Philip Johnson’s Glass House – in the Rain


It was a cold, rainy, gloomy day. Surely the program would be cancelled. But no, we went ahead; I’m glad we did.

Philip Johnson’s Glass House, in New Canaan, CT, is an icon of modern architecture. I’d visited and photographed it several times before. On Wednesday, we photographed it in less than ideal conditions. The Glass House runs occasional “En Plein Air” days, for artists to come and paint, photograph or even write poetry on the beautiful grounds. This time, it was just my photographer friend, Sally, two guides, and me.

One of my photography mentors gave me very good advice some years ago. If you wait for perfect conditions – the right subject, the right weather, the right time of day, etc. – you’ll miss a lot of terrific shooting opportunities. Instead, he said, take in what is in front of you right now. Be receptive to the idea that a great photograph can be made of a “dull” subject or on a dull day. At The Glass House this week, I stood under my umbrella and just studied the house and the landscape. Slowly, I became aware of the beautiful muted colors and imagined Mr. Johnson sitting in his house on such a day looking out at the same views I was seeing.

I liked the image below because the two women were framed by the two willow tress beyond.

┬áIn this image, Sally checks her camera settings – and provides a sense of scale for the house.

Aside from the Glass House, there are several other buildings on the site that Johnson designed, including this one, which has no straight lines in it.

Last Fall, I photographed The Glass House in very different weather. See some of those images here. Do I like shooting on a clear day? Sure. But I cherish the opportunity to take pictures in any kind of weather. Here’s one of the images from last Fall. As always, your questions or comments are welcome.


Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves the Connecticut communities of Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, Westport and Greenwich.


2 Responses

  1. Will says:

    I wanna go too!!!

    • Blake Robinson says:

      It’s really a neat building, Will, and there are several other buildings, including some fanciful ones, on the property. come out and we’ll shoot it together!


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