New warehouse photography

May 24, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

I was commissioned by architects Pinnegar Hayward Design to produce a set of images of a recently completed warehouse and office building for Allsee Technologies. The company had outgrown its premises in Bartley Green, Birmingham, and had a new building erected on an adjacent site.

The first rule of photographing exteriors is that the relevant elevations should be sunlit. In this case, the principal elevation is east facing, so a morning shoot was required. Being present for the whole morning meant that I could try different light angles on both the whole facade and some of the details.

Sunlight is, however, a disadvantage when photographing interiors, as sunlight within the building causes contrasts in which the eye can see a range of tones, but the camera sensor cannot. There are two solutions to this. Firstly, several different exposures can be taken, for general, highlight, and shadow light levels - these can be blended in Photoshop later. I prefer to do this manually rather than automatically, as this means I can use my judgement to give a seamless appearance to the finished result. Secondly, bounce flash can be used to fill all the shadow areas, which can eliminate the need for using multiple layers. For some images, it's best to use a combination of these processes.

All the photos were taken using a Canon 5DS-R body. The majority of the images use the Canon TS-E17mm shift lens, which is ideal for architectural subjects, particularly where space is tight or elevations are wide or there is little room to stand back. Otherwise, for the single long elevation, I used the Sigma 12-24mm at the shortest focal length; the lens requires a lot of attention in post-processing, but is the only one I have which can accommodate the full east elevation in this case. Detail images were taken with the Canon 24-105mm.

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