The Rhinoceros House

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When I was a little girl I went to the Catskill Game Farm with my family.  A few weeks ago I went back to photograph it through an Abandoned America Workshop.   Another workshop will be held there on August 3rd if  anyone is interested in attending.  Just click here and it will take you to the page. The Catskill Game Farm opened in 1933 and was officially recognized as a zoo in 1958.  It closed in 2006 and all the animals and amusement rides were auctioned off.  It was bought by the present owners in 2012 who have plans of opening more of a camp ground/B&B on the land.   It is a very interesting place to photograph with a lot of old cages and structures.  This post is focusing on the Rhinoceros House where you would go and see the exotic African Rhino’s.  I  loved the graphic quality of the gigantic bars  that separated the indoor animal enclosures.  You can see them in the image above and below.

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The image below is the entrance for the animal keepers to reach the back of the cages on the main floor.  The light falling from the skylight onto the discarded sinks and tables caught my eye.

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The image below is of the spiral staircase that went from the lower level where the winter pens were located up to the entrance to the animal keepers room above.  You can just see in the image above the top of spiral staircase on the bottom left.

Again I just loved the light and shadows on the staircase staircase.

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The image below is the lower level and the hallway off of the room with the spiral staircase above.  A child’s wagon was left in the hallway and caught my eye.  The door way where the wagon is located leads out to the outdoor area for the Rhino’s which was surrounded by a huge moat.

I will be posting other areas of the Game Farm in future blogs so keep your eyes open for them!

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Something about an Abandoned Loo

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Whenever I am in an abandoned place I always seem to be taking pictures of the loo.  I don’t know if it is because it seems to show the decay so much or I”m just fascinated that it is still intact.  Whatever it is I have two this time around and they are both in the same abandoned house.  I shot both of these with my Fuji XPro-1 on a tripod (usually do because I bracket my shots +1, 1, -1) and then work with the three images to bring out the light and shadows.  I use a Really Right Stuff tripod head, BH55, with an “L” bracket on all my cameras.  It makes going from a vertical to a horizontal shot quick and easy.  The Really Right Stuff tripod head and “L” brackets are expensive but they are made in the USA and made to last.  I made the mistake when I first started out buying a less expensive tripod head and paid for it with blurry images.  Pay once for the better quality is my motto now.

Both images are my usual process in CaptureOne, Photoshop and Nik Color Efex using that wonderful low key filter.  Layering my three exposure is also key since I can bring in the best light and shadow from the different exposures.  The advantage of doing it this way versus HDR is no artifacts when you blow the images up to a large size and I am able to have a sharp image with a soft tonal range.

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Word Play

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This week I decided to play around with adding vintage letters and postcards as a form of texture to two of my images. The image above is an abandoned farmhouse in Pennsylvania photographed using my Fuji X-Pro1.  I used several textures by 2 lil Owls and then brought in a great french postcard that a purchased in a pack from French Kiss Textures.

The image below I photographed at Breezy Point in Gateway National Park again using my Fuji X-Pro1. It is a composite since I added a more dramatic sky to this image. I used textures by 2 Lil Owls including the old French letter.  I did some final processing in OnOne which I recently upgraded to their newer pack of filters.  Both images are processed in CaptureOne which I always use for my raw conversion, Photoshop CC where I do all my editing, Nik Color Efex 4 which is my go to editor.

I wanted this very nostalgic, vintage feel to these images and using the old postcards and letters really works well.

 

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Breezy Point

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I was photographing down at Breezy Point a couple of weeks ago during a stormy day.  This area was hit very hard during Hurricane Sandy and the damage to homes and the beach was massive.  I still find it to be one of the most beautiful places to photograph and if you every get a chance to head out to Gateway National Park in Queens you will be able to see this beautiful area.   Both images were shot with my Fuji XPro-1, processed in CaptureOne and Photoshop.  The image below is actually a composite because the clouds were not behaving when I photographed it (just a few tiny ones and that wouldn’t do for me).  The image below is of the Silver Seagull Beach Club at Breezy Point and it always looks abandoned to me even though it is not.

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High Line in B&W

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I went for a  walk with friends on the High Line in NYC last Saturday and was able to capture a few shots of the roads and spaces between buildings.  The light and shadows that come into play are really spectacular.  If you have never been to the High Line, I strongly recommend you put it on your list of places to see when you are in New York City.  It runs between 30th Street and Gansevoort Street for 20 blocks or 1-1/2 miles.  There is a great documentary on it on PBS Treasures of New York that you have to see.  It is such a wonderful way to see the city.  The High Line is my favorite place in NYC.

Both images were shot with my Fuji x100s and were processed in CaptureOne, Photoshop and Nik Color Efex.  I really like playing with the low key filter in Nik.  It just really brings in this wonderful contrast.

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Pop Art

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I had photographed this wall at Pennhurst with the idea of incorporating one of my character images with it.  When I looked at the wall I realized it reminded me of graffiti so I added just a head shot.  The result reminded me of a little bit of Peter Max.  This composite was created in Photoshop with a little help from Nik Color Efex Pro and Lightroom Presets by Trey Ratfcliff.

Bird Portraits

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I have been wanting to capture pictures of animals in a zoo setting and turn them into a classic portrait.  The bird above was kind enough to stand still and pose for me.  I worked in Photoshop using a slight oil filter and Color Efex Pro and a great texture from Dirk Wuestenhagen I also used a lot of layers with black and blue in them to get the lighting just right.

The birds below were just beautiful and I again worked with them in Photoshop and Color Efex Pro.  Textures are by Dirk Wuestenhagen, 2Lil Owls and Brooke Shaden. I again worked with black and 50% gray layers blended so I could get the lighting just right.  Both images were taken with my Fuji X-Pro 1 hand held.

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Fort Hancock, Sandy Hook, NJ

 

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I took a ride down to Sandy Hook, NJ with two Fuji camera’s in hand to photograph the abandoned Officer’s Houses at Fort Hancock.  This area is now part of Gateway National Park.  It is a beautiful area and consists of not only these great abandoned houses and battlements but is home to some of the most beautiful beaches and wildlife.

The image above is one of the large Officer’s houses that sits up on top of this hill.  I wanted to give that old eerie look.  Something you find digging through an attic and wonder where this mysterious house was located.   I processed in my usual Capture One, Photoshop and Lightroom and Nik Color Efex but used some great textures from 2 Lil Owls.  The old antique frame is also from 2 Lil Owls.  This is a composite since I photographed this on a very bright sunny day and wanted to bring in some storm clouds which I had photographed the other week.

The image below was processed very similar to the one above but I used textures from Distressed Textures and Shadowhouse Creations.  The clouds were added and photographed by me.  I added a tint to give it that nostalgic look.

 

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A litte more Urban Decay

 

I traveled out to Scranton Lace on another Abandoned America workshop the other week and discovered some areas I had not explored before.  The image above was pitch black and it always amazes me how much more the camera sensors sees than I do.  I shot all the images with my Fuji XPro-1 and processed in Capture One, Photoshop and Nik Color Efex.  I really loved the arch and the reflection in the pool of water.  The image below was taken just off of this room to the right and my friend and fellow photographer Sarah pointed out the hair dryer.

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The image below was taken at Pennhurst and I really loved the way the light coming through the boards in the window made it look like a cross.  This image was also processed in Capture One, Photoshop and Nik Color Efex Pro. I’m finding I like converting the raw color images to black and white in photoshop more than in Nik Silver Efex.  Just a phase I may be going through.

 

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A Surreal Look at Pennhurst

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I was photographing at Pennhurst State School with the intention of creating my surreal conceptual images.  Here are two that I have been working on.

The image above I stumbled upon when I decided to insert an image of clouds into the windows.  The room was photographed in the Mayflower Building at Pennhurst. When I photographed the image the light pouring in through the windows was very bright and it really wasn’t adding anything to the image so I decided to fill the windows with clouds.  However, when I placed the cloud image in the layer above this hospital bed image I really liked the way the clouds were showing up on the ceiling, walls and floor.  It just gave it this surreal look so I went with it.  Everything was post processed in Photoshop CC, Lightroom and Nik Color Efex Pro.  I did not use any textures on this since the room is naturally textured from the decay.  Clouds were photographed by me. I used about 30 layers in this image working with dodging and burning, levels, and gradients.

