Ashley Morrison's Blog

October 25, 2015

The pool with the view.

Where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea, is what they wanted the picture to say at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel in County Down.

So after agreeing on a price – for me to produce and then provide such an image, for them to use in multiple media for 1 year – I went along to have a look at the pool and took some quick snaps like this…
One of the reference pictures taken of the swimming pool at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel in Newcastle.
.. which I felt looked most impressive; however, it didn’t really say: Pool with a view.

Liked this angle too…
One of the reference pictures taken of the swimming pool at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel in Newcastle.
.. and yes, one could now at least see the view, which was pretty Wow on a nice sunny day like this was.

However, there was something about this angle I liked…
One of the reference pictures taken of the swimming pool at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel in Newcastle.
.. where as you can see here in this darker exposure…
One of the reference pictures taken of the swimming pool at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel in Newcastle.
.. one could see the sea too.

“The pool with the view, where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea” – perfect.

Now all I had to do was shoot it for real – meaning: Produce an image that they want to use enough, that they would be willing to pay me some money for – which as good as these were, I reckoned they wouldn’t be quite ‘good enough’ to meet their usage requirements smile

So a date was sort of set – as getting good weather I knew was going to be key here, if I wanted that view to look as good as it did here.
There is an old saying here in Ireland: “If you can see the Mournes, it’s about to rain – if you can’t, that’s because it is” – which isn’t far of the truth.
And so it was very much as case of just having to keep an eye on the weather forecast and then making the call that “it’s on” at the very last minute.

The above pictures were taken on the 20th of May; however, due mainly to us being busy at that time – because we had just been commissioned to shoot all of the various Carlton Hotels around the south of Ireland – it wasn’t until Friday the 29th of June that I made that call, that it was on.

Arrived around 1pm and as the first images appeared on screen…
One of the mainly pictures used to create the final image of the swimming pool at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel in Newcastle.
.. I was thinking to myself, this is going to look great once I’ve lit it.

So I set-up the lights, re-postioned the camera slightly and then I heard a splash…
One of the mainly pictures used to create the final image of the swimming pool at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel in Newcastle.
.. Nooooooooooooooooooo!!! I cried, as the guests who were staying at the hotel jumped in and started to swim about.

The pool obviously hadn’t been closed, like I’d thought it had been when I first set-up – and so it was like: “Houston, we have a problem” – because that Black Tiled pool just didn’t quite look as welcoming when the water wasn’t still & clear… to say the least.

The view outside was okay, as you can see here…
One of the mainly pictures used to create the final image of the swimming pool at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel in Newcastle.
.. but not really as good as I would have liked – and so I just had to sit here and wait, and wait, and wait some more – in the hope that things would get better.

A member of staff had also been informed that she may be called upon to doing a bit of modelling too – and so I knew that she would arrive around 3pm – which naturally gave me plenty of time here to figure this all out.

And so I waited.

At 2:45 it looked like this…
One of the mainly pictures used to create the final image of the swimming pool at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel in Newcastle.
.. which overall wasn’t bad I thought – so maybe in another 15 minutes or so, the water will stop moving and I’ll be okay.

But then I hear another splash…
One of the mainly pictures used to create the final image of the swimming pool at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel in Newcastle.
.. and a few seconds after that, this girl jumps in under the water jets…
One of the mainly pictures used to create the final image of the swimming pool at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel in Newcastle.
.. and so once again I heard screams inside my head: Noooooooooooooooooo!!!

Anyway, as it turned out the girl was actually the member of staff that I had been waiting on – so I asked them to turn of the water jets and decided to proceed, as if none of this other stuff mattered.

Two minutes later, that was a rap…
One of the mainly pictures used to create the final image of the swimming pool at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel in Newcastle.
.. as I honestly felt I was just wasting everyone time here – as this was clearly never going to work cry

I had this really great picture in my head too – and it obviously looked amazing – but as you can see here, I didn’t really have very much else rolleyes

Anyway, not one to be beaten after 25 years – and since the thought of having to go back and trying again didn’t appeal to me – I decided the following morning to have another look at what I did have here.

Well I did have at least a few images of the pool when the water was totally still – all be it from a slightly different angle.
I did have a few images that showed the Mountains of Mourne sweeping down to the sea – all be it the sky was white.
I did have a few images where the overall pool looked okay – all be it there was no view.
I did have a person in the pool, looking as if they were enjoying the view – all be it there wasn’t one.
And I did have this image…
Millisle beach.
.. which I’d taken a few years early, down at the beach in Millisle, close to were I’m based.

So… they said they wanted me to produce and then provide them with an image that said: “The pool with the view, where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea” – well okay then, “let’s do it” I thought to myself wink

And a few hours later, this was the result…
The swimming pool at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Hotel in the County Down town of Newcastle.
.. after it had been seriously amped as Marie would often refer to what we do.

