Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Gateway Canyons Resort

I was recently working on a project in Southern Colorado for
 Noble House Hotels www.noblehousehotels.com 
and had an enjoyable experience working 
along side one of their principals, Scott Colee, on a project for
Gateway Canyons Resort www.gatewaycanyons.com
not too far from my home base. As you can see from this 
photograph, shot from their Eurocopter, this is an unbelievably unique and beautiful
setting so as we were shooting, the location possibilities were almost overwhelming.
 A good problem to have.  Gateway Canyons is owned by John Hendricks, 
who also owns The Discovery Channel dsc.discovery.com. John spent a couple 
of days with us while we shot and I enjoyed his warmth and genuine interest in 
photography. An excellent photographer in his own right. 
Gateway Canyons is a very first class destination with beautiful grounds and 
accommodations, food and amenities.  
Check it out.

This shoot was sort if a dream because I was able to use a wide range of skills with lifestyle,
automotive, landscape and architectural requirements on our shot list.  Although we did 
not shoot it, there is a world class automotive museum on site at Gateway, installed there
for the guests.  It houses more than 50 significant, restored cars dating back to the early 1900's.
Part of the amenity offering is a "Driven Experiences" where you have an opportunity
to drive any of a number of high performance cars on a spectacular highway winding
South to Telluride.  For me, certainly not a hard thing to shoot.

We hit a window of spectacular weather for this shoot when they had been getting 
quite a bit of inclement weather.  We would shoot with the cars at dawn and dusk
and the rains came every day, but almost always during our down times.
We were using quite a bit of supplemental lighting, as usual, on our lifestyle 
 shooting during the day so weren't quite as concerned about the ambient conditions
with this as with the car photography. Mornings dawned beautiful and the evening's 
 were ,well, "desert stunning".

As a destination retreat, Gateway will pick you up when you bring your corporate or
personal plane into the airport, about an hour away, in one of their Bentleys. Shooting a
plane isn't much different than shooting a car so stacking these together worked out
pretty well.  Pre-planning the set was the most important part of getting this shot.  We 
ended up with a clear sunset, so decided to add the appropriate clouds to enhance the 
final shot and to give it it's vertical crop. 

Any photographer will tell you that kids and dogs are the "bane of their existence" and 
that's really true, pending the attention spans, respectively.  Once you add in a horse, you 
know you have trouble on your hands.  As you can see, that was where we were on this shot.
With the help of my cowboy talent, Paul McLean, www.radicalartistsagency.com 
we were able to pull off about 4-5 captures that seemed to work before
the dog ran off, one of the kids chased him and the horse in the background lost interest  
and retreated permanently into his stall. 
I thought this was one of the better shots to come out of this shoot.

We used some primary supplemental lighting on our foreground scene in this shot
blending with all of the ambient light sources to give things a natural look.  Truth be
known, it started raining the minute we wrapped this up. Lucky, lucky.
My thanks to our team, Hope Carlton and her assistant Jolynn Garcia (stylists), 
 Gina Bishop (interior stylist), Robb Reece (assistant), Scott Colee (Noble House),
Elizabeth Hendricks North & Healey McBride (art direction).