Okay, maybe not never, or maybe not even most of the time, but, sometimes, never.
The image above is Material Culture’s floor space, left of the café in my last post. When I first walked into this space, my instinct told me to shoot the room from the right looking towards the café, giving me great depth. There was just one problem, sunlight.
To photograph it that way, the skylights (above the mezzanine) would have made the right edge and foreground too bright. To overcome this, and draw the veiwer into the image, I would have had to light the hell out of the room or wait until dusk. Unfortunately, I did not have a Hollywood budget for lighting and I needed to disappear long before dusk. So, instead, I considered the above composition, looking towards the mezzanine.
With this, the brightest part of the room extended far into my image, helping to draw the eye in. The sun was already doing most of my work and all I needed was additional fill.
For fill, I once again placed three soft boxes down the left of my image, all gridded with the first at a lower power than the others. This gave me a nice result, but I felt the left side of my image was still a little boring.
To jazz that side up, I placed a head with the Narrow Beam Reflector (positioned for the tightest beam) far from the camera aimed towards the desks and chairs. This made for a nice key light in the center left of my image, balancing the sunnier mezzanine.
So, sometimes, it is best to think what can be done with the light before what can be composed in the space.
To see the progression of my lighting, here are some test captures to scroll through.