Ashley Morrison's Blog

March 28, 2016

Five images…

.. and then some, to tell the story about what all goes on both in front and behind the camera, during what one would assume would have been a wee easy shoot.

Which in this case started back in January, when I received an email from Elaine O’Halloran, Director of Sales at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin, which read:

“Good evening Ashley,

I hope this finds you very well?

I would like to arrange some new photography of our suites here at Dylan. Can you please send me through a costing and your availability?

Many thanks
Elaine”

And so after a few emails to help answer her questions and a visit last month to have a quick look around…
The Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. it was time to load up the wagon once again as I had a story to tell – or five in this case, as that is what we had narrowed it down to, to keep within their budget.

Which started of with me having to replace a flat type…
Flat tyre at the beginning of the shoot.
.. on the first morning, before we even got started rolleyes

Anyway, first up was room 106…
One of the first pictures taken in one of the bedroom suites at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. which we mentioned in our concept report after the recce, about this one probably needing two shots – but ideally it would just be one – and possibly capturing a ‘corporate feel’ but still leaving it open to the leisure market.

Naturally, I had asked both Marie and Claudio for their help here – so when Claudio had a minute, he took some quick shots to help tell the story of what goes on behind the scenes…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. which in themselves I think says it all…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. as it sure wasn’t a case of just turning up and taking some quick snaps of whatever happened to be there, to please this 5 Star client…
One of the first pictures taken in one of the bedroom suites at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. as two and a half hours passed – and so what started out looking like this…
First picture taken in bedroom suite 106 at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. ended up looking like this…
Bedroom suite 106 in the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. with Barry standing in to not only complete the ‘corporate feel’ story ​but also to draw one’s eye through to highlight the fact that there was a bedroom area in this room too.

Which meant just one image was needed in the end, rather than two – which was also our goal, as we wanted to stay within their ‘5 image’ budget as well.

Next up was room 101…
One of the first pictures taken in one of the bedroom suites at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. which we mentioned in our concept report, about this being the “Experience Suite” -which was a lovely bright room (especially on a sunny day like it was when we recced it) with a large bay window.

Anyway, with the camera now in position, Barry worked on the bed, Claudio worked on the lighting and Marie began doing her thing…
One of the first pictures taken in one of the bedroom suites at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. but as Claudio’s behind the scenes pictures show here…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. this was by no means a quick shot…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. as ​every last detail was checked…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. over and over again.

So what started out looking like this…
First picture taken in bedroom suite 101 at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. ended up looking like this…
Bedroom suite 101 in the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. some two and half hours later – with Elaine standing in to complete the “Experience” story – and so that was it for the day, as the light was beginning to fade and so were we wink

Next morning, bright and early, we started in the seating area of the bar…
One of the first pictures taken in the bar area at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. which as you can see looked good as is.

However, since the goal here wasn’t just to see if I could take some pictures of what was there, as they already had lots of pictures like that, then we set about trying to create an image that they would want to use a lot instead – so once again ​we started…
One of the first pictures taken in the bar area at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. by first turning the grand piano and thinning it all out – then checking to see how that looked on screen…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. before seeing how it would look with a person in it…
One of the first pictures taken in the bar area at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. more checking the results…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. trying that for real…
One of the first pictures taken in the bar area at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. while Claudio recorded us in action…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. then more discussions…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. and so finally after 2 hours, what started out looking like this…
First picture taken of the seating area in the bar at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. ended up looking like this…
Seating area in the bar at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. so that was three out of the five in the bag.

Next was room 303…
One of the first pictures taken in one of the bedroom suites at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. to convey a “shopping message” as we were in the heart of Dublin.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words – and this one tells a story…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. which no doubt I will talk more about some day – as replacing a flat tire on the Land Rover is easy, compared to what looks to be flat out-of-steam Marie here rolleyes

Still, ​the show must go on – and so once again we tried different things – seeing how it would look with people in it…
One of the first pictures taken in one of the bedroom suites at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. seeing how it would look with some food…
One of the first pictures taken in one of the bedroom suites at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. and so some 2 and a half hours later once again, what started out looking like this…
First picture taken of the seating area in the bar at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. ended up looking like this…
Bedroom suite 303 in the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. which meant that was four in the (shopping) bag smile

The final image was ​the bar…
One of the first pictures taken of the bar at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. which they had wanted a ‘late evening’ image of, with some guests drinking cocktails and staff in it, to make it look like somewhere you would want to be tonight.

So lights up…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. lots of test shots…
One of the first pictures taken of the bar at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. before the models arrived and the cocktails too…
One of the first pictures taken of the bar at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. then it was time to shoot, while Barry and Elaine kept a close eye on the screen…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. before a quick look at the results…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. and so what started out looking like this…
First picture taken of Cocktail Bar at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. ended up looking like this…
The Cocktail Bar at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. just before 6pm – which was perfect timing, as that’s when this place became naturally busy, as this was Easter weekend here in the heart of Dublin.

