Whew, it’s been a month since the last blog! Things have been a good busy this spring. Much of April and early May was filled with clouds and rain so much of my time was spent frequently updating weather.com. Needless to say I was very thankful once the drops faded away!
It also marked the beginning of this year’s photography for M/I Homes in Raleigh. These are some of the good people of M/I who sign my checks, donating to Go Red For Women. (See? I can shoot people once in awhile.)
Which got me thinking – can these checks be signed and cashed ala Happy Gilmore? Could M/I get me one of these hugeass checks to deposit at my bank?
So these are takes from the first four models I’ve shot for M/I this year at Madison Glen in Durham, Flowers Plantation in Clayton, Briar Chapel in Chapel Hill, and South Lakes in Fuquay Varina. Enjoy and see you next time around.
Wrapped up a recent shoot of the Raleigh Depot for the North Carolina Railroad Company, while their Christmas decorations were still up in the parking lot. Photography required getting up in the air a bit so I shot from the platform of a 26-foot lift. Pretty cool, but doing so at 20 degrees Fahrenheit was a little bit too cool. Thanks to Nick for the reference and Reuben for the assistance!
Woo! First photography of the year! Spare time will be sorely lacking in 2013 and opportunities for personal shooting rare so if able, I’ll do my best to make the most of it. Last weekend I visited the North Carolina States James B. Hunt Jr. library to take a first gander after its grand opening and take photos for fun. Of course, it was Saturday, the place just opened, and NCSU’s basketball team upset the then #1 team in the country, Duke.
It was hellacrowded.
There were a lot of people with cameras inside and outside the building. At that point the decision was made to do a quick survey and return at a later time this spring and summer when the library wasn’t so crowded with visitors. Shot for a couple hours on Saturday then returned the next day for a few minutes.
Okay, here goes, ready?
This is the library. Safe to say there’s nothing like it anywhere else on campus. The building is a technological beast and has all the signs and symptoms of being a highly sustainable piece of modern architecture.
I skipped the opportunity to take interior photos that I’ll attempt to capture later in the year. These are the ones I grabbed – the two-story public study/lounge is easily my favorite spot; it looks like an airport terminal in which a grade school child got to select the furniture.
I can see the conversation now.
“So which piece of furniture do you want to order?”
DESIGNER: “I LIKE ‘EM ALL!”
“You can’t order every furniture design that ever existed.”
DESIGNER: “I WANT IT ALL, BUY IT FOR ME NOW, I’LL BE GOOD FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR! PRETTY PWWEEEEEEEEASE?”
What NCSU really needs to do is treat the library furniture like the zoo. You know how ticket kiosks offer pamphlet guides and posted signs across the zoo describes all the animals you’re seeing? Similarly, the library should have a hand-out and signs posted inside the building describing the piece of furniture, when it was designed, and by who.
Sarcasm aside, don’t get me wrong – the space is fun. People really love spending time here.
As I hinted at earlier, this place is a playground for photographers. Eventually I’d like the time (and space) to have an entire day to really analyze the architecture.
Wrapped up with a few obligatory evening shots.
The next morning it was moody and cloudy so I took the opportunity to mimick the rear elevation shot I captured the evening before.
Finally, I took a picture I’ve been meaning to capture FOREVER – okay more like a decade, but still. One of the buildings on NCSU Centennial campus, near the library, has a sawtooth-pattern brick paved courtyard. I had this image in mind for quite some while and never took the opportunity to do so, but with it being overcast, it worked out splendidly.
That does it for my first trip to the Hunt library. Catch you next time!
Thank you so much to everyone for making 2012 a fruitful, successful year. I’m truly blessed to have the best clients and supporters that I could ever hope for, to get to see, partake, and share everything I’ve been able to. These are my favorite photographic memories of the last year. Again, it’s been a thrilling ride, so thank you and see you in 2013!
Woohoo, my 101st blog post! When I began this blog I was purely an amateur fine art photographer who practiced architecture as my full-time job. Four years later I’m a professional photographer who does a bit of architecture on the side. The bittersweet part of becoming professional is that I rarely get to shoot all the things I purely shoot for fun. So on the occasion I have that chance, I certainly savor the moment. It’s been a busy summer with many jobs and a lot of travel on the behalf of my clients. These are a few photos I’ve managed to capture in between.
This morning scene with dissipating fog was captured a few hundred feet away from a commercial shoot I had about 30 minutes outside of Winston-Salem. As I waited for the sun to rise and light the east face of my building, I turned and saw this sight down the road. I realize the ‘tree in a field’ is cliche, but I still consider it beautiful to see in person. So I snatched up my other camera, swapped a lens, and jogged over to capture this scene – then jogged right back to start my architectural shoot.
