Lighting- night for day

These two photos were shot under radically different lighting circumstances, one in late afternoon and the other after sunset. (Double click to see them larger.) Lighting is one of the main components of architectural photography and it’s one that clients have the least understanding of. Working with clients on composition and styling are completely natural—everyone is so used to looking at photos that when a client looks at a image on my laptop screen they can immediately have an opinion. They may not always know how to get where they want to go; that’s my job, turing a vision of reality into an image but it’s something we can see and talk about. Lighting is less concrete. The photographer has to have a vision for the quality of light.  

My client, Amy Meier, has a strong preference for daylight. Shooting the sitting area of this bedroom very late in the afternoon, the light streaking in the window had the wrong feel for this room. To create the mood I wanted I diffused it with a sheet of white fabric in the window. By the time we shot the bed we had lost the sun. We wanted a continuity of feeling with the first view so we made our own daylight. Although the room was on the second floor, a light placed outside and minded by my assistant was able to reach the window. I used the same sheet of fabric in the bedside window that we’d used in the sitting area window and, voila, matching mood. One subtle difference is that in the sitting area the shadows angle down while they angle slightly up in the bed shot. That’s because the light stand was just a little short; another five or six feet and the shadows would match.