The Station Urban Offices offer a unique coworking environment in downtown El Paso. The interior design of this office is modern and fresh. I was asked to photograph the common areas as well as some of the individual workspaces that are available for rent.
Technical Challenges in Interior Photography
From a technical perspective, the usual challenges that come with any architectural photography project apply: appealing composition, proper exposure, straight vertical lines, etc. For this project I paid special attention to the color of the light in the room to make sure I had the proper white balance. To ensure this, I took an additional shot in each section with my gray card in the picture. This allowed me to set the proper white balance in the reference image and then copy the setting to the actual photo.
People in Motion
For this project I wanted to add some additional drama to the photos by including people. Instead of just having people pose in the scene, I wanted to have them moving through it. The addition of motion blur conveys to the viewer an impression of the energy that exists within this workspace. To accomplish this effect, I had to instruct the models to move through the scene at certain speeds. If they moved too fast, they would look like ghosts or not appear at all. If they moved too slow, they would just look out of focus. This is another situation when using the iPad to view the images is helpful. I was able to show the models the results on the large screen after each shutter release.
To help the viewer get an accurate sense of how the space is arranged, I always try to capture some photographs that contain portions of spaces from other scenes. This creates connectivity between the various spaces. The photo below includes the chairs, refrigerators, and wall art as seen in previous images.
Another way to connect spaces is to compose the photo so it includes an almost equal balance of two separate spaces.
The photo below would be very difficult, if not impossible, to capture with a standard camera lens. To achieve a point of view that is above the cubicle walls, the camera was a little more than 5 feet above the floor. With a normal lens on a perfectly level camera, the resulting image would show much less of the first cubicle and much more of the ceiling. The use of a perspective control (or tilt/shift) lens allows me to shift the lens downward to gain the extra foreground coverage while maintaining straight verticals.