Anyway, needless to say after seeing the above image, 1 years use very quickly became 3 years use in multiple media – like this double sized billboard…
Double size billboard showing the Spa at the Slieve Donard Hotel.
.. and at the end of 3 years they obtain a new licence for unlimited years use, I’m pleased to say too smile

And so that’s the story behind the image which you can still see to this very day on the Hastings Hotels website…
Page on Hastings Hotel's website about the Spa at Slieve Donard Hotel in County Down.
.. showing “The pool with the view, where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea”.

The magnificent Slieve Donard Resort and Spa is nestled in the heart of County Down where the ‘Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea’. Standing on 6 acres of private grounds, the hotel has been providing the best of Irish hospitality for over 100 years. The Percy French restaurant provides a cosy and friendly atmosphere. The Spa has all the facilities you need to relax and unwind from today’s hectic pace.

In 2015 the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa were awarded a Gold Award in the Green Tourism Business Scheme.

Creating images – because that’s what we do… just for you @ ampimage dot com smile

October 23, 2015

The kitchen is now the heart of our home.

Is the title of our most recent published work in the November 2015 issue of Style at Home magazine…
Pages 90 to 92 in the November 2015 issue of Style at Home magazine featuring the kitchen in Nicola and Ray Anderson's period house in the County Down town of Donaghadee.
.. on pages 90 to 92 – featuring the kitchen in Nicola and Ray Anderson’s period house in the County Down town of Donaghadee.

‘Stylist at Home Nicola, 44, put together a contemporary open-plan kitchen with a vintage twist to match her 1920s home’.

Which we talked about shooting here: Free-standing.

So congratulations to Ray and Nicola here…
Nicola Anderson in the kitchen of her period house in the County Down town of Donaghadee.
.. your kitchen is now in the heart of many Style at Home readers too smile

From Marie, Mandi & me.

October 22, 2015

Straight forward.

Located in the Rosetta area of Belfast…
Lisa & Conor McCann's detached house located in the Rosetta area of Belfast.
.. was where we were shooting recently, in Lisa & Conor’s detached house.

Which was a straight forward one for Marie…
Marie working in the kitchen of Lisa & Conor McCann's detached house located in the Rosetta area of Belfast.
.. Claudio…
Claudio in the kitchen of Lisa & Conor McCann's detached house located in the Rosetta area of Belfast.
.. and even for Lisa herself…
Lisa McCann in the kitchen of her detached house located in the Rosetta area of Belfast.
.. as we all felt this house suited this ‘straight down the middle’ type of style.

So while Marie posed in her usual way…
Marie working in the sitting room of Lisa & Conor McCann's detached house located in the Rosetta area of Belfast.
.. Claudio sorted out the wires…
Claudio working in the sitting room of Lisa & Conor McCann's detached house located in the Rosetta area of Belfast.
.. and after some rearranging for the furniture, plus a wee touch of sun light…
The sitting room in Lisa and Conor McCann's detached house located in the Rosetta area of Belfast.
.. it really was as simple as that.

The Storyline:

“Basically a major extension and renovation job !!!!
They specifically chose a popular suburb for good schools and links – and also, they welcomed the idea of a project.
They built a large extension to create a new kitchen and bathroom – and also a roof conversion.”

The bathroom was very impressive…
The bathroom in Lisa and Conor McCann's detached house located in the Rosetta area of Belfast.
.. which once again was pretty straight forward to shoot, style & light – and the bedroom in the roof conversion was also pretty straight forward too…
Bedroom in Lisa and Conor McCann's detached house located in the Rosetta area of Belfast.
.. so were in & out in record time on this one – and had a confirmed Yes please from the Editor at 25 Beautiful Homes magazine before lunch time the following day – so a fantastic result all around smile

October 16, 2015

A lot more to it.

Filed under: Photography — Ashley Morrison @ 10:20 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Having recced the hotel last year…
Recce picture taken in the Atlantic View bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. and having already produced some images for them to use, which I talked about here: Many hands make light work – we were back this week to shoot the various bedrooms at the Galway Bay Hotel in Salthill.

So while Marie talked to Louise and Sinéad about what she was planing on doing – Claudio began setting-up the lights…
First picture taken in the Classic bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. while I set-up the camera and began to take some pictures, so as to let everyone see what the camera was recording.

The natural light was lovely – so Marie worked quickly…
Marie at work in the Classic bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. but nevertheless, it still took a while to set-up – so Claudio had to hang-out of the up-stairs window after all, to add the finishing touch here…
Classic bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. to the first of 6 bedrooms we were about to shoot.

