Ashley Morrison's Blog

December 12, 2018

The perfect gift this Christmas.

Filed under: Photography — Ashley Morrison @ 2:13 pm
Tags: , , , ,

This was one of my favorite images of 2017…
The Lobby & Reception area at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. which we talked about shooting here: The new & the old – but as you can see from the quick shots I recently took…
Recce shot of the newly refurbished reception area at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. they were in the poscess of making some changes…
Recce shot of the newly refurbished reception area at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. and so that meant a new image was required.

However, even on the morning of the shoot…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. after having looked at it from various angles the night before as well, we still weren’t 100% sure about which was the best single angle…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. to show this newly refurbished reception area…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. but in the end, we decided it was basically from the front door this time – looking over their new furniture towards the front desk…
One of the captures taken during the Dunboyne Castle Hotel shoot.
.. and so having all finally agreed on that – the lights went up…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. and the Christmas tree decorations naturally had to come down…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. at least until we had finished.

And so once again I was very glad I had brought the full team along to help…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. which these pictures clearly show they did…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. in their own special way Wink.

Seriously though, one of the things I love to look at afterward is these ‘behind the scenes’ pictures…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. especially the ones which Claudio takes – like this series…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. of us trying to reduce the marks on the carpet…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. as it’s easy to forget how much work goes into each of these images…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. or how many people are actually involved sometimes…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. or even stopping to ask “where did that outfit come from?”…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. because if you are like me, then I’m sure you already noticed that she wasn’t wearing that before Wink.

Which in a way is a good thing, because that’s obviously not what we want anyone to notice or even talk about when they look at this final image…
The reception area at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. of their new reception area.

Still, all this helps remind me as to why it takes so long to pack the wagon…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. which just leaves me to say a big thanks to everyone at the Dunboyne Castle Hotel for “The Perfect Gift This Christmas”
Screenshot of the Eat & Drink page on the Dunboyne Castle Hotel's website.
from all of us

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December 9, 2018

New bar and lounge area.

Filed under: Photography — Ashley Morrison @ 1:35 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Two of the busiest areas in any hotel is the reception area and the lounge area – plus with the days being very short at this time of year – then bringing the full team along to help…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. seemed to make sense – because a few days before we were due to shoot this was how the terrace lounge area looked…
Recce shot of the newly refurbished area at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. at the Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath – as it was being refurbished and a new bar was also being built…
The new bar being built in the lounge area at Dunboyne Castle
.. behind the ‘false wall’ at the back.

And I was glad I did, as the first image appeared on screen…
One of the captures taken during the Dunboyne Castle Hotel shoot.
.. because it was “a bit of a grey old day”, as they would say here in Ireland – which means we didn’t have that lovely sun-lit feel, which one would naturally see on a good day, due to the large windows along the left and skylight windows (above) on the right.

So 3k’s up…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. as the guys reckoned a bank of these would do the trick…
One of the captures taken during the Dunboyne Castle Hotel shoot.
.. and then we ran through the various “ where to put the people” options…
One of the captures taken during the Dunboyne Castle Hotel shoot.
.. before our models arrived to take up their positions…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at Dunboyne Castle Hotel.
.. which was naturally followed by a few more quick shots…
One of the captures taken during the Dunboyne Castle Hotel shoot.
.. and there you have it – the new image of the ​Terrace Lounge & Bar area…
The new lounge and bar area at Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath.
.. at the Dunboyne Castle Hotel – once the top and bottom had been added to make it a square – because it’s easy to crop but hard to add on…
Screenshot of the Eat & Drink page on the Dunboyne Castle Hotel's website.
.. especially afterward

September 18, 2018

Classic design that stands the test of time.

Homes & Gardens is one of Britain’s oldest decorating magazines, which has been in circulation since 1919.

“Aspirational yet accessible, stylish, sophisticated and indulgent, Homes & Gardens showcases classic design that stands the test of time.”

Back in 2015 Jacqui and her husband, Peter, returned to Ireland and bought this large, derelict house…
“Large
.. as a renovation project.

Unoccupied for a while it seems, therefore in a terrible state of repair – so they totally stripped it back to brick…
“Totally
.. and removed virtually all the woodwork apart from the staircase – as it seems they really did want a challenge

Anyway, after receiving a call from Janet McMeekin, a London based writer who also once lived here, we were recently invited to take a look – and the rest is now history, as they would say…
“Dianne
.. because before very long Ivan had the lights up and Dianne had everything, including Jacqui here…
“Jacqui
.. looking like something you would see in a magazine.
But not just any old magazine, because yes I’m delighted to say, that 100 years after Homes & Gardens was first launched, you will now be able to see our work in that magazine too

So a big thanks to Ivan & Dianne here…
“Ivan
.. as well as to Janet, because it was “great teamwork” like you said – but most importantly I’d like to congratulate Jacqui and Peter, because if the icing on the cake was winning a heritage award, then this has got to be the cherry on top of that

One to look out for at the start of next year…
“The
.. in Britain’s oldest decorating magazines which showcases classic design that stands the test of time

August 10, 2018

Lane 5.