Which meant it was then time to pack – very tired but very pleased with the results – and so to complete the story, Claudio took one last picture…
Behind the scenes during the shoot at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin.
.. of me with all the gear that we had used, to make it look like I used nothing at all smile

So at the end of this (short) story [within this (very long) story, which unfortunately also shows the end of another chapter, which is another story in itself], I would just like to say a big thanks to Elaine & Barry from the Dylan Hotel for this opportunity to tell your story and for also making us all feel so welcome too.

From Marie, Claudio & me @ ampimage.com

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June 13, 2015

Keeping it real.

Over the past week or so, Marie & I have had some great discussions, about not only styling but also about lighting too – when it comes to creating images for others to use.
No rights or wrongs, of course, just different points of views, as to what one believes is right – based on what all the images are going to be used for and by whom, etc, etc.

So looking back on the work we did a few weeks ago – while we were down in County Kerry at the Killarney Park Hotel
The Killarney Park Hotel in the town center of Killarney in the Irish county of Kerry.
.. the one thing that we both agreed on, is that it has got to look real.
And so that’s like ‘our style’ or what we try to aim for – even though sometimes, it may not be entirely real at all  ​wink

Anyway, below shows the first image taken of this bedroom…
First image taken of the bedroom suite at the Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish county of Kerry.

.. where nothing had been done by either of us, bar Marie had placed a few items over at the window seat.

So that is real, in that, that is what it looks like if you were to simply​ walk in and take a picture of what was there.
Your eye will naturally see it slightly different, as your eye can record more levels of light – so the dark areas won’t look as dark and the white areas won’t be as ‘burn-out’ – as you will be able to clearly see what is outside the windows too.
Plus on top of that, your eyes are constantly moving, so, therefore, it’s like you are recording thousands of images to make up ‘the picture in your head’ – whereas the camera only records a single image from a fixed point, with a lens that is fixed rather than one that is constantly zooming in and out too.

So it is different – but nevertheless, ​both are considered to be ‘real’ – as we all know that the camera never lies, even though we all know that’s not entirely true neither  wink

Anyway, our goal with this type of work is to make it ‘look good’, make it look like somewhere you would want to be – and as real as possible too – to complete the story we are trying to tell.

So I actually work very hard on the lighting, to create a look that ‘looks like’ I didn’t do anything at all – as seen here…
Deluxe bedroom suite at Killarney Park Hotel in Town Centre of Killarney in the Irish County of Kerry.
.. while Marie does a similar thing, when it comes to the styling of such rooms.

In other words, we both work very hard to make it look natural – or Real – as opposed to an illustration or something that you would only see in Disney World  wink

And that is, in fact, something that we have both worked very hard on over the years – but the funny thing is, the better we become at it, the fewer​ people realise how long it actually takes to achieve this look – and so that in itself has obviously lead to problems on pricing (which I won’t get into here, as that’s a completely different story).

But anyway, back to the shoot we did a few weeks ago – as usual I start by taking a picture like this…
First image taken of the bedroom suite at the Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish county of Kerry.
.. to see what it actually looks like from the camera’s point of view – ‘as is’ type of thing – and then team kicks into place…
One of the first image taken of the bedroom suite at the Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish county of Kerry.
.. to add the finishing touches – and about an hour or so later – which may be hard to believe – the final image (or in some cases images) are captured.

And this was the result…
Superior bedroom suite at Killarney Park Hotel in Town Centre of Killarney in the Irish County of Kerry.
.. which should, if we have achieved our goal, look as if I did nothing at all bar took a picture of what happened to be there at the time… using ‘a good camera’ of course wink

And so it was – first I put the camera in place and took a picture…
One of the first image taken of the bedroom suite at the Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish county of Kerry.
.. then the team kicked in to make it look more inviting…
One of the first image taken of the bedroom suite at the Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish county of Kerry.
.. and finally, ​it was lit and styled to within a inch of our lives…
The fireplace in one of the Junior Suites at Killarney Park Hotel in Town Centre of Killarney in the Irish County of Kerry.
.. to make it look as one would expect it to look – if you just happened to be lucky to be there at the right moment in time.

Talking about being lucky, well in a way we were, as you can see here…
One of the first image taken of the Garden Terrace at the Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish county of Kerry.
.. it wasn’t the best of days to be shooting outside.

