Today we are headed to another gorgeous lakeside retreat, this time photographed by architectural photographer Ulysse Lemerise. Ulysse’s photographs sport a gorgeous quality of light and thoughtful compositions and are a joy to view, so lets get right to it!
Ulysse kicks things off by sharing “The Break Residence was realized by Mu Architecture, one of my oldest client in architectural photography. They’re actually the first one that trusted my instincts and gave me a project to shoot, about ten years ago. We have been collaborating ever since!
As for this project, the client wanted to build a house on the land of his ancestors. It had to be very spacious and welcoming as to serve as a meeting hub for the close-knit community living around the lake. Intimate and protective from the roadside, the house totally opens up to the natural light on the lakeside.”
Dappled light streaming across the facade communicates a sense of place and time while providing warmth and depth to the scene.
Ulysse uses a figure for movement and scale, making this exterior photo feel very dynamic.
Framing the house with foliage shows The Break Residence in context while focusing our attention on the structure itself.
Ulysse continues, “It was a big day… first off, the house is huge! 6700 square feet! So there was a lot of space to shoot, and difficult choices had to be made given that the light was optimal in different rooms at the same time.”
“The main challenge was that the house had to be completely refurnished,” he explains. “People from Mu Architecture wanted a more modern and minimalistic look than what the client’s furniture was offering. So they made a partnership with Element de Base, a furniture company based in Montreal, and they replaced all the sofas, ottomans, arm chairs and stools. As I was shooting the exteriors in the morning, movers were replacing the furniture and setting up the interiors. It was a pretty hectic day, but all in all, and thanks to the 16 hour of daylight Quebec’s summers has to give us, we managed to squeeze it all in one day.”
“I mainly shoot using only natural light, which I sometimes (but rarely) bounce using a reflector or block using black fabric. I always bring a strobe in case I would need a pop here and there, but I barely use it. I like to keep my equipment minimal as I move and shoot a lot. I mainly concentrate on framing and timing with the natural light,” Ulysse says.
He goes on, “I like to start very early and finish after sunset, so I can follow the light as it races through a project. I always shoot tethered, using Capture One (and very recently capture one for Ipad), so I can make sure my exposition and focus are right and that I have enough room for my desired cropping. This method is also very useful to have good visuals on site for initiating conversation with the client. I use a Fuji GFX 50sII with native lenses (20-35 and 32-64mm) and Canon TSE lenses (17mm and 24mm) with an adaptor. What a wonderful camera! Now if Fuji could come up with some native tilt & shift lenses, like they said they would, that would be helpful!”
I asked Ulysse about his favorite photograph from this set. He shared “I really like the graphical aspect of this next shot. I started with a pretty wide shot, which I decided to crop so I would only retain the foyer, the light fixture and part of the dining table. I Love the symmetry of the veining on the stone wall.”
“As for my shooting approach, my post-processing is pretty minimalistic,” he explains. “Here I focus on color accuracy, good contrast and realistic dynamic range. I will do some compositing for interior shot where bringing back details from the exterior is relevant, but that’s about it. I will photoshop out any cables and electric hardware that would be distracting to the eye.”
A huge thank you to Ulysse for sharing this project and his experience from the shoot day with us!
If you have a project you’d like to be considered for Project of the Week, you can submit it here.