Each year on the University of Houston swimming & diving team there would have been around 40 of us in total – approximately 10 would have been divers – so in the pool that would have meant there would have been about 5 of us in each of the 6 lanes during training.
Lane 5 was the lane I remember swimming in – along with Billy, who I recently talked about meeting here: Billy, it’s Ashley and Ashley – and Andrew Gray, who was a very good long-distance swimmer from South Africa, who can be seen here…
Christina Anderson (Christina Ica Hörbäck) and Andrew Gray playing on one of the mats in the diving pool at the Universtiy of Houston.
.. with Christina from Sweden – who I remember we called the “Strawberry Girl” – but don’t ask me why, as my memory isn’t that good

Anyway, since signing up to Facebook back in 2009 and saying “Hi” once again to many of those who were on that team, Christina was obviously someone who I became “Friends” with and have followed ever since – especially since she was clearly still swimming, which in turn (unknown to her) inspired me to get back into the pool as well.
So naturally when she wrote to say that she (along with her husband, Bjorn Hörbäck, sister, Annis, and her husband, Philip Josefson) would be coming to Ireland for a few days, the answer was: “Yes, I would love to meet up” even before she asked

And where better to meet than at McDonald’s…
With Christina outside McDonald's at Sprucefield Shopping Centre, which is where we meet before I drove them all into Belfast and around the north of Ireland over the next few days.
.. because besides occasionally looking at all the pictures I took of everyone back then – many of which I have posted here on Facebook: University of Houston swim team 1979 to 1983 – nothing reminds me more of all the wonderful times we had together, than seeing those Golden Arches.

Anyway, after booking them into the Europa Hotel – which this book that my work can be seen in…
The book called 'In the Headlines' - the story of the Belfast Europa Hotel - by Clive Scoular.
.. tells the story about how it was once known as the “most bombed hotel in the world” – they all piled into the Land Rover and I drove them along the scenic Antrim Coast Road towards the Giant’s Causeway – where I enjoyed taking lots of pictures of them…
Christina Ica Hörbäck with her sister, Annis Andersson Josefson, and Annis' husband, Philip Josefson, at the Giant's Causeway.
.. taking pictures of themselves…
Christina at the Giant's Causeway.
.. as well as of the Causeway itself …
Christina Ica Hörbäck with her sister, Annis Andersson Josefson, at the Giant's Causeway.
.. before heading to the Dark Hedges
Christina with her husband, Bjorn Hörbäck, her sister, Annis Andersson Josefson, and her husband, Philip Josefson, at the Dark Hedges which has been used as a location in HBO's popular television series Game of Thrones.
.. which has been used as a location in HBO’s popular television series Game of Thrones
Christina with her husband, Bjorn Hörbäck, her sister, Annis Andersson Josefson, and her husband, Philip Josefson, at the Dark Hedges which has been used as a location in HBO's popular television series Game of Thrones.
.. as that was on the road back to Belfast. Were we enjoyed a lovely meal in the Europa, before heading across the road to the Crown Bar, as a few pints of Hop House 13 awaited

Next day I first drove Christina and her sister, Annis, to see the Peace Wall
Christina Ica Hörbäck with her sister, Annis Andersson Josefson, at the Peace Wall which separates the nationalist Falls Road and unionist Shankill Road areas of West Belfast.
.. which separates the nationalist Falls Road and unionist Shankill Road areas of West Belfast…
Christina Ica Hörbäck with her sister, Annis Andersson Josefson, at the 'Peace Wall' .
.. which I hadn’t actually seen myself before – even though it’s now a major tourist attraction – before taking them to Titanic Belfast – which is a monument to Belfast’s maritime heritage on the site of the former Harland & Wolff shipyard in the city’s Titanic Quarter where the RMS Titanic was built…
Christina Ica Hörbäck at Titanic Belfast.
.. where one can hear the many stories about the ill-fated Titanic, which (as you probably already know) hit an iceberg and sank during her maiden voyage in 1912.

