I was off with a group of photographers and the two Matt’s from Abandoned America and After the Final Curtain to the Victory Theater in Holyoke, Massachusetts. The Victory Theater opened in 1920 and is a wonderful example of art deco architecture. The theater is currently owned by the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts who were gracious enough to allow us to photograph it. They are currently raising money to renovate the theater and open it up again as a performing art center, half of our workshop fee went towards this.
The image above was taken in the lower balcony looking towards stage left. You can still see part of the beautiful artwork on the wall. I shot this with my Fuji X-Pro 1 that took a very, very bad fall while on the tripod in the dark projector room. I was helping someone and backed up and knocked into my tripod and I heard the camera hit the cement floor. Once I was able to get into the light the camera had just a little cosmetic scratch but kept on working as if nothing happened. The Fuji X-Pro 1 is a metal body camera and obviously built like a tank! This is my favorite camera so my heart did stop when I heard it hit.
The image is bracketed with 3 exposure stops to capture detail in the light and shadows. I processed it in Capture One and brought it into Photoshop. From there I used luminosity masks to bring out the best in the 3 exposures. I then had fun with some new programs I purchased. Macphun Intensify Pro is an awesome program. It brings out detail and color better than Nik. I then brought it into the new Topaz Impression which has some wonderful artistic filters. I used the chiaroscuro filter and then blended my original image so that it has a very interesting photographic/art feel to it. Love the combination of these two programs in Photoshop.
The image below is of the Ladies Lounge. This room was pretty much in the dark except for the light filtering in from the door. I looove that couch. Very art deco. I used basically the same process as the other image except I went with the pencil filter in Topaz Impression rather than the more painterly one. This really popped the detail that Intensify Pro had pulled out.
I’m a little late posting this week. I’ve been back down in NYC working and running around on the weekend. Time just slipped away…. I am also committing to working with a Wacom Tablet instead of mouse so the learning curve is sloooow which kills me because I am very fast on the computer. I’m told to use it for a week straight and I will be up to mouse speed.
This week is an abandoned house I photographed out in Eastern Pennsylvania. I wanted to portray it at night and for some reason I wanted firefly’s in it. I worked with 3 exposures using luminosity masks, a great texture by Dirk Wuestenhagen and a night sky I created on my own. The firefly’s are a photoshop brush I purchased. I used Topaz Clarity to add some mood and did a lot of dodging and burning. It just has that summer night feel to me. Creepy but still a summer night!
I have been working on the composite piece above for a few months and finally got it to where I wanted it. The setting is Pennhurst State Hospital one of the Abandoned America workshops I had taken earlier in the year. I had seen this wall and thought it would make a great background for one of my composites. The image of me was shot in my bathroom of all places! It has a lot of light and the wonderful skylight in it that gives me the light I am looking for during certain hours of the day. I actually put the gown together myself using fabric I purchased and pinning here and there. I learned to do this watching a Jennifer Hudson workshop on CreativeLive. I worked the image in Photoshop and Color Efex Pro. Textures are by Dirk Wuestenhagen and 2 Lil Owls. Shot with my Fuji X-Pro1.
The composite image below was shot at Scranton Lace Factory and I just kept thinking it would be really eerie if a haunting face was coming through the one of the window panes. The image is one I shot in my library this time (another sky light area) laying on the floor with my Fuji X-Pro 1 on a tripod above me looking down. I worked this image in Photoshop using luminosity masks to bring out the detail and light. Fuji X-Pro 1 was used for both images.
Another image I have been working on since July. I had it looking one way and didn’t like it so I spent last week taking back it to the beginning background and rebuilt it the way I wanted it to look. This is an ongoing process that happens with some composites. Sometime I get it just the way I want it in a few hours, other times it takes me months to get the feel that I really want. The background was photographed at a nearby lake called Byram Lake. Many happy childhood memories riding around the lake looking for quail and fox with my Pop Pop Johnson. The day this was shot a storm was coming in so I had really dramatic clouds. The character is me in my living room and the wings I was able to take from a Jackdaw stock photo I had used before from the great Frank and Cary on Deviant Art. The textures are from Brook Shaden’s India collection and the wonderful Dirk Wuestenhagen. The background was photographed with my Fuji x100s and the character with my Fuji X-Pro 1. The feathers dropping off can be the wings coming on or off. However you want the story to go.
