Detroit Medical Center Night Photography
My goal was to produce a dramatic architectural photograph for my client. Parking structures might not be as sexy as a 50 story condo tower, but our modern cites couldn’t survive without them. And in the hands of great designers and builders, these very utilitarian buildings can look as good as the offices they serve. A chance to do night photography at the Detroit Medical Center is the type of project that an architectural photographer loves! This new parking structure for the Detroit Medical Center Heart Hospital utilizes precast concrete panels manufactured by Prestessed Systems, Inc. who hired me to photograph it. The decision to do a night photograph was based on two factors; 1) with a night shot of the building the darkness would hide much of the construction at the south end (far left) of the parking garage. 2) The second, and most important reason is that night photographs look awesome when properly executed. With the sun setting shortly after 9:00pm, we decided to arrive on site at 8:00pm to begin setting up. Once camera position was determined and the tripod and camera locked down, we brought the generator out onto the median (at the far left) and set up 2 Lowel DP lights (with 1000watt bulbs). The first captures were for the sky and the interior lighting of the structure. Once those were done we started the generator and turned on the lights. I started by lighting the south end of the building (far left) and used 2 lights to light approximately 1/3 of the building. We moved the lights and repeated this until we had captures of the entire building well lit. Then it was just a matter of layering the captures together in postproduction. The moon was out when we did the architectural photography, although it was not a full moon. I removed the “real moon” in post and replaced it with a full moon from my files. I love photographing all types of buildings and interiors and all types of architectural photography, but my favorite type of photography has always been night photography. Overall, I’m very happy with this night shot at the DMC.