Ashley Morrison's Blog

November 24, 2017

Black Friday.

“No room lights on” is one of the things that a lot of editors insist on these days, which actually became like ‘a rule’ 12 years ago. So when shooting a home which we are hoping a national or international magazine will run with, that is something that we would obviously keep in mind.

Which for the most part isn’t a problem, as many homes are quite bright to start with, as most of their walls and ceilings will often be painted white or a light colour.

But that wasn’t the case here as you can see…
One of the first images taken in Peggy Bell's townhouse in the County Down seaside town of Bangor.
.. in the sitting room of this townhouse which overlooks Ballyholme Bay – which did look good with all the room lights and lamps turned on – however, when turned off, well as you can see here…
One of the first images taken in Peggy Bell's townhouse in the County Down seaside town of Bangor.
.. even with two 3K’s blasting through the windows on this rather dull day, it was still looking pretty dark in there.

And so yes, this one required some serious lighting – and that look on Dianne’s face here…
One of the first images taken in Peggy Bell's townhouse in the County Down seaside town of Bangor.
.. kind of summed up how I was feeling too when trying to shoot this up-stairs sitting room area wink.

Should definitely have hired an assistant for this, as I reckon I actually had to pump about 3 times as much light into this room than I normally would; however, I must say I was very pleased with the final result here…
“Peggy
.. as Peggy posed to perfection.

A house which as you can see here…
“The
.. I had actually shot before – and talked about here: House of fun.

Couldn’t be more different – but yet in some ways it was the same, as it was all about the details…
“The
.. as every area was like picture perfect.

Still, it was black…
One of the first images taken in Peggy Bell's townhouse in the County Down seaside town of Bangor.
.. and the weather didn’t help – however, I have to say that it did look good in the end…
“The
.. and definitely a little bit different to the norm.

Which is something that we would always be on the lookout for, as would the editors too.

A challenge…
One of the first images taken in Peggy Bell's townhouse in the County Down seaside town of Bangor.
.. especially when I need to turn the room lights off…
One of the first images taken in Peggy Bell's townhouse in the County Down seaside town of Bangor.
.. but then I guess if it were easy, everyone’s images would look like this…
“The
.. and then it really would be a Black Friday for me wink.

Anyway, just want to say a big thanks to Peggy and Phil for inviting us into your amazing home and to Sean too, from Dianne & me on this Black Friday.

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August 7, 2017

Tucked snugly away from the city streets.

The other main shot that they wanted, was this one…
“The
.. of the terrace area in the centre of the hotel – which we knew the sun would pretty much naturally light from about 3pm onwards.

“Adjoining Dylan Bar, the Terrace is an outdoor oasis. Tucked snugly away from the city streets, it features modern mood lit panelled walls and bamboo planting. The décor is finished by a feature red brick wall, giving it a Japanese Garden meets New York terrace appeal. The cosmopolitan space features comfortable lounge seating, providing the perfect space to relax after a long day at work, or to meet friends on the weekend.
The terrace is also the perfect space for watching any sporting event. It features two outdoor TV’s, and the most highly anticipated events are shown.”

So with 3 images now done and time to spared, we quickly set-up the 4th shot in the bar, to show this seating area…
“One
.. which was the area behind where we had taken this shot from the year before…
“The
.. which I talked about shooting here: Five images.

So while Dianne did a bit of polishing…
“Behind
.. as well as some heavy breathing…
“Behind
.. Claudio worked on the lighting…
“Behind
.. as well as his modelling career wink

Happy with that…
“Behind
.. as this was the final image produced to show this area…
“Sitting
.. which does have a very different feel to it than this area…
“Seating
.. which is on the other side of bar.

Anyway, the 5th and final image, as I said before, was of this area:
“Behind

OUR THINKING: Terrace area.

“Day time – after 4pm.

We like this angle as it shows the different wall surfaces in this area, giving us lots of interest.
4 people plus 1 staff member.
Small cacti for tables or something small with a modern feel.
Drinks for the table in the foreground, light beer and nibbles.
Throws. More planting.
Could the people be dressed in casual, nothing too bright let’s keep the colours soft.”

