Ashley Morrison's Blog

May 17, 2015

Green door…

.. what’s that secret you’re keepin’? – as Marvin Moore wrote in the lyrics which Bob Davie, Frankie Vaughan and Shakin’ Stevens all had a hit with over the years.

Well we will come to that later, as we left what was behind this green door…
The summer house in the garden at Lesley & Lindsay Anderson's cottage style bungalow near Portaferry in County Down.
.. until the end of the day.

In the meantime, behind the other doors in this house which belonged to Lesley & Lindsay, was where Marie worked her magic…
First image taken of the dining area in Lesley & Lindsay Anderson's cottage style bungalow.
.. adding those finishing touches…
The dining area in Lesley & Lindsay Anderson's cottage style bungalow.
.. while I played with the lighting.

The Storyline:

“Lesley loves traditional country style – she grew up on a farm.
This couple have made their dream come true by buying a home “off plan” (which they happened to stumble upon) and which they have put their own stamp upon.
They did most of the work themselves too.”

I actually photographed their last home some 20 years ago, which was featured in one of the very first issues of Northern Ireland’s Home & Living magazine, which they still had a copy of – so naturally they knew what to except this time – and it showed, as this first image shows…
First image taken of the sitting room in Lesley & Lindsay Anderson's cottage style bungalow.
.. because other than some minor adjustments to suit the camera angle and a bit of lighting, we had little to do here…
The sitting room in Lesley & Lindsay Anderson's cottage style bungalow.
.. and it was the same in the kitchen – as the sun poured in…
First image taken of the kitchen in Lesley & Lindsay Anderson's cottage style bungalow.
.. but nevertheless, the girls still worked hard to make it look perfect…
One of the images taken of the kitchen in Lesley & Lindsay Anderson's cottage style bungalow.
.. and so all that I had to do, was working on the lighting once again…
The kitchen in Lesley & Lindsay Anderson's cottage style bungalow.
.. as everyone, including their dogs kept a close eye on things…
Image taken in the living room of Lesley Anderson's cottage style bungalow
.. as well as on me…
The living room of Lesley Anderson's cottage style bungalow
… since this was obviously their home too :)

Away, lots of images were produced here – which for the most part where all pretty straight forward – but we still had move a few things around to suit the camera, like in this bedroom for example…
First image taken of the bedroom in Lesley & Lindsay Anderson's cottage style bungalow.
.. so while Lesley & Marie play around inside…
Image taken of the bedroom in Lesley & Lindsay Anderson's cottage style bungalow.
.. Lindsay helped me with the lights outside…
The bedroom in Lesley & Lindsay Anderson's cottage style bungalow.
.. so it really was all hands on board here to create these images – which isn’t really what would have happened 20 years ago, as I usually just turned-up back then and shot what was there.

Anyway, then there was obviously the garden to shoot too…
Lesley Anderson outside her cottage style bungalow near Portaferry in County Down.
.. and behind that green door as well – which I think the girls were most excited about.

“So what’s that secret you’re keepin’?” I hear you say – well no doubt all will be revealed when it’s featured – so you will just have to wait to see, as it was a very long day to say the least :)

Anyway, a labour of love for sure – so when Marie sent Lesley the link to let her see the final preview images the following day, I wasn’t really surprised at her reply:

“Hi Marie,
I LOVE them!!! I sat down with my coffee and biscuit to go over them all and it brought a tear to my eye.
Yourself and Ashley have done a wonderful job and they have made me cry with happiness.
Love from a tearful Lesley.”

Because it’s like years of hard work on their part, captured in a small moment of time by us, which they will then hopefully have very fond memories of for years to come… possibly even behind that green door too :)

Anyway, just want to say a big thanks to Lesley and Lindsay for inviting us in – and we will kept you posted once we hear more.

From Marie & me at homesinteriors.com in the Strangford Peninsula of County Down.

May 8, 2015

Out of AFRICA.

Filed under: Publish work — Ashley Morrison @ 2:26 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Is the title of our latest work in the June 2015 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine…
Page 135 to 137 in the June 2015 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine featuring Megan & Bryan Edgar's 1920's detached house near Stormont Park in Belfast.
.. on pages 135 to 137.

