Recently I received a call about shooting a bus stop in Iowa City, Iowa. My first reaction was "Of course I can shoot this for you!" while in the back of my mind I was slightly worried about meeting the high expectations my client had for the job. The client wanted the shoot in freshly fallen snow, which is a great idea, but at the same time creates many obstacles to overcome. Snow in parking lots tends to turn to nasty brown sludge very quickly and when snow is falling the sky is very overcast and gray. I love a difficult challenge! This shoot reminded me that photography is definitely a problem solving profession.
Here are two totally different interpretations on the same angle that I really liked.
The time if day is always extremely important in architectural photography. By shooting moments after the sun went down I was able to capture what looked like a clear blue sky when in fact it was grey and hazy all day long. This time of day also allows colors to appear very vibrant when all day long they were flat, plain, and grey. I was able to add some life and utility to the image by including streaking lights of a bus passing by and people walking to their vehicles after getting off at the new stop.
The daylight images from this shoot lend themselves to a black and white look. It turns out that the weather of the day really helped me because of the positioning of the bus stop. The building faces north meaning in the winter months the sun is behind the building all day long. If this was a sunny, blue sky day it would have been extremely difficult to expose for the details of the building without getting major sun flares. I would have had to make multiple exposures for different parts of the building and spent hours in photoshop painting in the details of the darker areas. Because of the overcast day the light was very even. The snow on the ground reflected a beautiful incident angle highlight on the under side of the roof showing detail that would have been otherwise impossible to capture in one exposure.