And so we once again started to set it up for the camera…
“Behind
.. check…
“Behind
.. and then waited for a blink of sun…
“Behind
.. before capturing the team in the positions we felt everyone should be…
“Behind
.. just before they all arrived…
“Behind
.. and we made some hand gestures…
“Behind
.. while Claudio here…
“Behind
.. once again, worked on his modelling career wink

Seriously though, between his lighting and the Big Guy’s lighting…
“Behind
.. with everyone now in their place…
“Behind
.. it wasn’t long before I was standing back…
“Behind
.. saying: “That’s a rap” – which it was as you can now see…
“Screen
.. on their website.

And so that was it, time to pack & rack…
“Behind
.. for the second time that day – smiling from ear to ear…
“Behind
.. as we were all delighted.

Which just leaves me to say a big Thanks to everyone involved here once again – especially to Elaine & Barry and not forgetting the Big Guy up above – from all of us @ ampimage.com

Creating images to tell a story… just for you smile

August 5, 2017

So a decision had to be made.

After shooting the Experience suites the day before – which I talked about here: Between the showers – it was out to shoot the front terrace…
“One
.. the follow morning.

OUR THINKING: Front terrace.

“We like this angle as it shows your unique wicker seating and the contrasting facades.
We would also like the grey storage box removed so we would see a clean line of your wonderful large pots with the olive trees.

6 people, 1 staff would give this area a buzzing atmosphere.
2×2 male and female and 2 ladies.
The 2 ladies would be in the foreground, so how they look would be very important, think ladies in their 30s.

Smart casual dress as they have been shopping, props to suggest.

Food requirements: Coffee and biscuits for the ladies. Club sandwiches and drinks for the table in the background with staff serving.”

So with the camera in roughly the same spot…
“One
.. on what was looking to be another dull day – Claudio when ahead and set-up the lights…
“Behind
.. but as you can tell from the look on Dianne’s face here…
“Behind
.. she wasn’t impressed when she looked at this image on the screen…
“Behind
.. as those three 3K’s were doing very little, as you can see.

No, it wasn’t looking good…
“Behind
.. as there was no sign of the sun – and I really couldn’t see that it was going to appear anytime soon

So a decision had to be made – as I obviously couldn’t light up the whole world, never mind the front of this building, to make it look like the sun was shining – and so as you can see I wasn’t too happy…
“Behind
.. as we said our farewells…
“Behind
.. and started to load the wagon…
“Behind
.. because there was no pointing in me wasting everyone’s time here.

But then for some strange reason, the Land Rover refused to start…
“Behind
.. which as strange as it may sound – could have been because of what was reflexing on the bonnet – because yes, that was a blue sky…
“Behind
.. which by the look of it, I still wasn’t too happy to see wink

Seriously though, I couldn’t believe it – so with the camera back in it’s place…
“Behind
.. the next image on the screen confirmed…
“Behind
.. the sun was now shining – and so just one light was required this time…
“Behind
.. to add a touch of fill…
“Behind
.. to where the main group of people were going to be.

In…
“Behind
.. and out…
“Behind
.. just like the sun…
“Behind
.. but we where almost there…
“Behind
.. as I explained how I saw them…
“Behind
.. to myself by the looks of it wink

Still the ‘Big Guy up above’ must have been listening…
“One
.. because a few minutes later, I was smiling from hear to hear – at this the final result…
“The
.. which may never have happened had the Land Rover started wink

Which it did I’m pleased to say, after a little boast – and so that’s the story behind this image…
“Screen
.. which you can now see on their website – with Claudio & Dianne way in the background too.

So a big thanks to everyone involved here – and especially to the ‘big guy up above’ – because I know I could not have pulled this off without your help smile

August 3, 2017

To make it look like we did nothing at all.

After shooting the Superior guest rooms – it was up to the top floors to shoot the Executive Suites at the Kilmurry Lodge Hotel.

