Recent Work… Wheaton 121 Luxury Apartments

Wheaton 121 Luxury Apartments- InteriorsRecently I was asked to photograph interiors for a new, $60-million dollar luxury apartment development going up in my town. The six story building is hard to miss– three hundred 1, 2 and 3-bedroom apartments surrounding a large outdoor patio and pool area. The pictures will be used in promotional materials– in print, on the web, and in their social media sites.

We had to shoot everything all in one day, and also work around the construction crews working feverishly to get the first units done before their deadline. Added to that, there were only two model units open, so we had to shoot those in between showings to prospective renters. It made for a full, but very productive day of shooting.

I started by arriving early and shooting the lobby (main pic above), which is the centerpiece of the development. I don’t like to use supplemental lighting any more than I have to, but I needed to light some of the furniture, which was looking too dark. I didn’t just want to shoot in HDR (high dynamic range) and leave it at that, though in the end, it became a mixture of an HDR image combined with specifically lit elements.

Wheaton 121 Luxury Apartments- Interiors

The actual view out the windows- cars, piles of rubble, advertising banner, etc. Note the strobe lighting the furniture on the right. This was retouched out of the final image.

Because construction was still underway, there was all kinds of garbage out the lobby windows- mounds of gravel, tractors and other construction related items. In the end, I had to return a couple days later and shoot some trees and sidewalks from around the complex, then replace the views out the windows with those.

Wheaton 121 Luxury Apartments- Interiors

Model apartment, with computer-generated apartments added to the courtyard view

It got even harder when I needed to add some better views out the windows of the apartments themselves. I couldn’t just add trees because the units were two or three stories up. In the end, I got computer renderings from the architects, of what the view was going to be like, and pasted those in the windows.

I think I spent about two full days after the shoot to get all the high resolution images done. The client has since used them on their website and is getting great feedback from their Facebook page.

Since then, I’ve gone back two or three times to shoot exteriors as the outside of the building nears completion.

Wheaton 121 Luxury Apartments- Interiors

Common area lounge

Wheaton 121 Luxury Apartments- Interiors

Common area lounge

Wheaton 121 Luxury Apartments- Interiors

Common area lounge panorama

Wheaton 121 Luxury Apartments- Interiors

Theater

Wheaton 121 Luxury Apartments- Interiors

Fitness room

Wheaton 121 Luxury Apartments- Interiors

Sales area

 

The Adventures of Mike’s Camera is the blog of freelance photographer, Mike Hudson. He is available for commercial photography assignments– marketing, corporate, editorial, annual reports, lifestyle, web page photography, and events. His clients have included many regional and national magazines and newspapers, several healthcare providers, colleges, hotels, architectural firms, small businesses and more. Visit MichaelHudsonPhotography.com to check out his portfolio or contact him via email.

 

 

Personal Work: The Wheaton Grand Theater, Part One

The Wheaton Grand Theater (original plaster work), September 26, 2013

Chunk of the original, 1926 hand painted plaster from one of the walls

For decades, the Wheaton Grand Theater, built in 1926,  showed live entertainment and movies in Chicago’s western suburbs. In the 1970’s the theater was divided into two screens, then later four, as it became a second-run movie theater. Finally, the theater closed in the late 1990’s in a state of disrepair. After years of neglect, there’s now a campaign to raise the money needed to bring it back to being a full theater of the arts, showing movies and live shows.

The Wheaton Grand Theater, September 5, 2013

Interior of the theater, with the dome that lights up with red, blue or yellow lights

Working pro bono as a photographer/ videographer for the theater, I spent a day shooting interiors before the main renovation work begins, hopefully some time soon. As someone who used to see a lot of films here in the 1980’s and 1990’s, it was a revelation how beautiful the place once was, with ornate plasterwork on the walls and ceilings, hand painted stenciling bordering the stage, and a large lighted dome above the main auditorium, with colored lights that still worked.

The Wheaton Grand Theater, September 5, 2013

Left side of stage, with most of the original plasterwork removed. Actually, most of the plasterwork has been found and sits in boxes around the auditorium. For years, this wall and exit were covered over.

The Wheaton Grand Theater, September 5, 2013

Original hand painted plasterwork by the stage. At some point, most of this area was painted over in a dull blue paint.

The Wheaton Grand Theater, September 5, 2013

Original light from along the walls of the theater.

The Wheaton Grand Theater, September 5, 2013

For me, the most beautiful part of the interior is the dome, which, if you stand underneath it, has the most amazing acoustics. This is my favorite picture, where you can see the beauty of the iron scroll work, and the years of cobwebs clinging to it. Taken looking directly up from the center of the auditorium.

The Wheaton Grand Theater, September 5, 2013

The full dome, with some of the stars still intact. In its heyday, the theater operators could turn on blue light to simulate the night sky, with points of lights coming from each of the stars. Now most of the stars are gone and holes and wiring are left in their place.

The Wheaton Grand Theater, September 5, 2013

A lot of restoration work is needed by the stage.

 

The Adventures of Mike’s Camera is the blog of freelance photographer, Mike Hudson. He is available for commercial photography assignments– marketing, corporate, editorial, annual reports, lifestyle, web page photography, and events. His clients have included many regional and national magazines and newspapers, several healthcare providers, colleges, hotels, architectural firms, small businesses and more. Visit MichaelHudsonPhotography.com to check out his portfolio or contact him via email.