So that set the standard for the rest…
First picture taken in the Classic double bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. as Marie did her thing, while Claudio tried to figure-out how he was going to light it…
One of the first picture taken in the Classic double bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. and in the meantime Sinéad took some detail shots…
One of the first picture taken in the Classic double bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. as it all came together…
Classic double bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. in what I can only call ‘great team work’.

Because that’s what it basically was throughout the shoot – first starting with a quick shot to let everyone see the angle…
One of the first pictures taken in the Blackrock Suite at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. followed by lots of looking at the screen…
Behind the scenes in the Blackrock Suite at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. thinking…
Behind the scenes in the Blackrock Suite at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. more thinking…
Behind the scenes in the Blackrock Suite at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. and then the final result…
The Blackrock Suite at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. with Sinéad acting the part to complete the story in the Blackrock Suite.

Next…
One of the first pictures taken in the family bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. the family room –
One of the first pictures taken in the family bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. which when light & styled looked like this…
The family bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. where Teddy posed like a pro this time smile

Fresh flowers from the garden…
Marie getting flowers at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. detail shots…
One of the first pictures taken in the Atlantic View bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. tips from a Pro…
One of the first pictures taken in the Atlantic View bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. controlling the light…
One of the first pictures taken in the Atlantic View bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. and the result…
The Atlantic View bedroom at the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. where once again Sinéad acted the part to complete the story in Atlantic View bedroom.

Not much to it really – although when it came time to pack…
Packing the Land Rover outside the Galway Bay Hotel on the promenade at Salthill.
.. there did seem to be a lot more to it, than just taking a few quick snaps with a camera smile

Anyway, just like to say a big thanks to everyone involved here – and especially to Louise and Sinéad for all their help – from Marie, Claudio & me who now look forward to part two in a few weeks time.

October 3, 2015

Discovery II

One look inside my camera case…
Hasselblad system.
.. and you tell right away, that I’m the type of guy who loves a well made classic – which is exactly what the old Hasselbald V system is to me.

A workhorse – that has been beautifully made – which for the most part is now almost 20 years old but still going strong – and I love it.

Old School 🙂

It’s the same for most of the other equipment I use too – and so it was again this week, when I decided to upgrade the wagon.

I remember reading many years ago, about a start-up company called ‘eBay‘ – and how it was fast becoming the place to buy & sell almost anything – which they reckoned back then, would even include cars one day.

“No way” I thought !!

Well some 20 years on, that was exactly what happen this week – as I’d always wanted a really nice version of the Discovery II – which like the Hasselbald V system, is in my opinion, not only a thing of beauty but a real workhorse too.

Hard to find a really good one now, as they are more than 10 years old; however, after months of looking, I finally saw one in Poulton-le-Fylde – which not only looked like a superb example but also according to Mick from Preesall Garage, who had carefully looked after it for the past 5 years – it was a stunning one too – both inside & out.

Well here it is…
Land Rover Discovery II TD5 Automatic ES Premium finished in metallic Java black with Alpaca leather seats.
.. the Land Rover Discovery II ES Premium, finished in Metallic Java Black with Alpaca leather upholstery – now sitting outside the studio – after Marie & I travelled over last week to see it.

So there you have it, the workhorse and it’s all new carriage now awaits… our next Discovery II 🙂

October 2, 2015

Coming home.

Is the title of our latest published work in the November 2015 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine…
Pages 82 to 85 in the November 2015 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine - Kim & Derek Loughery's barn extension nestled in the Sperrin Mountains near Limavady in County Londonderry.
.. on pages Pages 82 to 85 – which features Kim & Derek’s barn extension nestled in the Sperrin Mountains near Limavady in County Londonderry.

“Kim and Derek Loughery took on the challenge of restoring an old stone barn that had been in the family for generations.”

Which we talked about shooting here: Nestled in the Sperrin Mountains – a few months ago.

The other is called Colour Therapy on pages 142 to 144…
Pages 142 to 144 in the November 2015 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine featuring Deborah and Graham Swail's semi-detached house in the Belmont area of Belfast.
.. which features Deborah & Graham’s semi-detached house in the Belmont area of Belfast.

“Deborah and Graham Moore turned a run-down semi into the perfect backdrop for fun and bright vintage finds.”

Which we talked about shooting here: No ordinary house will make it – a few months ago too.

So that sure put a smile on our faces yesterday as we were coming home from Poulton-le-Fylde
Land Rover ES Premium
.. after some colour therapy as well – which no doubt I’ll talk more about later – but for now I just want to say a big Congratulations to both Kim & Derek and to Deborah & Graham, for making it into this top selling national magazine – from Marie, Mandi & me @ ampimage.com

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