Horizon Imaging

Christmas event photography at the Bombay Sapphire Distillery in Whitchurch, Hampshire

In the lead up to Christmas last year (yes it does feel a long time ago now!), we were commissioned by the Bombay Sapphire distillery in Whitchurch, Hampshire, to take some architectural and candid ‘people’ photographs at one of their many Christmas themed events. 
The photographs had to capture the glitz and glammer of the venue (which had been especially decorated for the event), the guests enjoying both themselves and Bombay Sapphire’s special cocktails which were flowing freely for the duration of the event (!), as well as the general ambience of the event — helping to convey what it’s like to attend one of their functions. 
Architectural photographs of the Bombay Sapphire Distillery in Whitchurch, Hampshire. Click to enlarge.
Photographing this event posed many technical challenges, mainly due to the wide range of lighting used in the venue. Whilst the human eye is excellent at making sense of how people and objects look under lighting of different colour temperatures, to a digital camera the differences can often be wildly accentuated. For example, you wouldn’t ordinarily notice that daylight is very blue and interior lighting (particularly from filament bulbs) is often very yellow, but this difference would be immediately apparent on a digital photograph. 
Another challenge was the variation in brightness between different parts of the venue — some areas were dimly lit to create a moody atmosphere, whilst other areas were flooded with bright coloured light to create an impressive spectacle! The upshot of all these differences is that: 
  • Very few photographs shared the same camera settings (eg. camera settings were being changed between every photograph to adapt to the different lighting conditions) 
  • An external flashgun had to be used in certain instances to introduce a ‘known’ colour of light — this was particularly important when trying to accurately illuminate the guests, especially when they were bathed in very bright yellow or blue light 
  • All the photographs had to be individually post-processed to a) make them look their absolute best and b) create an authentic and accurate record of how the event would have looked to the human eye 
Architectural and event photographs at the Bombay Sapphire Distillery in Whitchurch, Hampshire. Click to enlarge. 

Such post-processing included making selective adjustments to: 

  • Reduce or increase the brightness of certain parts of an image to focus the viewer’s attention on something (usually the subject of the image, eg. a group of people or an object on a table). 
  • Reduce or increase the colour temperature of certain parts of an image (eg. to make areas of the image cooler or warmer). A good example of this is the view looking down into the serving area in the image above. In the original image the top half was intensely (and unrealistically) blue, and the bottom half was intensely yellow. The blue area was significantly ‘warmed up’ and the yellow area was significantly ‘cooled down’ during the post-processing, and the end result is a realistic representation of how the scene would have looked to the human eye. 
  • Reduce or increase the saturation of certain parts of the image. Digital cameras often struggle to accurately capture areas of intense colour, eg. the patches of light coming from brightly coloured spotlights. By reducing the saturation in these areas, a more realistic result is produced — again, making the image more faithful to how the scene would have looked to the human eye. 
Event photographs at the Bombay Sapphire Distillery in Whitchurch, Hampshire. Click to enlarge. 

Overall we were on site for about 4.5 hours, we spent a further 2.5 hours back in the ‘digital darkroom’ post-processing all the images, and we’re pleased to say that the Distillery were delighted with the resulting images and the ambience they convey. Below you will find a short testimonial from the Marketing Manager of the Distillery: 

“We asked Horizon Imaging to take some marketing imagery of our venue and guests during one of the Christmas-themed events at our distillery. The project management was excellent, our brief was fulfilled perfectly, and the photos taken were of an excellent quality. We will certainly be using their services again in the future.” 

Are you the manager of an events / function venue? Do you need some professional imagery taken during one of your events to use in your marketing collateral, eg. brochures, website and social media? Drop us a line today and we would be delighted to chat through your requirements with you.