A few weeks back I was brought on board by Bellstar Hotels & Resorts to update the imagery for the Solara Hotel & Spa in Canmore, AB. Seeing as the majority of you reading this blog are either art directors or photographers, I thought this would be a good opportunity to share a very condensed version of how I created the flagship image for the hotel, which you can see below. A shot like this takes some time, all told it took me about 2 hours to put together all of the plates needed. First thing I had to do was create a base plate for the image, which looked like this:
The next step was adding light to the large windows that create the upper half of the front of the hotel. At the time of the shoot, the entire area was gutted and undergoing construction, so there was nothing in there to give it any atmosphere making it look like a black hole in the middle of the building. I put 4 Einstein strobes in the space, bare bulb, covered with 1/2 CTO gels, and pointed them towards the windows, positioning them so you wouldn't see the actual strobes.
Once I had those two plates, I started making my way around the building with a small flash on a monopod, using a radio trigger in my hand to fire the camera, creating little pockets of light that I could use to highlight areas of the building to create depth. Here I am, lighting a small bush:
Once I had spent the better part of an hour creating strategic pockets of light, I let the sun come down a little more and shot some of the light coming from the hotel lobby and accent lights.
The final piece to the puzzle was the sky. Sometimes you get lucky and everything comes together on the same day, but on days like this one where the sky was a little sinister looking, a little more work is involved. So, a few days after the shoot when I was back in Calgary, I went to the top of a ridge overlooking the city and waited along with about a million mosquitoes for the sun to dip down, and ended up with this:
Put them all together, adjust for perspective, clone out the one car that didn't move for the entire two hours of shooting, and you end up with this as an end result.
And that right there is the quick version of how this shot came to be. If you want to see more from this shoot, you can check out the Architecture gallery on my portfolio site by clicking here. Thanks for reading, and if you have questions use the comments section below.