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Architectural Photography on Mapleton Hill

So Julie Meko the very experienced Re/MAX real estate agent calls me and would like to have me come out for a shoot of what I consider one of THE Grand homes of Boulder, CO. Actually one of the Grand homes of America. But you be the judge. The house is 5 bedrooms, three stories with basement and is situated on a 1/2-acre lot on top of Mapleton Hill in Boulder’s Historical District. It is approx. 6500 square feet of living space with breathtaking views of the flatirons.  The home was built in 1890. Can you say Location, Location, Location? I can’t think of a more beautiful or perfectly situated home that combines history with a massively complete remodel under the direction of both the home owner and her architect Katie Pekarek of the Boulder firm Kristen Lewis Architects. The renovation, which greatly enhanced the flow of the home, took two years.  They have brought a wonderful eye for detail, color and texture to this home.  Every inch of this property is just a visual treat, including the terrific views of the Flatirons.  Starting with 10′ high ceilings to the recycled wood floors, the owner and her architect just poured subtly, beauty and environmental consciousness into their remodeling project.

Wisely, they started hundreds of feet below the surface to run this home off a geothermal heating system that is housed in a very impressive basement mechanical room.  With that solid environmental foundation the GRAND old Victorian home has entered the 21st Century as a beacon of the past shining a bright light into the future. The owner and Kate went room by room with their remodel. Just some of the results are seen here but you get the idea.  It was a truly comprehensive renovation.

For me it was a fun exercise in precision photography.  I wanted to capture the real depth of this property so I went for a true Panorama shot for the top shot seen here. I used a Really Right stuff Nodal Point slide and panning clamp which enables you to pan on a level plan right under the Nodal Point of the lens and eliminate parallax shift.  One essential piece of glass for architectural photography is the Tilt-Shift, PC-E Nikkor 24mm f3.5 ED, don’t leave home without it. You shoot two bracketed shots and then stitch them together, hence the wide screen look.  Caleb Tkach was my very capable assistant cameraperson.  We used a l4’ high Bogen Studio Tripod. Our workflow was via LR 4 – we’re still letting LR5 sort itself out. We typically shoot a HDR combo of images:  A Master, 2 stops under, 2 stops over and 4 stops over.  Carmichael Productions, inc’s  retouching is very detail oriented and something we take great pride in.  Shutter control, deep DOF and of course, using a remote shutter release cord to not disturb the camera are some of the tricks to shooting architecture.  It is a nice change of pace to look closely at architecture and truly have the time to scrutinize the image for maximum impact and staging.  I’m happy to photographically present the home and pleased I could help spread the word about the greatest house, on the greatest street, in the greatest town in America!

Best Bob C.




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Author: Bob Carmichael

Bob is a veteran director/cameraman who has extensive documentary, national commercial and feature 2nd unit directing experience. Carmichael and his company are experts in capturing action and creating dynamic images in either motion or still capture. A recent online spot for the Made Movement Agency launching a new skin product line by 7th Generation, PSAs for the Colorado Department of Public Health, and Boulder’s drive to municipalize it’s energy grid, are recent projects that underscore Carmichael’s ability to create arresting imagery and direct dialogue. Carmichael Productions, Inc. is headed by Executive Producer, Doug Millington.