When I first started using the 4th floor as a studio as opposed to the 2nd floor, I was both looking forward to new shooting possibilities and lamenting the loss of others at the same time. I was losing the tall windows that people could stand in, as well as the shower that I built from scratch and loved so much. On the other hand, I was gaining a much larger shooting space, as well as access to the adjacent rooftop. At first I wasn't sure how to best utilize the rooftop. There is a stucco wall which looks pretty nasty because there is a vent that blows exhaust from the restaurant below. At first I really despised this, because it represents everything that I dislike about Chinatown. Someone with some respect for others could have easily blocked and/or diverted the exhaust. Instead it just blasts away directly at my bathroom window (and the surrounding wall), so that the window had to be permanently sealed up a long time ago. Looking at this wall just pissed me off. Actually, I initially tried shooting on that wall- with a flash fill-in because it's in the shade. I didn't like that look. So later I tried shooting with out the flash, and the raw images looked very flat. Thanks to the wonders of Photoshop, I was able to really give the wall some pop- and make the grime look as grimy as it deserved! That awful wall is now one of my favorite places to shoot against.
As a side note, Adrian Louise really dislikes her scar from an abdominal hysterectomy. Of course, I really like it. I love scars- they tell a story, and the more extreme the better. So I remove the scar for her pics, and leave it in for myself.