“A fusion of UK and colonial style has transformed Megan and Bryan Edgar’s classic home.”

Which we talked about shooting at the time here: As east as 123.

Love it.

So thank you to Megan & Bryan for inviting us in – from Marie, Mandy & me @ homesinteriors.com – as I reckon this is as close as we’ll ever get to being anywhere near Africa :)

Many hands make light work…

.. as one is often only as good as those around you…
Setting up in the Lobster Pot restaurant at the Galway Bay Hotel in Salthill.
.. as well as the subject in front of you of course – which in this case wasn’t a problem, as it was the award winning coastal Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.

Anyway, that’s where we shooting last week – so quickly looking back that the series of images captured, from the 1st frame through to the last – which by itself, basically tells the story about what all was done.

On arrival, the first room they wanted us to captured was this…
First picture taken in the Ballyvaughan ballroom at the Galway Bay Hotel.
.. which they referred to as the Ballyvaughan ballroom suite – which as you can see was all set-up and ready to shoot.

However, they weren’t wanting me to just take some pictures – as they could have easily done that themselves or asked someone more local with a decent camera to do that – no, what they were wanting was some images produced instead, because they wanted to use them, to help not only show the space but also to show what they had to offer their quests… like you.

So this is Your Table
One of the first pictures taken in the Ballyvaughan ballroom at the Galway Bay Hotel.
.. in this room – and so that was our starting point – which the girls then worked on, to ensure that everything from the camera’s position was just perfect – which included all those bows on the back of the chairs, as well as obviously the table setting in front of the camera.

So while Claudio (who had kindly once again offered to help assist) and I worked on the lighting, the rest of the team worked on what was in front of the camera – which involved quite a few changes too…
One of the pictures taken in the Ballyvaughan ballroom at the Galway Bay Hotel.
.. as things do sometimes look very different to the eye, than they do when you see it on the screen.

Anyway, very pleased with the final result…
The Ballyvaughan ballroom at the Galway Bay Hotel in Salthill.
.. as that says to me: “Your table is now ready in this beautiful room, which can obviously cater for all your friends too… as the last of the candles is lit by their well turned-out staff, who are there for you” – or something like that, as they do say a picture is worth a thousand words :)

Anyway, after the long drive and having spent so much time on that image, we were pretty much ready to call it a day – but naturally the staff were keen to make at start on the larger of the two ballrooms – and so before they set it up this time, they wanted me to give them some idea of what I was thinking of doing.
So I took a quick shot from the corner I was going to be shooting from the following day, to let them see what all I would be getting in…
One of the first pictures taken in the Lettermore ballroom suite at the Galway Bay Hotel.
.. but then decided to try something a wee bit different, by looking over the Top Table instead…
One of the first pictures taken in the Lettermore ballroom suite at the Galway Bay Hotel.
.. but that wasn’t quite right and so what was meant to be ‘just a wee quick shot’, turned out to be… well as you can see…
One of the first pictures taken in the Lettermore ballroom suite at the Galway Bay Hotel.
.. hours of fun instead.

Anyway, happy with that for now, I left them to it – because it was time to grab something to eat before hitting the sack, as the Big One was next.

Up at 4:30am – showered, shaved and the first capture taken of Marie and the model on the balcony…
The balcony at 5:27 in the morning looking out over Galway Bay at the Galway Bay Hotel in Salthill.
.. at 5:30 in the morning.

Hard to imagine what the actual final image would look like at this stage – but nevertheless, everyone worked away on getting their part done…
Bride and Groom on the balcony at 6:40 in the morning at the Galway Bay Hotel in Salthill.
.. as we waited for the sun to raise.

Which it did, but we were facing South, not East – and so it’s wasn’t quite what I was hoping for…
Bride and Groom on the balcony at 6:46 in the morning at the Galway Bay Hotel in Salthill.
.. even with all the lighting that Claudio had set-up.

Okay, how about I take a picture of this…
From the balcony at 7:08 in the morning at the Galway Bay Hotel in Salthill.
.. and then do this…
Bride and Groom standing on the balcony looking out over Galway Bay at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. now what do you think ?

