Written by Michael Lavoie, IACC Member
Ian Grant gave a talk at our October 9, 2014 meeting on Architectural Photography that many photographers gladly would pay to attend. Of course, it helps that he has taught at NAIT and is a sought after, highly accomplished architectural, commercial and industrial photographer.
His work is in high demand in Alberta and throughout North America. He has elevated my expectations of what good architectural photography is.
He emphasized the need to know and fully understand all your photographic and lighting equipment. It is this intimate knowledge that differentiates him from many in the market. He is a technical shooter with the specific knowledge needed to control perspective though the use of tilt shift lenses. Not very many shooters I know even own a P/C (perspective correcting) lens or even understand how tilt shift is used to keep lines from converging. While much of what he shared was of a technical nature, his deep passion for this photography was front and centre.
I was impressed by many of the mature insights Ian shared with us. I thought it was especially interesting that time of day, when shooting interiors, had far-reaching implications in his photography. Not only time of day but also time of year. He suggested there are key seasons for shooting interiors and exteriors. When shooting interior spaces with lots of glass, he suggested, dusk and sunset are prime times for capturing the essence of a space because bright sun-filled windows will overpower a room’s natural ambiance and built-in lighting setups.
The one thing he emphasized over and over was the necessity of using a tripod. Some of his indoor shots require multiple images to be layered in Photoshop to get the desired result. Along with the use of a quality tripod, he has mastered the use of supplemental strobes blending them with the natural light. Every photo he showed us appeared to be a single, well-exposed image.
I think all of us who attended appreciated his repeated phrase, “Don’t kick the tripod.” It’s a good lesson for us all to learn. Camera position and properly applied technique will result in an award-winning portfolio every time.