Still, after adding some light…
One of the first image taken of the Garden Terrace at the Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish county of Kerry.
.. practicing the pose…
One of the first image taken of the Garden Terrace at the Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish county of Kerry.
.. and some lengthy talks…
One of the first image taken of the Garden Terrace at the Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish county of Kerry.
.. the sun finally came out to play – so it was all hands on board…
One of the first image taken of the Garden Terrace at the Killarney Park Hotel in the Irish county of Kerry.
.. to create this image…
The Garden Terrace at the Killarney Park Hotel in the town center​ of Killarney in the Irish County of Kerry.
.. of their new Garden Terrace, which is located at the rear next to the Garden Bar…
The Garden Bar at the Killarney Park Hotel in Town Centre of Killarney in the Irish County of Kerry.
.. were we all enjoyed a few cold beers, later on, needs to say  Smile​

Anyway, there you have it – doing our best to keep it real, but hopefully making you want to be here too…
The lobby fireplace at the Killarney Park Hotel in Town Centre of Killarney in the Irish County of Kerry.
.. as that’s our goal – as we invite you into ‘our world’, through the images that we create.

From Claudio, Marie & me @ ampimage, trying to make you feel like you are already there, in “the kingdom” of Kerry smile

​​​

September 10, 2012

Real Estate

Back at Doonbeg last week…
The courtyard at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in County Clare.
.. to shoot a number of cottages and suites that are currently for sale – so basically we were being asked to do what some would call ‘Real Estate photography’, which really is the same as ‘Advertising photography’ as far as I’m concerned, as these images will, in fact, be used to advertise & market that these properties are for sale.

“Real estate at Doonbeg Lodge combines luxury accommodations and five-star amenities for good times with your family and friends. Each of the cottages and suites has been constructed to the highest specifications, with French limestone floors, marble bathrooms, expansive bedrooms, spacious living areas and gourmet kitchens – as well as spectacular panoramic views across the fairways and surrounding coastal landscape”.

Anyway, started as usual by taking a quick picture of the first of the cottages to get the ball rolling…
First picture taken of the living room area in one of the cottages at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in the Irish County of Clare.
.. and then as usual turned off the lights to see how the natural light looked…
One of the first picture taken of the living room area in one of the cottages at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in the Irish County of Clare.
.. and so while Carl then started to work on the lighting…
Carl Czanik setting up the lighting gear in one of the cottages at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in the Irish County of Clare.
.. Marie, as usual, added the finishing touches to what was in front of the camera – and so before too long, we had our first image of this room…
Living room area in one of the cottages at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in the Irish County of Clare.
.. in the bag.

A quick bedroom shot and then it was over to the next cottage, where once again I started by taking a quick shot…
Living room area in one of the cottages at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in the Irish County of Clare.
.. while Carl worked this time on blocking the light…
Carl Czanik setting up the lighting gear in one of the cottages at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in the Irish County of Clare.
.. as well as adding some too – and after Marie had done her thing, it wasn’t long before we had the living room area in this second cottage done…
Living room area in one of the cottages at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in the Irish County of Clare.
.. which when compared to this bedroom in that same cottage…
First picture taken of the bedroom in one of the cottages at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in the Irish County of Clare.
.. was a doddle – as I reckon it took us twice as long to create the final image of this room, as seen here…
Bedroom in one of the cottages at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in County Clare.
.. due mainly to me struggling to control the light.

Anyway, lots of beautiful detail area throughout the place, so we also produce a series of images like this…
Dining area in one of the cottages at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in County Clare.
.. as well as the main overall room images too.

Lots of pushing and shoving at times, so it was great to have Carl with us…
First picture taken of the living room area in one of the bedroom suites at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in the Irish County of Clare.
.. to not only help with that but to also help with the lighting of course – as I often needed him to hang-out the windows with the 3k, to give me some directional light like so in this living room area…
Living room area in one of bedroom suite at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in County Clare.
.. in this suite which was on the top floor.

“Imagine a coastal haven, hidden on a sheltered corner of the wild Atlantic Ocean – luxurious yet unpretentious – where world-class golf meets an intimate spa – where every taste is catered to and every request considered.
Imagine a rugged landscape that stretches as far as the eye can see, across rolling waves and sand dunes and thousands of years of stories, buried within them.
Imagine a grand, Irish country house, where the staff welcomes you home”.

And so it was very much a team effort this one…
First picture taken of a bedroom in one of the suites at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in the Irish County of Clare.
.. but what an amazing place…
Bedroom in one of the suites at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in the Irish County of Clare.
.. as I just loved these rooms.

Anyway, they say a picture is worth more than 1000 words
First picture taken of the living room area in one of the cottages at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in the Irish County of Clare.
.. so we changed a few words here…
The living room area in one of the cottages at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in the Irish County of Clare.
.. as we weren’t there to just take some pictures…
First picture taken of the living room area in one of the cottages at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in the Irish County of Clare.
.. we were there because they wanted us to create some images instead…
The living room area in one of the cottages at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in the Irish County of Clare.
.. to help them complete the story they wanted to tell – or should I say sell in this case – as they are wanted to be able to use these images to advertise & market these properties are for sale, in various media for the next few years throughout the World.

So that’s Real Estate photography for you – done the ampimage way – by Marie, Carl & me at this coastal haven known as the Lodge at Doonbeg.

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