The modern architecture of Cambridge - Storey's field centre

Before visiting Cambridge, Cambridgeshire , I somehow already had a predefined picture of this city. I imagined it to be really dark due to dark brick buildings everywhere. But actually, it turned out to be the complete opposite: It was a lovely very multifaceted, lively, modern and green city. The city centre is a beautifully orchestrated harmony of classic architecture in symbiosis with modern and trendy stores, cafés and restaurants.

IMG_0787.PNG

The outskirts of Cambridge are in sharp contrast to that, consisting of entirely newly built districts, with no cafés, restaurants or any other services. It’s a classic example of de-urbanisation: Families live in the outskirts of the city in order to live in a calm neighbourhood with lots of free space, at the cost of commuting to the city centre for services. Still, this new district of Storey’s Field has not been finished and some more sub-districts have to been built, but I loved it already. The architectural landmark in this area is clearly the Community Hall, which I had the pleasure to photograph.

One day before the shoot, I already scouted the location, to figure out the optimal lighting for the front of the building. So I used the augmented reality function of my Photo Pills app to check at which time the golden sunlight was about to illuminate the front of the Community Hall’s building. That way, I could perfectly plan ahead my shots for the next day, without wasting time on-location waiting for the perfect light.

The Community Hall itself has been designed to become a more important place in the new community at Storey’s Field, to become its civic centre or town hall. It offers opportunities for weddings, music concerts, funerals, political debate, which gives it a significance above and beyond a space for hobbies, exercise, local groups and kids parties. To address this enhanced symbolic value for the community, the architects stepped the building side wards to address a longer view in the masterplan, and set it back to create a gathering space outside the Hall and a parents’ drop-off space outside the Nursery. To complete the sense of civic pride, the external walls of the Hall are lined with comfortable seats to stop and chat to neighbours while you wait to enter.

How I photographed a Porsche Carrera 911 S - Behind the scenes.

In the beginning of 2019, I celebrated new year’s eve with some friends and prolonged my stay for a few days there. At that time one of my friend’s was leasing a Porsche Carrera 911S, not to show off - as most would do - but to enjoy the pure pleasure of driving a high-end car, he would be never able to afford. Since I knew that the leasing contract for his rental car was about to expire, I offered him to take pictures of the car so that he can still have some nice memories of his year driving a Porsche - for me it was a cool opportunity to photograph a really expensive car as well, of course :P.

As we all know, January is not the best month to take commercial images. To make things worse, good photo spots are rare in the rural area my friend lives in. Hence, we had to improvise and to wait for a day where it won’t rain in the evening. I wanted to capture the car during blue hour. So it was even more difficult to find a photo spot that looked pretty, unique and was also illuminated to not just vanish in the darkness.

Spontaneously, on our way back from a cart race with two other friends, we took our chance to capture those pictures, as we had a short time window without rain. At first, we had to find and to drive through a car wash, which we did in the next biggest city Pforzheim. After the sun had already set, from there, we immediately drove to the only spectacular photo spot this area had to offer: The Gasometer Pforzheim.

Searching for an elevated position, we first drove into a nearby car park, but to our great disappointment the way up to the top of the building was blocked. Leaving the car park again, some of the poles right in front of the Gasometer had been removed in the meantime, allowing us to park the car right in front of the Gasometer. To make things even better, the big gate that blocked the view had been opened as well.
From there, I directed my friend to precisely navigate the Porsche so that I could compose the shot. Having decided for the composition, I had to lock it down in my camera mounted onto my tripod so that I could take several pictures and stack them together in Photoshop. Finally, I plugged in my remote trigger to avoid any sort of camera shake while pushing the trigger on my camera manually.

At first, I took bracketed exposures all the way up and down from EV-5 to EV+5 to be more free in post-production to get a clean base exposure, without clipping any shadows or highlights. After that, I equipped my friend with an LED video light, adjusted the colour temperature of the light and let him illuminate / light-paint the car, while I was taking long exposures.

At home, I blended everything together to get nice details with an even and subtle lighting of the car.
Having done that, I started to remove all specs and reflections, the light has caused on our not perfectly polished car. Additionally, I removed glare from the lights in the background, cleaned up the street and removed signs along the fence. That clean-up took about 2 hours. Overall I spent 3-4 hours on one final image. and blended together more than 10 pictures each.


Details matter.

Cheers!