The Original Pancake House Fort Collins

     When the opportunity arose to photograph the Original Pancake House in Fort Collins, CO, I was very excited about the proposition. I'd never shot anything quite like a restaurant in the past. I wasn't quite sure where to start. What kind of angles captured enough to show the environment but didn't overwhelm? What kind of lighting was cozy yet didn't make the space feel to dark? I could go on. After some research and planning, I settled on my shot list and went to work. With only an afternoon to shoot, I had to move quickly to capture more than a couple photos. But all things considered, I am very happy with the final images we captured.


What you wouldn't know about this image- It was quite the challenge to get the tripod set-up for this shot. I really wanted to be a good ways back so that I could shoot at 70mm to have nice compression in the image. But if I moved too far back, I would end up with too many tables in the foreground. The solution ended up being to precariously balance the tripod on a booth bench and opposing table in the middle of the floor!


What you wouldn't know about this image-  Additive lighting and flash played a huge role in this image. There were a lot of extremely strong shadows at play from the late afternoon sun. Lot's a flash was needed to massage these shadows into something more comfortable.


What you wouldn't know about this image-  This was the most technically complicated image of the set. While it may look like a simple image, there is actually a lot going on 'behind the scenes'. There was extremely heavy light coming in the window on the left causing severe highlight bloom and dark shadows. In order to negotiate this, I took 10 ambient layers and 15 flash layers to gently blend and work the image into something that accurately represented the daylight flooding into the space.


What you wouldn't know about this image-  These days, most restaurants have little barriers between seats to protect customers from getting exposed to other customers who may be sick. As we worked our way through this shoot we were moving barriers out of the way to keep them out of the photos. However, for this last shot, I wanted to capture and share what the restaurant is currently like with these barriers actually in place. 

Incase you weren't hungry... have a look at some of these delicious menu items!