Saturday, April 11, 2009

Aluminum, Concrete and Cedar

View from the terrace on top of the guest wing.

In the left foreground is the master bedroom and in the middle, the living/dining room. Note that the MBR is separated from the LR/DR to let me me shut it off from the rest of the house and allow friends to have the run of the place without finding my "etchings." ["joke only", as they say in the Philippines].

I'm diggin' this High Dynamic Range photography stuff...

Guest Wing

The guest wing, newly drywalled and taped, but not yet plastered. Those guys work fast.

This drywall variety is called "blue board", but even in real life it's gray. I kindof like the color, and it might contrast nicely with the floor, but I suspect we'll do something that's not quite so monochromatic.

Current thinking is to coat this in pigmented natural plaster, possibly from American Clay or its ilk. I'm thinking this will give the wall surfaces some depth and subtle variation.


Barry and Ted discussing yet another detail that has to be just right.

In modern architecture, typically more of the structure is exposed and the transitions between surfaces and materials are visible. You don't just tack on some molding to hide the joints.

Hence, the ongoing conversation. Some of this is also due to our philosophy of "lets decide when we have to". It's impossible for any of us — architect, builder and especially the client — to perfectly visualize the end product in advance.

(By the way, what's glaringly wrong with this picture, and why did it happen? For some subtle hints, see the High Dynamic Range post. It's not the Photomatix watermark).

The (High Dynamic) Range

The view from the West deck. We made sure the Burr Oak was saved during construction -- the other trees that had to be removed were salvaged for flooring.

I wish I could say all that beautiful land was mine, but I'm a working stiff (again, starting Monday), and I'd need to blow out my commission for a few decades in a row before being able to afford it. But for now, I can play "pretend Land Baron" and hope that it doesn't get developed in my lifetime.

Note: This photo is my first attempt at High Dynamic Range Photography, which attempts to compensate for narrow range of film and digital camera sensors compared to the human eye/brain. This inability to capture all the colors and intensities of light is a big reason why you're almost always disappointed by your photographs ("gee, I remember the sky being blue, not white, when I took that picture.")

To get a picture that looks more like what your eye saw, you need to "bracket" your photos by deliberately under- and over-exposing the image, then merge the properly exposed parts of each image into one composite, realistic photo. This process, made easy by digital photography, would require all kinds of "dodging" and "burning in" with film photography.

I discovered a terrific book, Complete Guide to High Dynamic Range Digital Photography, by McCollough. The author turned me on to an application called Photomatix, which is easy to use and seems to provide for good results. It also makes it pretty easy to make fairly unrealistic images (I jacked up the saturation on this picture), but I will endeavor to use my new powers for good, not evil.