The image below is also a composite of a room I photographed in Devon Hall at Pennhurst, a model (moi) and clouds I photographed this month.  The window was actually boarded up and I thought it was boring so I decided to go for that surreal feel and replace the boards with clouds.  I did use one texture from 2 Lil Owls which gave it this bent photograph look that I liked.  Birds are created with a photoshop brush and a little fog was also a photoshop image that I purchased through Phlearn.  I wanted the character to have this ghostly unworldly feel, hence the translucent quality to her body.  I processed in Photoshop CC, Lightroom and Nik Color Efex Pro.  All images at Pennhurst were shot with my Fuji X Pro 1, clouds with my Fuji x100s and me with my Pentax.

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Rooms in the Mayflower Building at Pennhurst

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Two more photos taken at Pennhurst when I went there for the Abandoned America workshop a couple of Saturday’s ago.  These were taken in the Mayflower Building.  I again shot with my Fuji X-Pro1 and processed both in Phase 1, Photoshop, Nik and Lightroom 5 using Onone preset for vignetting. Both images are a combination of  three bracketed shots at 1 stop over and under which I layer in Photoshop.  I do not use an HDR program on these but prefer to work with the bracketed shots in Photoshop by layering and then masking what I want to bring out in terms of light and shadow.  I also use a 50% gray layer set at either overlay or soft light to dodge and burn areas. It’s non destructive this way and if you change your mine you just trash it!

If anyone lives or works near Englewood, NJ please stop by Gallery Two Seventy located at 10 N. Dean Street and see “The 21st Century Handmade Print“.  This show is featuring works by John Dugdale, Jefferson Hayman, Richard Kagan, Peter Liepke, George Tice and my absolute favorite Michael Massaia. These photographers shoot film and use the vintage processes of toned silver gelatin, platinum/palladium, gum bichromate, and cyanotype.  You have to see their work.  Tom Gramegna is the Director of the Gallery and really has top notch shows.  He is a super nice person and I really appreciated the invite to the Gallery opening for this show!

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The Hallways of Pennhurst State School & Hospital

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The number one abandoned place on my bucket list of places to photograph is Pennhurst State School & Hospital in Spring City, Pennsylvania.  I had the opportunity to go two Saturday’s ago with Matthew Christopher’s Abandoned America Workshop.  It was everything I thought it would be and more.  I didn’t run into any ghost and nothing about either building was particularly spooky (except the basement in Devon Hall is pitch black and you cannot see one foot in front of you without a flash light).  The only odd thing I heard was this incredibly loud banging in Devon Hall on the second floor.  It could have come from outside but it was over the top loud. I asked a fellow photographer who was shooting right down the hall from me what she thought it was and she told me she was hoping the owners were just trying to scare us!  Pennhurst State School & Hospital opened in 1908 and was originally called the Eastern Pennsylvania State School for the Feeble Minded and Epileptic.  The conditions and crowding of the school were deplorable and was exposed in a five-part series in 1968 called “Suffer the Little Children”.   In 1983 nine employees were indicted on charges of slapping and abusing the patients.  The shocking part is the school did not close until 1985.  A lot of sadness and terror permeate the buildings and it is known for its paranormal activity and has been featured on Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures and Celebrity Hauntings.

With all that has happened there I still looked for the beauty in the decay of the buildings themselves.   This week I wanted to show the incredible hallways with peeling paint (I love peeling paint) and that lovely light spilling out from the doors.  The hallway above was located in Devon Hall on the first floor.  I just loved the color and light. I processed this image in Photoshop CC using two different exposure layers (I bracket all my shots with a 1 stop up and down) and then brought it into Lightroom to use one of the presets by Trey Ratcliff called Recreational Drugs.   I did not use any textures since the building had enough texture from the decay.  I used my Fuji X-Pro 1 as my main camera on the tripod with the Fuji x100s as my backup and hand-held camera.

The image below is of another hallway in Devon Hall.  Again just a creepy hall with great color and light.  I processed the image in Photoshop CC again using my bracketed layers and then brought it into Lightroom and used another preset by Trey Ratcliff called Amazing Raisins (one of my favorites but you really have to play with it because it can look way, way over the top strange).  I then ran it through Topaz Clarity to pop the sharpness as well as using high pass filter layers.

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This one was shot in a pitch dark basement in Devon Hall and it is looking from the hallway into a room with light coming in from a tiny window.  I just loved the eerie mood it created.  I am always amazed how much detail the camera sensors can pull when I can’t even see it. Processed again in Photoshop CC using my bracketed layers to pull detail in the shadows and tone down any blown highlights.  I then ran it again in Lightroom with the Amazing Raisins preset and then Topaz Clarity.

 

I wanted to put one of my iPhone5s shots in of the basement area in Devon Hall known as Candyland.  It is a play area where the little children admitted to Pennhurst would play .  This area was pitch black and if I wanted to shoot this wall with my Fuji I would have had to light paint it with my flashlight.  A long process that I really did not want to spend my time doing when there were some many other great areas to photograph.  So I took out my iPhone and  I could not believe how bright the wall looks with that little iPhone flash.  It looks as if there was daylight streaming in.  Believe me you could not see in this room.  The wall art is really creepy so I think it was better not to see to clearly in there.  I did run this through Photoshop CC and Topaz Clarity.

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A Little Creepy

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I went with a fun group of people last Thursday night to the Woodlawn Cemetery, a National Historic Landmark located in Bronx, New York.  This cemetery is known for it’s ornate mausoleums and famous people buried there (Miles Davis, Jay Gould, Duke Ellington and Irving Berlin). This is the Armour Mausoleum and I wanted to give it a creepy look .  The Textures I used were by 2 lil owls and was processed in Photoshop CC with 13 layers.  Topaz Clarity and Nik Color Efex filters were used.  I added the ghost for extra spookiness and a laugh!

The image below is of the Wilderstein House in Rhinebeck, New York.  The Wilderstein Historic Site is a beautiful place to visit and take a hike on it’s trails.  The house is beautifully situated on the Hudson River with spectacular views.  All the textures I used are by Dirk Wuestenhagen and the stars are rendered by using a star brush I purchased as well as a star texture I made.  The photo was processed in Photoshop CC with 22 layers including one from Nik Color Efex Pro.

 

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Underwater

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I had this idea in the back of mind and wanted it to look like a batik or a melding of the character and the fish in the background. I definitely wanted it to look painterly. The fish were photographed at my Mom’s assisted living place.  They have this large fish tank in the activity room and I was photographing the fish with my old Android cell phone.  The character was photographed in my kitchen (me again).  I first made the background up using a gradient layer in photoshop.  Then I added textures by 2 Lil Owls that I had purchased and ran it through Nik Color Efex Pro.  I then used the “wave” filter in photoshop to give it that watery look.  I added the bubbles using a photoshop bubble brush that I purchased online and also worked with the dress and hair using a very cool painterly photoshop brush that I also purchased online.   The light filtering down is a texture by Dirk Wuestenhagen.  I also ran this through Trey Ratcliff preset in Lightroom 5 that I had purchased.  I prefer purchasing rather than free because I then have the license to use in my work. Always the safer choice. The main thing is I am always surprised when I have an idea and then how the work evolves from there.  I always think experimenting and pushing yourself to try different techniques is a great learning experience and fun!

