Ontario Journalist, Writer, Photography & Filmmaker

Old Buildings – A Commercial Assignment

A lot of the commercial work I do is architectural.  Recently, I was hired by an architectural firm to shoot several of their projects.  One of those projects was a nearly 200 year old building.  As you might expect with a building that old, there had been modifications done, there had been additions, there had been repairs and there had been settling over time.  The work my client had done was converting the structure from industrial to mixed use commercial/residential.  This included work on the exterior, cleaning up the brickwork, adding new –  but period looking – detail and the design work on the interior.

As you can see in the ‘Before’ image, some of the brickwork is out of square due to settling and the repairs that had been made in the past.  The light on the viewer’s right above the door was burned out and the pot of flowers inside the metal can didn’t look overly appealing.  Moving the can was not an option as it had been filled with concrete and was too heavy.  There’s also a sticker in one of the window panes of the door I wanted to remove.  And the small metallic address numbers at the top of the door didn’t fit with the overall look of the building.

Old Buildings – A Commercial Assignment, RF-Photography

The first step was trying to get things as square as possible.  I used the sign band and the top course of bricks as horizontal reference points and the columns to either side of the doors as vertical references.  If you look carefully, you’ll see that the bricks above and below the sign band aren’t aligned with the band either, making the job of finding proper straight lines even more difficult.  Using the sidewalk wasn’t possible because, as you can see, it slopes downward from left to right.  Next, the metal address numbers were removed and the sticker in the window pane taken out.  Following that, the pail with the flowers to the left of the door was removed and the detail of the stonework and sidewalk rebuilt.  Lastly, I tackled the burned out light above the door.  Trying to simply replicate the colour wouldn’t work.  I made a selection of the light on the left which included part of the sign band, copied and moved it over to the right.  But because of the way the metal hoops bend it wasn’t in the proper orientation so I flipped it then worked to mate it up with the remaining parts of the existing light.  The brickwork around the light was then recreated to blend with the surrounding area.


If you’re in need of a commercial photographer I’d be pleased to speak with you.  You can contact me via email at photog(at)rf-photography(dot)ca or on 289-240-0949.