Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fashion in the House of Sweden

Another fashion event last Friday night. This one at the "House of Sweden" on the Georgetown waterfront. The featured designer - Nudie Jeans, a Swedish, eco-minded apparel company with a message combining green business practices, human rights awareness, and rock and roll. Take some time out and read about them. They are doing some really cool work.

I arrived just in time to grab some shots of the embassy as the sun dipped low. It's a fabulous building both inside and out and it's in a fabulous location - later it was noted that it was the only embassy with a waterfront view - very nice. If I were an architectural writer and not just an architect, I might be able to speak poetically about it's clean modern lines, imaginative use of materials, and it's open democratic facade. However, that's not my talent, so check out some of the photos. Better yet, go see the building for yourself. They would love to have you I'm sure.

So, cool space + fashion + rock-n-roll = lots of great picture taking opportunities. Here are some of my favorites (the rest are here - er .. not quite yet):

The lighting was really all over the place. On the roof the light was dropping fast and was eventually overwhelmed by some harsh spots (One has to wonder if the neighborhood historic review board (OGB) or NPS forbade installation of lights to keep the light pollution down). On the first level the main space was lit by a gorgeous "light ceiling", a stippled plenum (note geeked out architecture word) that gave the whole space a wonderful even glow - great fun for photos and low enough to bounce fill flash. Also, during the main event the stair connecting the lower level and the first level was used as a vertical runway, and it was lit by some hard video lights - much brighter than ambient. The models would ascend the stair through a glaring spot and then turn into what the camera perceived as relative darkness - pretty challenging (unless your were feeling the rock music, and then it didn't really matter that much).

For all the different lighting conditions I made an attempt to balance the different ambient and flash to give a believable (not necessarily a realistic) look to the scene. In most cases this meant a slow shutter and wide f-stop. I also tried to tune into the different colors of the different light sources - the blue of the early evening sky, the orange video lights, etc. Inside I bounce the flash a lot (even in some cases off of the floor while I crouched down during the fashion show).

During the fashion show, I also took a number of shots out of focus. First because I thought it was in keeping with the presentation of the jeans - tattooed models, rock music, and hard lighting. Second because I was interested in seeing the quality of the bokeh for the lens that I rented. (if you don't know the word bokeh - you should check it out, because its kind of cool)

(note: I promise to make all of your wedding photos very sharp and wonderful)

To the folks at the House of Sweden - tack så mycket! (I learned that when I visited back in 2000, and its always nice to hear the language)

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