Photography Portfolio

Architecture

Click on "zoom +" to see larger version. Where available, run your
mouse over the "details >" button to see a discussion of the shoot.

Advertising:

Doug Ford
Doug Ford
zoom
Accurate
Accurate
zoom
Urquidez
Urquidez
zoom
Giffen & Crane
Giffen and Crane
zoom
Giata
Giata
zoom

Exteriors:

La Garoupe
zoom
La Reserve
zoom
La Reserve
zoom
Les Bories
zoom
St. James's
zoom
Le Couvent
zoom

Pools:

La Garoupe
zoom
La Reserve
zoom
La Reserve
zoom
Les Bories
zoom
St. James's
zoom
Le Couvent
zoom

home About Us Biographies Contact Us


home | website design | photography | video | about us | bio | useful links | contact us

805-646-1991 | Ojai, CA 93023 USA.

See my page on FaceBook

FaceBook Button Link


All rights reserved Peter D'Aprix © 1975-2012


Architectural Photography.

Shooting architecture is a specialty in itself. I do not specialize in architectural photography. Rather, I treat a building and its elements just as I would any other object.

The structure must be visually described to communicate the elements the architect, owner or builder wants to feature. The ambience is vital to capture. I do not subscribe to the approach of many architectural photographers of flooding every nook and cranny with light to show detail in all spaces. I feel that in doing so, they destroy the natural and interior lighting that give the space its intended feel and mood; this look and feel is an important part of both the architect's and designer's talent and goal.

That is not to say I don't use lights. The range of photo receptors whether they are films or digital CMOSs or CCDs cannot absorb the usual extreme range of lighting exposures. So my photographic approach involves the same thinking as shooting any other object although it may take considerably more lighting power that most studio projects.

As with all my photography, I consider the images I am creating as visual communications. I lean to the editorial fundamentals. I want the image to communicate not just describe. I want to set a scene that the viewer can imagine stepping into whether it is a commercial structure, family house, individual rooms or architectural and design details.


Kiawah Island Sanctuary Resort for Patina Old World Floors.

Kiawah Resort

This set of photos were shot for the use of the Resort for their promotional use. The next set (see button link to the left of this one) were shot for my client Patina Old World Floors.This was an especially difficult shoot for many reasons. We had a very small window of opportunity to obtain the photographs since we had to wait for the resort, which was just being built, to finish construction and interior design with all painting, contractors and decorators finished but just before the grand opening. Since these projects are seldom actually ready for opening, we had to wait for the last few days before the official opening to rush in and get our images.


The PR department, who were already worked off their feet coordinating their own full photo coverage shoot in order to rush photos to their own ad agency, printer and web designer not to mention having to work around the last minute finishing of the electricians, plumbers, decorators, and the training of the maids, restaurant staff and administration. But they kindly squeezed us in wedged between their own crews and visiting journalists. We wish to thank them; it was not easy for them to arrange.

This, however, meant that we could only clear and prepare each area we wanted to shoot for short time periods, frequently with workers and staff trooping across our space just as we were about to shoot. All this precluded my usual lighting set ups to bring proper lighting to the areas we needed to bring up in value and/or emphasis. I could only have a couple of lights to ensure foreground illumination.

This also meant I could not use my 4x5 camera that all my photography for Patina had been shot with. Not only because of the speed of the shots required but because budget and travel restrictions prevented such large amounts of equipment being shipped from the west coast to South Carolina near Charleston where the resort is located. This was just as well since hurricane Charlie (2004) started dumping volumes of rain during the last day of shooting.

The Canon Digital camera with its 6.3 megapixel format was the only way to go. It would allow me to shoot quickly under very adverse lighting and set up restrictions, test the image on my lap top on site and bracket the exposures heavily to obtain the raw material of exposure to collect detail from highlight reflections off the shiny flooring to the deep and dark density of the wood grain in the foreground. This camera it achieved this admirably.

Much like shooting negative film which has a much wider range of exposure latitude than slide film or printing paper, we obtained raw image material that I could later work with in PhotoShop using multiple layers of exposure to seamlessly render images with perfect exposure in all areas that would have been impossible to obtain in a single exposure using film without using extensive lighting in these very large areas.

With no expensive scans needed from bracketed film exposure to pay for, my client was able to gain a photographic coverage of his flooring at reasonable cost that we would not have been able to obtain in any other way under the restrictions imposed.


Kiawah Island Sanctuary Resort for Patina Old World Floors.

Kiawah Resort

This second set of photos were shot for my client Patina Old World Floors. As opposed to the first set of shots designed to show the interiors. This set was designed to show the flooring and then to include the type of room and its setting. As identified in the first set, this was an especially difficult shoot for many reasons. We had a very small window of opportunity to obtain the photographs since we had to wait for the resort, which was just being built, to finish construction and interior design with all painting, contractors and decorators finished but just before the grand opening.

Since these projects are seldom actually ready for opening, we had to wait for the last few days before the official opening to rush in and get our images.

The PR department, who were already worked off their feet coordinating their own full photo coverage shoot in order to rush photos to their own ad agency, printer and web designer not to mention having to work around the last minute finishing of the electricians, plumbers, decorators, and the training of the maids, restaurant staff and administration. But they kindly squeezed us in wedged between their own crews and visiting journalists. We wish to thank them; it was not easy for them to arrange.