Reminder I have an image in the “Elements” juried show at the Loft Artist Gallery in Stamford, Connecticut starting on September 12th (reception that evening). If you are in the area that evening, please stop by and say hello.
I keep forgetting to put this in my weekly blog! One of my images, “Song of the Siren”, was accepted into the first annual juried exhibition, “Elements”, at the Loft Artist Association in Stamford, CT. If anyone is able to come, the opening reception is Friday, September 12th from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. I would love to see you. The show will run from September 12th to October 19th.
I am having a very nice and lazy labor day. I have been working on this composite image off and on since July and finally got it to where I wanted it. I landed up purchasing a tutorial from Tony Kuyper and Sean Bagshaw on luminosity masks and have been learning and watching most of the weekend. I used Tony’s famous Triply Play on the finished image and then added the web sharpening. I just liked the way it really embedded the image of me right into the wall and becoming a part of the art. I photographed the graffiti wall at Pennhurst when I went with Abandoned America. I started the image off which my usual Photoshop and Nik Color Efex Pro but going forward I will be working more with luminosity masks and exposure blending because you have more control over the image. Both images were shot with my Fuji X-Pro 1.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day!
I decided to head up to Newtown, CT to photograph the buildings of the former Fairfield Hills State Hospital. Fairfield Hills was a psychiatric hospital from 1931 until 1995. In 2005 the town of Newtown, CT purchased it and a few of the buildings have been renovated to house town hall departments and the police station. The town has done a wonderful job keeping the integrity of the architecture when renovating. Many people come to walk around the campus and there is 24/7 security. I always stop and talk to the police on duty to see if I am allowed to photograph, if so, what the rules are (here you cannot get closer than 15 feet to the buildings), assure them I WILL NOT enter the buildings which is illegal and explain that I am a fine art photographer and I just want to take pictures of the exterior. I have always met with very nice police and security people this way and being by myself I feel secure that I have them watching for me. It makes for a very pleasant experience.
The image above is of Norwalk Hall. I shot this with my Polaroid 250 Land Camera which is the old shoot, pull on the tab and yank the film out and wait 15-30 seconds for it to develop. Fuji is the only company that still makes film for this model of Polaroid. I used the FP-3000B black and white film which processes in 15 seconds. I love the streaks that this old camera has on the film.
I noticed that when I pull apart the film I get this really neat looking negative. See below.
I decided to scan the negative with my Epson V750 Pro Scanner to see if I could invert it into a positive in Photoshop and below is the result.
Of course, not leaving well enough alone I had to work on the contrast in Color Efex and Darken/Lighten Center. The result is below and I love the look. The border is cool and original as you can see from above.
I had shot another one but This time I mushed the negative. This is very easy to do because the chemicals are on the backing paper and it is gooey! However, I loved the smeared result. This too was a negative turned positive in Photoshop with a little help from Nik Color Efex Pro. I highly recommend the Polaroid cameras. For the land cameras you can buy the Fuji Film via Amazon. You can get film for all the other Polaroid models at the “Impossible Project“. They have stores in different areas and you can order film via the web from them too. If you are ever in the SOHO area of NYC, they have a store on the 5th floor of 525 Broadway. They also sell refurbished Polaroid cameras and can repair them. There is also a great documentary on the last year of Polaroid Film and the Impossible Project on Netflix called “Time Zero“.
I was inspired by a painting by Klimt called “Philosophie“. It was one of three paintings Klimt was commissioned to paint on the ceiling of the Great Hall at the University of Vienna. They paintings were never displayed at the University because they came under attack for “perverted excess”. They were stored at Schloss Immendorf, a castle in Vienna and were destroyed in 1945 when retreating German SS forces set fire to the castle. All that is left are preparatory sketches and a few photographs of the work. I don’t think my “Tropical Fish” can be deemed “perverted excess;” however, I wanted that dreamy quality that appears in the photographs of his work. This was photographed with my Fuji X-Pro 1, processed in Photoshop CC, Nik Color Efex Pro and textures by 2 Lil Owls.
