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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is a close up of a prison room that actually had a window in it. I loved the the light spilling in.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The projector room with the original projectors. They are huge!
Film canisters that were left next to the projection room.
This is a detail of the side of a one of the theater seats that is waiting in a storage room to be repaired.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Below is one of the many abandoned bathrooms in the company. The colors in the exposed brick and tile was beautiful.
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.
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.
I will have more photos as I take a look through and process them.
I decided to step away from the photographs I shot at Bethlehem Steel and show two composite images I have been working on. I like to explore new avenues in creating an image and I really do enjoy using locations I have shot and inserting a model into it to create a mood and story. The image above was photographed in Rockefeller Preserve this past 4th of July, the model is me (which is really funny because I have really, really, short brownish blonde hair). and was photographed in my living room sitting at my piano. The piano is mine, a beautiful cabaret size 1921 Francis Beacon in the Chinoiserie style. My dad had purchased the piano when I was about 11 or 12 and then sold it a few years later (he was into buying and selling antiques). He sold it to a friend of ours and about five years ago I decided I really wanted that piano back. The cool part is she sold it to the parents of my one of oldest and dearest friends, Debra, who I’ve known since I was 4 years old. As luck would have it, they were selling it, and thanks to several friends it was moved into my home. I have an old pair of ballet pointe shoes which I use to wear (one of several hundred because they don’t last long) when I studied ballet a very long time ago. The butterfly was photographed by me and the jackdaw and birds in the sky are photographed by Frank of Frank1956 on Deviantart. A fantastic source for stock images of birds. Textures are by Dirk Wuestenhagen and Distressedtextures. Processed in Lightroom5, Photoshop CS6 and then imported again into Lightroom 5 using a preset by Trey Ratcliff called “Aurora”.
The image below was taken in an abandoned psych hospital in Long Island, New York. The model is me (now I’m a blonde) and again photographed in my living room. The doll I am holding is a soft sculpture clown designed by me many years ago and recently dug out of the closest! The dress I am wearing is one of the costumes from New York City Opera and was purchased at “Screaming Mimi’s” on Lafayette Street in New York City. A fabulous vintage store. The New York City Opera recently put up for auction some of their old costumes and Screaming Mimi’s purchased a few and put them up for sale. This one is labeled New York City Opera, Character: Closet. I’m assuming this must mean it hung in a closet on stage. The image was processed in LR5 and and photoshop using the “Vanilla Cloud” texture by Dirk Wuestenhagen. I then ran it quick through Nik Color Efex Pro for contrast and softening and then ran it back through Lightroom 5 to use Trey Ratcliff’s preset “Amazing Raisins” which gave it that look I was going for. Fog was added using one of Aaron Nace’s brushes from his tutorial on compositing at Phlearn. I highly recommend the tutorials there.
The Pump House is the old Peoples Water Company Pump House in Phillipsburg, New Jersey. It was one of the four sites we visited during our Bethlehem Steel Mills workshop. I love these large steam boilers because they have that “steam punk” look to them. The spiral staircase really caught my eye. I did use a slight texture in the image above by Kirsten Frank.
Another angle taken of the spiral staircase. When I am shooting in these type of building I look for light and shadows to compose a shot.
The image below is looking across a 30 foot drop in the pump house. There is a collection of old signs that are stored here and I really like the “Terminal” one. The black and white images where processed in Lightroom 5. I found I liked the tonal ranges better there then in Silver Efex Pro.
I traveled out to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania yesterday to participate in a photography workshop at the abandoned Bethlehem Steel Mills with Matthew Christopher of Abandoned America. Check out Matthew’s site for upcoming workshops. I’m traveling out to Scranton, PA in August for another of his workshops at the Scranton Lace Company. The image above was a reenactment of the pouring of molten steel. It was photographed inside the soon to open National Museum of Industrial History which is located inside one of the old Bethlehem Steel Buildings. One other building that belonged to Bethlehem Steel was left to the museum and is used as a warehouse but the remaining property is now the Sands Casino.
The image below was taken inside the museum’s warehouse at the Bethlehem Steel company. I will be posting more pictures from this great workshop in the coming weeks. It was a really long day and very, very hot but I had a great time. We shot from 10:00 am until 10:00 p.m. and visited 4 different locations. I highly recommend Matthew’s workshops and a visit to Bethlehem, PA when the museum opens.
This image was processed in LR5, CS6 and Nike Color Efex Pro. Textures by Dirk Wuestenhagen.
I’m back in the land of scapes this week. The tree above was photographed at Wave Hill in Riverside, New York. When I was looking through my images to pick out something to work on this week this tree popped out at me.. I just loved the branches and the graphic quality to them I added the “Hauntings” series of textures by Shadowhouse Creations and a new grunge texture called “Vanilla Sky” by Dirk Wuestenhagen. Popped the contrast and darkened lightened center in Nik Color Efex Pro 4 added some curves in CS6 and ta da a picture. There is just something about this tree that intrigues me.
The landscape below was taken at one of my favorite parks up here in Westchestechester County, Angler Preserve. I used Topaz Clarity to set the contrast, embellished the sky with color using Dirk Wuestenhagen’s “Hazy Sky” from his grunge set and another great texture by Dirk called gold dust. Distressedtextures “Passage of Time” texture added some great color and mood.
I had posted one of my pictures from last weeks blog on my 500px account and one of the comments mentioned how looking at the photograph it led him to a story. He started to tell me the story my picture evoked but then stopped and commented that it was my story. Well it is not just my story. It is anybody’s story. I love the fact that my image could inspire a story from a someone looking at it and I loved even more that he started to tell me his story. If any of my images bring a story to you, please feel free to tell me your story. I really would love to hear it.
The image above was photographed in Dover Plains and it is an abandoned silo. The photograph was processed through the new Topaz Clarity filters and I love the look. I also added a little oil paint from Photoshop to give it a little texture. I added my birds from the White Plains parking lot to give it a storybook feel to it.
The image below is another from Angler Preserve in Somers, New York. I again used Topaz Clarity along with Filter Forge to give it that gloomy, stormy look it.
I hope everyone had a happy and safe July 4th!