Architectural photo-retouch of Hampton Court House

Hampton Court House – a wonderful venue holding various events and a private school. The main trademark of the company is the house itself so the appropriate image was needed to feature in advertisement and on the website.

The original image (below) has been taken around 2001 and though being quite a nice shot fails to meet desired publishing standards.



Below is the panorama of the Hampton Court House I took last summer with the iPhone 5 – I needed a bit wider angle to work with.



Both images merged together, retouched and with filters applied (below); I decided to use the old photo from 2001 as the house was more exposed back then – bushes and wall plants look great in nature but they didn’t work in this kind of branding and advertising imagery.
If you look carefully you will notice that the bushes on the right are not completely retouched – as I mostly use the very centre of the image the whole panorama is needed rather for a contextual purposes.



The full panorama has 8140 by 2843 pixels (equivalent of 38x24cm at 300dpi) that allows for a comfortable application in digital and print. The final psd file is quite heavy – over 600MB; I had to increase the bit depth up to 16bit per channel due to a large amount of adjustment layers; at the final stage of editing the document was very annoying to work with as Photoshop was constantly crashing (despite 16GB of RAM installed in MacBook).



The original photo’s colour palette (on the right) wasn’t neither harmonious nor attractive and totally not corresponding with the corporate pale pink used in the company’s logo.



I needed something cleaner, web-wise, eye-catching and refined so started to manipulate with the colour palette using the Colour Expert iPhone app. The final swatch (on the left) is loosely based on the analogous colour scheme (the scheme that is mostly find in nature). It consists of basic tones found in the photo such as sky dark, sky highlight, grass dark, grass highlight, shadow (I called it ‘HCH black’ and used later in website’s text and user interface), house beige (becoming later a base colour for off-white context menus on the website) and orange accent taken from some blooming bushes in front of the house (no use in UX so far).

Finally I ‘overdone’ the green colour of the grass to give the image less corporate feel and emphasise the location within beautiful parks.

Having the colours of the main image harmonious and sitting well with the brand identity’s pale pink, designing of the website became much easier.

Update 2017

Colour palette update, also added plenty of neutral space around the house – useful in flexible layouts and responsive design.


Read more about the Responsive-ready photos

Read more about Hampton Court House website