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Posts from the ‘architecture’ Category

Corporate portraits, with creative license

You might think engineers… architectural engineers, would want a fairly conventional portrait for their business website. Well I did. Fortunately for me, they didn’t. Well they did, but they also let me do whatever I wanted, as long as I could get it done during the same day as making the group portrait of eight and a formal portrait of each of the other seven partners. And we did, under five hours from first test pop to packing the gear out the door.

Here are the 7 “casual” portraits, made extemporaneously using a couple of SB’s and various modifiers as Russell Kaye assisted me with the gear and critical/helpful/objective commentary.

Working fast and light in a small factory

I have been photographing for this client for so many years, they are now way into the good friend category.This winter they asked me to start making some portraits of a documentary nature, featuring their production staff and customer service.

Here’s what I did a couple of days into the new year of 2012. This is their fabrication crew. They didn’t slow down a bit for me.

I was working two little lights with color correcting gels on them. Sometimes I had the D700 on a tripod, sometimes not… all were made with my old 28-70 2.8 Nikon. The ambient light was pretty typical overhead warehouse lighting, and some high and very yellow translucent panels the length of one wall, about 20 feet off the ground. You can see some of that in a few of these out takes. I like this gritty duotone treatment, but they will probably want color, which is why I use the color correction on the flashes to get them as close as I could to the vague, rambling Kelvin of the insanely mixed temperature light sources.  Plus the sun was in and out all afternoon, pushing EVs, color temperatures and the relative lighting ratios all over the place.

Before and while I worked, no one came in to clean up the shop, no suits from corporate appeared to affect attitude, no art director stopped production to rearrange the work space, no make up was applied.  I moved a few trash cans and a broom, mostly to remove an errant highlight and keep the compositions as I wanted them. I loved it, and worked alone (without an assistant) for about three hours.

Here’s a sample… my quick edit.

Shop Forman

performance art

springs, ready for assembly

at the lathe

the lathe that is older yet more precise than me

sanding the edges of a plywood armature

an anthropomorphic plywood form, glued and clamped, dries overnight in the empty warehouse


drill press

my kind of color palette, in the high window's light, end of day

Night City

Sometimes a job goes on so long, I think “man, am I glad that’s done”. I pack my gear, walk out the door and into the night.

A couple of hours later I started the car.


Night City #1

I made these pictures in a parking lot after working for several hours photographing someone else’s work in a hotel.


Night City #2

At that moment, the sky’s light was in balance with the lights of the world around me.


Night City #3

At certain times of the day, in certain seasons of the year, the moon sits near the horizon as the sky holds the sun’s radiant influence… and their brilliance and tonal range matches the ambient lighting we have created here on earth.
It’s a good time for a photographer to have a tripod handy.


Night City #4

Since these were made with multiple and/or long exposures up to 1.3 seconds each, and I was moving the camera within those intervals, the tripod’s main function was to assure the composition and to enable a degree of repeatability.


Night City #5

It was a good time to have a nice camera at hand. And a tripod.

seeing the air, feeling the light

The window seat bedroom at Anna's Veranda, Inlet Beach Florida

The window seat bedroom at Anna’s Veranda, Inlet Beach Florida

This room has a dream-like ambiance. The smell of the ocean, the brilliant yet completely soft light, even on a cloudless day. The well controlled yet expansive palette of the room and a deep visual range that reaches from the silk coverlet to the window seat, beyond the second story veranda, over the dunes and white sand beach and into the gradient blue of ocean/sky all the way to the invisibly blended or crisp curved horizon of the Gulf of Mexico… it’s a room you can just stand in, for days. Waking up there is hard to describe in words. Any collection of superlatives falls short.

I’m going back in August and it’s something I think about with great anticipation and an experience I remember with such complex clarity; the arrhythmic mantra of the distant surf and sea birds, the occasional drone of the beach patrol’s fixed wing aircraft… the sound of the shower down the hall.

It’s one of several bedrooms at Anna’s Veranda, a 100 year old restored Victorian home in in Inlet Beach on the Redneck Riviera, just west of Panama City Beach and East of Rosemary Beach, Florida.

Quiet. Beautiful.

Photography rendered as a line drawing

Leila Ross Wilburn designed home in Decatur Georgia USA

Leila Ross Wilburn note card image #1

A couple of years ago, I made a set of note cards that had images of homes in my neighborhood in Decatur, Ga. USA.

The homes were all designed and built back at the turn of the last century (circa 1910) by Leila Ross Wilburn, a graduate of Agnes Scott College and resident of Decatur. She was one of very few women working in architecture at that time.

Recently, I was commissioned to create the above rendering in the same style, by the owners of another home on my street. This treatment is done with a series of Photoshop “filters”, tonal and contrast controls and a great deal of layered adjustments, with precise and specific blending of those layers.  The first image (above) is the latest version, and below are three others from the original set.

 Leila Ross Wilburn designed home in Decatur Georgia, USA

Leila Ross Wilburn home, note card image #2

 Leila Ross Wilburn designed home in Decatur Georgia, USA

Leila Ross Wilburn home, note card image #3

Leila Ross Wilburn home, note card image #3

Leila Ross Wilburn home, note card image #4