Again, it may not be a picture that one can just take or one that local wedding photographers will ever thank me for – but as I said before, they didn’t just want me to come along and take some pictures, they wanted me to create some images instead, to help them not only tell their story but to let you see what they had to offer you as well.

And so to me, this tells that story – or at least it tells the story I wanted to tell here – which is that they are located right on the beach front, overlooking the beautiful Galway Bay, which is ‘the perfect setting’ for your big day.

The fact that you may have to get up at 5am to complete that dream… well, just don’t ask me to be your photographer :)

Anyway, after a well deserved breakfast – where we overhear one of their guests tell her friends how she had been woken up at 6am by some noise outside – and when she looked out the window, to her surprise, there was a bride & groom standing on the balcony – to which her husband quite witty said:

“No more wine for you tonight dear”

:)

Yes it seems all the curtains were twitching – as I’d totally forgotten that all the bedroom overlooked the Bay and the area where we shooting – so my shouts & yells had clearly not gone unnoticed. So sorry to everyone who was staying that night, but I hope you enjoyed the early morning show anyway, as that was team-work at it’s best.

But anyway, after breakfast it was back into the Lettermore ballroom suite…
One of the first pictures taken in the Lettermore ballroom suite at the Galway Bay Hotel.
.. which as I’d said before, we had really pretty set-up the night before – so after the final touches were add, it was time once more for our Bride & Groom to step-in…
The Lettermore ballroom suite at the Galway Bay Hotel.
.. and ‘strike the pose’ – which they did to perfection to complete the story.

Huge lighting job, but not as complex the next one, which as you can see here…
One of the first pictures taken in the bar at the Galway Bay Hotel.
.. was the bar.

A roaring fire, good food, a pint of the black stuff and a bit of craic – is what an Irish bar is all about to me – and so this was the end result…
The bar at the Galway Bay Hotel.
.. which again was a huge team effort, as every last detail was like a word in the story that we were trying to tell.

The surprise one came next – which was to be taken in the Lobster Pot restaurant – as I was originally thinking of something like this…
One of the first pictures taken in the Lobster Pot restaurant at the Galway Bay Hotel.
.. to capture that area of the room – but as the guys cleaned the windows, Louise and Sinéad sat in for a quick shot…
One of the first pictures taken in the Lobster Pot restaurant at the Galway Bay Hotel.
.. and that was it – which end-up looking like this…
The Lobster Pot restaurant at the Galway Bay Hotel.
.. as once again the models struck the prefect pose – but not until after, as you can see from the first image above, a huge team effort.

And so it when throughout the day, and into the following the day, which ended here in their cafe…
One of the first pictures taken in the cafe at the Galway Bay Hotel.
.. which once again was a tricky one to light – so thank you Claudio, as I couldn’t have done it without you – but it wasn’t just the lighting, it was everything – which is why I titled this: “Many hands make light work” – because there really was a lot of people involved in creating these images here…
The Cafe restaurant at the Galway Bay Hotel.
.. not forgetting their wonder chef of course, who struck the pose in this final image, before we called it a day and headed home.

And the comment from their boss after seeing the final results:

“Hi Ashley / Marie

I must say it’s yet another batch of fantastic quality images. I believe a great collaborative effort was made by all involved over a few long days well done.

I will review the preview images with Sinead and Louise over the coming days and either Sinead or Liouse will get back to you ASAP.

Thanks again.”

And from the marketing girls themselves who were involved:

“Hi Ashley
They look brilliant. It was great to work with you both again, we really learn a lot watching you both.
We’ve been showing the pictures to a few others and they’re getting a great response – we’ve never seen the hotel look so good!

We’ll be in touch soon,

Thanks again for everything!”

Plus:

“Hi Ashley/Marie,
Thank you so much for both your dedication last week. The photographs are proof of the great effort put in and we are excited about getting a new bank of imagery.

I will pass your feedback on to all the departments involved here.

Speak to you soon.”

As I said at the start: “One is only as good as those around you”, so Marie & I would like to thank you all too, as this one really was a team effort – which no doubt I will receive ‘hate mail’ for, from all those wedding photographers who’s brides want that balcony shot :)

Anyway, thank you all, from Marie, Claudio & me at ampimage, as many hands did indeed make lighter work here.

May 6, 2015

Chiltern Living.

