Winter won’t let up here in Vermont! But that worked out perfectly for a photo I wanted to get of the von Trapp Brewery Bierhall at twilight in Stowe Vermont. I first photographed the brewery once construction by Neagley & Chase Construction Company was complete in 2015. That was followed by a shoot last fall to photograph the Bierhall which was near completion. At the time, the restaurant’s atrium hadn’t been constructed so I knew I would want to revisit to get at least one shot of the completed project.
Given that the atrium is completely glass, which adds to the existing large windows of the Bierhall, I knew I wanted to shoot a twilight image to capture the interior-exterior connection of the building. Incorporating the surrounding landscape (which just shouts von Trapp!) was one of my goals. And I wanted to complete the shoot before the snow disappeared to really highlight the cozy, inviting glow of the restaurant’s windows. In early March after a decent snowfall, a clear day gave me the perfect opportunity.
I arrived early to scout the right location. It was a tough decision since no vantage point was exactly what I wanted. Sometimes you have a different vision in your head of how a building sits and how you’ll shoot it. I had hoped to be more elevated in relation to the building to capture more of the mountains in the background but the hill I envisioned using wasn’t quite as high as I would have like. A crane lift would have been great, but with two feet of snow that probably wouldn’t have worked out!
I picked a spot and set to work taking multiple shots over a period of an hour. Here’s a quick video I posted as I was getting ready to start photographing (dorky? yes). Below are a few of the images used in the final composite. In a couple you can see the light trail from the Lowell GL-1 I use during the long exposures.
Here’s my hand cutting out the glare from the flood light that was in the left part of the images. In total I used 11 images.
After the light disappeared and I felt I had enough shots for what I needed I packed up and was ready to head home. But as I was driving out I noticed another view that I couldn’t pass up. So I stopped, got completely set up again and started shooting a different angle. This time I was perched atop a huge snowbank. Not ideal, but you do what you have to do!
It was definitely dark at this point so this wasn’t going to be another twilight shot. Instead the crystal clear sky was loaded with stars. Aside from the light from the building there was little light pollution interfering. Being atop this mountain in rural Stowe Vermont gave a spectacularly clear view. I used the same process to capture multiple images for this second shot. As I packed up for the second time I hoped the shot would come together! Below is a little gallery of four of of the fourteen images I used for the final image also below.
Sometimes shoots don’t go exactly as planned. But sometimes you come away with something unexpected! That’s a surprise gift any photographer will take.
Stina Booth is a commercial architecture photographer based in northern Vermont available to shoot in Vermont and throughout New England. Services include residential, municipal and commercial projects. To inquire about having your project photographed contact me.
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