Something is Brewing

 

Women-at-TransAllegheny-square-add

“Something is Brewing” ©2017 Karen Johnson All Rights Reserved

I photographed the room at the Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in West Virginia.  The two ladies are a vintage photograph from the Metropolitan Museum of Art Open Access program.  This image took a ton of layers and even more hours.  First time I worked with more than one person in a vintage image and it was very detailed color work.  Worth the time and effort because I love these two ladies.  They were just so darn interesting.

I wanted to create mood, mystery, and a little magic. I always read articles that your image has to tell a story.  Well, sometimes the image, or at least my images, makes the viewer construct the story.  Just by answering five questions you have a story: Who? What? When? Where? How?

 

My Little Pony

 

Hipstamatic-Pony-on-Bus

@2017 Karen Johnson All Rights Reserved

I photographed this at the airplane graveyard.  I got the biggest kick seeing that little pony sitting on top of this big rusted yellow school bus.  I photographed this with my Iphone 6S Plus using my hipstamatic app.

 

I Watch You Through The Wiindow

 

The-Downtown-Train

©2017 Karen Johnson All Rights Reserved

I photographed the trolleys at a trolley graveyard I visited on an Abandoned America workshop. I loved the way the shattered glass looked and I photographed through the glass to another trolley sitting next to it.  The vintage image is one from the Public Domain.

 

Can I Buy You a Magic Bus?

 

Can I Buy You a Magic Bus

©2017 Karen Johnson All Rights Reserved

“Can I Buy You a Magic Bus”? lyrics from “Magic Bus” by the Who.

I photographed this at the airplane graveyard last Sunday when I was out photographing at a workshop led by my friend Rich Lewis.  Great group of photographers.  I noticed this school bus surrounded by all this junk and with the sun just touching in spots.  It had a painterly collage feel to me.

 

 

1st Place Open Category!

 

I Dream of the Pale Horse

“I Dream of the Pale Horse” ©2016 Karen Johnson All Rights Reserved

 

I just found out that I was awarded 1st Place in the Open category, PHOTOcentric 2017, for my image, “I Dream of a Pale Horse.”  This is an annual international juried photography exhibition that Garrison Art Center has every year.   Below is a little blurb on the exhibition and the juror, Francis M. Naumann.

PHOTOcentric 2017 December 9, 2017 through January 7, 2018.

For seven years the PHOTOcentric Annual  International Juried Photography Exhibition has clearly established itself as an exhibition of outstanding fine art photography. Artists from across the United States and from across the globe have submitted their work. Past jurors include Malcolm Daniel, Alice Rose George, Harvey Stein, Stephen Shore, Larry Fink, Stephen Perloff, Elizabeth Opalenik, Robert Mann, Cig Harvey, Robin Rice, in 2014 Marvin Heiferman  and in 2015 Julie Saul.

We are proud to announce that the 2017 juror will be Francis M. Naumann. Francis M. Naumann is an independent scholar, curator and gallery owner, specializing in the art of the Dada and Surrealist periods, including the noted photographers Man Ray and Naomi Savage. He is author of numerous articles, exhibition catalogues and books. Mr. Naumann has organized museum shows for the Whitney Museum of American Art and the American Craft Museum in New York. He currently owns and operates his own gallery, Francis M. Naumann Fine Art, in New York City.   In 2008 he opened his current gallery space with a photography exhibition titled Teacher-Student / Student-Teacher: Man Ray, Berenice Abbott and Naomi Savage which showcased the similarities that exist in the works of the three remarkable photographers.

 

Ghost train

 

Crazy-Train

©2017 Karen Johnson All Rights Reserved

I traveled a few years ago with Abandoned America to a trolley graveyard in Pennsylvania.  What I loved about this place was the colors of the rusting train and trolley cars.  The man is one of my vintage images that I colorized and retouched.

 

Appassionato

Appassionato

©2017 Karen Johnson All Rights Reserved

Appasionato is an Italian term used in music which is defined as telling the musician to perform with a great amount of emotion.

I photographed this at the end of a hallway at the Eastern State Penitentiary.  The grand piano was photographed at the JW Cooper School in Pennsylvania.  The vintage image is a composite of two images from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  The doves are from Madetobeunique on DeviantArt.

A Silent Footstep on the Stairs

 

Staircase as Trans Allegheny

©2017 Karen Johnson All Rights Reserved

I photographed this staircase at the Trans Allegheny Insane Asylum in West Virginia.  I love the way the light was coming through a broken window onto the wall.  The beautiful colors of the peeling paint. This part of the asylum was a dormitory for women and is in a very decayed state.  It is the only building that is and I loved the look of it.