“The Executive Suites are spacious and contemporary, styled with our guests comfort in mind to ensure complete relaxation.”

Having already recced them back in April, it was this angle…
“One
.. that we had agreed on.

OUR THINKING: “Room 521 – This room as a feminine feel to it – so let’s play on that by adding personal items to suggest that she has just returned from a days shopping.
Nice big flower arrangement as pictured below.
A person in this room would work – clothes dark navy or beige trousers and light long sleeved shirt or light sweater.

Smart casual.”

So with the camera in pretty much the same spot…
“One
.. we when from that to this…
“One
.. after Claudio and Ivan here…
“Behind
.. lit it up, both inside…
“Behind
.. and out…
“Behind
.. while Dianne sat and read a magazine…
“Behind
.. I made some suggestions…
“Behind
.. and took a picture every now and then…
“One
.. because as you can now see on their website…
“Screen
.. we do actually work very hard, to make it look like we did nothing at all wink

The last one was this one…
“One
.. which again was on the top floor.

OUR THINKING: Room 519 – Personal items to suggest a couple.
High tea on​ the coffee table.
1 member of staff either at the window or at the bed.
2nd red strip for over the end of the bed.
Flower arrangement as below or something with a modern feel.

So with the camera in place, we went from this…
“One
.. to this…
“One
.. after the lights had been put up…
“Behind
.. and Claudio did a bit of modelling…
“One
.. which I wasn’t quite sure about…
“Behind
.. although showing off a bit of leg did help…
“Behind
.. after taking a selfie…
“Behind
.. as one naturally would – but we didn’t think any of those looked quite right…
“Behind
.. so sorry Claudio – because as you can see…
“Screen
.. they decided to run without you wink

And so that was it – time to pack…
“Behind
.. and rack…
“Behind
.. but not before the sun came out – so we made the most of that too – because like I said before: we do work very hard…
“Behind
.. to make it look like we do nothing at all smile

From Claudio, Dianne, Ivan & me – creating images to tell a story, about our wonderful time during the shoot, at the Kilmurry Lodge Hotel in Limerick.

August 2, 2017

Between the showers.

Last month I talked about us shooting one of the new bedroom suites at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin here: Our story behind the story.

Well, we were back recently to shoot a few more, which they had also talked to us about back then – and this was one of them…
“Original
.. which they call the Experience suite.

Our Thinking:
“We like the way we can see through to the bedroom in this angle.
The furniture at present is along one wall – so we will probably move the various pieces around to achieve a more attractive composition.”

So with the camera in basically the same position as before…
“One
.. the team when to work…
“One
.. both inside and outside…
“Behind
.. between the rain showers on this rather grey old day.

Which as you can see…
“One
.. started to look pretty good – just a few final touches…
“Behind
.. and it was time to talk to other model…
“Behind
.. do a test shot…
“One
.. have a think about that and what she should wear…
“Behind
.. then watch…
“Behind
.. Claudio sort out her hair…
“Behind
.. as he is a man of many talents – and this was the result…
“One
.. which I liked, but seemed to be the only one…
“Behind
.. as I was out numbered wink

So when for it again…
“Behind
.. this time with Barry standing in – and so this was the final image…
“The
.. that got the thumbs up – but I still liked this one…
“The
.. so I provided them with both, as well as without anyone in the image – because sometimes I know less is more wink

Then it was up to the top floor to shoot the Studio suite…
“Behind
.. which as you can see had this divide in the middle…
“One
.. which the normal system and lens I use, didn’t seem to be really capturing very well.

So Claudio finally got to see this other system being put to use…
“Behind
.. which he had been dying to see for quite sometime now…
“Behind
.. and so after pressing the button…
“Behind
.. he was finally able to see how much more the 24mm lens was able to capture…
“One
.. when I put the digital back on the Cambo system
“Behind
.. which I would very rarely use – and even when I do, I would usually crop the file like so…
“One
.. as I’m not a big fan of ultra wide angle.

Anyway, in this case I felt I did need to show more…
“Behind
.. and everyone agreed – so that just left a little bit of polishing to be done…
“Behind
.. and there you have it…
“One

“What do you think?”