 

The Siren’s Series

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I have been working on the Siren’s series for the last couple of weeks and having fun with compositing it together.  The image above is titled “The Siren’s Breath” and the image below is titled “Call of the Siren”.  The Siren’s Breath is made up of several images and a painting!  The sailboat was photographed at my house and is a model about 3 feet hight.  I photographed it with my Fuji X Pro1.  The ocean is a “Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program” and is from a painting by Claude-Joseph Ventet called “A Storm on the Mediterranean Coast”.   The Getty Museum’s Open Content Program allows you to download a selection of their digital images for free and without restrictions.  I am a fan of Ms. Aniela who uses portions of paintings in her conceptual fashion photography as you can see here.  I wanted to give it try and had a lot of fun.  The clouds were photographed by me and I used a smoke image, purchased through Phlearn, to create the wind blowing from the Siren’s mouth.  Birds are a purchased photoshop brush.  I processed the image in CaptureOne to start, moved it into Photoshop to add an oil filter and then in Lightroom where I used a combination of three of Trey Ratcliff’s presets.  Finished up everything in Photoshop.

The “Call of the Siren” is an interesting composite.  The rock wall that the siren is calling from is actually one of the minerals I photographed with my Fuji x100s at the American Museum of Natural History.  The ship is from the same painting I used in “The Siren’s Breath”, the water is from several images of ocean and water I had photographed and the rocks are part  of an image I took at Tod’s Point in Old Greenwich.  The clouds are from texture and images Brooke Shaden gave us from one of her workshops and the birds are from a purchased photoshop brush.  I have about 20-30 layers comprising this image.

I hope these images encourage you to step outside the box when it comes to photography.  For me, photography is always about having fun and trying new techniques.

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The Storm

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This is one of those pieces that took me days to put it together and figure out how I really wanted it to look.  The place is White Hill Mansion in New Jersey where I took a workshop with Brooke Shaden.  I really liked the room so I shot it without anyone in it.  I had to merge three photos together to get all three windows.  The model is me sans wig and my Dad’s hat.  I shoot a lot of different poses, wigs, characters at the same time because once I have the background set up I just keep going.  I took comfort in an interview I recently read with Patty Maher, a photographer I follow on Flickr and greatly admire, who stated her gear consists of “an awful lot of wigs”.    I just had a lot of fun with this image.  I used photoshop brushes for the lightening, clouds, rain and fog.   Textures from Brooke Shaden, Dirk Wuestenhagen (I use his Vanilla Sky so much it isn’t funny) and Shadowhouse Creations.   The bird, a Jackdaw, is from  FrankandCary on Deviantart.  A fantastic source for stock images of birds.   I processed this in Photoshop CC, Topaz Clarity, Nik Color Efex.  My Fuji X-Pro 1 was used to shoot both the mansion and myself.  Love, love, love that camera!

A Composite Using Holmesburg Prison

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I am a little late posting this week but I am working on a few pieces that are taking a lot of time in post processing.  It has been way to cold outside for me to go out and shoot but hopefully that will change within the next week or two.

The image above is a composite of a shot I took from another great workshop with Abandoned America at the Holmesburg Prison in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The model is me (can’t wait for it to get warm so I can start using my friends instead of me to model!!!)  Prison was shot with my Pentax K5 (pre Fuji love) and I used my Fuji X-Pro-1 to take the picture of me.  Textures are by Shadowhouse Creations, Dirk Wuestenhagen and Brooke Shaden.  The image was processed in Capture One, Photoshop CC and Nik Color Efex 4.

 

Experimenting

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I was looking through some of backgrounds I created poring Citra-Solv on old National Geographic pages.  I like experimenting by combining my images with different mediums to see what I can produce.  The image above combines one of the backgrounds that reminded me of a field with a photograph of a house I took at the Scotland School for Veteran’s Children in Pennsylvania this past summer.  The birds are from a photoshop brush that I had downloaded through Distressedtextures.  I spent several days on this trying to get it just right.  Textures are by Dirk Wuestenhagen and Distressedtextures.  I also ran it through Topaz Clarit;y to give it a smoother finish.

The image below is a combination of another Citra-Solv background and I found it reminded me of water.  I took a photograph that I had shot of myself awhile back with my Fuji  X-Pro1. The image itself has a lot of motion to it but I also added more motion through the photoshop motion blur filter.  I wanted that swirling watery feel to it. I did not add any textures to this one but did run it through Topaz Clarity to soften it.

I just set up a new portfolio site for my work which you can access either through my link on the side bar of this blog or by clicking here.

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World of Make Believe

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I have had some free time to work a little more on my composites.  The case I was working on for the last 5 years settled so I am out and about looking for a new job and have a ton of free time to create my make believe worlds.  The image above is a composite of a great old lock and keys that my Dad had collected.  The image of me was shot in my home and I am actually wearing one of Dad’s old hats.  The checkerboard floor was created by me in photoshop and the sky is a combination of one I took and one that Brooke Shaden had in her texture set.  I did most of my work in Nik Color Efex 4 and Photoshop with a slight oil paint filter on it.  The images above were taken with my Fuji X-Pro1 and x100s.

The image below is a composite of the MTA train bridge connecting the Bronx to the island of Manhattan.  I photographed it with my Pentax K5 a few summers ago from the last train car on my commute home.  The image of me was taken in my home with my Fuji X-Pro1.  I processed the image in Photoshop, Lightroom 5 with a preset by Trey Ratcliff called Happy Baby and Nik Color Efex 4.  The clouds are again Brooke Shaden’s from her textures.  I also used textures by Dirk Wuestenhagen.  I again put a very subtle oil paint filter on it.

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In the Mood for Trees

Tod's Point Jan 2014 Tree Series 1

I love photographing trees and then working some magic on them with textures.  Both trees were photographed with the Fuji x100s.  Processing Photoshop CC, Nik Color Efex Pro 4 and Vivezia 2.  The tree above was photographed at Tod’s Point in Old Greenwich.  Textures are by Dirk Wuestenhagen and Distressedtextures.  I really wanted the play of light and dark to give it that really moody feeling.

The image below was photographed at Rockefeller Preserve in Pocantico Hills, New York.  Textures are by Dirk Wuestenhagen, Distressedtextures and Shadowhouse Creations.  The mood is lighter with this one because I wanted the tree branches to be more prominent.  Two different trees, two different moods.

Rockefeller Tree 4 2014

Getting My Queen of Darkness On

 

Lost in a Good Book

 

The last few posts were of my B&W street photography which I love to do but my other love are dark, surreal composites.  Because I have shown a lot of this type of work, someone dubbed me the Queen of Darkness.  I found that really funny because I don’t take the darkness seriously. I just like the way it looks.  So this week I am presenting two pieces I have been working on.  The image above is called “Lost in a Good Book”.  I wanted to portray a character literally getting lost within the book.  My Fuji X-Pro 1 was used to photograph myself in my living room and of the antique Mother Goose book I own.  I used background textures by Distressedtextures and the cloud texture is by Brooke Shaden.  Birds are a brush by Distressedtextures.  I worked with this image in Photoshop CC and Nik Color Efex.

The image below was taken at an abandoned institute at night and shot with my Pentax K5.  The lock is part of a collection of locks my Dad had and I photographed it with my Fuji X-Pro1.  The eye is mine and that was photographed with my IPhone 5s.  A mixture of cameras!  Texture used is by Shadowhouse Creations.  It is a little more horror then I usually do but I thought it was too much fun not to do.

If anyone is interested, I just purchased this fantastic tutorial by Susan Tuttle on The Art of iPhone Photography – Self Portraiture (I am already on Lesson 5).  She has put it on sale for 50% off for a week.  It comes with a bonus which are textures by Susan, Distressedtextures and 2 Lil Owls.  Here is the link to it Susan Tuttle Fine Art Grunge .  She tells you what apps she uses, how she uses them, working with textures on the iPhone (which can easily carry over to the computer).  I love using my iPhone for photography because I cannot always carry around a camera.  I also like the fact that I can create beautiful work without having my computer with me.

 

Lock & Key Series 1-3

 

 

NYC Fog

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It was extremely foggy in New York City this past Friday so I decided to go out and capture that great mood fog creates.  All images were taken in Tudor City which is a fabulous neighborhood on the East side between 41st and 43rd streets and Second and First Avenue.  It sits a top of a cliff that 42nd street cuts through to access the UN Building.  All images were taken with my Fuji x100s processed in Capture One and Photoshop with Nik Color Efex and Silver Efex Pro.  I don’t do too much in Nik or Photoshop because the Fuji cameras create awesome images.