Timeless Treasure is the title of the feature we have in the June 2015 issue of Period Ideas magazine…
Pages 30 to 35 in the June 2015 issue of Period Ideas magazine - featuring Tracey Annison & Andy Rosser's cottage near Checkendon in Oxfordshire
on pages 30 to 35.

“How Tracey and Andrew Rosser created a rustic retreat to share with their family and four-legged friends in Oxfordshire.”

Which we shot back in 2008 while visiting a good friend and fellow photographer, who also actually did the write-up on this one, called Paul Freeman – who lived just down the road from Tracey and Andrew here.

Always loved this bedroom…
Bedroom
.. and their kitchen too…
Kitchen
.. but wasn’t so sure about some of their four-legged friends…
mouse in the kitchen
.. even thought this wee boy did make us all laugh at the time :)

So a timeless treasure for sure – and a big thanks to Tracey & Andrew for inviting us in – and to Steve at Chilli Media too, for this lovely 6 page feature.

And to Paul, the cheque is in the post – so thank you too :)

From Marie & me in Checkendon.

For more about what we do, visit: www.homesinteriors.com

March 31, 2015

Tower Transformation.

Ancient History is the title of the feature we have in the May 2015 issue of Period Ideas magazine…
Pages 22 to 27 in the May 2015 issue of Period Ideas magazine featuring Angela and John Goodwin's Tower house in the Tarn region of France
on pages 22 to 27.

“Angela and John Goodwin found their dream home in a hill-top village in the south of France.”

Which we talked about shooting here: A real life fairy tale back in 2005.

So Ancient History it may be for some, but for me this will always have been a real life fairy tale come true – so once again a huge thanks to Angela & John for inviting us in – and to Steve at Chilli Media too, for this lovely 6 page feature.

From Marie & me, who are being reminded once again of those wonderful days we spend in France, thank you for this tower of transformation :)

For more about what we do, visit: www.homesinteriors.com

March 16, 2015

House of fun.

Over looking the Ballyholme Bay in the County Down seaside town of Bangor, was were we shot this townhouse…
Keri Johnston's townhouse which overlooks Ballyholme Bay in the County Down seaside town of Bangor.
.. which belongs to Keri Johnston, who is both an occupational therapist and a vintage home stylist.

The Storyline:

Keri is from Northern Ireland but met her husband (who is English) when she lived and worked in Bath. When the opportunity arose to return to Northern Ireland, they took it – and bought their present home. She had picked up the vintage bug when in Bath and has filled their home with favourite vintage purchases. Until recently she jointly owned a vintage shop. They did a huge renovation to the home – in particular, they reconfigured down stairs putting the kitchen at the front to enjoy sea views.

Anyway, having already looked at some pictures like this…
Hot link to a picture on Simom Brien's website.
.. on Simon Brien‘s website – we knew that this room would actually photograph very well – so after deciding this would be the main angle…
First image taken in the sitting room of Keri Johnston's townhouse which overlooks Ballyholme Bay in the County Down seaside town of Bangor.
.. then it was simply a case of moving a few things around to suit the camera…
One of the first images taken in the sitting room of Keri Johnston's townhouse which overlooks Ballyholme Bay in the County Down seaside town of Bangor.
.. while Stuart set-up the light outside – and then Marie and Keri kicked-in to add the finishing touches…
The sitting room of Keri Johnston's townhouse which overlooks Ballyholme Bay in the County Down seaside town of Bangor.
.. which I must say looked pretty Wow to me.

And so it was throughout the day, as we moved a few things around…
Marie & me in Keri Johnston's townhouse which overlooks Ballyholme Bay in the County Down seaside town of Bangor.
.. to suit the camera, while Keri kept a close eye on the laptop screen…
Marie & me in Keri Johnston's townhouse which overlooks Ballyholme Bay in the County Down seaside town of Bangor.
.. as we produce a series of images like this…
The dining area in the sitting room of Keri Johnston's townhouse.
.. as well as some detail shots like this…
Display of mirrors and Lounge sign in the sitting room of Keri Johnston'stownhouse.
.. of the mirrors and signage.

