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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February 15, 2014

A lighting challenge.

After a relative easy week shooting in the marquee at the five-star Doonbeg golf resort (which I read this week in the Irish Times, has now been bought over by US property mogul Donald Trump), where it was basically all lit – this week wasn’t so easy.

So we were back down in County Clare again, this time to shoot a number of areas inside Dromoland Castle, with the Land Rover fully loaded…
Unloading the camera and lighting equipment from the Land Rover outside Dromoland Castle in County Clare.
.. as I knew this was going to be a lighting challenge for sure.

Anyway, first up was to create a meeting style image in the newly decorated Terrace Room – so after Marie had finished setting it up…
Marie setting up in the Terrace Room at Dromoland Castle.
.. Carl blocked the sunlight, which I wasn’t actually expecting…
Setting up in the Terrace Room at Dromoland Castle.
.. and we had our first image in the bag…
The Terrace Room set-up for a business meeting at Dromoland Castle in County Clare.
.. before heading to the Lounge area, where it was clear from the start that this is where we’d have to work for our money…
Setting up in the lounge area at Dromoland Castle in County Clare.
.. but thanks to everyone and especially to Carl here…
Setting up in the lounge area at Dromoland Castle in County Clare.
.. who worked hard on the lighting – and then posed as the waiter while Marie lit the fire…
Setting up in the lounge area at Dromoland Castle in County Clare.
.. it only took us 2 hours to create this image…
Fireplace in the lounge area at Dromoland Castle in County Clare
.. which I was very, very pleased with – as this one had really worried me.

Then it was back into the Terrace Room again…
Setting up in the Terrace Room at Dromoland Castle in County Clare.
.. this time to shoot it as it would be setup for a banquet during the day…
The Terrace Room at Dromoland Castle in County Clare
.. and /or at night…
The Terrace Room at Dromoland Castle in County Clare
.. so basically we shot it both ways – to be sure, to be sure, as they word say here in Ireland smile

The following morning it was into the Cocktail bar…
Setting up in the Cocktail bar at Dromoland Castle in County Clare.
.. which was formerly the Castle library – so while Carl set up the lights outside…
Setting up in the Cocktail bar at Dromoland Castle in County Clare.
.. we moved the furniture so as to see the fireplace…
Setting up in the Cocktail bar at Dromoland Castle in County Clare.
.. before adding the finishing touches to create this image…
The Cocktail Bar at Dromoland Castle in County Clare
.. which again I was personally very pleased with – as this one had worried me too, mainly due to how I would light it.

After that, it was over to The Inn at Dromoland to shoot the Presidential Suite, which required a bit of work as they wanted just one image to capture it all – so while Marie did her thing…
Setting up in the Presidential Suite at The Inn at Dromoland in County Clare.
.. Carl & I did our thing – and for the fun of it, being close to Valentines day and all that, I decided to add a scene from the film Gone with the Wind – staring Clark Gable as Rhett Butler, Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara
The Presidential Suite at The Inn at Dromoland in County Clare.
.. and Leslie Howard as Ashley Wilkes – who I was named after it seems smile

So that was it – after what I can only describe as a major lighting challenge – it was time to load-up the Land Rover once again…
The Land Rover outside Dromoland Castle in County Clare.
.. and head home in the rain – very tired but very pleased with the end results.

Anyway, just like to say big thanks to everyone involved – especially to Mark & Fiona from Dromoland Castle for making us feel so welcome.
From Marie, Carl & me @ ampimage.com in County Clare.

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