This, however, meant that we could only clear and prepare each area we wanted to shoot for short time periods, frequently with workers and staff trooping across our space just as we were about to shoot. All this precluded my usual lighting set ups to bring proper lighting to the areas we needed to bring up in value and/or emphasis. I could only have a couple of lights to ensure foreground illumination.

This also meant I could not use my 4x5 camera that all my photography for Patina had been shot with. Not only because of the speed of the shots required but because budget and travel restrictions prevented such large amounts of equipment being shipped from the west coast to South Carolina near Charleston where the resort is located. This was just as well since hurricane Charlie (2004) started dumping volumes of rain during the last day of shooting.

The Canon Digital camera with its 6.3 megapixel format was the only way to go. It would allow me to shoot quickly under very adverse lighting and set up restrictions, test the image on my lap top on site and bracket the exposures heavily to obtain the raw material of exposure to collect detail from highlight reflections off the shiny flooring to the deep and dark density of the wood grain in the foreground. This camera it achieved this admirably.

Much like shooting negative film which has a much wider range of exposure latitude than slide film or printing paper, we obtained raw image material that I could later work with in PhotoShop using multiple layers of exposure to seamlessly render images with perfect exposure in all areas that would have been impossible to obtain in a single exposure using film without using extensive lighting in these very large areas.

With no expensive scans needed from bracketed film exposure to pay for, my client was able to gain a photographic coverage of his flooring at reasonable cost that we would not have been able to obtain in any other way under the restrictions imposed.

8 Page Glossy Brochure for Patina Old World Floors.

My client came to me for photography. They had worked with a designer/photographer for their first brochure with disappointing results. The photography was poor and the brochure did not turn out with the quality that would represent the quality of their high end, custom crafted wood flooring.

Actually, Patina Old World Floors is a husband/wife business that when the first brochure was produced were in the infancy of their business. Jane Henderson had a good sense of design and knew what she wanted even sketching out her visual ideas and approaches. She and her husband Jim who well knows that type of image he wants to have projected had a very good idea of what would work; they just could not find the right person to bring their ideas alive.

In going over what they had had done and what they did not like about it as well as what they did like about it, it became evident that it was the execution of the photos and design production as well as the printing that was the biggest problem. I found that the first step before I could start to do their photography was to help them refine their layout and design basically working side by side on the computer. The connect them with a fine printer to make sure the design and photos would be laid down on paper with the rich quality inherent in the design specs and the photos.

Then it was also quite obvious that most photography for flooring manufacturers has actually been room set images within which one could see the flooring. But the room itself has tended to be much more important than the flooring simply because the photographers have put the camera at eye level, thus putting the focus in the distance rather then the foreground. We dropped the camera right down to within 6" of the floor making the flooring the bottom half of the photo with the room set off in the distance. This brings great detail to the grain structure, the grain itself, the color and texture of the wood. Then a reflection of light from a window needed to be set somewhere on the surface that would bring out the texture of the "distressing" of the wood since their antique reproduction flooring is their core business.

Photographically, this reflection is very tricky since the detail burns out of this highlight while the detail in the rest of the flooring disappears into darkness. I have to bring a vast amount of lighting to the foreground to bring up the exposure values closer to those of the highlight in the reflection. Then the film shoot must be heavily bracketed to give us darker versions for the highlight detail and lighter ones for the foreground. Scans needed to be made of both the light and dark versions and then brought together in PhotoShop.

This results in an image that captures both the product detail, the luster and richness of this hand crafted, hand scraped wide plank flooring as well as show the type of room it can be used in. As a result, all our photography is done in their client's homes. This is a major disruption for their clients for which we thank them all. But the results are far superior and more believable to setting up a faked studio shot no matter how well styled. It is also far more difficult since one has much less control over photo variables than a studio shoot.

The resulting branding quickly put them in the forefront of companies in this market space because the perception was very high end no matter how small a company the were. I had to use in addition to my own photographs, some images that had been shot by other photographers, PhotoShop allowed me to stretch foreground flooring to get them closer to the aims of my own images.

Full page Ad for builder Doug Ford.

The challenge of this shoot was not that there was anything unattractive about the house, quite the opposite, but the side that needed to be shot received very poor light at anytime of day. Usually in shade, the only time the sun shone on it was in the late afternoon and then the trees created such a dappled effect that it obscured the interesting architectural details and totally de-emphasized the details the client wanted to feature.

The designer, Dennie Sollene, and I quickly realized that the house would have to be shot at that time of the day when the sun just falls behind the horizon providing a soft twilight in the sky behind us to illuminate the house and at the same time make a deep blue in the background that would provide light on the roof. Then we would arrange photo lighting on the front of the house to put emphasis on the required areas and features while dropping it off of areas that were not of interest. It would also allow us to see into the house with warm interior lighting. Much nicer than the usual black windows that usually take place during daylight.

We shot 4x5 film and did a test of our theory and lighting one evening, then after making changes, we did the final shoot the next evening. But the light changes so quickly, we have to shoot a lot of film bracketing all exposures since the light level would change in the time it took to expose 8 sheets of film.

Today, we would probably have shot this job using a digital camera since the exposures can be made much more quickly and cheaply and are not as limited in their range of extremes of exposure.