Anyway, something which I had completely forgotten (and/or couldn’t have told you), was who else swam in ‘Lane 5’ besides Billy, Andrew and myself.
Well now I know, as it was none other than the unforgettable Christina…
Christina Anderson (Christina Ica Hörbäck) on the mats in the pool at the Universtiy of Houston.
.. a.k.a. the ‘Strawberry Girl’ or ‘Wonder Woman’ – which she was also sometimes known as.

Anyway, just wanted to post this to thank her here for the past few days, as it was not only lovely to see her again…
Christina Ica Hörbäck at the Dark Hedges.
.. but it was also lovely to be able to show her this wee part of the world where it’s believed giants once used to play…
Christina Ica Hörbäck and myself at the Giant's Causeway.
.. which I call my home

July 21, 2018

Billy, it’s Ashley and Ashley.

Look, it’s Ashley & Ashley…
“Billy McGoldrick with his daughter Ashley Hayes and me in the garden of his and Kerry Johnston's place in Dundee.
.. together for the first time.

Because yes, to follow on from Making a wish come true, I felt it time to not only meet Ashley, but it was also time to meet my once ‘best friend’, roommate and training partner, Billy McGoldrick…
“Billy
.. who can be seen here standing in front of our Motel’s front door, after having shaved his head for the 1983 South West Conference (SWC) swim meet, which was held in Austin that year.

And so it was, some 35 years on, outside in the garden of his fabulous gate lodge…
“Ashley
.. in his Scottish hometown of Dundee. As his daughter, Ashley, was over from Houston for a few days, to let him see her beautiful daughter – who’s name is Roisin…
“Ashley
.. Ashley, it seems

So “I’ll be back”, is how it was left, because the next time I want to meet his son, Billy – so then naturally the title will be “Billy, it’s Billy and Ashley”

June 2, 2018

Making a wish come true.

Back in the early 80’s, I took this picture of the men’s swimming & diving team in the changing rooms at the University of Houston…
Members of the 1982 men's University of Houston swimming and diving team in the changing rooms.
Glen Evans, T.K. Ponder, Ang Peng Siong, Kevin Lee, Hassa Bergqvist, Mike Turner, Wayne Welborne, Nicky Gray, Andrew Back, Kevin Richards, Richard Cahalan, Chip Martoccia, Philip Osborn, Garth Parsons, John Linklater, Ed Pierce, BIlly McGoldrick, Per Matsson, Jeff Farmer, Tom Cook, Iain Campbell, Sven Schultz, Andrew Chandler, Ulf Peters, Kevin Evans, Simon Draver and Andrew Gray at University of Houston.
.. which includes many of the guys that I have stayed in touch with over the years – thanks mainly to Mike Collins (who was on the Track & Field team) as he suggested a number of years ago that we all become “Friends” on Facebook.

Which in turn then naturally lead me to open ‘The Box’ which contains all the prints and negative I had taken back then – as well as newspaper cutting, scrapbooks and lots of other stuff from around that time in my life too… which I would refer to as “My swimming years”.

Anyway, after years of saying I would love to meet up with all of these guys again, this year I finally made a start at making that wish come true.

Tom Cook, who can be seen here on the pool deck at the Universtiy of Houston…
Tom Cook at the Universtiy of Houston swimming pool.
.. is definitely one of the guys on that list – and so when he contacted me to say that his wife, Lisa, and son, GreySun, were coming over to Ireland for a few days, the answer was “Yes, I would love to meet them” even before he had to ask

And so it was, as you can see at the Old Bushmills Distillery
On the 18th of May 2018 Lisa Tanner Cook posted this picture of me with her and her son GreySun Stattin at the Old Bushmills Distillery in County Antrim.
.. in County Antrim.

“Bushmills Irish Whiskey is made at Ireland’s oldest working distillery in County Antrim, Northern Ireland on the beautiful North Coast. Our original grant to distil was signed in 1608 by King James 1st and there has been distillation on this site since then, using the unique water from our own stream and Irish barley.”

Plus, at the Giant’s Causeway
On the 18th of May 2018 Lisa Tanner Cook posted this picture of me with her and her son GreySun Stattin at the Giant's Causeway in County Antrim.
.. “Shaka Brah!” Tom.

“Flanked by the wild North Atlantic Ocean and a landscape of dramatic cliffs, for centuries the Giant’s Causeway has inspired artists, stirred scientific debate and captured the imagination of all who see it. Is it the handiwork of legendary giant Finn McCool or the result of volcanic fury millions of years ago?”

Ashley Morrison: It was an honor and a pleasure, Tom – just wish you could have been with them.
So time to work on Plan H… which I will keep you all posted on
🙂

Lisa Tanner Cook: … And maybe Plan C 😎🌊🏄‍♂️

Tom Cook: Plan C – California Cook’s

Time to make another wish come true

May 16, 2018

The Duchess Slant.