 

Darkness, Darkness

Skleton-Chair-8x8-cropped

@2017 Karen Johnson All Rights Reserved

Darkness, Darkness written by Jesse Colin Young and intro by Charlie Daniels. Recorded by the Youngbloods in 1969. I always loved this song growing up and it went through my head when I was creating this image. 
 
Photographed at Scranton Lace and the back hall photographed at Pennhurst State Asylum.  I wanted it to be a very long hall.  The end of the hallway leads to a night forest. A composite I had created awhile back. I photographed the forest at Rockefeller Preserve. The clouds I photographed in Santa Fe.  Best clouds are there.  The vintage woman is one of my flea market finds.

Born of Gold & Silver Spikes

The Great Big Rollin Railroad

©2017 Karen Johnson All Rights Reserved

“Born of Gold and Silver Spikes” lyrics from the “Great Big Rollin Railroad” song.  Created by Bill Fries for the Union Pacific Advertising Campaign.

Photographed outside the window of the Lakeshore Limited heading to New York from Chicago.  I photographed this with my IPhone using my Hipstamatic app.

Leave No Black Plume

Ode-to-Tim-Burton-8x10

“Leave No Black Plume” ©2017 Karen Johnson All Rights Reserved

I wanted a ominous feel to this without going too dark. Background was photographed at Waveny Park in New Canaan, Connecticut.  Jackdaws are from FrankandCary at DeviantArt since I can’t capture birds as wells Frank can! Vintage girl is one of my oldies but goodies.

“Leave No Black Plume” from The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe.

I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud

Harkness-Park-Landscape*”I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” by William Wordsworth

The background was photographed at Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford, Connecticut.  The pug and lavender are from an old vintage card that I found on Graphics Fairy.  The clouds and sky I photographed in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  The best place to photograph clouds.  The frame is an actual vintage frame from an old daguerreotype.

 

 

View From A Train

 

Lamy-NM-From-Train

@2017 Karen Johnson All Rights Reserved

Photographed with my Fuji X-70 from my roomette window on the Amtrak Southwest Chief.  This is just leaving LAMY, NV where I boarded.  The sky and the red clay of the earth are just so unreal. I love the traveling on the train because you don’t get these views from a car.  New Mexico is just incredibly beautiful.   The Wild West.

 

 

The Queen’s Armada

THe-queen-and-her-ship-flattened

I haven’t posted in two weeks because I have been in a workshop, “The Creative Digital Collage” at the Santa Fe Workshops, Santa Fe, New Mexico.  My instructor was the wonderful Maggie Taylor whose work has been an inspiration to me and if I had just a pinch of her talent I would be a happy artist!  Maggie’s work is in museums and galleries around the world.  Her work was used for the opening title for the television show “Ghost Whisper” which you can see here.

The piece above is one I started in Maggie’s class and finished at home.  I learned so much from this class and will be always be grateful for Maggie’s generosity with her time and her sharing of her creative process.  It was such a great opportunity to learn from the master.

I used numerous elements to create this piece.  Water is from a local water reservoir where I live, the background is part of dutch masterpiece from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Open Access site, the queen’s body is from the National Gallery of Art Open Access site and the head is from a vintage photo, jackdaw from Frank and Cary on Deviant Art.

In Places Deep, Where Dark Things Sleep

In Places Deep, Where Dark Things Sleep

@2017 Karen Johnson All Rights Reserved

“In places deep, where dark things sleep”, The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien

When I originally photographed the abandoned cars at the airplane graveyard, I had this image of a child standing on the back seat looking out the window.  I’ve watched way too many detective shows!  The building is the Fairfield Hills State Hospital in Newtown, Connecticut which is now known as the Fairfield Hills Campus.  The same place I photographed that creepy scarecrow! I added the road in front from another area I photographed at Fairfield Hills. The child is a vintage photo I purchased and the man driving the car came from the Public Domain website.

Victor E. Jardin

Victor-E.Jardin

Happy Fathers Day!

I photographed this at Fairfield Hills Asylum in Newtown, CT.  They have this wonderful Victory Garden that community volunteers work on.  I was pretty far away when I spotted this strange thing in the garden.  When I got closer I found their scarecrow, Victor E. Jardin!  It has to be one of the creepiest scarecrows I have ever seen.  Fits right in with the place!

I photographed the “scarecrow” with my IPhone using the Hipstamatic app.

Let Light Shine Out of Darkness*

NYC-Museum-Ceiling-Lights

“Let Light Shine Out of Darkness” ©2017 Karen Johnson All Rights Reserved

*2 Corinthians 4:6

I photographed this at the Museum of the City of New York. I was standing on the staircase in the main entrance and looking up and out to the second floor through the Cooper Joseph’s Starlight installation.  I purposely over exposed it on my Iphone using the Blackie App to get the sharp contrast and an abstract graphic feel from the pin pricks of light.

