Shooting Challenges Inside & Out

November 16, 2012

BL Companies, headquartered in Meriden, Connecticut, is a client delivering integrated architecture, engineering, environmental and related services. I did a shoot for them this fall, one portion of which was the Fox Run Plaza in Glastonbury, Connecticut, including the Whole Foods Market anchor store.

The Whole Foods Market was a pleasure to shoot. BL Companies created a great design solution in a stimulating environment. The dedicated staff at Whole foods keep the visual appearance in top shape daily.

 

Whole Foods Market Sushi Architecture, Fox Run Plaza, Glastonbury, CT ©Jeff Stevensen

Whole Foods Market Sushi Architecture, Fox Run Plaza, Glastonbury, CT

 

I had a very limited time frame before the store opened, and could not use supplemental lighting. With customers in the store, light stands with cables underfoot would have been too dangerous. The challenge here was to capture an extreme dynamic range from inside to out. I shot an extended bracket, then used exposure layering techniques to put different exposures together in post. This is another example where a limited use of HDR software on its own layer allowed me to hold image detail in key places without the ugly HDR look. You can read more about my take on HDR in this blog post.

The Fox Run Plaza project involved redesign, improvement and expansion of the original building facade. BL Companies accomplished this and more, integrating a cohesive, modern rebranding to the entire plaza.

Photographing the exterior brought me up against an unexpected challenge:  the condition of the pavement. It had not yet been cleaned and resurfaced when I arrived to shoot. A straight representation would inevitably detract from the aesthetic and marketing appeal of the photographs.

It’s not enough for me to “just do my part;” it’s up to me to deliver working solutions for my clients. I’ve accumulated many years of digital experience since the year 2000, when I adopted digital tools. I knew I needed to retouch the detracting problems to make the photographs useful. Here are the original and retouched versions of one my photographs:

 

Fox Run Plaza, Glastonbury, Connecticut, no retouching.

Fox Run Plaza, Glastonbury, Connecticut, no retouching.

Fox Run Plaza, Glastonbury, Connecticut, retouched.

Fox Run Plaza, Glastonbury, Connecticut, retouched.

 

Substantial time was involved in eliminating stains to the concrete, broken curb edging, stains on the pavement, paint over-striping, adding some greenery, etc., but the improvement is striking.

 

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