“Behind
.. because I’m now putting words to these behind images…
“Behind
.. which Claudio is becoming very good at taking smile

Seriously though – I wasn’t looking forward to this one, as I knew from this recce image…
“Original
.. it was going to be a difficult one to capture – but was delighted with this final result…
“The
.. and so were they.

And so that was the bedrooms – which you can now see on their website…
“The

“The
.. alongside many of the other images that I’m pleased to say we produced too smile

Next up was a few exterior shots – which I will talk about another time, because as you can see…
“Behind
.. every picture tells a story.

From Dianne, Claudio & me @ ampimage.com
Creating images to tell a story… just for you smile

July 29, 2017

Superior guest room.

One of the many bedrooms that Jack at the Kilmurry Lodge Hotel wanted to show their guests, was this one…
“Original
.. which they called their Superior rooms.

“Superior guest rooms are light and airy while also offering our guests that extra touch of luxury.”

So that was next on our list, after we finished the Nelligan’s Bar shot.

Which was pretty easy to shoot…
“One
.. after Ivan put up a new picture…
“Behind
.. Dianne had sorted out the bedding …
“Behind
.. Claudio had lit it…
“Behind
.. the polishing was done…
“Behind
.. and I had press the button on this strange looking camera…
“Behind
.. which I have been using now for nearly 15 years smile

Just point & shoot – and this was the final result…
“Superior
.. which can now be seen on their website:
“Screen

Take two being the same room with only a single double-bed…
“One
.. which again just needed a few changes made…
“Behind
.. which didn’t take the team very long to sort out…
“One
.. bar trying to figure-out what to put on that far wall…
“One
.. so Dianne held up a different few things…
“One
.. which I took a quick picture of…
“One
.. before we made the final call…
“One
.. and so this was the final result…
“Superior
.. which once again you can now see on their website:
“Screen

So it was as simple as that – thanks to Ivan and Claudio here…
“Behind
.. as well as Dianne…
“Behind
.. who was already getting things ready for the last two shots – so more on those and what Claudio was doing here…
“Behind
.. to follow wink

From me and the team @ ampimage.com

Creating images to tell a story… just for you smile

July 25, 2017

An enchanted castle in wilds of Ireland.

One doesn’t often see this here in Ireland…
“Weather
.. but when you do and you have a Client who is based on the other side of the country, that is wanting an image to help them target the market that they want to appeal to, then one does need to try and make the most of it.

And so it was last Monday, because back in May we had talked to Howard – who’s other 2 castles we had shot before, which I talked about here: How much does it cost to take a picture – about shooting Markree Castle here…
“Drive
.. which is partially moated by the River Unshin, as seen here…
“River
.. in County Sligo – and is one of four castles that are listed under Romantic Castles Ireland.

So this was one of the 2 images he was looking for: “An enchanted castle in wilds of Ireland – away from it all.”

Anyway, July was the month we were waiting for, as the other image he was after was this one…
“Garden
.. which was at the back – “The perfect venue for your wedding” – and so we obviously wanted the garden to be in full bloom… hence July, as that is when it will be looking it’s best.

So 2 shots: one was a morning shot, the other was an evening shot – so the ideal situation would be to shoot the front one showing the river in the evening, stay overnight and then do the garden and terrace area at the back in the morning – as I reckoned the one at the front would need to be shot at around 8pm and the one at the back would be around 8am.

That would be ideal – and could have worked out just like that here too, bar the fact that there was a wedding on, and they had booked the entire place for both Monday & Tuesday.

Anyway, a decision had to be made, because like I said at the start, you don’t see a weather forecast like that very often here in Ireland – and so I emailed both Howard and Claudio that morning to say:

“Car is packed – so I’m going to go for it – as it could be another few weeks before we see sunshine like this again, according to the forecast.
So I should there around 6pm.”

To which Claudio replied:

“Perfect! I’ll be there at about the same time.
Will they get the props u think?”