So Came A Chariot on a Silent Storm

Abandoned-Car-Flattened-1_edited-1

“So Came A Chariot On A Silent Storm”, ©2017 Karen Johnson All Rights Reserved

“So came a chariot on a silent storm” is a line from The Triumph of Life by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

I love working with composites and this one took me a little time to put together.  It is made up of a several different photographs I took.  The abandoned car is from the Airplane Graveyard, the field of grass and the house in the back (the entire landscape was photographed in Gettysburg.  I was standing on Hancock road and it is the Codori Farm that you see in the background. The sky was photographed at Byram Lake in Mount Kisco, New York and the vintage photo of the man is a mug shot from the Public Domain Archive.

I had the car in woods originally but it just wasn’t working out the way I wanted it to.  I started looking for landscapes to place it in and the Gettysburg images I had taken worked the best.

Life Flies By

Life-Flies-By

I was on a trip to New York City a few weeks ago and photographed out the bus window the passing scenery with my iPhone using a great camera app called Slow Shutter.  I kept looking for something with color and this red sign caught my eye.

Please take a moment this Memorial Day weekend to remember and honor all those who sacrificed their lives for our county.

 

Their Decay is the Green Life of Change

Car-Pancake-1_edited-1

©2017 Karen Johnson All Rights Reservied

All Nature Has A Feeling by John Clare

All nature has a feeling: woods, fields, brooks
Are life eternal: and in silence they
Speak happiness beyond the reach of books;
There’s nothing mortal in them; their decay
Is the green life of change; to pass away
And come again in blooms revivified.
Its birth was heaven, eternal it its stay,
And with the sun and moon shall still abide
Beneath their day and night and heaven wide.

One of my images from the airplane graveyard.  Love this old car sitting on top of a van.  People always ask me what it is about abandoned places that I love and one is the way nature starts to take over where we left a bruise upon it.  The power of nature is amazing.

Lady Liberty

Watermarked(2017-04-19-2010)

I really enjoy using my IPhone to capture images.  It’s always on me and I love playing with apps to come up with some new and interesting images.  I don’t have to sit at a computer to create something which is very freeing. This is one of the images I had taken from the Ellis Island Ferry with my IPhone 6S.  I used a great app called Circular as well as a few others.  Added texture from an app called Mextures.

 

 

Peeking Out

Peeping-Out-Between-Bldgs_edited-1

©2017 Karen Johnson All Rights Reserved

I love walking around New York City and I have a special place in my heart for SOHO.  I love the architecture, the cobblestone streets, the little cafe’s hidden down narrow streets. My eyes are constantly moving, catching glimpses of things.  I looked up and between two dark buildings I saw this beautiful building with a lions head gracing its roof.  That juxtaposition of light and dark always whispers to me to capture it in my little camera.

 

The Idea Came Like A Bolt of Lightning

Morgue-Room-Ellis-With-Gauge-Room-Finished

©2017 Karen Johnson All Rights Reserved

I was at Ellis Island a few weeks ago on a hard hat tour of the hospital.  The room above is off the morgue room.  The room just conjured up the word science in my head so I added a panel of gears on the left that I had photographed at the Carey Furnace in Pittsburgh, PA with one of the Abandoned America workshops.  The man is a vintage image from the Sum of All Crafts.   I wanted the image to have a painterly feel to it which I sometimes like to do. The lightning bolt is a symbol of an idea striking in one’s mind.  In this case I wanted it to be a scientist.

 

One Belongs to New York Instantly*

NYC on Speed

©2017 Karen Johnson

*Tom Wolfe

I was down in Manhattan last Saturday and decided to play around with the Hipstamatic app on my iPhone. I tried using Hipstamatic when it first came out but had a really hard time seeing what I photographed through their little camera backs that were part of the app.  Very cool but not functional for me.  They came out with a Pro Mode version which displays a much larger view of what you are photographing plus the ability to play with the filters after you have taken the shot.  Hipstamatic allows you to choose the film, the camera lens and the Flash/Gel.  This gives me a lot more creative freedom.  The image above was originally photographed using Ruddy + Otto + Red Eye Gel.  I changed it to Aristotle Film + Pinhole lens. I photographed this from Grand Street looking down to Canal Street.  I feel the blurriness captures the energy I feel when I’m photographing this wonderful city.

To learn more on how to use the Hipstamtlc app and just great Iphonography inspiration and help I found Hipstography, Mobiography, and TheAppWhisperer to be the best.

Take your iPhone and any camera you have and just go out and have fun photographing the world around you.  According to this article, it’s great for your mental health!

