture of the people and the place.
— Daniel J. Glenn, AIA, AICAE Principal Architect / 7 Directions Architects/Planners

Gathering space features artwork using traditional Skokomish basket patterns,

The materials and artwork used throughout the Tribal Community Center reflect an environmentally responsive architecture and planning. Working in concert with other built-community members 'Malsam Tsang Structural Engineering', 'SCJ Alliance', 'Travis, Fitzmaurice & Associates', 'Ecotope', 'Pease Construction', 'Capital Heating and Cooling', and 'Solar Washington' the results stand testament to solid partnering.

Large carved wood doors feature Skokomish artwork created by Skokomish artists John Edward Smith and Derek Grover. These doors separate the gathering space from the main entry space.

Hearty congratulations to Daniel Glenn who is part of a team of indigenous architects presenting at the 2018 Venice Biennale. Unceded: Voices of the Land is Canada’s official entry showcasing a team of 18 all indigenous architects. The exhibit explores and seeks to understand what contemporary architecture is in THIS age. This exhibit celebrates the voices of these indigenous architects through their design and architecture.

These beautiful carved doors feature traditional Coast Salish artwork.  A view through to the Gathering Space provides a sense of depth and scale. 

A tournament size gymnasium serves to bring regional tournaments and communities together during holidays, funerals, and large cultural celebrations.

North-side elevation l-r. East entry, gathering space, Elder's area, main entry and lobby and lastly the gymnasium.

Beautiful glass and cedar doors with Skokomish artwork invite visitors into the Elders Area. Sporting a full kitchen deep space with doors to Gathering Space to the right. 

A gorgeous dawn image of the East entrance featuring house welcoming figures and house posts and Skokomish artwork welcoming figures .

As an architectural photographer I am often working large municipal projects in bustling cities with complex traffic, access, security and logistic issues. It was such a joy to work a space such as this. Having grown up in South Puget Sound I've been raised on water and trees. The serenity of this peaceful setting recharged my spirit. It was a truly memorable site to work. I remain honored to have been brought on as a creative partner to showcase Daniel's design. Thank you Daniel!

A Picture of Success - Heather Burgess of Phillips Burgess Law Firm

A Picture of Success - Heather Burgess of Phillips Burgess Law Firm

A hearty congratulations to Heather Burgess, co-founder of Phillips Burgess Law Firm, a real estate, land use and environmental law firm based in Olympia and Tacoma, on being named ‘2017 Boss of the Year’ by the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce. I had the pleasure of working with them on updating their executive portraiture. 

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Thomas Architecture Studios earns AIA Merit Award for 'Campus Lofts'.

Thomas Architecture Studios earns AIA Merit Award for 'Campus Lofts'.

Congratulations to Ron Thomas and everyone at Thomas Architecture Studios on receiving a Merit Award for their ‘Campus Lofts’ project at the AIA Southwest Washington Honor Awards...

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Architectural Photography - Delivering Magic Through Post Capture Artwork

Before/After images of The Campus Lofts & Townhomes following post production artwork.

As an architectural photographer very often the image I desire cannot be created in camera. Living and working in the Pacific Northwest means weather can be 'iffy', and last minute punch-list items often provide obstacles to navigate onsite - and always at the worst possible time. :) So when a client calls with an image need but the project is in that ‘punch-list mode’ and the weather is 'headed South', how do I approach this challenge? Simple. I take charge as usual but make the magic happen with post production artwork!

"The Wacom Pen - mightier than the mouse!"

Creative post production artwork has been an essential step in my workflow since I pressed a Wacom Intuos 5 Medium tablet into service back in 2013. It very quickly changed the way I approach post production and opened up incredible new opportunities I had not even imagined possible including taking my images round trip to the top of the International Photographic Competition stage as a Diamond Photographer of the Year (2015) and Silver Medalist (2016).  As a heavy Wacom user I look back and note it did take a bit of time to gain fluency with all the custom settings, keys, shortcuts and setup specific to my artistic vision and workflow. But clearly it is now one of the most important tools in my creative arsenal. Today I cannot imagine working on my images without the finesse and control it provides.

 The  Wacom Intuos 5 Medium  tablet is an essential piece of kit in my creative photography!

The Wacom Intuos 5 Medium tablet is an essential piece of kit in my creative photography!