This is a shot I often take looking down 42nd Street from the bridge in Tudor City.  It is one of my favorite views of the city.

NYC Fog 2

I came across this bicycle in one of there recesses that overlooks First Avenue and the East River.  It is so foggy you can’t see the river.  I loved how the wheels of the bicycle mimicked the ironwork on the fence.  I processed this one using Nik Analog Efex. Sometimes a girl just has to NYC Fog Bicycle 1

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station Fuji x1002

 

I was rummaging around my library of images and came across these two images I had taken in Grand Central  Station a few months ago.  I love the way the light and shadow plays inside this building and I’m always snapping away when I see it.  I also love capturing the people moving to and fro in this building.  I always wonder how many photographs I’ve been caught in running to and from the train.  Both of these images were taken with the Fuji x100s which just captures black and white like a film camera.  It really brings back the joy I had when I first started photographing way back when!

Grand Central has such wonderful architectural details.  I have always loved the ornate lamps and grills over the ticket booths.  And look at that chandelier over the train departure boards.  Just gorgeous.

Grand Central Station 3Fuji x100s Holmesburg & NYC Street11242

Cityscapes Before the Snow Came

NYC Street 2014 Bernardaud

 

Before I get into my tales of woe with snow, I just want to remind anyone visiting my blog that all my work is copyrighted, all rights are reserved and cannot be used without my permission and that would be written permission.  I do allow people to Pinterest my photos as long as credit is given to me (I love Pinterest and I am always thrilled when someone has pinned one of my images) and people who have Facebook pages have asked to post my work with credit given to me.  My work is available to license  and prints can be purchased via Fine Art America (link is on a tabs or sidebar on the blog). A kind person notified me that someone on Facebook (none of my Facebook friends) had posted one of my images without giving me credit, claimed it as his own and did not even have the correct state it was taken in.  I had to notify Facebook of the copyright infringement.  You are NEVER allowed to take someone’s work, remove a copyright, or if one is not on an image claim it as yours.  Just because someone does not have a copyright notice on their image DOES NOT mean it is up for grabs or in the public domain.  Okay, I’m off the soap box and back to photography!

Two images I had taken in the city back when the weather was warm and there wasn’t a snowstorm in sight.  I am officially fed up with snow.  Another storm tonight and another one coming on Wednesday.  I have 5 foot tall snow piles from having the driveway plowed and I feel like I am driving in a luge every time I enter my driveway.  With that said, I needed to post pictures without snow.  The image above is just one of those Park Avenue images I love to take. It was taken with my wonder Fuji x100s.  The image below was taken during the summer last year with my Pentax and it is at the State Island Ferry Terminal.  I love the gigantic letter “S”.

 

Staten Island Ferry

It’s a Mystery to Me

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I have had the image above in my head for awhile and finally had some time to work on it.  The location is Pilgrim State Asylum in Long Island and the hands holding the candles are mine.  The Asylum was photographed with my Pentax and the hands with my Fuji X-Pro1.  I love spooky and eerie photographs and who knows why I even thought this up.  All I could think is walking down a hall that is lit by candles and then realizing those are real hands.  Textures are by Dirk Wuestenhagen and Shadowhouse Creations.

The image below was taken again with my Pentax at Fort Totten which is a civil war fortress just located over the Throggs Neck Bridge.  It part of the New York City Parks.  The model is me, photographed by my Pentax in my trusty living room. Textures are by Shadowhouse Creations and Brooke Shaden.  I just love idea of wondering what this person is doing in this creepy place.  It goes back to my love of creating an image that makes people wonder, create a story, or feel an emotion.

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A Little iPhoneography

Iphone Rockefeller 2014

When the temperature is in the single digits and teens I generally don’t carry the cameras with me.  It is not that I don’t trust they will function, it is more if I fall on the stupid ice and break them!  So I depend on my iPhone for those spur of the moment shots when I am out walking.  Do not  underestimate the quality you can get with phone cameras or  a point and shoot.  It really comes down to capturing a moment and then be willing to play in post processing.

The image above was taken at Rockefeller Preserve, Pocantico Hills, New York.  This one particular path we are looking down is my favorite.  It meanders through two farm pastures and has this beautiful little stream that runs across it.  The trees are just awesome here.  I added one texture by Dirk Wuestenhagen to add some interest.

The image below was taken the other weekend when we had a quick snow storm come in.  This is Wampus Brook in Armonk, NY and I walk by it whenever I go for walk around town.  I used the same texture by Dirk Wuestenhagen and ran it through Nik Silver Efex Pro to make it black and white.

Wampus Brook 2014 Snow

I don’t just use the iPhone for taking pictures of landscapes.  I shot this sitting at my desk.  It is of my hand and I wanted to composite it within a shot I took of looking down into the East River.  When I combined the two images I thought it was boring so I added some textures from Distressed Textures and came up with something I found a little more interesting.

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Scranton Lace in B&W

Scranton Lace Doors 2014

 

I was going through some of my images from Scranton Lace in Scranton, Pennsylvania.  It is probably my favorite building I have photographed  with the Abandoned America Group.   It is a massive 600,000 square foot building full of great architectural details and objects from when it was the top lace producer in the world.   I decided to work with these images in black & white versus color.  They were all taken with my wonderful Fuji X-Pro 1 and what I love about the Fuji camera is the ability to see through the viewfinder in black & white.  It is really easy for me to compose when I am looking at a black & white image.  I can really see the light and shadows which I am always working with when I photograph an abandoned building.  The image above is looking from one vast factory room to another.  I loved the doors and the play of light that was going on in the room beyond.

The image below is a shot of the pattern room.  These are patterns that were used to make lace tablecloths.  They remind me of giant punch cards.  Again, I like the shadows and light in this room.

Scranton Template

 

The room below was a room I found off a very dark hallway.  I absolutely love photographing in this building because just when you think you have seen the entire building you stumble across a gem like this.

 

 

 

Scranton Lace Carts 2014

I’ve been told that these wonderful racks are no longer standing.  Scranton Lace is in the middle of being refurbished so I am glad I was able to capture this. You can see just how long this room is.

If you are interested on going on any of the workshops from Abandoned America, just click here for events that are starting up again in March.

Scranton Lace Racks 2014

 

 

 

 

 

Moody Landscapes

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I was in the mood to work on landscapes this week.  The one above was shot at Tod’s Point in Old Greenwich, Connecticut.  Tod’s Point is one of my favorite places to walk and it is open to the public from November to March.  Textures used are by Distressed Textures and I worked in Photoshop CC and Nik Color Efex 4.  I was trying to get that old mystery movies feel to it. This image was taken with my Fuji X-Pro 1

The image below was photographed in Rockefeller State Preserve, another one of my favorite places to walk.  It is looking down one of the farm roads by Blue Hill Stone Barns in Potantico Hills, New York.  It was one of those days were it looked like it was going to rain any minute so I  composited in  a photograph of storm clouds I shot and used textures by Dirk Wuestenhagen and Distressed Textures.  Again, I wanted that very moody atmosphere where you feel you are on the brink of a storm.  This image was taken with my Fuji X100s.

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Two Ladies

Beneath the Ice

Well, I was home again from work because of the snow storm so out comes the camera.  I have been wanting to do an image based on “Ophelia” by John Everett Millais so I knew I would have to shoot an image of myself lying on the floor with camera above on the tripod.  I shot with my Fuji X-Pro1 with the 14mm lens.  I used a ten second timer so I could focus, run like hell, throw myself on the floor and pose fast.   I then created a composite using this image and an image I took at Rockefeller Preserve on New Years Day of  looking down through the ice on Swan Lake. Textures are by Brooke Shaden and the blue iciness was achieved by using the Color Lookup adjustment in Photoshop.  I ran the image through Nik Color Efex 4 and then back to photoshop for some final adjustments.  The image is titled “Beneath the Ice”.