With the Royal Wedding coming up, naturally, there has been a lot in the news about Meghan Markle recently and how she is quickly learning her future ‘acting’ role – and who better to learn from than Kate Middleton: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

Anyway, one of the things which I found very interesting, which I hadn’t actually picked up on before, was the ‘duchess slant’.

“The knees and ankles are clasped firmly tighter and the legs are slanted to the side, creating a flattering silhouette.”

“Typically the ‘duchess slant’ is used when a lady has to sit for an extended amount of time while keeping poise and posture,” says Myka Meier, royal etiquette expert and founder and director of Beaumont Etiquette. “It is the perfect pose for when a camera is shooting directly in front of you because by slightly slanting the knees to create a zig-zag effect when wearing a dress or skirt, your legs are angled so that the camera only shoots the sides of your legs and protects your modesty.”

And so with that in mind, it was time for some Afternoon Tea…
Screenshot of the home page on the Killarney Park Hotel's website.
.. in the Drawing Room…
One of the first pictures taken during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. where one practiced…
One of the first pictures taken during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. and practiced…
One of the first pictures taken during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. and practiced one’s pose…
One of the first pictures taken during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. before the ladies arrived…
One of the first pictures taken during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. to show us how it was done…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. to perfection, at the Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry – from Dianne, Claudio…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. and me

May 15, 2018

The ironing board

The ironing board was put to good use – so here are some pictures to show how we used it to produce this image…
The Innisfallen Suite in the Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.
.. in the Innisfallen Suite…
One of the first pictures taken during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

One of the first pictures taken during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

One of the first pictures taken during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. which can now be seen on their website…
Screenshot of the Suites page showing the Innisfallen Suite on the Killarney Park Hotel's website.
.. and this…
The Innisfallen Suite in the Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.

One of the first pictures taken during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.

Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. .. at the Killarney Park Hotel
Screenshot of the Suites page showing the Innisfallen Suite on the Killarney Park Hotel's website.
.. in the beautiful Irish County of Kerry

May 13, 2018

Total tranquility in Killarney.

Keeping it simple…
One of the first pictures taken during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. so it was Lights…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. a few candles…
One of the first pictures taken during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. a Camera…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. a quick check…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. Action…
The Spa in the Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.
.. and then basically repeat…
The Spa in the Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.
.. in the Spa & Wellness centre.

“One of the finest spa hotels Killarney has to offer, the Killarney Park Hotel Spa is the perfect place to unwind and luxuriate. Devote a day to your relaxation and regeneration or indulge in some post-sightseeing pampering; however you decide to use our indulgent Spa facilities, you will emerge refreshed and renewed in our oasis of calm.

You will find a wellness space that encourages total escape from the pace of everyday living.”

Five-star massages & reviving treatments…
The Spa in the Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.
.. at The Spa
The Spa in the Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.
.. your haven of peace and total tranquility in Killarney – by Dianne, Claudio & me

May 12, 2018

The Whiskey Room.

The picture the Killarney Park Hotel sent us a few weeks ago to let us see the area they wanted us to shoot…
Whiskey room.
.. and the first picture I took last week, didn’t really look that different…
One of the first pictures taken during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. so that was basically our starting point…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. as John, who is the hotel’s Marketing Executive, looked on…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. and this week you can actually see the final image that we created…
Screenshot of the Home page on the Killarney Park Hotel's website.
.. on the hotel’s homepage

So below are some of the pictures to let you see what all happened in-between – both inside…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. and outside…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. as tables got moved…
One of the first pictures taken during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. test shots were taken…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. and Claudio had to be reminded it was only 10 O’Clock in the morning…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
Wink.

Seriously though, we wanted this image to clearly let the viewer know that this was the “Whiskey Room” – so with that in mind, the placement of some of the whiskeys one could sample; as well as the placement of the people within the room…
One of the first pictures taken during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. was all important in my opinion.

Well, the look on my face here says I wasn’t convinced we had still got it right…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. as the first of our models arrived…
One of the first pictures taken during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. but with everyone’s help; as well as the shirt of Dianne’s back…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. final instructions were given…
One of the first pictures taken during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. and I’m very pleased to say that this was the end result…
The Whiskey room in the Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish County of Kerry.
.. to show the Whiskey Room…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Killarney Park Hotel in County Kerry.
.. in the Garden Bar…
Screenshot of The Garden Bar page on the Killarney Park Hotel's website.
.. at the Killarney Park Hotel in the beautiful Irish County of Kerry

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