Images by Peter Aaron/Esto in October Architectural Digest

September 16th, 2007

Early last week I got my copy of AD in the mail and was particularly impressed by an article that Peter Aaron did the photography for. I was hoping that the AD website would include this sequence of images in the online version so I could do a post on it… and they did. I’m glad to see that AD has started putting most of their articles online. This is a case where putting the articles and photos online does not in anyway motivate me to not subscribe the the magazine. the printed images are bigger, more impressive and worth subscribing to the printed version.

One weakness of the AD website is the design of their slideshows. Each time a slide changes the browser re-frames the page to the top so it is annoying to page through a slideshow. You have to reposition the page for each image. Very annoying. I’ve given them feedback. I hope the fixed the problem. I’m surprised they would design a site this way. Oh well, they used to have very few of their articles online… now they have most of the articles and photos online, that is a big improvement.

Peter Aaron is fast becoming one of my favorite Architectural photographers. This series of images I think is particularly well composed and lit. As far as I can tell he has used minimal lighting. I can find very little evidence of any lighting. Of coarse that’s what good lighting looks like… it looks like the lighting is natural. Can anyone see what he is doing in the way of lighting? The image above and others in the sequence are beautifully done considering what the difference in brightness between inside and outside must be. The back of the shelf in the middle of the image above is almost as well exposed as the side of the building across the street. I is an overcast day which is the best kind of light for shooting this kind of space.

I also like the way he has taken a shot from one of the apartments across the street to give a high-angle context shot of the whole apartment and a twilight shot besides. A very will done shoot!

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7 Responses to “Images by Peter Aaron/Esto in October Architectural Digest”

  • I can only assume he used some type of HDR (multiple exposure developing). I too have started using this technique for exterior shots. I took some recently at a listing around 6pm. They may turn out better than ones taken at mid-day. HDR shots don’t have to look surreal. They can look very realistic and show the best highlights possible. I may eventually find it useful inside as well. So far I haven’t needed it to prevent window “white out”. I effectively accomplish this by dropping the F stop twice and filling the room full of flash.

  • The exterior photos are defintaly HDR, you can see on the first shot the top of the tree has underxposed leaves, The last photo is definatly HDR as the sky is nice and blue, I personaly like to do exterior photos this way and really like Peters work. His WB is perfect.

    The interior images I am not to sure about, the second photo that looks slightly wash out looks like it might be strobs as the stairs on the left look like there is a strong light source hitting them. The other images may be HDR with some strobing but Im not experenced enought to pick these.

    Very nice work!

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  • I don’t know Larry, I don’t wanna sound like a smart*** here but I don’t really like them, except maybe for the bathroom shot which I think is great, all the others are “overdone” IMHO, even the photo that you’ve posted here, ceiling looks dirty, lamp looks plasticy, not mentioning the barrel distortion visible on the left, again, these photos aren’t bad, but they aren’t something I’d expect to see in AD either… Blacks are lost, no contrast… I’d expect someone shooting for AD to at least get the weather forecast synchronized for the shoot. just my 2c
    Matt Stec Photography –

  • Matt,
    Wow, I’m impressed that you could spot the barrel distortion. I can only see it if I open the image in Photoshop and use a vertical guide.

    I was thinking that he purposely choose a overcast day so it wouldn’t be too high contrast… I’m thinking that this would be a nightmare to shoot on a bright sunny day with all this glass. Sounds like you would rather shoot images like this on a brighter day. You are right though these images are much lower contrast than many marketing shots.

  • I like his work also but in the shot above maybe he could have used a polarizer to get rid of the reflection on the table in the foreground?


  • Peter uses an assistant with a portable strobe to walk around and light areas while in frame and then masks them out. The naturalistic look is from insane amounts of post poroduction. You are looking at a composite

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