San Dieguito Performing Arts Center

Of the many benefits of being involved with performing arts center photography are the countless opportunities to photograph stunning buildings that utilize the normally gorgeous climate. This brand new arts center is now part of the San Dieguito Academy campus located in Encinitas, California. The facility, design by JSFA, includes a 225-seat theater, an outdoor stage, and a 3,700-square-foot music room. Technically, the structure uses soundproof practice rooms and a recording studio to accommodate the artists who call the performing arts center their home away from home. For this project, the client had an urgent need for the photos which left me little time to shoot the center. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate. The exterior photography of the building had to be completed under overcast skies and fog. This presented me with the challenge of making adjustments in post-processing.

Overall, through crafty photography and expert post-processing fixes, the images turned out brilliant.

As you can imagine, the goal in constructing a performance art facility is to create a space that allows the performers to practice their craft in comfort. The wide-open venue gives a feel of freedom for the students while maintaining all of the technical acoustic attributes that makes the center capable of top-notch function. You will note that the music room pictured is spacious enough to allow the director the ability to arrange the players in a variety of ways. There is plenty of room for the percussion section to move closer or farther away from the other instrumentalists to match the balance that the orchestra can expect when performing before an audience.

All in all, this was a stand-out project in my career as a San Diego architectural photographer. From the challenge of the weather to the stunning and useful structure itself, there is plenty about this session that will remain with me going forward.