Can you spot the differences?

I spent much of August photographing entries for Design Pittsburgh 2019, which I am excited to share later this season. In this newsletter, I offer a glimpse at staging methods and a look behind the scenes — because like the construction process, sometimes unforeseen obstacles arise.

Ed Massery

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s Byham Center for Dance

I knew it would take complex choreography to capture the center with both the dancers and lighting in place. After consulting with the client and running test shots, we decided the perfect photograph would activate the dance studio windows at dusk – an ideal balance of day and evening light.

With only 10 minutes to capture the shot, a few challenges arose…

The courtyard light created a distracting glare you see in the top right of the photo to the left and we only had a few minutes with optimal evening light to capture the dynamic facade.

Can you spot the differences?

I coordinated with a dance instructor, who positioned the dancers from inside.

The final shot is a composite of the multiple frames taken during the shoot to create what the client and I had initially envisioned; the students and lighting dancing together.

Byham Center for Dance

Architect: IKM Architects 
Client: Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 
Awards: Certificate of Merit & People’s Choice Award; AIA Pittsburgh, 2017

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