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Architecture Photography of the New Brokenwood Cellar Door

February 27, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

I have previously blogged about “Things Sometimes Go Wrong”. Well thankfully, this is a story about how it could have gone wrong but this time perhaps intuition or experience stepped in to save the situation.

Entry to Brokenwood Cellar Door and Tasting RoomsEntry to Brokenwood Cellar Door and Tasting RoomsInterior & Exterior architectural photography the new Brokenwood Winery Rooms for Red Eye Construction Company

I strongly believe that Architecture photography should be “considered” work. It should be very well-planned with plenty of time allocated to the actual shoot itself and multiple site visits in order to assess the site, the conditions and how the changing light throughout a day can impact the different visual elements. Changes in the weather also have to be taken into account – cloudy conditions or wind can ruin a moment or even an entire shoot but sometimes a dramatic sky can significantly add to a shot. Travelling greater distances can be a further complication. Weather conditions may be completely different on location and of course if a shoot has to be abandoned or another trip made, this adds greatly to costs.

Sadly, most commercial shoots do not have enough of a budget allocated to allow for properly considered photography so my work is often something of a compromise.

The Brokenwood Winery location is some 155 kms away from my base in Epping and approximately a 2.5 hours’ drive (one-way). The day our shoot was planned for was 28th November 2018. Here are some of the Sydney Headlines for this day:

“City’s wettest November day since 1984”

“Second person dies as flooding causes chaos across region”

“Battered Sydney: One in a 100 year weather event causes havoc”

If you live in Sydney you no doubt remember this. The weather in Pokolbin wasn’t this bad but it sure wasn’t good. It rained plenty and the skies were gloomy.

brokenwood cellar door initial imagesIntermitent weatherWeather conditions were far from ideal but there were some periods of sunlight.

So what saved the day? Easy, my wife Sue and I decided we deserved a bit of a break away and we booked a room near Pokolbin for two nights arriving the day before – the 27th. We knew the weather predictions were dire so we begged for the opportunity to be on site a day early. The weather wasn’t brilliant then but we did get sunny breaks and this gave us the opportunity to shoot most of the exterior images in at least generally pleasing light. Just as well, because the new Brokenwood site is outstanding and I am sure it will be a new major attraction for lovers of fine wine. Much credit here must go to our client Red Eye Constructions for their superior building skills and of course to Brokenwood and their architect Villa+Villa and other contractors who contributed.

Alternate view of the Outdoor Terrace areaAlternate view of the Outdoor Terrace areaReflections in the restaurant windows show slightly brighter skies.

Outdoor Terrace area and window to The Wood restaurantOutdoor Terrace area and window to The Wood restaurantBeautiful spotted gum timber cladding is featured in the building exterior.

Reflections in the windows of the Lounge area.Reflections in the windows of the Lounge area.Reflections in the Lounge area windows lead the eye back to the Outdoor Terrace.

This shoot was budgeted at a single visit of 4 hours. However, achieving the creditable images we managed to capture involved us all-in-all in no less than five site visits over two days including one dusk visit.

We still didn’t get the ideal results we always crave and there were the inevitable delays – waiting for cloudy periods to pass, waiting for access to certain spaces while Brokenwood or restaurant staff were busy with final touches (opening was still a few days away). The light for many shots was never quite right and some spaces still weren’t quite finished. We certainly didn’t get the dusk shot we wanted. The weather had clouded over by the evening of the 27th and we couldn’t arrange for the internal lighting to be switched on. This was arranged for the 28th but had to be abandoned due to the wind and rain on that day.

Exterior Dusk shot "the night before". Rain had already settled in.Exterior Dusk shot "the night before". Rain had already settled in.Not exactly the Dusk shot we were hoping for. We weren't able to arrange for the interior lights to be switched on so this was the best angle - otherwise, the building looked dark and unoccupied. Tasting Room with circular tasting podsTasting Room with circular tasting podsA beautiful high ceiling space with the circular tasting pods hinting at the shape of wine barrels. Interior of The Wood RestaurantInterior of The Wood RestaurantAgain, views through the windows were a bit grey and gloomy but do not negatively impact too much on these interiors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what is the lesson to learn here? As I said at the beginning of this blog, architectural photography should be a carefully planned process with enough budget and time to achieve the quality result desired. An allowance for multiple site visits should be incorporated as often as possible.  Single site visits of limited time on limited budgets I am sure will continue to be a large part of my contracted work but...I’m just saying…

Have a look at more of our Brokenwood images here


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