The ‘props’ he was referring to was, of course, the outfits for the fisherman and the people on the horses – which they had talked about here…
“Concept
.. in reply to “Our Thinking” back in May – when all of this was discussed and they had told us who they were wanting this image to appeal to, as well as what they wanted it to say to that market, etc, etc.

Anyway, I emailed Claudio back to say:

“Don’t think they will be there – so anything you can get your hands on would be great.
The main thing is the castle… everything else is an extra”

Howard did, however, email back to say that the hotel management had been informed about us coming and that a fisherman had been organised and would be there at around 6pm too.

So with a 4 hour drive ahead, I hit the road – and about 30 minutes later I received an email from Claudio to say:

“Boots, trousers and rod sorted.”
“Props

To which I replied:

“Excellent stuff – now just need a few people on horses to ride past.
Seriously though – it’s the castle looking good that is all important here – so will be giving it my best shot”

Anyway, I arrived around 5:30pm and immediately set up the camera and started to shoot – because as you can see here…
“First
.. the sun was already hitting the front of the castle.

Close to prefect, I reckoned – as I didn’t want the sun to come around too much behind me, as that would then start to make it look flat. So basically that was it – one click and I was done wink

So by the time Claudio arrived, I was nowhere to be seen…
“Behind
.. but was obviously still around – as I’d clearly given the shirt of my back
“Behind
.. to do a bit of fishing instead wink

Away, new shirt on and back behind the camera…
“Behind
.. as Claudio helped the member of staff into the waders and boots…
“Behind
.. before he ventured in…
“Behind
.. to help complete the story.

Perfect timing too…
“Behind
.. so I snapped away…
“Behind
.. each time he throw the line out…
“Behind
.. which with the Flexbody, is like one frame per second minute wink

Still, I only needed one frame – and this was it…
“Behind
.. as he finally managed to get the hang of it – and was actually starting to enjoy it too, before he lost the weight.

Add a few puffy white clouds – as one would expect to see that here in Ireland – and this was the final result:
“Markree

“Excellent stuff – now just need a few people on horses to ride past.”

– was still at the back of my mind as we began to pack – when all of a sudden Claudio spotted 2 girls on their horses down by the river.

So I grabbed the 503…
“Behind
.. and started to shot…
“Behind
.. because this was the image I had in mind all along…
“Markree
.. as Howard had originally said:

“I think this one featuring a fisherman and a horseman would work.”

Or what about walking along the path Claudio…
“Behind
.. or better still, along the road…
“Behind
.. as that would be much easier for me to create an image like this…
“Markree
.. or even this…
“Markree
.. although that may all be a bit to much – as it now looks like you are no longer away from it all – which was part of the original message I was trying to say here.

Anyway, the best shot of the day was this one…
“Behind
.. as far as I was concerned – although this one is pretty good too…
“Behind
.. so would just like to say a Big Thanks to Claudio for all his help here – as well as for these two wonderfully images to complete the story – because even if no-one else likes them, I love them – as this is what I call “living the dream” at an enchanted castle in wilds of Ireland – away from it all smile

July 23, 2017

Nelligan’s Bar

The 3rd and final shot in Nelligan’s Bar was the return angle.

OUR THINKING:

KL-0643 is our favourite angle – however, this angle does show the size and overall layout very well.

“Original
Would need bar staff and possibly a member of staff serving the people at the back dining area.

Which the following morning – after some serious work…
“Behind
.. the night before, to produce this image…
“Family
.. to show their Family Rooms or inter-connecting rooms…
“Inter-connecting
.. if you prefer – we set up to shoot:
“One

Lights up…
“Behind
.. and so the fun began…
“One
.. as bit…
“One
.. by bit…
“One
.. it all started to come together – as I stood and watched…
“Behind
.. the team working very hard…
“Behind
.. to complete the story we were trying to tell smile

Seriously though – once everyone arrived…
“One
.. it was all over in minutes, due to what all they had done.