When working an image in post production I move through an image examining each element, ultimately asking that critical question “does it help the image? or hurt it?".  If it is a distraction or not. If it is I remove it and rebuild the surrounding elements. There is no formula, and there are always limits. Some complex scenarios are simply too time consuming and beyond the scope of the assignment budget. But no matter what my clients' images always benefit through post capture artwork. 

The example above is a classic Before/After image showing the value of post production artwork. It is an image taken of the Campus Lofts and Townhomes, an 'adaptive re-use' project recently completed here in Olympia, Washington for Ron Thomas of Thomas Architecture Studio.  Designer and Business Manager of TARCSTUDIO Christine Van Duzer was thrilled upon seeing the results appear before her. She shared this nice comment: "Comparing the images side by side, the difference is simply stunning. The original photo accurately portrays the building, but the enhancements allow you to notice all of the gorgeous architectural details without distraction as the architect intended." Thank you Christine!

International Photographic Competition - Silver Medalist!

The results of this years International Photographic Competition are in the books following an exhaustive 5 days of judging. I am pleased to share out that I brought home a Silver Medal. I am feeling both blessed and relieved. It was a tough competition this year and the dates were accelerated over previous years. Can't wait til next year!!. The official release.

Doug Walker of Walker Photography earns a SILVER MEDAL from peers and jurors for high-quality photography.

OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON, August 11th, 2016Four photographs created by Doug Walker of Walker Photography in Olympia, Washington, have been accepted into the GENERAL Collection at the Professional Photographers of America's 2016 International Photographic Competition held this past week in Atlanta, Georgia. One of his images was further elevated into the prestigious LOAN Collection earning him a SILVER Medal. This is Walker’s third medal in five years competing in the International Photographic Competition. The work will be on display at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas, Jan. 8-10, 2017. This International Photographic Exhibition is held in conjunction with Imaging USA, an annual convention and expo for professional photographers.

 Beast of Industry

A panel of 46 eminent jurors from across the United States selected the top photographs from nearly 5,700 total submitted entries at Gwinnett Technical College in Georgia. Judged against a standard of excellence, just over 2,428 images were selected for the General Collection and 1,007 were selected for the esteemed Loan Collection—the best of the best. The Loan Collection images will all be published in the much-anticipated "Loan Collection" book and over 200 selected General Collection images will be published in the "Showcase" book by Marathon Press.

 The Sentinel

The image titled "Beast of Industry", Walker’s architectural photograph will be in the International Photographic Exhibition alongside other top photographic works from the competition and traveling and special invitational displays. These images constitute one of the world's largest annual exhibits of professional photography gathered simultaneously under one roof.

 Bridge Across Time

Walker has also qualified as an Elite Member of the Professional Photographers of America. PPA Elite Membership is a designation conveyed to members who are both Master of Photography (M.Photog.) and a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP), have all four of their prints accepted into the General Collection same year and have earned two non-photographic merits during the current year. 

 Mark Of Distinction

The Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is the largest international non-profit association created by professional photographers, for professional photographers. Almost as long-lived as photography itself, PPA has roots that date back to 1869. It assists nearly 30,000 members through protection, education and resources for their continued success. See how PPA helps photographers be more at As a PPA Councilor for Washington State I stand ready to help both current members and others who have questions or concerns.

Contact: Doug Walker
Photo: 360-943-1293

Doug Walker receives ASP State Elite Award at Professional Photographers of Washington Banquet

Monday night I received the ASP State Elite Award for the State of Washington. The award was presented by Rob Behm, M.Photog.,Cr., CPP, and new Vice President of the Professional Photographers of America who joined us at the banquet. The ASP State Elite Award is presented to the ASP member in good standing with the highest scoring entry at their State Print Competition. It was such an honor to receive it and especially in front of such great friends and peers. A hearty 'Thank You' to Miller's Professional Imaging for their dedication to our industry and for sponsoring this award!! As is tradition I created an image of the award. This images is a modified Black-Line Lighting images coupled with a stylized fabric. Now it is on to Western District and eventually to the International Photographic Competition in August 2016.  ‪#‎PPW‬ #PPA #IPC #‎AmericanSocietyofPhotographers‬ ‪#‎printcompetition‬ #‎MillersProfessionalImaging‬