All of course under the watchful eye of Keri…
Keri Johnston and me in her townhouse.
.. who really did studied each image as they appeared on screen…
Keri Johnston and me in her townhouse.
.. which we laughed about – as she was even more eagled-eyed than us…
Keri Johnston and me in her townhouse.
.. which I can assure you is saying something, as we often spend ages on even a simple detail shot like this…
Corner unit in the sitting room of Keri Johnston's townhouse.
.. to insure it just looks right.

And so when it came to the bedrooms, even though Stuart and I thought we had done a good job here…
Setting up the bedroom image in Keri Johnston's townhouse.
.. it was all changed once Marie…
Marie setting up the bedroom image in Keri Johnston's townhouse.
.. & Keri arrived – but yes, as usual they were right to create a lot more layers here…
One of the bedrooms in Keri Johnston's townhouse which overlooks Ballyholme Bay in the County Down seaside town of Bangor.
.. which is like one of those things I would say, that obviously needed to be done, after I had seen it done by the experts :)

Which I guess is what they mean when they say: Hindsight is 20/20.

Anyway, we finished of in the kitchen…
first picture in the kitchen of Keri Johnston's townhouse.
.. and I think this smile of on Keri’s face really summed up the day she had had…
Keri Johnston in the kitchen of her townhouse which overlooks Ballyholme Bay in the County Down seaside town of Bangor.
.. as it was indeed a lot of fun.

Anyway, just like to say a big thanks to Stuart for helping us out here – as this was indeed a big house to shoot on a day when the weather conditions were far from perfect – and of course to Keri as well, for making us feel so welcome in her magnificent house of fun.

From Marie & me @ www.homesinteriors.com in the County Down seaside town of Bangor.

March 11, 2015

Riviera living SAVOIR FAIRE…

.. is the title of one of 2 features we have in the April 2015 issue of Period Ideas magazine…
Pages 22 to 27 in the April 2015 issue of Period Ideas magazine featuring Janet and Ken Hamilton's villa 'Jasmin' near the French Riviera village of St Paul de Vence
on pages 22 to 27.

“Janet and Ken Hamilton transformed a dated villa into their dream holiday home.”

Which we talked about shooting here: Kicking off back in 2010.

And ‘Mix & MATCH‘ is the other one….
Pages 38 to 45 in the April 2015 issue of Period Ideas magazine featuring Mairead & Owen McIntyre's Victorian terrace in the university area of Belfast.
on pages 38 to 45.

“Mairead and Owen Moore beat the bargain-hunters and bagged the Irish home of their dreams.”

Which we talked about shooting here: How good back in 2010 as well.

So from the French Riviera village of St Paul de Vence, to the capital city of Northern Ireland, I just like to say a huge thanks to everyone involved here – and especially to Steve at Chilli Media for this great result too.

From Marie Mandi & me at www.homesinteriors.com.

February 4, 2015

Free-standing.

An easy one to end the month, as it was a Saturday after all – but nevertheless for me it was a tricky enough one to light – as you can see this kitchen was basically split in two…
The kitchen in Nicola and Ray Anderson's period house in the County Down town of Donaghadee.
.. the extended part, which was closer to the camera, being filled with natural light – while the part that I want the viewer’s eye to be drawn through to, is dark.

So it was my ass on the line here…
Behind the scenes in the kitchen in Nicola and Ray Anderson's period house in the County Down town of Donaghadee.
.. as other than that, there was very little else needed to be done here, in this lovely free-standing unit kitchen.

Anyway, a blast of ‘sunlight’ and a touch of fill – and we where pretty much here as you can see…
The kitchen in Nicola and Ray Anderson's period house in the County Down town of Donaghadee.
.. so other than a few mini teaks, we were ready for Nicola to strike the pose..
Nicola Anderson in the kitchen of her period house in the County Down town of Donaghadee.
.. in her perfectly colour coordinated outfit – which without doubt, will be the image that an Editor will want to go big on.

