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My "Sketches"

Updated: Feb 20

A quick review of my scouting shots and final photos and the decisions behind them. Why scouting is important and makes life easier.

All of my siblings are great at drawing, but I'm the exception. I don't recall doing much doodling when I was a kid, but I do remember my dad lending me his Minolta SLR when I was out on my first international tour with the US Air Force Reserve. (More on that another time.)

Nonetheless, I find my scouting sessions at a project to be very essential. I don't bring an actual camera for these walkthroughs, but my iPhone has been my crucial tool for my "sketches," also known as scouting shots.

These "sketches" help me internalize the space and work as "drafts" for the final photos. They help me reduce the time it takes to find the right viewpoints, though some may be obvious with the help of renderings. This process also helps me determine the best time of day to photograph the space and, in some cases, the exterior of the building. Having a site or floor plan is also an essential part of the equation, as I have the opportunity to review it with my scouting images to devise a schedule of when and what to photography.

I also find it fascinating to compare before-and-after photos, as the time of day may be different and the scouting shots were taken during the construction phase. In a way, those images are a time capsule themselves. Here are a few examples:

#1 Gantry Point Elevation (Scout)

#1 Gantry Point Elevation (Final)

The final version was photographed on an early morning as I want to have the light gracing the facade of the building. Of course, having people walking on the street helps illustrate the scale of project.


#2 Gantry Point Garden (Scout)

#2 Gantry Point Garden (Final)

I planned on photographing this view in the late afternoon, because I anticipated the low light will fill up the interior space.


#3 Gantry Point Reception (Scout)

#3 Gantry Point Reception (Final)

If I remember correctly, this was the very first shot of the day. There was some mopping of the floor to be done, and was running against time.


#4 Dattner Office Seating (Scout)

#4 Dattner Office Seating (Final)

The final shot turned out quite different from the scouting. After evaluating the scouting photos and the floorpan, I thought it would be more beneficial for the client and graphically intriguing to show the connections between the two conference room in relation to the waiting area.


#5 Dattner Office (Scout)

#5 Dattner Office (Final)

Here's a fun one to reference the before and after. After furniture in their place and a few unpacked boxes. This office is ready for business!


#6 Two Necks Living Room (Scout)

#6 Two Necks Living Room (Final)

The final shot is very close to the scouting shot. There was already a general sense of furnishing, so it was the matter of finding a point of view to tie the spaces together.


#6 Two Necks Stairs (Scout)

#6 Two Necks Stairs (Final)

Knowing that there are lights below the stairs, I opted to photographed it at night and make it the main feature and focus of the photo.


#7 Two Necks Living Room (Scout)

#7 Two Necks Living Room (Final)

I like this point photo and space a lot. There were endless possibility for a photogenic space. On top of that, the light was just phenomenal. I know that the afternoon light would fill the space, but because it was later in the Summer, the sun was also a tad lower. The result was this amazing flood of afternoon light.

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