36 Degrees North Photo Shoot

  • Going out on a limb
  • A modern feel
  • Favorite photo and how I shot it

I recently started officing at 36 Degrees North a co-working space that had just opened and because they had just opened, they hadn't had any photographs taken of their space.

Get out on the limb.

Well, me seeing an opportunity and loving the space, pushed myself to jump at the chance to get in before everyone else and provide this service. I quickly realized that I want all my shoots to go as well as this one.

The space is fun and interesting, with great lighting opportunities, and each area and space is a picture waiting to happen. I didn't have to hire a stylist, or actors because the people there were so kind and generous, and the decor is already amazing. 

Get that modern feel.

The simple mix of materials by the architect, Chris Lilly, and the interior designers, The Idea Collective gave the old building a modern, and contemporary feel. And their use of natural light, throughout the entire space just added to appeal.

My goal while shooting was to bring out the modern contemporary nature of the design, style, and lighting. So, I did some research. I'm proud to say this first attempt at a contemporary style in my photographs went very well. And I think this is a style that will serve me well. 

Building a contemporary photograph, for me, means using the natural light and creating strong lines and focus, almost exaggerating these qualities. I employ the one-point perspective as much as possible, and make sure the focus is framed by context.

My favorite photo combines these qualities.

Base image: F 8.0, 1/4, ISO 100, 29.0 MM, Canon 5D Mk III, EF 17-40

This image is a composite of the base image with approximately 4 other images over and under exposed to build the final. This was also the first time I was trying this workflow as well.

My previous workflow was to take an HDR image bracketed in the camera, then merged in Photoshop or Lightroom and then edited. This new workflow gave me much more control over the image.

My thought process with this photo and all the photos here at 36 went like this. Foreground, Focus, Background, Lines, Light, Colors.

The foreground sets up the first straight line, and each subsequent piece of furniture points to the focus, the green wall and the man working. The green wall is centered in the image, and the background continues out on the left side, drawing your attention to a larger work space context. The lines are all in a one point perspective. I made sure that the side tables, chairs also lent themselves to a one point perspective.

During compositing, I intentionally blew out the hot spots from the sun, slightly to bring out the idea that this was a completely sunlit space. The final colors for this image, and all the other images in this series have less saturation at the corners and edges than the in the center. This was done partly to call attention to the subject, the green wall, but also add that contemporary de-saturated style that is so prevalent in contemporary marketing photography these days.

But, even though this image meets all my expectations about the lighting, lines, and composition, I think it can be better.

  1. Blow out the windows a little bit more so they match the style of the sun hitting the wall and floor. The windows seem a little dark for windows without a sunshade.
  2. Reduce the amount of contrast in the whole image, the darks seem too dark, and the whites seem a little too white.
  3. The whole image should probably be desaturated, and not just the edges. I know I said this was a plus above, but the image focus should speak for itself.

What are some of your challenges when photographing a contemporary space?

Do you have a critique for my image?

Thanks for reading. You can see the whole photo shoot gallery on my Behance gallery here.