show and tell

Photos of the Western Student Recreation Centre

If you’ve been looking for great photos of the Western Student Recreation Centre, you’ve likely had a hard time. I’ve done a lot of searching and only found a couple of good photos. Those photos were by another architecture photographer, Tom Arban. I’m coming for you, Tom! Ha. Honestly, much respect for his work!

But, other photos, already taken, of the building seem to struggle in showcasing it. It’s a tough building to photograph. When you do get a great photo, it really stands out just like the building does in real life.

Even if you find some photos, they are likely outdated as the gym addition is now complete. (go straight to those photos).

Western Student Recreation Centre at Dusk

Western Student Recreation Centre at twilight in London Ontario
Western Student Recreation Centre at twilight in London Ontario

and a photo from a bit further away that shows the current construction happening.

Full Photo of the Western Student Recreation Centre with current construction
Full Photo of the UWO Student Recreation Centre with current construction

The architect for the Student Recreation Centre at UWO is Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc. and Cornerstone Architecture Inc. is doing the gym addition you see. I think the construction is being done by Norlon Builders (they also did the FIMS UWO Building). I’ll update this if I’m wrong.

With a faraway image like this, you can see some of the challenges found in capturing the building in the photo. There are a lot of distractions.  Imagine this place early in the day when it’s busy. The lot is packed with cars and it’s even more distracting. I was out taking photos of other UWO Buildings for my client and I noticed the lack of cars around the Student Recreation Centre. I needed to get a few photos of the Recreation Centre so I hustled over to give it a go. 

No time like the present!

I decided to snap a few photos as I got closer and closer. 

Usually, I want a photo that’s straight on the building (like you’ve seen in photos of London Life, The Covent Garden Market, London Public Library, and The Factory London), but I saw Tom Arban took a photo like that already and I didn’t want to shoot the same. So, I stuck to this angle because other photos struggled to get it. It’s all those lamp posts, signs, and cars that get in the way.

I came prepared for all these distractions and looked for places to set up around them as best I could do. Even when you’re as aware as possible, it’s still a tough spot and I wasn’t about to spend hours in photoshop trying to remove things.

Last Photograph and Longest Exposure

I want to convey time and life within my architectural photography. There were no people around and little to no car activity. The light was changing so fast, I couldn’t just wait for people.

My thought was to use the clouds motion as the way to convey time, life, and activity. You can see this in the first photo of the post, a little bit. 

To really show it, I threw on my ND Filter and set up a long exposure. 

All the clouds blurred as their motion was captured. It’s much the same as the first photo but you should see the difference:

Twilight of The Western Student Recreation Center - Night photo by Scott Webb
Twilight of The Western Student Recreation Centre revealing cloud motion. The interior lighting could just use a quick edit still.

A Long Architecture Shoot but not the end.

I’d spent a lot of time on Western University’s campus that day. It would have been easy to cut it short because I had to hustle over to the Western Student Recreation Centre for these photos. 

If you’re ever debating the act of staying or leaving? Just stick around because you never know what the light is going to do. It’s all part of the process.

(Oh, also, you might enjoy this other post for a new UWO building: Western’s Interdisciplinary Research Building)

Western Student Rec Centre Addition is Complete

Along comes 2019 and the student recreation centre gym addition is complete! The way the building faces, I thought it would be great to check it out at dawn for the sunrise as an initial scouting session.

The light at dawn is fantastic with great opportunities for photography.

WSRC at dawn - a new showcase of London Ontario Architecture by Scott Webb Photography
WSRC at Dawn in Mid June 2019
Showing new finished addition to the Western Student Recreation Centre
Prior to the sun above the horizon
Before the sun is fully up, even light on the rec centre gym addition at uwo
Testing out different views of the rec centre gym addition before the sun is fully up
Shadows start to appear on building and addition as the sun is up
Almost a comparable photo to the one above while under construction
Large Tree shadow cast on building addition of uwo recreation centre London
Large tree shadow cast as the sun continues to rise
WSRC gym addition from another angle and awkward tree shadow
WSRC gym addition from another angle and awkward tree shadow

Drop a comment on what you think of the photography and the building too.

If interested in my camera gear for my architectural photography, check out my kit.

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