The image below is one I had taken earlier in the year at my house and again I wanted to create a composite with a cloud image this one is by http://reznor70-stock.deviantart.com/art/Night-Sky-17860740  (on the original post I had thought it was one of my moon shots but I just double checked and it is not one of mine bust Reznor70 at Deviant Art).  It is titled “From the Clouds” and I was really just trying to evoke a very painterly, soft but dramatic image. Almost harking towards an angel symbolism.  I worked with the image in Nik Color Efex Pro as well as Lightroom 5 using Trey Ratcliff’s Presets.

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Huber Coal Breaker

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Before I get into the Huber Coal Breaker I am in another exhibit with the Red Circle Photoarts Group called “Transform the Norm” at Ossining Library Gallery, Ossining, New York from January 5 – 30, 2014.  Opening reception is January 5th from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Transform Post Card

Back in October I traveled out to Ashley, Pennsylvania with two of my abandoned photography friends to photograph the Huber Coal Breaker.   The Huber Coal Breaker was built in 1939 and closed in 1976.  It is the last of the anthracite coal cleaning and processing plants.  Unfortunately it was sold this past August for scrap metal and is in the process of being dismantled.  I wanted to get out there and photograph it before it was gone.  I will be posting more images of this coal breaker in future posts.

The image above is the main coal breaking building and stands 7 stories high.  I ventured to climb as far as the fourth floor, which is quite intimidating because the stairways are old and rusted, the floors have large holes and the windows are all broken out.  If you have a fear of heights, which I do, it is pretty scary as you can see by the image below.  Photographed on the 4th floor of the main coal breaker you can see a hole in the floor which you could easily catch your foot in and the open space where a window use to be.  You have to watch where you are at all times so you don’t do a 4 story tumble. All images, except this one was photographed with my Fuji X-Pro 1.  This one was photographed with my Pentax K-5 which I used as my hand held camera.

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The image below is looking up the main conveyer belt that runs from a small outbuilding to the seventh floor of the main building.

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The image below is of a staircase within the power plant that provided the electrical power to run all the machinery.

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I wish you all a very Happy & Healthy New Year!

Underwater

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First I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, a Season of Joy and a very Happy & Healthy New Year!

This past Tuesday we had a snowstorm that really was not as bad as it could be but it was bitter cold and the roads were not good to travel on, so I stayed home from work.  I hate driving in the snow and ice and I rather miss a day’s pay then land up hurting myself or someone else.  I have a 7 mile drive to the train station and then once I am in NYC it can take me anywhere from 2 to 3 hours to get home depending on how bad the weather is.  So after a few hours being home I got a little antsy and started to think, what if I took a picture of myself with my iPad, then placed the iPad with the picture of me behind a glass fish bowl filled with water and then pour milk in the water to make it cloudy and photograph through this with my Fuji x100s?  The above image is what you get (I have a long wig on because I am never taking a picture of me as is, but as a character.  As I told my sister, I am not photogenic but all I want is a model ready willing and able and most of the time I am the only one around!).  I softened the image up in Nik Color Efex Pro and Nik Analog, then dropped a texture by Brooke Shaden on it as well as a photograph I took out of a rain soaked window at Columbia University Medical Center last March.  I added a color filter in Photoshop CC called Underwater and the effect is asleep underwater.    I love experimenting with photography!

The image below is taken again with my iPad, placed behind a tall fluted glass vase filled with water and again shot through the vase with my Fuji x100s.  The backlight quality of the iPad makes it easy to get great light shooting with the Fuji.  I also added a shot of a fast running stream at Rockefeller Preserve to give the face an underwater quality again.   I used three different textures from Distressedtexures to finish it off.  I was striving for an moody, eerie other world feel to them.

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Textures for Mood

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Distressedtextures had a great Black Friday sale, 50% off all her textures.  I really love working with textures because it is a great way to turn a mundane shot into something with more mood and emotion.  The image above was taken with my IPhone 5s on one of many lunch time walks.  I photographed it from the foot bridge over the FDR Drive in Beekman Place.  I never noticed the abandoned Small Pox Hospital on Roosevelt Island from this vantage point.  I wanted to create a moody, cold, dark image with the birds (photoshop bird brush that came with one of the texture packs).  All textures by Distressedtextures.

The image below was actually taken during the minor snow storm we had on Tuesday and I photographed the trees from the entrance road from the White Plains train station parking lot to the Bronx River Parkway.  I get bored with pictures of landscapes with snow falling so I used a lot of filters in Color Efex Pro along with the Distressedtextures because I really wanted to convey a vague, whispy feel to the image. Almost as if you are seeing ghost trees.  Again, me being the Queen of Darkness, it’s dark and moody.  Below that is the original image so you can see how far I came from the original.  This was photographed with my wonderful Fuji X100s.

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City Scenes with the Nik Analog Efex Pro

Rockefeller 4 sm

 

I was walking through Rockefeller Center a couple of weeks ago (pre tree lighting) and took some shots with this gorgeous late afternoon sun creating long dark shadows.  I also discovered that Nik came out with Analog Efex Pro which I somehow missed the announcement.  I just came across it when I was accessing my usual Color Efex Pro.  I really loved the look of the old slide film border.  Just seemed to fit the mood I was trying to create.  Check out his shadow in the glass revolving door.  Both images were taken with my Fuji x100s which is the best street camera out there.  Super sharp, quiet as a mouse and no one pays any attention to you since it is so small.

The image below was also shot in the area of Rockefeller Center with the Fuji x100s.  I have this thing about Psychic signs.  I ran this through Nik Silver Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro and the Analog Efex Pro.  The filter in the Analog Efex Pro was Toy Camera 7.  I love the way the sign is emphasized which is what I wanted but it just added a really fun dimension to it.  I’m all into experimenting with the pixels.  I feel that the Nik Analog Efex Pro just works so well with my Fuji cameras.  Both bring me right back to my black and white film days.

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Playing with Trucks

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I took a few days off so I could spend some time working on my images.  I went back and choose two images from the shoot at the abandoned quarry in Pennsylvania.  The image above I cropped in very tight and then extracted it and composited it in a background from Rockefeller Preserve.  I just wanted a more open sky to make it dramatic.  Textures are by Shadowhouse Creations and Dirk Wuestenhagen.

This is another image of an abandoned truck from the quarry.  This one I kept within the quarry background   because I don’t have the patience to deal with those vines!  So I cropped in tight and darkened the sides to add emphasis.  Think Stephen King.   Again textures by Shadowhouse Creations and Dirk Wuestenhagen.

Abandoned Car 2-Edit-Edit

 

Levitation

Levitation 1 sm

I am a little late posting this week because I am trying to get three new prints ready for the next gallery exhibit on December 6th. This is one of my new images called Levitation 1 and the setting is the Scranton Lace Factory in  Scranton, PA.  I’m the model and again photographed this in my living room and then composited it into the Scranton Lace setting.  I actually photographed the books in my backyard this summer when I was working on another composite.  This was processed through the normal Capture One and Photoshop and then I brought it into Lightroom 5 to add a couple of presets which I then merged and blended again in Photoshop.  Nik Color Efex  Glamour Glow and Pro Contrast was used to soften it.  I used textures from Shadowhouse Creations and from Brooke Shaden.  The background is photographed with my Fuji X-Pro1 and I am photographed with my Pentax K5.

Below is the information on the upcoming show at the Riverfront Gallery located in the new Yonkers Public Library.   Opening night is December 6th from 6pm to 8pm and everyone is welcome to come.  If you are driving, you need to enter into the GPS the intersection of Buena Vista & Dock Street since 1 Larkin Place does not show up.  The gallery is conveniently located across the street from the Yonkers Metro North Station so if you live in the city it is very convenient to get to.Riverfront Post Card

Pershing Square at Night

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The sun is setting way to early here in New York.  I decided to take a quick walk around the block at about 5:00 pm to stretch my back out.  I have not shot with my Fuji x100s at night so I thought it would be fun to try to take a few shots while I walked around.  The images were shot right out of the front doors of Grand Central on 42nd Street.  Pershing Square is right smack in front of you and this great little restaurant was lit up so nicely.  I shot with the Fuji in square format and in black and white mode.  These images are from the Raw files and I converted them to black and white in either Photoshop or Capture One.  I stayed as true to the jpeg composition and contrast.  I could have used the jpegs right from camera, but I do like to play with the pixels!  I used pro contrast in Nik Color Efex Pro and added a high pass filter in photoshop.  Outside of that nothing else was done to the images.   All the images are hand held and all at ISO 1600 except for the one immediately below which I shot at ISO 1000.  I did not use any noise reduction software on them.  They did not need it.  I was really blown away with how sharp and clear the images were for hand holding in the dark.  That little camera just amazes me every time I use it.

