Ashley Morrison's Blog

December 10, 2016

The home page.

On the Straffan House home page today, I see they are now using some of the images that we created a few weeks ago – like of the Swimming pool with the swim-up bar…
The home page showing the swimming pool in Straffan House on the K Club's website.
.. the Dining room
The home page showing the dining room in Straffan House on the K Club's website.
.. the Drawing room
The home page showing the drawing room in Straffan House on the K Club's website.
.. and the Master bedroom here…
The home page showing the Master bedroom in Straffan House on the K Club's website.
.. which is still the part that I always love to see, i.e. how our work is used – even after all these years smile.

Looks amazing as far as I’m concerned – not that I’m bias or anything like that wink. – as it was and is an amazing place to start with – but Wow, I really do love how it looks now – so be sure to check it out, as I’m very proud to say that I was a part of this – as it was like a dream come true for me, after 30 years of practising the art of writing with light to tell a story.

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December 2, 2016

The pool.

The swimming pool and gym area was next on our list – which again we had recced a few months ago here…
Photos of the swimming pool at Staffan House.
.. when they showed us around.

“OUR THINKING: Yes to the pool – which I looked at from a few different positions.
This being the one – which shows the gym area too – so we’d move the running machine, to see it (maybe even have someone on it) – someone on the chairs at the back or even in the pool with their arms on the deck or even in the hot tub!!

Memeber of staff with drinks / cocktails or champagne & strawberries !!

Living the dream.”

So with the camera in position, the first images appeared on screen..
One of the first pictures taken in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. as everyone being to gather…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in Straffan House at The K Club.
.. and I talked to each of the models about what I saw them doing…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in Straffan House at The K Club.
.. before shooting a few more frames…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in Straffan House at The K Club.
.. as we tried each of the models in the position we felt may work best…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in Straffan House at The K Club.
.. while Claudio and Ivan worked hard on the lighting – which I have got to say they did an amazing job on, as this was a ‘tricky enough’ one to light, especially to make it look like it was naturally lit at this time of year.

Anyway, as everyone watched the screen…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in Straffan House at The K Club.
.. they made suggestions…
One of the first pictures taken in Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
..and then we tried something else…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in Straffan House at The K Club.
.. checked the screen again…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in Straffan House at The K Club.
.. tried something else…
Behind the scenes during the shoot in Straffan House at The K Club.
.. until we all finally agreed that this was the image…
The swimming pool in the Straffan House at The K Club in County Kildare.
.. that best helped to tell the story, about what was down here in the basement of this amazing Straffan House smile.

So two done, four to go – which meant up to the entrance hallway next – which you can read more about later on wink.

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

May 23, 2013

In & out

Well the weather forecast indicated we would have a few hours of sunshine today; however, there wasn’t much sign of it the following morning.
So we continued where we left of the day before in the Spa, shooting one of the treatment rooms…
The Spa at Mount Juliet Country Estate in County Kilkenny.
.. which have these beautiful shuttered windows.

Then it was over to the swimming pool…
Pool set-up
.. to capture two different versions of the same setting.
One aimed at appealing to those who want a well deserved, relaxing break…
The swimming pool at Mount Juliet Country Estate in County Kilkenny.
..and the other appealing to families…
The swimming pool at Mount Juliet Country Estate in County Kilkenny.
.. whose children are invited to join the Little Rascals Kid’s Club, between 1-5pm each day.

Next up, it was into the gym where Stuart & Shane stood in, while we set-up & tested the lighting…
Gym set-up
.. ahead of the girls turning up for the final image…
The Gym at Mount Juliet Country Estate in County Kilkenny.
.. looking very relaxed – as if they are enjoying their stay here.

After a bit of lunch, with some sign of sunshine on the horizon, we headed over to the equestrian centre – which is one of the most impressive equestrian centres in the country – where once again Stuart & Shane stood in while we set-up & tested the lighting…
Stables set-up

Nice try guys, but I’m not sure if I’m convinced smile

Anyway, while the girls organised the horses…
Stables set-up
.. the sun flickered in & out behind the clouds, creating a lovely shaft of light within this American style barn.
So with my fingers crossed and all the horses in place, we started shooting for real – and after many sleepless nights worrying about this one – it all came together beautifully…
The Equestrian Centre stables at Mount Juliet Country Estate in County Kilkenny.
.. making this one of my personal favourite shots of this 4 day shoot.

