By Douglas Gritz
Last week I wrote about creating new headshots for a The Center For Cosmetic Surgery in Golden, a suburb west of Denver. While I was there they asked me if I also did commercial photography. As a matter of fact, I do, I said.
This kind of thing tends to happen often. A client will hire me for one thing and then after seeing the results and being pleased with them, they will ask if I also shoot such-and-such. I’m a very versatile photographer so odds are my answer will be yes to whatever they ask. I my mind, I am a photographer, which means I understand composition and lighting. I should be able to apply those skills and knowledge to any subject.
The Center is creating a new website and in addition to new headshots of their surgeons they wanted commercial photos of their office space, surgery room, and a staged photo of a surgeon prepping a surgery room.
I’ve done a landscape photography (in fact, I was a resident in John Fielder’s gallery in the Santa Fe Arts District for a couple years) and that training and experience I have found to be a great foundation for shooting all kinds of other subjects, even office spaces.
This image is two different exposures: one for the window and one for the interior space. I combined them later using Photoshop. For lights, I set up on LED panel light around the corner to the right out of frame that projected light onto the wall on the left and the furniture. A second light was placed camera left to fill in some of the shadows. I wanted to keep the warmer color temperature of the office lighting intact. The stone work and the paint color on the wall all contribute to warm feeling, which is intentional for the comfort of likely nervous clients who are waiting to go under the knife.
For this image, I took advantage of the leading line of the stone pathway that leads to the front desk and back to the door. This leading line is mirrored in the architecture of the ceiling, so I made sure to include a piece of that in the photo as well.
This is a combination of four different images. I had the camera on a tripod so I could do different exposures to combine later. For each exposure I placed my lights in different spots so I could get edge lighting on all sides of the furniture pieces. For example, the tan chair in the center is lit up by a light placed in three different spots, one for each exposure. The light hitting the back of the chair is one exposure, the light hitting the front side facing the camera is another, and finally the light hitting the right side of the chair is another. This technique helps create dimension and a sense of space as well as eliminates dingy shadows that we may not notice in person but show up in a photograph. A fourth exposure was taken for the window.
This is a blending of three different exposures as well. I did one exposure for the windows, one for the shadow areas in the office, and another for the exam chair.
For this image I wanted to use the surgery lights (is that what you call them? I have no idea) as both a striking visual element and as the primary motivated light source. So I spend some time positioning them just so and I had the nurse stand over the bed so that the light from the surgery lights bounced off the white and into her, illuminating her face. At first, this was the only light I used but after looking at the exposure on the back of my camera, I thought it looked too dark in the background. So I set up a LED light to camera right to lift up the ambient light just a touch.