Over the past few days I had the wonderful opportunity to work with Jeff Goldberg, of Esto on architectural shots of the University of Colorado at Denver’s new-ish Medical Library. I wasn’t assisting, but was actually an extra in order to give the shots more of a feeling of use than space. I, along with several others, sat around, walked up and down stairs, and “pinballed” around the lobby in order to make the library look busier than usual.
Now, I am not really a fan of architectural photography (or at least the process. The outcome however, I find amazing), mostly because I can be rather impatient and waiting for the sun to move to the right spot or a cloud to get out of the way, would essentially drive me crazy (which I have heard is in walking distance of where I am now). As I was saying, I am not a fan, but because of the conditions that those photographers have to deal with, I highly respect them and what they are capable of. The really good ones do absolutely fabulous work, taking these spaces and literally giving them a life of their own.
Anyway, it was interesting talking with Jeff about his background and experiences as a photographer as well as how his workflow normally goes. Such as how extras were not originally planned for this shoot. Well, it turns out that the library is very spacious and finding people just hanging around the library is rather impossible, so extras were required. It was also very interesting in seeing how Jeff directed us as extras. One thing I saw him do, which I think works when working with any model, is setting a point of reference. Many times, Jeff would first have us look at the camera, then from that position, he would have us move, either towards or way or to “our left” or “our right.” I think learning how to direct people is one of the more difficult and subtler tasks that a photographer has to learn and it is a task that can’t easily be taught.
I was also glad to find out that the library had emergency plans in every room, from potential hazardous material spills to hostage situations. They are very prepared.
I’ll let you know when Jeff’s photos are online and you can look for the little blur that is me.
Also, if you get a moment, check out the work of Leo Derks. The guy is amazing.