Ongoing 25th year retrospective- the GIA

I shot photos for the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad for a brochure for their grand opening in 1997. The building was not photo-ready when I needed to shoot so some of the images took some work because this was the day of film and not of Photoshop. The majority of the shots were done large format- on 4×5 color transparency film- but these two were shot on 35mm slide film and, for different reasons, are probably my favorites. 

The designers’ original choice for the cover photo was vetoed. It had been a real production to shoot but the person with veto power thought it conveyed the wrong image. This exterior shot is one I grabbed on an afternoon while walking around just looking. The light demanded my attention and this became the cover shot of the brochure. The shot of the students at their microscopes is a bit of a miracle. I didn’t have the capability of shooting Polaroid for 35mm so this was just a matter of very careful metering. This is something unimaginable in the digital age with immediate playback along with histograms to confirm technical information. In the days of transparency film the only way to confirm getting the shot was to see it at the lab.