Geeking out on science has finally paid off! This summer I was hired by design firm Hambly & Woolley to photograph doctors and scientists for U of T’s School of Medicine annual report. Typical of any portrait shoot, I’m looking to include some type of information that speaks to who the person being photographed is about (this may include props or clothes specific to their work). Often, all we have is a time and place to meet our subject with just a few minutes to get a photo — and this was one of those times.
On this occasion, art director Dominic Ayre and I arrived at the Donnelly Centre on College Street to photograph Peter Zandstra, a professor at U of T’s institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering. While killing a few minutes outside, we flipped through the brief and found that Peter’s expertise was in stem cell research, while looking over Dom’s shoulder it struck me that the Health Sciences Building across the street resembled a DNA chart, especially as it was a bright day and many of the blinds were partly down on every floor — that was science-y enough for me and would make for a nice graphic background! A quick test shot to convince Dom, and inside to the second floor of the Donnelly Centre where the floor-to-ceiling windows would afford us the best view. A further advantage with an indoor exposure is that it’s several stops darker than outside, so once I exposed for Peter the background became wildly overexposed and the final shot was born.
Pretty cool stuff!
And here’s the exposure for outside, where you can see the trees, building and a couple of streetlights in the bottom corner.