The funny thing about architectural photography is sometimes you can end up shooting a project multiple times. This exterior dusk shoot was my second at the new Western Illinois River Front Campus. I shot some interior images at this location late last year for the interior design firm Paragon Commercial Interiors, and I will be going back again this week to shoot a few more for Dewberry, the architecture firm.
Dusk shots are not as easy to pull of as they look. There is a very small window of opportunity when the ambient light balances perfectly with the artificial lighting. If your lucky this window will last about 30 minutes. In some cases if you time it out just right and there is enough existing lighting on the building, you don't have to bring in your own supplemental lighting. That was the case here at WIU. With the help of some of the security staff who were running around inside the building making sure none of the timed interior lights were turning off on us, we were able to maximize on this small window of optimal light.
In this bottom image you can see we are starting to push that window of optimal natural light. If it were to get much later than this we would need to use some of our own lighting to bring out detail in specific areas. With detailed and precise planning we were able to get 6 dusk shots at WIU in one night! This makes architectural photographers and architecture firms very happy!