The image below is a departure from the black and white image above because I really loved this one in color. All photos were taken at the wonderful Maritime Aquarimine in Norwalk, CT. This is of the shark tank and I liked the dark mood of the shark in the background juxtaposed with the lighter fish in front. This image was captured with my iPhone 5s and processed in Photoshop CC and Nik Color Efex Pro. Textures are by 2 Lil Owls.
I just got around to working on images yesterday. My mother passed away last Tuesday at the age of 88 after a very long illness and I did not have time or the heart to work on images. Yesterday afternoon I was inspired to work on them again.
Both of these images were photographed in Pennsylvania at an undisclosed location. I loved the way the light filtered through shattered glass into these abandoned buses. Both images I processed through Photomatix 5. I usually combine my images in Photoshop but for some reason these two images had me heading for a tonal map that held a realistic feel but brought out the light and shadows. I loved the peeling paint on the ceiling of the bus above as well as the vibrant seat colors. I worked both images in Photoshop dodging and burning as well as in Nik Color Efex Pro. Both were photographed with my Fuji X-Pro 1.
The image below I loved the lights hanging from the torn ceiling, the spider web catching the sun and the lone piece of triangular glass on the seat. It is the little details that I love finding when working around decay buildings and objects.
I photographed and partially processed this shot with my iPhone 5s. I then brought into Photoshop CC to work on it a little more. I wanted it to have this slight dreamy feel to it so I softened the focus up a little bit. I just love the decaying trolley’s juxataposed with the beauty of the field of wild flowers. It’s that contrast that I am always looking for and enjoy photographing.
The image below was photographed with my Fuji X-Pro1 processed in Capture One and the Photoshop CC. From there I transferred over to my iPad so I could get a really nice painterly feel to it using a great app called iColorama. I then saved it as a PNG brought back into Photoshop. From there I added a great texture by Distressed Textures and and the Nik Color Efex. The birds are photoshop brush also by Distressed Textures. If you take anything away from this post, it should be don’t be afraid of moving an image between computers, phones and tablets to get the look you want.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The image below is looking up the main conveyer belt that runs from a small outbuilding to the seventh floor of the main building.
The image below is of a staircase within the power plant that provided the electrical power to run all the machinery.
I wish you all a very Happy & Healthy New Year!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Two more from the Victory Theater in Holyoke, Massachusetts. The top one is interesting because it was pitch black in there, I didn’t even know there was yellow tile until I processed the images. Amazing what the camera can pull in the pitch dark that I cannot see. I combined three exposures in photoshop using luminosity masks and then brought that into Macphun Intensify for clarity and color. I then brought it into Topaz impressions and put a pastel filter on it and then brought back into Macphun Intensify to paint back in some of the detail in the sink. I think I am going to put book together on abandoned bathrooms because I have pictures of bathrooms from almost every place I have gone to. I think they show the degree of decay better than anything else.
The image below I actually posted up on Facebook on Abandoned America’s workshop site. Same process as above. I loved the detail of the red, white and blue tile on the ticket booth and the fading blue paint on the ceiling. I was lucky to capture this because the front door was slightly open and let in just enough light to see the details you can see that sliver of light on the tile floor. The image below was taken after my Fuji X-Pro 1 took a tumble. Just kept on working!
I have a show coming up with Red Circle Photo Arts at the Riverfront Gallery located in the Yonkers Library in Yonkers, NY. The reception is November 12th from 6pm to 8pm and on November 20th from 6pm to 8pm we are having a “Meet the Artist” reception. If you are around during either of those dates, please stop in and say hello. I’m pretty excited because I’m printing two of my pieces “Girl on the Tracks” and “The Storm” on Aluminum which should be really interesting.
I had a surreal moment when working on this image. The building is part of the Fairfield Hills State Hospital which is now owned by the town of Newtown, Connecticut. The town is renovating the buildings and is actually using the buildings for town offices.
The image is composed of three different exposures and I used luminosity masks to bring out the light and details. I used Nik Color Efex Pro and Topaz Detail to really make it pop in detail. As with all most of my images this was shot with my Fuji X-Pro 1 on a tripod. The sky is the actual sky that day. There was as storm coming in so it is very dramatic.