 

Pershing Square 1sm

 

I loved the building reflection in the restaurant’s windows and that gorgeous steel arch of the Park Avenue Bridge  that goes right over it.

Pershing Square 1 BW sm

 

Children’s Clothing Factory Composites

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Last Saturday I went with a group of photographers through Abandoned America to an abandoned Children’s Clothing Factory in Pennsylvania.  It had some really creepy areas to photograph.  My main camera for shooting at this location was my Fuji X-Pro 1 with the Fujinon 14mm lens. My Pentax K5was my hand held and backup camera. The image above was taken looking from the furnace room into the administrative office area.  I just loved the chalk board and sign.  I added a shot I took of myself in my living room and then duplicated it and added it to the background.  The hair and everything just reminded me of a Banshee, hence the title I have given it. I processed the image in Capture One and then Photomatix 5 combining three exposure of the background.  Photoshop CC was next followed by Nik Color Efex 4, then lightroom for a Trey Ratcliff preset called “Amazing Raisins”.  I played around with the setting to get to the look I wanted (super creepy) and then back into Photoshop CC to work on lighting.

The image below is completely different.  I also photographed this at the Children’s Clothing Factory.  It was a sheet of heavy duty plastic that was hanging from the ceiling and you could see the vine covered windows through it.  I loved the detail and light in it so I brought model me into it again, this time photographed in my bathroom (got to love that skylight light in there).  I beat the heck out of the pixels again by running it through Capture One, Photomatix 5 to combine exposure, Photoshop CC, Nik Color Efex Pro 4, Lightroom Preset Aurora by Trey Ratcliff, monkeyed around with the settings in there and then back into Photoshop CC for some contrast and lighting work.  I just thought it looked cool.

I’m doing less traveling now that the weather is turning colder so I’ll be working on all the images I have taken these past three months.  I will have more from the Children’s Clothing Factory.

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Caught Between Two Worlds

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This is another shot taken at the Brooke Shaden workshop I took a couple of weeks ago.  The model is Marsha Denill.  Camera is my Fuji X-Pro1with the 14mm lens.  Love that camera! Textures are by Dirk Wuestenhagen and Filter Forge.  This was photographed in the attic of White Hill Mansion in Fieldsboro, New Jersey.  The screen door was off to the side and I really wanted to incorporate it into the image.  The door behind Marsha was in the position in the image leaning against the wall.  I had the thought of having her sandwiched between to the two as if she was caught between two worlds.  Earlier in the day the group was talking about Dr. Who and it must of stuck in the back of my head because when I was processing the image  I realized it reminded me of Dr. Who traveling in his blue British Police Box.

I am exhibiting with a group of photographers from  Red Circle PhotoArts  at the Rye Arts Center in Rye, New York from November 2 through November 27.  Below is the announcement with dates and times the exhibit is opened.  There will be an opening reception on Friday, November 8th from 6pm to 8pm.  You are all invited and I would love to see you.

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Last Saturday I had the pleasure of attending a workshop by Brooke Shaden.  Brooke is a fine art photographer and is one of my favorite photographers.  The workshop was held in Fieldsboro, New Jersey at White Hill Mansion.  White Hill Mansion was built in 1722 by Robert Field and is currently owned by the town of Fieldsboro.  In 2012 it was placed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places.  It is a really great spooky and mysterious place to hold photography workshop.  Brooke provided us with four models and three floors of rooms to photograph in.  I loved every minute of the workshop and cannot thank Brooke enough for the opportunity to learn about her process of taking photographs.  She is a very kind, warm and giving artist and I learned a tremendous amount from her.  I plan on taking another workshop with her the next time she is in the Tri-State area.

The photograph above is of model Brittney Lauren and is taken in one of the second floor bathrooms.  I shot exclusively with my Fuji X-Pro1 which never let me down.  I processed the image in Capture One, ran it through Photoshop CC, Lightroom preset called Absolutely Fabulous and Happy Baby by Trey Ratcliff.  I blended the two together.  I then ran it through Color Efex 4 using the Midnight filter to give it a moonlight feel to it.

The image below is of model Kelly Mortensen McGrady and it a technique Brooke personally showed me called levitation.  You balance the model on the chair, have someone flip the dress (in the case, Brooke did the flipping for me) and then you take a picture of the room with the chair and model removed so that you can later remove it Photoshop.  I liked the way she is just about to hit the floor and the fact she is looking at the viewer (something I normally don’t do but loved it in this image).  I then ran this through the same process as above except I used two filters, one by Shadowhouse Creations and one by Flypaper.  The preset is again Happy Baby by  Trey Ratcliff in LR5.  With this one I wanted a dreamlike equality to it.

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Abandoned Slate Quarry

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I went off again with the Abandoned America group to photograph an abandoned Slate Quarry in Pennsylvania.  I am constantly amazed at the number of natural resources in that state.  At this particular quarry they had a number of abandoned trucks that Mother Nature took over and became a part of.  I found I was shooting these trucks the same way I would shoot a portrait.  Each one had a different personality.  Textures used on the truck above is Shadowhouse Creations and on the truck below by Dirk Wuestenhagen.

Slate-Quarry-Pen-Argyle-PA7908_10_12_tonemapped

As the morning wore on the sun came out and I was able to catch this flash of red among the leaves.  I’ll be posting more pictures from the quarry.  Once the holidays come around and the bad weather sets in my weekends on the road will come to halt and I will be able to process the numerous pictures I have taken over the last two months.

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CitraSolv & Photography

Fog in BackyardFuji NYC September 14-19 Raw5933

 

I am late posting this week because I was in Pennsylvania the entire weekend shooting some great abandoned places.  I hope to have something to show from at least one of the areas next week.  I work really long hours during the week as well as having a long commute so I get backed up on everything when I spend the entire weekend shooting.  A sacrifice I’ll gladly make anytime.

I heard about this process of making paper for textured backgrounds through a Creativelive workshop I watched with the wonderful photographer, Jennifer Hudson.  She talked about using an old National Geographic and a natural cleaner/degreaser called CitraSolv to create textures that she uses on her photographs.  I looked it up on the web and there is actually an artist gallery on CitraSolv’s webpage.  What you do is take an old National Geographic (I purchased 164 of them for $32 from a very nice man on Craigslist), you tear out the advertisements and either working outside or inside at a table that is covered (I had an old shower curtain that covered my kitchen table) you pour or brush the Citrasolv on the pages of the National Geographic and the CitraSolv reacts with the ink and paper and creates this:

National Geographic 022National Geographic 8011

I scanned the paper into my computer and I used them on my photographs.  The image above was taken in my backyard on a foggy morning with my Fuji X-Pro1.  I used a Topaz Filter called Clarity, then converted it to B&W in CS6, ran it through Nik Color Efex Pro at least twice for contrast  and tone and then brought in one of the CitraSolv pages  to bring in a little tint of color and mood.  The image also has a cloudy sky that I photographed in traffic up in Mt. Kisco, New York.  My sister Pat was driving and I looked up, whipped out the camera and shot this great moody sky. (Always, always, carry a camera or a camera phone).  I used two textures by Shadowhouse Creations.  I love squeezing everything I can out of those pixels!

This image below was photographed at Angler Park Preserve in Somers, New York.  I again used one of my CitraSolve/National Geographic textures on it.