Sunrise over East Bend (2012)
I had an evening architectural shoot that had to be cancelled, so since I was in a photography mood and had a full moon, used it as an excuse to go downtown. That night I took a different view of the former Progress Energy (now Redhat) building than I did last year.
Raleigh Lights (2012)
A few weeks later I traveled near downtown in the morning to take a tilted photo of an old auto sales building.
Dew Motors (2012)
In late July, I took a rare stab at portraiture at the request of one of my friends, Kestrel.
I had obligations for three different clients between Winston-Salem and west North Carolina. On my most recent work-related trip, I took an extra day or so to visit places I didn’t get to see during my last trip to the mountains. I stayed near downtown Asheville where I captured a long-exposure on Tunnel Road.
Okay, so let me tell you what happened AFTER taking this photograph. It’s near 11pm. It’s a dimly lit area and I’m heading back to my car which I left at the hospital complex. I’m dressed in a t-shirt, shorts, Yankees cap, and bulky backpack with tripod strapped to it, slightly sticking out. It’s dark, it’s late, and I have a lot of expensive equipment on my back so I’m especially cautious.
As I returned towards the hospital campus, a car sides along next to me, the window rolls allllll the way down, and a white man, seemingly in his 60s is trying to get my attention. The area is well-lit but totally empty on the weekend. Drawing on all of my previous experiences walking around urban areas at night, I’m thinking to myself, Oh crap maybe it’s a doctor and he’s wondering what I’m doing in the area, immediately proceeded by Holy cow, what’s he doing rolling his window down like that, is he nuts?!
In a guarded manner I asked, “Yes, can I help you?” which for my followers outside of the southern USA, roughly translates into, “What you looking at?”
That’s when I notice what I presume to be his wife in the passenger seat, with an unfurled paper map as he inquired, “Yeah, uh – do you know where Patton Avenue is?”
Chalk that up as something that’s never happened to me before. To put this in proper perspective – since the age of 18, my experiences walking to destinations at night have been radically different, treated with much suspicion, no matter how safe or unsafe the area may be. It’s happened with police in major metro areas, it’s even happened repeatedly on my own college campus walking back to my dorm room from the architecture building at 3 a.m – wondering what I’m doing. When I was an amateur photog city patrol drew weapons on me in broad daylight only to be relieved I was just holding a camera (good story, laughs had by all). As a photographer, particularly one who captures the isolated urban and rural settings I prefer to shoot, you’re accustomed to attracting suspicious eyes. However, as a black photographer often mistaken for younger than my age, I’ve come to expect being interrupted with double the frequency – with or without a camera in hand. So I’m accustomed to getting stopped by SOMEBODY in public or semi-public areas. The last thing I’m anticipating is being asked for directions.
Already taken aback (which is no easy feat) and having helped them out, the couple then went out of the way to offer me a ride – which by then must’ve made my jaw DROP. I politely declined, partially because I was almost at my destination but also I didn’t want this nice couple to begin thinking that offering strangers a ride at 11pm was a good idea – even if it was only Asheville. I’d hate for it to become habit forming and have to see their kind, unassuming faces plastered on the 10 o’clock news, you know? In the current American sociopolitical climate, it was a refreshing relief and certainly provided me a bit more faith in humanity, even if as a temporary respite.
The next day I had the time to take two easy to moderate hikes that I didn’t get to take last fall, one to Linville Falls and the other to Crabtree Falls.
Linville Falls (2012)
Lastly, this was at an overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway or a highway close to it. Think it was Highway 221. All I remember is I got asked for directions here too.
In May I did more marketing photography for M/I Homes Raleigh in four of their model homes located at Flowers Plantation in Clayton, Ballentine in Chapel Hill, and Belmont in north Raleigh. Interior designer is Mary Cook Associates out of Chicago. These are a few takes:
Did some photography for the Downtown Raleigh Home Tour for the second year in a row. This is a sampling of the homes I got to check out. The first one featured here (first four photos) was definitely my favorite of the bunch, so bright and cheery:
Last image is a ballroom in the Sir Walter Raleigh Apartments. ‘Til next time!
Busy year so far! These are a few shots from a recent real-estate shoot for my friends over at RtownLiving. Definitely a fun kitchen to shoot. They’re having an open house this Friday, March 2 6-9pm at 315 S. Boylan, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Guess that’s my first professional-related blog of the year. Eventually more to come.