Tag Archives: kitchen

Mid-Century Modern Kitchen, Upgraded by Building Lab


Obviously there’s a lot of natural light in play here. We bounced some of that back into the near side of the island, and added a bit to the cabinetry under the window. You can see how the backs of the stools really throw light back onto the edge of the cantilevered part of the island.

This is an example of a really beautifully designed kitchen. Stephen Shoup of Building Lab did a wonderful job of creating a modern, functional space while staying aesthetically true to the Mid-Century Modern bones of the house.

We photographed this kitchen in early October, and I was immediately struck by the cantilevered island and red cabinetry, as well as the enormous openings leading outside to the large deck.


This is always a challenging shot, as we had to light the interior to match the sunlight exposure of the deck, but without being too obvious about it.

With the multi-paneled sliding doors fully open, along with the very large window, the deck joins the kitchen and adjacent family room in an open floor plan. It’s incredibly inviting and must be an absolute joy to live in.


We backlit the translucent glass backsplash but made sure there was a gentle gradient from left to right for a more natural appearance.

We identified shots that would show off the features of the kitchen but which would also emphasize that indoor-outdoor aspect as much as possible.

And, just to make sure everyone understood that the rear backsplash was actually translucent glass, we shot the reverse angle:


Cover Up – Alameda Magazine

HR AM Sept CoverGet ’em while they’re hot —  my photo made the front cover of Alameda Magazine’s annual Kitchen Issue (September). This was a Custom Kitchens project I photographed earlier this summer. That martini is looking very appropriate, today!

Nice doubletruck inside, as well, and another full-page spread featuring photos I made in a Roger Lee house on assignment for Alameda Magazine:


Roger_LeeThanks to Debbi Murzyn at Alameda Publishing Group for showcasing this work!

Marin County Residence by Building Lab

A tremendous amount of lighting is being done to the lower stairwell in order to show the intent of the designer. The shadow pattern from the pendant lamp upstairs has been strengthened, and the stairs have been lit "from the inside out" in order to draw attention to the keyhole cutout and the strong graphic lines of the handrail and bars.

A tremendous amount of lighting is being done to this stairwell in order to show the intent of the designer. The shadow pattern from the pendant lamp upstairs has been strengthened, and the stairs have been lit “from the inside out” in order to draw attention to the keyhole cutout and the strong graphic lines of the handrail and bars.

We’ve recently completed a two-day shoot in Marin County California with Building Lab, documenting a spectacular remodel of a mid-century modern residence. Building Lab manages to create crisp, clean, graphically compelling designs using traditional materials — emphasis on wood grain, metal, and glass.  The staircase shown above is a classic example: it’s deceptively simple and clean, but further examination reveals a very careful and skilled design. Photos, write-up, and lighting notes, after the jump!

San Francisco Kitchen & Bath: Leslie Arnold, Part Two


A few posts back, I chronicled a recent shoot with architect Leslie Arnold – a kitchen/bath remodel in San Francisco. Today, here’s another one, with a distinctly different flavor.


Unlike the other project, which was a sort of Victorian-meets-country blend, this was Mission all the way. Arched doorways, stucco, smallish rooms….and Leslie introduced an Arts & Crafts flavor to the kitchen.


For the lighting geeks: The shot above involved gelling all the under-cabinet lights minus green (or magenta) to bring the fluorescent tubes back to something close to daylight. We introduced some flash from the left side down near the fridge, and there’s also continuous light in the rear left corner as well as the foreground. A lot of careful positioning of cards and some white reflectors got everything under control.


With the kitchen done, we moved into the bath, where Leslie had cast off all pretense of Mission style and gone 100% contemporary. This is the epitome of crisp! Green glass tile, white CeasarStone vanity top, and rich wood cabinets. The little scrubby was a last-minute addition to the styling that I just couldn’t resist.


All in all this was a really satisfying project to shoot, thanks to Leslie’s great work and some excellent collaborative atmosphere.

San Francisco Kitchen & Bath by Leslie Arnold


I recently completed a couple of projects with architect Leslie Arnold; a pair of kitchen/bath remodels in San Francisco. Here’s the first one, and it was a real pleasure to shoot!


Nor was it simple. The atrium-like eating area at the rear was flooded with sunlight, but the center island and “cooking” end of the space was significantly darker, and had to be lit in order for the photos to match what our eyes experienced. There’s a mixture of strobe and continuous light being applied across the entire image. Some of the strobe was via a head mounted on a light stand that was then “boomed” out the window of an adjoining room, by my assistant!



In the bathroom, we again used a combination of flash (this time a small speedlight) and continuous light (for the cabinetry) to compress the dynamic range into something that matched what our eyes could see.


We wrapped up the day with a few detail shots in other areas of the house where Leslie had done work, including the bedroom closets and storage.

Up next: a completely different kitchen/bath look, also by Leslie Arnold! Stay tuned….

SF Kitchen by Folio Design

folio03Catching up on Fall projects, and first up is a kitchen I shot for Folio Design back on October.

Designer Erin McGilvery, with whom I’ve worked before, really nailed it with this contemporary/country design. The first thing that caught my eye was the raised panels on the end of the island and the cabinet doors. This millwork was outstanding, and we knew we had to make sure the texture showed in the photos.


Erin is always fun to work with – and we had a good time styling this room!


Kitchen & Bath by Building Lab

A few weeks ago I worked with Stephen Shoup of Building Lab to shoot a kitchen and bath remodel in San Francisco. Stephen and his team created a totally downtown look in this place, and so I worked to create images that held that crisp, clean look – but with the rich warm tones that seem to be a hallmark of Building Lab projects.