The Rooms at Seaview

Nothing like getting to visit the shore, throwing your feet up and … taking some pictures to remember the experience.  Which is exactly what I had the pleasure of doing last month.  Sure, it may be work, but I love what I do.  

Anyway, enough with the bragging!  

In April I had the opportunity to visit The Dolce Stockton Seaview Golf Resort, built just outside of Atlantic City, NJ in the 1914.  I had photographed the event spaces 6 or 7 years ago, and, at the time, a much need renovation was planned for all guest rooms, lobbies and dining areas.  (And not just the decor, but electrical, plumbing, roofing, etc.)  It was quite the undertaking that took a fair amount of planning and funds sourcing.  It was not until this November they went under (24/7) construction, rebuilding practically everything, and, of course, needing all new photography too.  

In total, we planned on a five day shoot, over two sessions, capturing most of the resort.  April was for the guest rooms and meeting spaces, all of which looked much better then they had 6 years ago.  

On day one, we attacked the meeting rooms, with the Eisenhower Room first.  Although a nice room, it was a bit dark and needed a fair amount of lighting.  Using my Rodenstock 55mm (about a 32mm on a FF DSLR), I looked towards the windows and placed my first light, with a Profoto narrow beam reflector, outside hitting the front wall.  This gave a nice sunlight feel.  It needed a little support to be believable though, so I added a strip box next to it.  Although it would have been nice to pump light in through the smaller windows, they were too far above grade, so I went with a 3x4 soft box placed about 3 yards right of camera.  A ceiling bounce and another strip box was added to the front left and above camera for overall fill.  The final touch was a couple 650 Arri’s strategically placed and swapping out the birch branches for something with a bit more color. 

For a quick 2nd shot, I swapped out the 55mm for my 90mm (~55mm on FF DSLR) and moved in for a one-point-perspective focusing on the front.  Essentially all lighting remained the same while we fussed around a bit with furniture and prop placement.  (We did a few more this day as well, but these were my favorite.)  

One day two, we hit up the guest rooms and lucked out with perfect weather.  Starting with a double, I broke out my wide angled Schneider 35mm (~21mm on FF DSLR) and composed an image from the far corner looking into the room.  (Although I normally I prefer having the window in the center of frame, which gives a nice bright center with back lighting, that composition just too boring.)  Since I was fighting the window light, I needed to really brighten up the center, and did so with a 1x4 gridded strip box at the entry.  This sent a nice amount of light into the room.  I added some fill light with two ceiling boxes near the camera, and lit up the desk and chairs with a couple 650 Arri’s.  Although this was nice, it still was a little off and ultimately I decided to add a bounce in the entry.  This gave the center of frame a bright airy feel, helping to draw the eye throughout the image.  

A king room was next on the list, first shooting a desk detail.  I had brought a (recently acquired) beauty dish to this shoot and was looking for a way to use it.  I thought this would be a great opportunity to do so, although I was concerned whether or not the light spread would be large enough.  Thankfully it worked well, with two additional bounces giving us a good amount of fill.  Flagging the dish a bit so the shadow off the door would not be so harsh was the final touch.  

Last was the overall image of the king room (and yes, we did switch rooms.)  The inner architectural photographer in me initially thought to compose this as a one-point, but, although great for architects, can end up being a little static.  For this client, a slightly angled shot worked much better.  For lighting, I really utilized the sunlight streaming into the room for my main light.  This really brightened the center, and I balanced it with a strip light in the bathroom and two ceiling bounces in the back of the room.  To make the desk pop a little, I lit it with an Arri for a capture, editing in the light in post.  Given the view, we really wanted to push the golf theme, and fussed around with some props for this shot as well.

Overall, a really fun shoot.  Although the lobby was not fully complete yet, I could tell it would look amazing when finished.  Returning in June should be equally as fun.