Speaking of shooting at the magic hour in the previous post, a prime example of a building which really comes alive at dusk is the new Connecticut Science Center in Hartford. I recently photographed interiors and exteriors of the building for Josef Gartner GmbH, the German contractor of the aluminum and steel facades of the main atrium.
Exteriors views of the Science Center from the east are tricky to shoot due to extensive construction, fences, and limited vantage points because it also borders the highway. The building dramatically modernized the skyline of Hartford, and while there are plenty of good views further away, it was a challenge trying to get a clear, closer architectural angle.
For the main shot above, I was determined to find a slightly different position than the images I had seen of the building. One possibility was a view from the highway overpass walkway, but it had an eight foot spiked fence, tree branches in the way, and vibration from the traffic below. Nothing that a step ladder, a tall tripod, and some rope to hold back the branches could not fix (disclaimer: no branches were harmed). While setting up, I also had to reassure the curious patrolling security guards that I was not planning to jump or something worse – then it was just a matter of waiting for the light to do its magic. While shooting, I also had to time it when there was a lull in traffic below, so the long exposures could be done when no cars and trucks where whizzing by and vibrating everything, not an easy thing on I-91 at any hour.
An extreme wide angle lens had to be used because of the size of the building and my close proximity. To maximize the tonal range in the image, it is actually a composite of five separate exposures, processed in Photomatix and Photoshop. Here’s are few of the additional views including aerials from a helicopter.