So with the main shot in the bag and the lighting already set-up for this area…
The kitchen in Nicola and Ray Anderson's period house in the County Down town of Donaghadee.
.. it didn’t really take us to long to create this next image…
The kitchen in Nicola and Ray Anderson's period house in the County Down town of Donaghadee.
.. along with some nice detail shots – before swinging back around…
Behind the scenes in the kitchen in Nicola and Ray Anderson's period house in the County Down town of Donaghadee.
.. to capture this cooker area…
The kitchen in Nicola and Ray Anderson's period house in the County Down town of Donaghadee.
.. which meant moving the table and re-lighting – but other than that, it was ready to shoot…
The kitchen in Nicola and Ray Anderson's period house in the County Down town of Donaghadee.
.. and so this was an nice easy one to end the month – thanks mainly to Nicola & Ray who had done a great job here.

Thereby giving Marie plenty of time to take some great behind (the sense) shots :)

February 1, 2015

Windows on the World.

Is the title of our latest published work in the March 2015 issue of Ireland’s Homes Interiors & Living magazine…
The cover plus pages 70 to 83 in the March 2015 issue of Ireland's Homes Interiors & Living magazine
.. on pages 70 to 83, plus on the cover too.

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again! It took ten planning applications before planners accepted Brian and Jane’s contemporary design in the heart of County Tyrone’s countryside.”

Which we talked about shooting here: Little to do here.

Anyway, making the cover once again was Wow, as that’s now 3 in a row – but even more Wow, is how this home looks in this absolutely beautifully printed Irish glossy magazine… over all those pages too !!

So delighted to see this – and so would just like to say a big congratulations to Brian & Jane once again, for this time making it into the cover too – and a big thanks everyone else involved here as well.

From Marie, Mandi & me @ homesinteriors.com – smiling as we look through the windows on the World :)

January 30, 2015

As easy as 123.

Filed under: Photography — Ashley Morrison @ 7:45 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

They say ‘Amateurs talk about equipment, Pros talk about money and Masters talk about light’ – which is in some ways is true; however, I reckon most photographers will actually talk about all three, because each is important to them – as most know, one is only as good as the weakest link.

Anyway, today I’m going to talk a bit about lighting – which is something I’ve spend the last 30 years trying to master, as a photographer – who according to Wikipedia:

A photographer [the Greek φῶς (phos), meaning “light”, and γραφή (graphê), meaning “drawing, writing”, together meaning “drawing with light”] is a person who takes photographs.

Anyway, at this time of year the days are short here in Ireland and it’s not always ideal weather neither, as it often dark & very grey outside – which therefore naturally effects how it looks indoors too. Which was very much the case last week, when we were shooting this 1920’s detached house in Belfast, as you can see here in the 1st frame…
The natural light in the sitting room of Megan Edgar's 1920's detached house near Stormont Park in Belfast.
.. which I took to see what the room looked like first, naturally lit.

Then in this 2nd frame…
Lighting the sitting room of Megan Edgar's 1920's detached house near Stormont Park in Belfast.
.. you can see I added a directional light, while Marie starts to tweak a few things in front of the camera.

And in this 3rd frame…
Lighting the sitting room of Megan Edgar's 1920's detached house near Stormont Park in Belfast.
.. you can see I added some fill light… and there you basically have it.

Well almost – as that was really only the start of it, as there was about anther 30 minutes of the girls playing around, before we finally asked Megan to strike the pose here…
Megan Edgar in the sitting room of her 1920's detached house near Stormont Park in Belfast.
.. by which stage, it had been ‘styled to within an inch of your life’ as Marie would say – but that’s another story for another day :)

So by no means ideal light; however, it was as simple as one…
The natural light in the dining room of Megan Edgar's 1920's detached house near Stormont Park in Belfast.
.. two…
Lighting the dining room of Megan Edgar's 1920's detached house near Stormont Park in Belfast.
.. three…
Lighting the dining room of Megan Edgar's 1920's detached house near Stormont Park in Belfast.
.. and after 30 years of practicing – as well as the odd wee tweak here & there by Marie who also makes it all look so simple to do – we had the next shot of the dining room here…
The dining room in Megan Edgar's 1920's detached house near Stormont Park in Belfast.
.. in the bag.

And so it was throughout this house – 123, 123, 123 next :)

It was just the 4, 5 & 6 parts that slow us down – but nevertheless, what a great house – so just like to say a big thanks to Megan here for inviting us in and we will keep you posted once we hear more.

From Marie & me near Stormont Park in Belfast.
www.ampimage.com

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