Which then just left me to zoom in to let Jack’s Grandfather here…
“Behind
.. see how well he looked…
“Zoom
.. in this the final overall result…
“Screen
.. which you can now see on their website about Nelligan’s Bar.

Time for a coffee – as the big smiles on our faces says it all…
“Behind
.. because we were all totally delighted with this one…

.. before heading up to shoot the various bedrooms.

So more on all of that the follow – from Dianne, Claudio, Ivan & me at ampimage.com smile

July 22, 2017

It’s tables they want to see.

The 2nd shot in the bar that Jack was keen for us to capture, was this raised fireplace area…

.. which he was also wanting to promote.

Our Thinking:
“You mentioned you liked the Trump fireplace shot (see below) – so we will try to recreate something with a similar feel.”
“By

Which we talked about shooting here: The Clubhouse.

“Well now that you have talked the talk, Ashley…
“Behind
.. what are you planning on doing ?” – because it’s tables they want to see, rather than armchairs in front of a fire wink

Okay, TV down to start with…
“Behind
.. and I’ll try to find an angle…
“Behind
.. while Ivan, you workout how you are going to put a mirror up there…
“One
.. because how else am I going to explain this very romantic image of the two of you wink

So while I put the camera in it position…
“Behind
.. Ivan and Dianne started working on table setting…
“One
.. as well as the flowers…
“Behind
.. books…
“One
.. and everything else that was in front of the camera.
While Claudio (besides taking lots of great pictures of us all) worked on the lighting – as I tried to explain the look that I was after…
“Behind
.. before returning to take a few quick shots…
“Behind
.. which I reckoned was 99% there…
“One
.. bar fixing the hair…
“One
.. and there you have it…
“One
.. Capture-198262 looked good…
“Behind
.. which got the thumbs-ups from everyone…
“Behind
.. as it can now be seen on their Home page:
“Screen

So “Cheers” – from Claudio, Myself, Ivan & Dianne here…
“Behind
.. as it was time to make full use of the props smile

Nine years on.

Filed under: Family,Photography,Web links — Ashley Morrison @ 10:39 am
Tags: , , , ,

Nine years ago, we produce this image…

.. in the Nelligan’s Bar at Kilmurry Lodge Hotel – which I always remember as being quite a difficult one to light, as one wants to maintain the atmosphere, but yet not make it to dark or moody.

Anyway, back in April of this year, Jack asked me to have another look at it, as they had made a few changes – which they most certainly had.

Our Thinking:
“This angle is our favourite…
“Original
..it gives a really nice atmosphere with lots of interest.
Actually, love the grouping of people in this shot – family looks perfect here – as does the placement of the other quests too.”

And so that was to be 1 of 3 images Jack wanted of this bar – which ended up looking like this…

.. but started out looking like this…
“One
.. at 8:30 the following morning – after the Dusk shot and serval pints of Guinness in this very same room the night before wink

So with at image on screen…
“Behind
.. the team went to work…
“One
.. like a well oiled machine…
“One
.. as it was time for a coffee…
“Behind
.. lots of pointing…
“Behind
.. thinking…
“Behind
.. and the final touches…
“Behind
.. just before our family arrived…
“Behind
.. at 10:30.

So with the camera in position…
“Behind
.. and a Guinness on hand…
“Behind
.. one last look at the screen…
“Behind
.. and then it was time to press that button…
“Behind
.. as all eyes were on the Stars of the show…
“Behind
.. while I wounded on the camera as fast as I could…
“Behind
.. and captured the moment…
“Behind
.. before checking the screen…
“Behind
.. and then inviting them all over to see themselves…
“Behind
.. and how well they looked when I zoomed in on them…
“Zoom
.. and so this was the final result…

.. which was created for Multiple Media use – “As it’s easy to crop but harder to add on” as I would often say to people who ask why I still like to produce square imageswink

And so 9 years after the first image of this bar was created – this new image can now be seen on the Home page of their website…
“Screen
.. along with this one…
“Screen
.. which was the next image that we produced – so more on that to follow – from Dianne, Claudio, Ivan & me @ ampimage.com in Nelligan’s Bar.

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