Angler Fly Tree NG

Another CitraSolv/National Geographic texture below.  I added a texture by  Shadowhouse Creations which has writing on it.  When I had looked at the paper the CitraSolv created I just had this feeling of a Middle Eastern village, Sanskrit and this bowed woman (me by the way).

If you are interested in learning how to create your own paper for texture, art journaling, wrapping paper, anything you can imagine, here is the link to the video by Cathy Taylor that I followed.  You can purchase CitraSolv in Whole Foods, Mrs. Green’s, Amazon or any Natural Food Store.

In the Desert

 

 

 

Holmesburg Prison

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I had the pleasure of photographing the Holmesburg Prison in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania last week.  Matthew Christopher of Abandoned America was able to get a group of 15 us in to the prison to photograph it.  Unlike Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Holmesburg is not open to the public and part of it is still used when there is an overflow of inmates.

I left my Pentax K5 home and trooped in carrying the Fuji XPro-1 and my little Fuji x100s as backup.  I was really pleased with both cameras and found it to be so much lighter to carry.  I used my new 14mm Fuji lens the entire time.  I also shot in a 1:1 aspect ratio which provides this wonderful square format.

The photograph above is looking down the hallway of one of the cell blocks.  You can see that the paint is just peeling away.  I loved the blue light spilling from the skylights in the cells onto the hallway floor.

This is one of the prison cells.  You can see where the tree roots have come through the brick into the cell.

 

 

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The cell below was interesting because someone had left an orange prison jump suit on the bed and I  loved the contrast of the orange against the beautiful green walls.

 

 

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This is a close up of a prison room that actually had a window in it.  I loved the the light spilling in.

 

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Fuji X100S and the Streets of New York City

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I was out and about with my new street camera the Fuji x100s and I love it!  I had my setting to shoot in a square format and in monochrome.  All the shots are from a Jpeg and not raw.  I did process for in  Capature One 7 to tweak exposure, contrast, and a little punch and then played with the contrast a little more in Nik ColorEfex Pro 4 Pro Contrast.  I love this camera for street photography because it is relatively small and very unassuming.  I look like a tourist with it so no one pays attention to you when your shooting with it.  The images are crisp and clear and I expect nothing less from Fuji.

The image above was taken near Aster Place/Cooper Union.

This image is actually the new Cooper Union School Building (as compared to the old school building).  I did not shoot this one in square format (I had not discovered that option at the time I shot this) but cropped it in tight to a square.

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This image was taken in the passageway through the Helmsley building that connects 45th and 46th Street on Park Avenue.  It’s right across the street from  the building I work in.

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This image was taken over on West 8th Street in the West Village.  I was walking to the Lomography store when I looked up and saw this.  And if you don’t know what the Lomography store is they make these wonderful retro, funky, plastic film cameras, that have light leaks, and scratches and produce some incredible images.  They are also known as, “Toy” cameras and I bought a Holga Pin Hole, Holga 120N and a Superheadz 35mm.  I getting into shooting film with these wonderful and unpredictable cameras.  Will post the images once I get time to load the film shoot and process.

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Lansdowne Theater

Lansdown Sign Letters sm

I took a trip out to Lansdowne, Pennsylvania the other weekend with the Abandoned America group.  We photographed the beautiful Spanish Revival styled Lansdowne Theater built in 1927 by theater architect William Harold Lee.  The theater operated up until the 1980’s when a small electrical fire closed it permanently.  It was added to the National Register of Historical Places in 1986 but has remained abandoned up until 2005 when a private non-profit group bought the theater to restore it.  They are presently raising funds to complete the renovation.  I love photographing abandoned places but rejoice when I hear they will be saved.

The image above is the old letters that use to be on the front of theater.  I thought they were really cool looking.

The image below is of the main theater and stage.  The detail of the ceiling and the color is amazing.  The seats have been reupholstered but the front middle section is missing because they are in the being repaired.

Lansdown Stage Right Front final sm

I love the ceiling medallion in the image below.  This is looking from the lobby to the front theater doors.  You can stills see the movie posters in the glass displays.

Lansdown Theater Front Doors Final sm

The projector room with the original projectors.  They are huge!

Lansdowne Projectors sm

Film canisters that were left next to the projection room.

Lansdowne Film Canisters Use sm

This is a detail of the side of a one of the theater seats that is waiting in a storage room to be repaired.

Close up of Theater Chair sm

The marquee letters used to announce what movies were playing at the theater. I found them just laying in a box in the theaters storage room.

Lansdowne lettersFuji Lansdowne sm

Arising

Arising sm

I’ve been working on this piece for a couple of weeks and it is ready to post.  It’s a composite that I had thought about when I was shooting at the Scranton Lace Company.  I wanted a figure shrouded in lace arising from the piles of fabric and lace that I was photographing.  The figure is me and it was actually shot in my bathroom (don’t laugh it’s large and has  a great skylight in there which just pours light down onto anyone standing underneath it).  I just incorporated all the images together to get the feeling I wanted.  I really love working on these pieces and when I shoot in abandon buildings I always have a setting in mind for a composite image.  The figure was photographed with my Pentax K-5 and the background with my Fuji X-Pro1.   Texture is by Brooke Shaden.

I hope everyone has a great week!  I’m enjoying the fall like weather here in New York.

 

 

Scotland Part II B&W

Scotland School Door 2sm

All of the photos on this post were shot with my Fuji Xpro 1 using the monochrome film selection. This allows me to see what I’m photographing in B&W.  It’s really cool!  Believe or not all these are from a jpeg file and not the raw.  I do shoot both in raw and jpeg (the raw is in color even though the setting is on B&W but I again see only my surroundings in B&W when I look through the viewfinder.) The jpeg B&W on the Fuji just brings me back to my film days and I love the results.  I do process all my stuff now in Capture 1 since it is the only raw converter that can process the files from  the Fuji cameras the way Fuji intended them to be.  The result for me is this wonderful black and white.  I do process in Photoshop but not a lot since the camera really can obtain the look I’m after.  Amazing what can be done today.  No textures were used on any of the images.

The image above and below are of the staircases in the very large school building at Scotland School for Veteran’s Children in Scotland, PA.  What caught my eye was this wonderful light that spills through the windows and down the staircases.

 

Scotland School Doors 1sm

The image below is also in the school building and was taken on the stage in the auditorium.  The auditorium is in beautiful condition and my eye caught this lone chair and  wonderful black stage curtains.

Scotland School Theater 1sm

 

This is part of the ceiling in the Administration Building and I loved the graphic elements and the play between light and shadow.  When I shoot with the Fuji camera it’s a whole different experience and  I tend to look at my surroundings in a much more graphic way.

Scotland School  Admin Building 1sm

 

 

This is in the costume room above the auditorium and again I loved the light flowing in from the window hitting this array of costumes hanging nearby. I love how the sheen of the wall comes out when the light hits it.  That old projector is pretty cool too!

Scotland School Costume Room 1sm

 

Scotland School for Veteran’s Children

Don't Go in The Pool sm

As promised, I am posting some of my first images taken at the Scotland School for Veteran’s Children in Scotland, Pennsylvania.  The school was established in 1895 for children of Civil War Veteran’s and was recently closed in 2009.  It was recently purchased by a Seminary and they are doing a wonderful job of renovating the buildings.  Matthew Christopher of Abandon America was able to hold a workshop there before they completely renovate the entire school.  The school grounds are massive and there are roughly 10 buildings on the campus.  It is not an old abandoned school but it has some wonderful architecture.

The image above is one of the pool that was emptied in 2009.  It has a great abandoned look to it and I loved the architecture of the ceiling.  I processed this in Capture ONe, Nik Color Efex Pro, Photoshop and Lightroom 5.  Textures are by Brooke Shaden and Dirk Wuestenhagen. Photographed with my Pentax K5.

Below is the shooting range which is located in the basement of the Theater/Auditorium in the School Building.  It seemed strange to have a shooting range in a school, particularly in this day and age, but it is a school of military personnel so it made sense at some point long ago.  I photographed this with my  Fuji X-Pro 1 with a 35mm F1.4 prime.  I actually shoot in Raw & Jpeg because while shooting I set the Fuji X-Pro 1 to B&W which makes it easier for me to compose a shot and the way the sensors work in this camera really just gives me an awesome B&W film look when processing.

