The Lake through the Lens. A conversation with Silverock Cove photographer, Chris Luker, of Luker Photography
I’m Chris Luker, a photographer based out of Birmingham, Alabama. My profession challenges me to capture “a thousand words” in one compelling image. Fortunately, with projects like Silver Rock Cove, that’s not a difficult task. Here are some of my observations made while witnessing this incredible community take shape through my camera lens.
Chris On the Conservation
When I first arrived at Silver Rock Cove, it was a peninsula covered in trees and absent of homes. It’s been almost three years since developer, Carter Hughes, commissioned me to photograph the development. During that time I have witnessed an amazing transformation. The raw beauty I discovered on my first impression is still present today. The land retains its wildness. I can still see a Luna Moth resting on a rock, beautiful grey sandstone boulders home to brilliant green moss, a southern pine towering overhead, or two oaks framing a picturesque view of Smith Lake. Conservation has played a large role in this development. What SRC has changed has been done with respect to nature with recycled railroad ties, new seedlings, and flagstone entrances, all adhering to the integrity of the land.
Chris On the Architecture
The architecture at Silverock Cove responds to the site and the site returns the favor. I have noticed a relationship here between design and environment that creates a special tension. The architecture and site work in harmony. Wood-clad homes function as lake cabins surrounded by woods, reminding me of what a cabin would have looked like many years ago. In Vincent Skully’s book The Natural and the Manmade, he describes Palladio’s villas as having a tension between vernacular tradition and stylistic rhetoric. At Silverock Cove, the tradition of the cabin plays off the traits of old mountain homes and barns in addition with clean lines, refined spaces, and rustic natural elements in details and materials. Scully describes this duality as practical and romantic with the land. This community is special. It works and is totally in tune with its purpose and environment. Silverock Cove is more than a community, it’s more than a retreat. It is a work of art.
Silverock Cove interiors have an abundance of windows—sometimes from the floor to the ceiling, other times not. Bathed in natural light, these interiors become an extension of the exterior. Views are virtually unobstructed of the beautiful Silverock Cove environment. This relationship allows the dweller to experience nature from the comfort of a favorite sofa or chair. Phillip Johnson’s iconic Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut is a great example of this extension from interior to exterior space. Louis Kahn asked the question, “What does the building want to be?” A home in Silverock Cove answers with seamlessness between inside and out, twenty-first century cabin with timeless, ageless appeal.
Chris On the Photography
Honestly, words fail in conveying the qualities of Silver Rock Cove. I am grateful for the language of photography. An actual onsite, physical experience is the only way to grasp the relationships I’ve described, but hopefully my photographs will inspire a viewer to see and explore this unique community in person. I try to capture something larger than the individual, not out of interest in self-expression, but in an attempt to connect with what is visually there, the communion between architecture and surroundings. I try to capture moments that resonate in my soul and communicate it through photographs.
Chris Luker is a member ASMP (American Society of Media Photographers), a contributing photographer for Silver Rock Cove and B-Metro Magazine and a professional architectural and commercial photographer. Find out more about Chris and his work at lukerphotography.com.