This work is part of an ongoing project with Design Ethos in Bangor for Dixons Contractors, a building firm. They do a range of work from refurbishment contracts to new builds. Kyle and the team at Design Ethos have been working for them and asked me if I could photograph various sites around Northern Ireland.
The buildings to be photographed include everything from Hotels to apartment buildings to football clubs and many more. The buildings themselves are often spread over quite different parts of Northern Ireland. In one day I visited Lisburn, Belfast and Ards to try to get as much completed as possible while the weather was good.
The weather plays a big part in photographing buildings and landscapes. Without good weather for the day it would be a waste of time to travel to the different sites to start the photography. A little bit of blue sky and some sunlight makes a huge difference to the look of architectural photography. The light from the sun helps to give the building shape and contrast, it helps to pick out the textures and different materials used in the construction of the building. The one time sunlight can be a hindrance however is interior photography. Many of the buildings I have to photograph also need to be photographed from inside. Having harsh sunlight, even when the sun is low in the evenings, coming through a window can make it very hard to light the inside of a room. I often prefer to photograph the interiors on dull, more overcast days when I can as seen the examples below.
The softer light on an overcast day allowed me to photograph the staircase above with it’s skylight window without any harsh shadows caused by direct sunlight coming through the window. It also allowed me to get the detail shot below of the wood used in the stair access in a residential apartment complex.
The last couple of images below are examples of how these kind of projects can be fun and challenging. Walking around a building looking for interesting details and usual angles is all part of the fun of trying to create creative images. In most of the interior images I used a wide angle Nikon 16-35mm lens. This allows the camera to see extremely wide viewpoints as demonstrated by the shot looking down the flights of stairs. For this image I had the camera on a tripod leaning over the edge of the bannister. It was hard not have my feet appear in the bottom of the image as the lens can ‘see’ such a wide view.
These are a small selection of the final images, there were many more. There are also more buildings to photographed as this is an ongoing project. The nature of our unprecdictable weather means that the photography has to be done whenever possible. Hopefully the sun will peak out soon and I will get the chance to add a few more examples to the website!