Yesterday I was shooting a master bathroom. It was a great space and we put in a full eight hours on three photographs. Yes I said we worked for eight hours on three photographs. We addressed every detail, we tried out every variation of styling that we needed to find the perfect balance between artifice and art. The shots are for competition and I know we did everything we could to make the look the best it could.
Black and Light #1
In the middle of the day either the designer or the stylist apologized for taking so long and questioning every placement decision. I told them not to worry about it and to focus on doing great work. I told them that spending four hours on a single photograph was a lot of time but I didn't begrudge a moment, I was happy to shoot as many test images as they needed and we would take as long as was necessary to ensure the photograph was the best it could be because I know that it takes time to achieve excellence. To allay their concerns I told them about the time I spent forty (40) hours on a single shot. They were both amazed and I promised to show them the image. You can see it above.

I shot this in 1994 using my 4x5 and color transparency film. I stumbled on the red lamp in a Roche Bobois store in Denver, a client had the steel spool table with the glass top and he let me borrow it for the shoot. I thought I would shoot it on one Friday afternoon but ended up working on it through the weekend and finally had film on Tuesday morning. The composition came to me with no conscious thought, but the mechanics of making it worked took all the technical skill I could muster.

My photo lab liked it so much they printed a 4 foot by 5 foot print and displayed it in their lobby. After 18 years I'm still quite proud of the shot.
AuthorDean Birinyi