I had the great pleasure to spend the early afternoon photographing the lobby of the 101 Alma building in Palo Alto, CA with Lucile Glessner, of Lucile Glessner Design.

We had some surprises with the lobby lighting due to the age of the building. I had turned off the fluorescent field lighting (the surface mounted fixtures) to tone down the illumination but when I turned it back on only two of the five fixtures functioned. The building engineer said this happened often and identified the ballasts as the problem. The guys who came out to fix it, simply wiggled and twisted the fixtures until they came back on.

We decided not to turn the lights off again.

Unfortunately they couldn't get both bulbs in each fixture to function and couldn't get  the fifth surface mount fixture to work at all. We had to adapt by moving the camera to the right a bit, fortunately the lower light level was close enough to what I wanted to begin with, but due to the mixed lighting I had some color balance difficulties to cope with. You can see the color imbalance in the corridor behind the glass partition on the left. In the end we overcame the challenges with filters and some careful color manipulation in Adobe Lightroom. This was a lot easier to do than back in the days I was working with chemical film because digital cameras don't record the green of fluorescent light nearly as dramatically and by sheer luck the three year old LED's displayed a color balance not too different from them.

The end result is some really wonderful images that capture the mood and energy of the space quite well.

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