A blog that focuses on the photography of Dean J. Birinyi, an interior and architectural photographer based in San Francisco, CA.

Self Critique of Archtiectural Photography After Twenty-Three Years

El Salon
Hair Salon Nail Stations
Denver, CO
Ben Aguilar, Interior Designer
Today's architectural photograph is a hair salon interior I shot in 1993 for Ben Aguilar, Interior Designer. This was shot so early in my career I am surprised to see the image has stood the test of time and is still included in my portfolio.

I shot this with my Sinar 4x5 view camera on transparency film with supplemental lighting and used that as the primary light source. I remember how much of a struggle it was to get the light balanced and control the glare. We did multiple exposures and actually covered the glass behinf the seating area with a large piece of black felt for the exposures with my lighting and removed it for the shots with the available light.

I can still see five artifacts that show the positions of the supplemental lighting: the lower left work stations table edge shows glare, the second workstations cabinet is slightly brighter than either the first or third, there is the telltale bright light under the second work stations close chair and the far chair of the second work station shows unnatural rim lighting that makes it stand out from the wall, and finally the mirror behind the product display case shows an anomalous reflection that can only be from my lighting.

Still, after twenty-three years I am still proud of this image. I did a good job of capturing the design concept and atmosphere of the space.