I like working at dawn, but it’s difficult to do here in the San Francisco Bay Area because foggy mornings are so common. Recently, MEI Architects commissioned me to photograph a vestibule at the VA Hospital in Martinez, CA, so, when this opportunity in the East Bay presented itself, I was quite excited at the prospect.

VA Martinez, CA, Bldg 20 & 22 Vestibule for MEI Architects, San Francisco, CA - Horizontal

They called on me to create a remarkable photograph that captured the essence of the design. My goal was to showcase the value of the designer’s creative vision, and I knew the effect of the fenestration would be most prominent at twilight. This project faced east, so we had to shoot at dawn. Darn.

VA Martinez, CA, Bldg 20 & 22 Vestibule created for MEI Architects, San Francisco, CA - Vertical

Early morning light lends an expectant energy to images of architecture and design because of its crispness, where, at dusk, the environmental light is equally dramatic but is softer-edged, warmer, and more romantic. My approach to photographing architecture as an opportunity to interpret the creative vision of another artist helped me create these spectacular images of this modest, but very well done, project.

Shooting this project was so much fun! I used supplemental lighting to direct attention to the design elements of the vestibule while using the ambient light to illuminate the environment. In concert, this helped me create images that are focused on the design in context to its environment without extraneous detail drawing attention away from the flow of energy through the design.