Apartment

4700 Colonnade - Birmingham AL Apartment Photography by Tommy Daspit

This twilight exterior image of the clubhouse and pool took 7.5 hours to create, 47 individual photos, 54 total layers, and resulted in a 13GB file. The fire pit wasn't functional yet so I created the fire in Photoshop. This was one of the rare cases when I used the actual sky from that night.

This twilight exterior image of the clubhouse and pool took 7.5 hours to create, 47 individual photos, 54 total layers, and resulted in a 13GB file. The fire pit wasn't functional yet so I created the fire in Photoshop. This was one of the rare cases when I used the actual sky from that night.

One market I’ve been looking to expand into is luxury apartment complexes. I’ve photographed several nice, but not exactly high end, properties in the past. High end luxury projects give me more opportunities to be creative and to showcase the work of other talented professionals like architects, masons, and builders.

So when I was contacted by Joseph Holt at Kore Companies here in Birmingham about photographing the brand new 4700 Colonnade Apartments I was thrilled! I had seen it being constructed for months. You can’t miss it as you approach the 280 exit from 459 North. The location is perfect for people working downtown. I knew it would be a project that I wanted to photograph and seeing it finished confirmed that.

The clubhouse is stunning. Two stories with multiple lounge areas, coffee bar, game room, yoga studio, huge fitness center, conference room, pet washing area, pool, and a computer bar with iMacs! I could have spent all day shooting just the clubhouse. It was that impressive. Everywhere I looked there were potential images. I did my best to capture the highlights with a few details as well.

The model apartment and grounds didn’t disappoint either. With great lighting, fixtures, and finishing touches reminiscent of the luxury homes of Mountain Brook or Homewood, there were so many great images to be had. I started shooting at 8 in the morning and finished up at 8:30 that night. Even then there was so much more that I could have done. The property is simply amazing!

I was also excited that they elected to do a twilight exterior. After scouting our options I felt that the view of the clubhouse from the pool was the best option. I spent about half an hour just looking and testing different angles and compositions before deciding on the final positioning. The number of elements involved (the two story building, pool, fire pit, interior, grounds, and five story building in the background) made this one of the most challenging twilight shots I’ve ever created. In the end the final image was the combination of 47 separate shots, and 54 layers in Photoshop. The full image file came in at a whopping 13GB. Even with 32GB of RAM, my computer struggled to put this together. I started shooting at 7:00 and finished at 8:30. Creating the final shot in Photoshop took another six hours. In the end I feel that all that work was worth it. The client now has an image that will grab the attention of potential residents. It will help 4700 Colonnade stand out from the crowd and stand above their competition. This image will help Kore Companies be more successful. That’s ultimately my job. I help my clients be more successful in their businesses. It’s a responsibility I take seriously and think about when I’m creating images of their work. I’m proud to be a part of their success!

My assistant Cry with a gray card. We shoot a picture with this in the scene for each lighting condition. It's used as a reference in Photoshop to make sure colors are accurate. We have a ton of images just like this. One day I'll make a gallery of some of the best ones!

My assistant Cry with a gray card. We shoot a picture with this in the scene for each lighting condition. It's used as a reference in Photoshop to make sure colors are accurate. We have a ton of images just like this. One day I'll make a gallery of some of the best ones!

Me with my magic wand. Now you know my secret! Actually, I use a flash on a monopod to light just the areas I want to. I trigger the camera remotely with an iPad and the flash is triggered via a radio remote.

Me with my magic wand. Now you know my secret! Actually, I use a flash on a monopod to light just the areas I want to. I trigger the camera remotely with an iPad and the flash is triggered via a radio remote.

click and drag the slider to see the before and after on this image

If you’re looking for a luxury apartment in Birmingham be sure to add 4700 Colonnade to your list. If you’re an architect, contractor,  or investor with an apartment complex you want to showcase, contact me to discuss how I can help you be more successful!

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Ridge Crossings - Birmingham AL Google Maps Business View Photography by Tommy Daspit

Recently I created a Google Virtual tour and commercial photos for Ridge Crossings, an amazing luxury apartment complex in Hoover. This was easily the largest complex I’ve ever seen and had the most amenities that I’ve ever seen. There’s a nature trail, a huge exercise facility, movie theatre, racket ball court, playground, tennis courts, grill pavilion with three grills, a huge clubhouse with free coffee, a dog park, a carwash facility, and two swimming pools! I’ve never even heard of such an apartment community, let alone photograph one!

Needless to say I had a lot of fun with this one. The Google tour covers the clubhouse and pool area, while the conventional still images cover the other areas, including a couple of model units. Out of all the features I will say that the movie theatre was my favorite. It was a special challenge to photograph. The black ceilings and windowless walls meant that it would be difficult to light in a way that wouldn't be harsh. I also wanted to convey the feeling that a movie theatre should provide. You don’t want a bright room for movie watching but I still needed to show what it was. The solution was to combine many exposures into one. I did an existing light image of the room as the base image. It was dark of course and you couldn’t really see much detail. That was ok, the next part of the process would fix that. I attached a speedlight (small flash unit) to a stick. It had a grid mounted to the front. This kept the beam of light from the flash narrow and only on the parts of the scene I wanted to light. I then lit each chair and each photo on the wall with individual flash bursts. All total it was about 20 photographs combined into one final image. The result is a photo that lets you see what the room is without compromising the mood of the space!

This is just one of the things that I do to create unique images to help my clients separate themselves from their competition. It’s a more time consuming process, both during the initial creation of the image, and in the computer post processing. I feel that the results speak for themselves!

Learn more about Ridge Crossings on their Google + page where you can see more photos and the virtual tour!

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Non Google Commercial 360º Virtual Tours by nikonic1976@yahoo.com

Most people know that I am a Google Maps Business View Photographer. That means that I create 360º virtual tours of businesses and embed them on Google Maps, StreetView, Google + Local, etc. These Google Maps tours are a great way to show off your business and stand out on Google. Unfortunately not all business are eligible for a Google tour. If you are a home based business, service business without a retail location, commercial real estate, residential real estate, or apartment complex, I cannot do a Google tour. If this fits your business or need fear not! I also create high quality, virtual tours independent of Google. I use the same equipment and the same basic techniques. The software I use to create the tours is different so there is a slight interface difference. The tours are still mobile friendly. This is so important since  it's estimated that 40% of all web traffic is mobile now (I think it's higher than that). I'm always striving to be the very best commercial photographer serving the greater Birmingham metro area and beyond. 

Check out the Reserves at North River in Tuscaloosa. I created a virtual tour of each of their different floor plans. They have embedded the tours on their website. Unlike some other options, you can host your own tour on your own hosting provider.

Tommy Daspit Photographer strives to offer the very best in commercial photography for Birmingham, Alabama and beyond. He offers commercial, editorial, and Google Maps Business View photogaphy.

Pricing is very reasonable but each job is unique. Contact me to discuss the details.