Just wrapped up this amazing commercial project of the Jacksonville State University Fitness Center for Turner Construction and Moody Nolan Architects. It was a great project with so many unique challenges and opportunities!
If you want to be an architectural photographer you can forget any notion of 9 to 5 and Monday through Friday. You have to be willing and able to start shooting early in the morning, evening, or late at night to accommodate the needs of the client or the requirements of the project. This one is a great example of that. Because of the sensitive nature of photographing people in a public place, especially people in less than glamorous work out attire, the facility wanted to minimize the number of people in the space. Since it is open 24/7 this means getting in at a low volume time. This means getting started at 0 Dark 30. My assistant, Chris, and I spent the night at a hotel so we could get there at 4:00 am to start shooting. While there were some people already working out, it wasn’t crowded and we wanted to have some blurred people in some of the images, just not too many. We had to be efficient and move quickly, since the longer we were there, the more people came in to work out.
Being quick and efficient was especially important when it came to the “twilight” exteriors. We were there and shooting before sunrise. I knew from my sun tracker app when the sunrise was scheduled and where the sun would be in relation to the building. So I made sure I was in position and set up when the light started to change. Morning twilights are tougher than their evening counterparts because the light is changing faster and in reverse from what you’re used to. In the evening you can open the camera’s shutter longer and longer and still get basically the same look so long as some light remains. This isn’t the case with sunrise. You have to get it right straight away and fast. I think from the results that we pulled it off but there wasn’t a minute to spare!
For some of the interior images we used talent to get the action looks we were going for. This was especially the case for the rock climbing wall. We had models climbing up and down the wall to get various action looks. They not only got to be models but also got in quite the workout too!
adjust slider to show before and after
The pool was still closed so I had to hop the fence to get to it. Of course this means it hasn’t been cleaned yet either. I always prefer to “fix it in real life” as opposed to “fixing it in photoshop” but sometimes there’s just no other way to get the shot.