2011 ASID California Peninsula Design Awards
San Francisco, CA
RKI Interior Design
On my first tour of the space I realized the curved glass wall would pose several challenges, fortunately my skill with available light and HDR Tonemapping resolved the greatest challenge of reflection of supplemental lighting, the remaining reflections were all ambient and we were able to control those easily and effectively.
We had planned this image to show the bridge at sunset working to take advantage of this wonderful view. We had everything arranged, the camera in place, the styling was perfect the stage was set and we only had to wait for the bridge to light up and we were done. As the sun set down and the time approached tensions were high. We only had this one chance to shoot this space and everything had to be perfect.
The sky began to darken, darker and darker every moment but the bridge wasn’t lighting up. I was confident things would be fine Rise and her assistant Nicole Chacon was becoming nervous, their anxiety began to bleed over to me. In the back of my mind I began planning alternative solutions when suddenly the half the bridge lights came on. Only Half! I was unsure what to think, we were all very surprised and disappointed. I worked to calm the nerves of my client while attempting to control my own.
I spoke confidently and bravely saying everything would be fine if we were patient just a few more moments, but that I was going to shoot a few shots now just to make sure all my equipment was working and nothing had changed. My exposures were correct, the time for the shot was perfect but the bridge was only half illuminated. What else could I do but shoot the shot with the best conditions for the space. Finally, a few minutes too late the bridge lights came on in all their glory, and as my heart rate returned to normal I breathed for what seemed the first time in a decade.
I had to do a composite image of the perfect shot of the interior with the perfect shot of the bridge but it resulted in an amazing image of this award winning space. I am glad to have photoshop and I readily use all of the tools at my command whenever I create photogrpahs, but if those lights hadn’t come on no amount of artifice with the computer would have been sufficient to replicate the power and glory of that view.