Architectural Photography - Delivering Magic Through Post Capture Artwork

Before/After images of The Campus Lofts & Townhomes following post production artwork.

As an architectural photographer very often the image I desire cannot be created in camera. Living and working in the Pacific Northwest means weather can be 'iffy', and last minute punch-list items often provide obstacles to navigate onsite - and always at the worst possible time. :) So when a client calls with an image need but the project is in that ‘punch-list mode’ and the weather is 'headed South', how do I approach this challenge? Simple. I take charge as usual but make the magic happen with post production artwork!

"The Wacom Pen - mightier than the mouse!"

Creative post production artwork has been an essential step in my workflow since I pressed a Wacom Intuos 5 Medium tablet into service back in 2013. It very quickly changed the way I approach post production and opened up incredible new opportunities I had not even imagined possible including taking my images round trip to the top of the International Photographic Competition stage as a Diamond Photographer of the Year (2015) and Silver Medalist (2016).  As a heavy Wacom user I look back and note it did take a bit of time to gain fluency with all the custom settings, keys, shortcuts and setup specific to my artistic vision and workflow. But clearly it is now one of the most important tools in my creative arsenal. Today I cannot imagine working on my images without the finesse and control it provides.

The Wacom Intuos 5 Medium tablet is an essential piece of kit in my creative photography!

The Wacom Intuos 5 Medium tablet is an essential piece of kit in my creative photography!

When working an image in post production I move through an image examining each element, ultimately asking that critical question “does it help the image? or hurt it?".  If it is a distraction or not. If it is I remove it and rebuild the surrounding elements. There is no formula, and there are always limits. Some complex scenarios are simply too time consuming and beyond the scope of the assignment budget. But no matter what my clients' images always benefit through post capture artwork. 

The example above is a classic Before/After image showing the value of post production artwork. It is an image taken of the Campus Lofts and Townhomes, an 'adaptive re-use' project recently completed here in Olympia, Washington for Ron Thomas of Thomas Architecture Studio.  Designer and Business Manager of TARCSTUDIO Christine Van Duzer was thrilled upon seeing the results appear before her. She shared this nice comment: "Comparing the images side by side, the difference is simply stunning. The original photo accurately portrays the building, but the enhancements allow you to notice all of the gorgeous architectural details without distraction as the architect intended." Thank you Christine!