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Keyboard Instrument Exhibit

I made another visit to the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments for their revamped keyboard instrument exhibition. Part of working on location is expecting one thing and working out how to do another on site.


The plan was to photograph the new exhibit for publication and cover several keyboard wells and other instrument details. Surprise! Instead, more accurately, as well, we jumped into full instruments. Their full keyboard collection had been largely photographed years ago, but there were 6 instruments that had not.

So we squeezed the instruments onto the paper I had and with a little post magic I got the 6 instruments without completely dismantling the exhibit. It helped that several instruments were on rolling platforms, but the ideal set up for this would definitely have been to evacuate one end of the entire hall to run large sweeps of paper up the wall for a huge seamless backdrop. We got this done with one 109″ wide roll on a 6′ deep platform!

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December 1, 2012 | Tags:
Category: Photography of Art

2012 CT AIA Design Award

Congratulations to David Thompson Architects for winning a 2012 CT AIA Design Award.
The Built Project Design Award is for the Common Ground Harvest Pavilion, New Haven, CT.

I photographed this small project at the Common Ground High School last fall for David. You can see my post on it here.


The project was also featured shortly after on the website (article link), with an interview with David.

November 23, 2012 | Tags: ,
Category: Architecture, News

Pictures of a Dark Picture

I photographed a collection of very interesting photographs as part of an incoming institutional gift. The work came with the luxury of an actual borrowed studio space, not something I get usually on location. One of several works by one artist was this nearly black 50 by 60 inch print. The print had amazing saturation with just the most subtle light shining on an ocean in the middle, and a moon arc above.

Dark Seascape

Studio Space


October 25, 2012 | Tags:
Category: Photography of Art

Space Ready for Art: Lots of Space

Yale Art Gallery renovation and expansion: Swartout and Street Halls.

Years ago now I had the early privilege to photograph the renovation of the Louis Kahn building, home to the Yale Art Gallery. That project was done before I fully worked for myself and started out on 4×5 film. This spring I had the privilege to photograph the construction complete, but empty spaces of the newest additions to the Art Gallery.

YUAG Swartout and Street Hall Renovation

These renovated and expanded buildings are: Swartout and Street Hall. Swartout, which previously had gallery space, adjoins the Kahn building. The building has been extensively cleaned on the outside and in the great stone sculpture hall (inside the arched windows), but also sports the new very “white cube” upper stories.┬áThe expansion includes a 4th Flr, a mezzanine space in the tower, and a new terrace. Street Hall, attached via the High St bridge, was most recently the home of the Art History Dept. In many instances the changes are careful restorations of spaces, especially in Street Hall where sky lit galleries now look close to what they did when they displayed art in the first half of the 20th century.
Lots More and Images Below, Read more…

May 1, 2012 | Tags:
Category: Architecture

Small Room, Large Weaving

How to photograph a large weaving in a small space.

Another reason, variation, and use of a tilt table (of sorts) to make possible photographing in tight quarters. This time for a heavy 10ft+ weaving that is meant to be displayed hanging vertically. The object had recently been cleaned and was still being stored rolled. Additionally there were no walls tall enough to hang the weaving or space high enough for me to rig it temporarily.

Vertical weaving, Final Image

Working 99% of the time on location I need to be able to accommodate many types of objects with the space allowed. That means planning ahead and staying flexible on site. The most difficult of course is a new residential location with only descriptions and measurements from a collector (which I often do without the luxury of a preliminary visit). Luckily I had been to this location a year ago and knew the space. As well we had spent the previous day photographing a group of ceramic works from the same artist.

Tight quarters with equipment and art

I made this large tilt table and tested it before arriving to photograph. Aside from just making the table, pre-departure testing included setting up a mock photography scenario. This meant testing for table tilt (angle), tripod height, and distance back, everything would need to fit the room width, depth and height. Room width was easy, but I couldn’t get further back or make the ceiling higher on site.





The table was made from two shortened sheets of 3/4″ plywood and a 2×4 to join them. The plywood was covered in grey paper on site and then a double thick (and a little tacky) rubber carpet mat was stapled to the surface. The goal was to make a table strong enough to support the object safely, stay flat under weight, and of course be as compact as possible to transport. With the addition of two geared tripods the table ended up as simple and compact as one could hope. The only unknown was if the weaving would stay put once raised up to 45deg (my optimal photographing angle for the space). The rubber mat did it’s job perfectly, nary a slip, and the table supported everything perfectly. Happy me and happy client.
(previous tilt table use with poster size art)

March 1, 2012 | Tags:
Category: Photography of Art

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