Scotland Shooting Range WIPsm

The image below is the basement of the Administration Building and I used the Pentax on this one.  I loved the light coming in from the doors.  It was really eerie down there.  I do shoot with the two camera’s when I photograph abandon buildings. One I keep on the tripod (Pentax) and the Fuji I hand hold and sometimes mount on the tripod. The image below was bracketed 1 stop up and one stop down for three shots.  I used Nik HDR Pro 2 and then worked some magic in Photoshop and Lightroom.  I use Capture One for all my raw processing because it is the only raw processor that can handle the Fuji sensor and really bring out the detail and sharpness.  I found that it also worked better for my Pentax shots too.  Lightroom’s algorithms just can’t pull the detail from the Fuji cameras but once I have a working tiff file I go back into Lightroom to use my presets.

Scotland Basement 1 ptx-Edit

I loved the windows and doors at the school and how the light streamed in.  I will be showing more of this in my next blog post.  This is shot with the Fuji X-Pro 1. And textures are by Brooke Shaden and Dirk Wuestenhagen.

Scotland School Window 3_HDR sm

This is a shot of the recreation Center and I’ll have some images from inside there in my next blog.  It had this really cool old look to it and I desaturated it in processing for an old look.  I love the way the old windows have that old wavy glass effect.  Processed the same as the above.  No textures used. Fuji X-Pro 1.  If your looking for a lighter camera with incredible detail I have to say go with the Fuji cameras.  The X-pro1 and XE and x100s are all mirrorless cameras with this incredible Fuji sensor.  I just received the Fuji X100s which is a fixed mount 23mm lens and is small but built like a tank.  It has a great range finder feel to it and I’m using it for my Street Photography in the city. I just got it on Friday so I’ll be taking it out this week for its debut on the street.  Will post the pics in a future blog.

Scranton School Recreation Center sm

Rockville Bridge

Rockville Bridge-2-sm

I drove out to Scotland, Pennsylvania this weekend to photograph the Scotland School for Veteran’s Children.  It is a school that was abandoned in 2009 which is rather recent.  The cool part is a Seminary purchased it and they are in the process of renovating it and bringing it back to life.  I love to see these great old buildings put back to use.  I will have pictures from the school next week.  It was a 4 hour trip for me out there and I knew running in and out of multiple buildings and multiple floors with a backpack loaded with camera gear and tripod would wear me out fast.  So I decided to spend the night in Marysville, Pennsylvania at the Bridgeview B&B.  I stayed there twice before on a trip I had taken out to West Virginia and loved it.  It’s very small bed and breakfast, no tv or phone in the room (they do have wifi though), small room, private bath but it is very clean and very relaxing.  It is known to all Railfans and train enthusiast because it sits right on the edge of the Susquehanna River and has the view above of the well known Rockville Bridge; hence, the name Bridgeview.  The Rockville bridge sees all the trains coming and going from the Enola Train Yard.  The Enola Train Yard was built in 1902 and was the worlds largest train yard until 1956.  The Conrail train yard in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is now the largest train yard.  It’s been said that Hitler first plan of attack on the U.S. was  the town of Enola because of the train yard.

This was image was taken at about 7:30 a.m. this morning and the fog and mist was just blowing across the entire area.  I photographed this with my new Fuji XPro-1 with a 35mm prime lens.  It is my new backup camera to my Pentax and I started shooting with both on all abandoned trips.  It is a very lightweight small, mirrorless camera that takes such incredibly sharp pictures it takes my breath away.  It has a rangefinder camera feel to it (think Leica) and I love it because it makes me stop and slow down my thinking so that I take the time to think about my composition more.  It’s a very different feel shooting with this camera and I love it.  Texture is “Vanilla Sky” by Dirk Wuestenhagen.

If you are ever in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area, I highly recommend Bridgeview B&B.  It really is a great place to kick back and relax.

I will have more photos in the next blog.  I’m just really pooped out from all the traveling and need time to get through two camera’s worth of images.

 

 

Scranton Lace II

Scranton and Fae-small

Three more images from the Abandoned America workshop at Scranton Lace Company in Scranton, PA.  The one above was photographed in the turbine room.   I love the doors and the frosted glass.    It is massive.

The image below was taken in the Administration Building.  What really caught my eye was the shape of the pillars on the left and the gold paint chips hanging from the ceiling.  It has the worn out gilded look to it.   I didn’t use any textures on these images, they had enough textures from the decay.  I just liked the colors and light in each one.  The wonderful beauty in decay.

Scranton Lace Gold Hallway Small

Below is one of the many abandoned bathrooms in the company.  The colors in the exposed brick and tile was beautiful.

Scranton Lace Bathroom-sm

Scranton Lace Company

 

 

Scranton Lace Clock smI

I was off again this weekend attending another workshop with Matthew Christopher of Abandoned America.  This time I was in Scranton, Pennsylvania at the former Scranton Lace Company.  The Scranton Lace Company was established in 1890.  It was known for producing Nottingham Lace.  The factory was closed in 2002 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2012.  The building is 660,000 square feet with four levels of floors.  It would take at least a week to see the entire place.  We were very fortunate to have the entire run of the building to photograph it (except where it was marked off as dangerous – holes in floors, unstable flooring, etc.).  If you are into abandoned buildings, this place is awesome.  Matthew is planning on returning here for more workshops so keep checking out his site for future updates.

The image above is the clock tower which I actually climbed up into.  I’m not a big fan of heights but not only did I climb up once, but once I got up there I realized my camera battery was dead.  So down I came, inserted a fresh battery and up I went  again.  It’s amazing where I’ll go and what I’ll do for a shot.  I shot this from one of the rooftops that I stumbled upon in my wanderings. I added textures from Dirk Wuestenhagen and Brooke Shaden (I’m very excited to be taking a workshop with Brooke Shaden in October.  It’s at an abandoned mansion!).  Processed in Capture One, Photoshop CS6, and Nik Color Efex Pro.

The image below is of lace in carts.  It was left in the middle of the former gymnasium floor (they had a gymnasium in this building along with a bowling alley and a cafeteria).  I really loved the way the fabric flowed and the light hitting it.  Processed in Capture One, Photoshop CS6, Nik Color Efex Pro and finished off in Lightroom 5 using Trey Ratcliff’s preset in Aurora and Amazing Raisins.  Texture by Brooke Shaden.

Scranton Lace K5 _IGP6861-2Works in Progress sm

 

The image below was taken up in the attic area.  It is looking towards the rickety staircase I climbed up to explore.  Processed in Capture One, Photoshop CS6, Nik Color Efex Pro and texture by Shadowhouse Creations.

Scranton Lace K5 _IGP7116-2 sm

I will have more photos as I take a look through and process them.

 

 

Abandoned Somewhere in Pennsylvania

Between-the-cars

 

I was off and running last weekend in Pennsylvania photographing an abandoned site.  I have to keep the location secret at the request of the owner of the property.  I had a blast at the site and plan on going back in the fall.

The image above really spoke to me in a graphic sense .  I loved the way the two trains framed the car and the light and shadow of decay.

I just loved the pattern the shattered glass made in the image below.  I actually took the image above and the image below and did a print transfer onto a white cotton t-shirt using Transferiez which is made by Inkaid.  It came out great and I am still working on the best way to preserve it so it will make it through the wash.  The owner of Inkaid actually called me when I asked how to do this and suggested Krylon Crystal Clear.  So I’m going to try that this week.

Glass-Shattered

 

This image was taken outside an old Steel Mill in Pennsylvania that is still being used today.  Again, the graphic quality of it intrigued me.  All the photographs were shot with either my Fuji X-Pro 1 or Fuji x100s.  Raw conversion in Capture One, processed in Photoshop CC and Nik Color Efex.  I worked a lot with the low key filter in both the image below and the first image.

Turnstile

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