Interiors Photography – Inside Achnagairn House

Perfect Manors, Kirkhill, Inverness, Scotland

Photography commission for interior shoot at Achnagairn House

Interiors Photography – Inside Achnagairn House

Final edited image\r\n\r\n\r\n

\r\nOne of this year’s photographic high points has been travelling to Scotland with an invitation to shoot the stunning interiors of Achnagairn House near Inverness.\r\n\r\nThe estate promises visitors ‘escape the ordinary’ – and delivers. Built in 1812, this elegant 5 star hotel, banqueting and wedding venue seduces visitors with its luxurious style and romance.\r\n\r\nMy commission was to shoot the interiors at the venue. My challenge – to capture its unique atmosphere. I’d like to share with you how I achieved this along with some of my technical tips and secrets to making your interior shoot a creative success.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nPreparation Is Half The Battle!\r\n\r\nThe first stage of dressing the room is vital. Start by discussing with your clients the room preparation. Gain an understanding of the expectations guests will have of this space. Identify the interior elements that need to be featured, such as historical or charming pieces.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nTake Your Time…\r\n\r\nNext set up your tripod and consider the composition. Do this with your client at your side, so you can be certain the result you will achieve is what they desire. Dress the room, to ensure these core elements are well composed. At Achnagairn House, the client wanted the images to express the historical charm and interior opulence. Take the time to get this right, so that you and your client are satisfied. On average, I’ll spend 2 hours perfecting each image, including setting up the room through to post-production.\r\n\r\n 

Interiors Photography – Inside Achnagairn House

A composite image of myself moving around the room setting up the base exposure

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\r\nBase Exposure\r\n\r\nOnce you have set up the camera, my recommendation is to work on your base exposure for the digital composite. This is an exposure which will leave the shadows fairly dark retaining the detail, but allow a accurate exposure for the highlights and mid-tones. The flash exposures are then layered onto the base exposure. This means you can begin to build images by carefully moving around the room, lighting everything that exposes the best aspects of each area of the space, furniture and ornaments.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nCreating clones?!\r\n\r\nAbove is a composite image of myself moving around the room setting up the base exposure, followed by the final image without the multiple versions of me.\r\n\r\n(The camera was set with an aperture of F11 and shutter speed of 1 second.)\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nThe Bounce Test\r\n\r\nOne word of caution is to be mindful if the interior has wooden or laminate flooring. If the floor has spring, vibrations from anyone walking past the camera can cause it to move a fraction and spoil the image. Even the smallest vibration can mean you have to start over which is a massive pain in the arse, especially if this happens multiple times.\r\n\r\nFor these images, my solution was to use the camera timer. Not ideal as you still have to approach the camera, unless you have a remote shutter release (highly recommended). This allows you to fire the camera from any IOS device (iPad, iPhone, Mac) and also view the image wirelessly tethered to a large screen. Ironically, my Cam Ranger didn’t arrive until after I had finished this job. A great piece of kit I’ll write a dedicated review of later.\r\n\r\n 

Interiors Photography – Inside Achnagairn House

The difference between starting point base image and the final composed image above.\r\n\r\n\r\n

\r\nLightroom Layers\r\n\r\nOnce you have all the exposures you need safely in the Lightroom you can begin to build the image in Photoshop, using layers. It takes a while to carefully paint in the different sections onto your base layer. Once this is done you can add some basic colour corrections such as saturation and contrast. Then I recommend checking to see if any annoying and ugly plug sockets, fire safety signs or fire extinguishers are visible. Health & Safety means that even historic buildings are littered with these making post-production a fiddly stage in a commission.\r\n


\r\nEquipment & Location\r\n\r\nFor the images here Matt has used a Canon 5d mark 3, Canon 24mm lens, Manfrotto tripod, Ilux Summit 600c with dedicated remote trigger.\r\n\r\nIf you would like to commission him for a similar project, contact Matt directly by email or telephone.\r\n\r\nT:  01926 312 209\r\nM: 07826 030 802\r\nE:  hello@mattgillespie.co.uk\r\n

 

\r\nAchnagairn House is located approximately 9 miles from Inverness Castle, 15 miles from Urquhard Castle on Loch Ness. Perfect Manors, Kirkhill, Inverness, Inverness Shire, IV5 7PD.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nBelow are a number of other shots I’ve taken using this method to give you a better idea of the results it produces.\r\n

 

Interiors Photography – Inside Achnagairn House

Interiors Photography – Inside Achnagairn House

Interiors Photography – Inside Achnagairn House

Interiors Photography – Inside Achnagairn House

Interiors Photography – Inside Achnagairn House

Interiors Photography – Inside Achnagairn House

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