I recently headed to Oxford, Ohio (near Dayton) for a photo shoot of a lighting design project at Miami University. An architectural lighting shoot is always a challenge. To those who haven’t had the opportunity to participate, it typically happens after hours (so we don’t end up with a lot of daylight filling the space). This means, the Owner is gracious enough to hand us the keys to the building and allow us to poke around in there after normal hours (just us and the cleaning crew). We met the day prior to the shoot to walk the space and come up with a gameplan. We also had to override the astronomical time clock on the lighting control system.
Checking the specific time of day for sunset, next we coordinated the “magic hour”. It happens for only about 45 minutes right before and during sunset. We get a great navy blue sky with no fill light coming in the windows striking a perfect balance with the indoor and outdoor environment. This project just so happened to be full of windows where we could take advantage of the daylight harvesting. It meant we had to pick the most significant spaces to catch that perfect light.
The photographer showed up with two sets of cameras to set up and allow us to move quickly between the two rooms with the most windows. We shot eight different spaces in total and the shoot lasted almost 5 hours. We left the building around midnight. You’d think that was a pretty long time for 8 photographs, but our photographer, Scott Pease (www.peasephotography.com) was very detailed and intent in getting us the best shots possible. As the human eye is so much more sophisticated than a camera lens, we are able to easily discern details on lighting fixtures, whereas the camera often turns them into blobs of light. Scott brought his laptop and checked every exposure before the final bracketing shots to make sure we would get the details and contrast we needed.
Along with getting sneak peeks of the final images, I spent the rest of the evening with Scott’s assistant straightening tables, and lampshades, pushing chairs in, and moving trash cans out of the shot. After all pictures are taken, we restore the space and then the same scenario happens in the next space. It’s a lot of “hurry up and wait”, but the final images look fantastic.
Thanks again Scott!