When you have to to fly to point A to point B, once you land, you hit the ground running and seldom have time to stop. I try to work around landing in the afternoon, allowing enough time to grab a car rental, hotel and be on site for the money shots at dusk. It always works out to long hours, pre sunrise, until dusk, and you have to be there for the right light.
Fox River Mall, Appleton, Wisconsin. All set up waiting for the right light. We have a very extensive check list, mainly our lighting requirements that goes out to all of malls several weeks prior to arriving on site. Most of the time we only have one chance to get it right because of the budgets. We try to plan our shoots around the best weather conditions.
I am all set up to shoot the money shot and the lights are burned out in the foreground that lights the signage. Shoot the shot and see if maintenance can fix the lights. This are the typical problems that we face on each project and there is never a project that has some kind of a problem.
Most malls have three or four entrances, it is difficult to be in multiple places at dusk, so you have to pick the best locations and do your best job. Sometimes, we double back at sunrise, most of the time it is difficult to coordinate interior lights with the tenants.
Same shot as above but a little later for a more dramatic sky.
Part of shooting a mall is that you have to shoots exteriors of all of the major tenants. If you happen to get nice clouds, it always a bonus in the final illustration.
When you move into the interiors, sometimes we are not able to be there for the best lighting conditions, because of the requirements for the exteriors. It’s always nice to add motion and color to give some life to your illustration.
Mayfair Mall, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This had to be shot twice, all of the monument lighting was not working the first night. Even though we send out an extensive check list for our requirements, exterior lighting requirements slips thru the cracks. This was the first mall we shot together, Eric and myself shot this project, both working on different parts of the mall and pulling our talents together.
Late afternoon sunlight, long shadows, always adds dramatics.You move into the interiors best time is late afternoon to dusk, you plan your time, you can only be there for a short amount of time, because the requirements for the exteriors.
Not a lot of time to eat, have to keep shooting.Pembroke Mall, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. First night out, you have nice clouds and problems with the exterior lighting. I like that the tower on the left is lighted, nice glow that pulls your eye into the illustration. The problem no lights in the tower on the right side or the street lights were working at ground level. Check with maintenance, the tower has not been lighted for ten years. I need to see if maintenance will work with me to see if we can get the tower lighted. Maintenance could not get the bulbs that were burned out, many times we have to work with what we get.
You pick the most dramatic angles, use the natural light for the most dramatic effects.
You always have to shoot verticals for possible magazine covers.
The beauty is when I am done I get to go and visit my friends Craig and Marie on their sailboat in the Keys.I had the option to go out fishing for black grouper, my thought was let’s just go to the farmers market and I will cook dinner. Being a “Foodie”, a man who likes to cook, black grouper, shrimp, pineapple kabobs.Checking my car back in at the rental returns, wow monkeys on the fence, I better take my monkey photo. Hope you enjoyed my location work.