We were now on a roll – and so with some more sunlight in sight, we headed outside to capture the jumping arena.

While the jumps were being set-up…
Horse jumpimg set-up
.. I started shooting…
Horse jumpimg set-up
.. examining the results after each take…
Horse jumpimg set-up
.. moving the jumps for the camera…
Horse jumpimg set-up
.. waiting and waiting, until finally the sun came out…
Horse jumpimg set-up
.. and then that was another one in the bag…
Horse jumpimg
.. which actually came together very quickly in the end, as almost every jump was perfect.

So we finished of the day with an exterior shot of this American style barn…
The Equestrian Centre at Mount Juliet Country Estate in County Kilkenny.
.. before headed over to the clubhouse bar for a few pints of Guinness – which is of course always the perfect way to end any day at Mount Juliet smile

June 22, 2010

It’s a long way to Tipperary…

.. and that’s where we were this weekend, shooting at the Abbey Court Hotel…
The Abbey Court Hotel near Nenagh in County Tipperary.
.. near Nenagh.

The weather was beautiful; however, most of the images where indoors, so we where glad to have Scott with us – because as you see from the images below, which show the 1st first shot and the final image – we had to work hard on both the styling and the lighting here.

Started with the swimming pool in the morning, as it was quiet…
Setting up the pool shot
.. and so we where able to light it up nicely…
The swimming pool at the Abbey Court Hotel near Nenagh in County Tipperary.
.. before heading up to one of the bedrooms…
Setting up the bedroom shot
.. which Scott did a great job on, especially getting a light out that window…
Bedroom at the Abbey Court Hotel near Nenagh in County Tipperary.
.. using a very long boom arm.

Then it was down to the restaurant…
Setting up the restaurant shot
.. which was very cosy and had a great painting on the wall…
The restaurant at the Abbey Court Hotel near Nenagh in Co Tipperary.
.. of the Abbey Monks – before finally going into the bar…
Setting up the bar shot
.. which as always took time to light…
The bar at the Abbey Court Hotel near Nenagh in County Tipperary.
.. and style as would one expect of a traditional Irish bar.

Anyway, it may be “A long way to Tipperary”; however, I was very pleased with the results – so a big thanks to everyone involved this weekend and especially to the staff for their time.

From Marie, Scott & me.
www.ampimage.com

April 11, 2010

Go West.

Just back from shooting at the West County Hotel in Ennis this week…
Setting-up for wedding room image.
.. with Renae, Frances and Aishleen from the hotel.

A tough one as the place was busy…
Setting-up for lobby image.
..and so we had to work around their guests…
The Lobby area at the West County Hotel in Ennis.
.. to capture the different areas throughout this very popular County Clare hotel.

Anyway, here are some of the images produced – showing how it started out..
Setting-up the pool shot.
.. and then what the final image looked like – for example, the swimming pool…
The swimming pool at the West County Hotel in Ennis.
.. the bar…
Setting-up the bar shot.
.. which as always took a while to set-up and light..
The bar at the West County Hotel in Ennis.
.. Cafe West restaurant…
Setting-up the Cafe West shot.
.. which was fun…
Cafe West at the West County Hotel in Ennis.
.. plus the main restaurant…
Setting-up the Restaurant shot.
.. which required a little bit of pushing and shoving…
The restaurant at the West County Hotel in Ennis.
.. plus one of the bedrooms…
Setting-up a bedroom shot.
.. where we put up a few pictures…
Bedroom at the West County Hotel in Ennis.
..and finally the large function room…
Setting-up the function room shot.
.. which we in the end decided to focus on one table…
The function room at West County Hotel.
.. yours – as it’s your big day after all.

A total of eight images produced in the end, before heading south to shoot the last of their hotels – so watch this space for more on that later – and in the meantime, we’d just like to say a big thanks to the everyone involved here at the West County Hotel, for their help and making us feel so welcome.

From Marie, Stuart & me.
www.ampimage.com

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