The Whispering Silence of Snow

Lyda and the Swans Cropped 3 2 Ratio

Happy Easter!  You would think I would post flowers and spring like images but I decided to post a snow scene that I photographed only a few weeks ago.  It makes me appreciate this spring day even more!  The beautiful forest and pond were photographed in Armonk, New York on the corner of Byram Lake and Oregon Road.  I thought it looked so magical.  The woman is one of the vintage images I purchased.  The swans which you can barely see in the background were photographed at Croton Reservoir.

I am very excited to have three of my images for sale through Ai Bo Gallery.  You can purchase them through Ai Bo Gallery on Artsy, 1stDibs or Artnet.  They are matted but not framed.  The images measure 15.5″H x 15.5″W and with matting will be 24″H x 24″W.

Sunset in the Cranberry Bog

©2017 Karen Johnson All Rights Reserved

I am posting late this week because I had such a wonderful day of shooting with four other photographers in the New Jersey Pine Barrens at workshop held by Rich Lewis. Rich offers two times for his workshop from 6 am to Noon so you can photograph the sunrise over the Pine Barrens or from 2pm to 8pm capturing the sunset.  I took the later workshop.  I have never been to the Pine Barrens which are located in the southern portion of New Jersey.  The Pine Barrens encompasses approximately 1 million acres of marshes, meadows, old cranberry bogs and pine forest.  It is breathtaking and you really need to be with someone who knows this area inside and out.  Rich Lewis does.  You can click here to find out more about Rich’s workshops.  I highly recommend his workshops.

The image above was photographed using my IPhone 6 plus and developed on my IPad Pro.  I used Affinity on my Mac to make a few changes to the image.  This was taken at sunset at an old cranberry bog .

I Still Love You, New York*

View from the Ferry of Lower Manhattan

©2017 Karen Johnson All Rights Reserved

I photographed Battery Park in New York City with my new little trusty Sony RX100 V from the Miss Ellis Island Ferry last Sunday.  Beautiful Spring day.  The Sony RX100 V is my new little carry around camera.  It fits unobtrusively in my pocketbook as well as in my coat pocket.  I bought it because I found I wasn’t carrying a camera with me anymore because of the size. Plus a lot of places I visit will not allow me to use a tripod so I like this little guy for those times.  I love my Fuji’s and will always be a Fuji girl but sometimes you just want something bigger than the iPhone but smaller than then my x100S.  The image above is straight out of the camera.  I shoot booth Jpeg and Raw with it but this image came out so well in Jpeg  I just didn’t feel the need to do anything to it.

*Ryan  Adams, New York, New York

 

 

 

The Clue in the Old FactoryI

Scranton Lace with Burgundy Lady Final 8x10

©2017 Karen Johnson All Rights Reserved

I have always been a die-hard Nancy Drew mystery fan.  I still have my original collection on my library bookshelf.  I have been wanting to do a series of book covers that are similar in feel to the old Nancy Drew book covers so this will be the first one and I’ll be working on others down the road.

This was photographed at Scranton Lace with my Fuji X-T1.  I composited in another section of Scranton Lace to get the break through the wall and the landscape coming through the opening was photographed at Rockefeller State Preserves in Pocantico Hills, New York.

NYC Building and Tree-Work Copy II

©2017 Karen Johnson All Rights Reserved

I photographed this down at the World Trade Center using my Fuji X-T1 with a 50MM-230MM lens.  The lens  is pretty heavy to hand hold but if I bracket I generally get the shot I want!  I wanted to experiment working with a zoom lens in the city so I could compress the foreground and the background.  This is something Saul Leiter did and it give your images more of a graphic look to them because it flattens out the depth of the image. The lens is quite sharp but I softened this image up to give more of a painterly feel.  My intention in shooting in the city that day was to really try to get more of a graphic or painterly feel and not the usual street photography look (which I love and do but I always have to try new things).

The River and Sky

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View of the New Jersey skyline from Battery Park just outside the Winter Garden Atrium at Brookfield Place.  I just don’t like plain shoreline images so I decided to work with this image using different filter programs and decided on this.  I think this is much more interesting.

The Starry Messenger

Green Spring Tuscany on a background blue sky

©2017 Karen Johnson All Rights Reserved

Title inspired by “The Starry Messenger” by Galileo Gallei

I came across this great vintage image of a messenger at the Canadian Library and Archives.     I colorized him. The background is a composite made up of my own images that I had photographed, one antique rabbit print and one stock image which I usually don’t use in my work but I do not have access to Italian Cypress trees and I really wanted Italian Cypress trees so I had to license it.

My image, “Stranded in the Moonlight”, is in “Small Works” show at the Sidney Mishken Gallery at Baruch College in New York City.  Elizabeth Avedon is the Curator for the photography in the show and I am very thankful that she chose one of my pieces. Opening night is March 2, 2017 from 6-8 pm

.small-works

Stranded-in-the-Moonlight

“Stranded in the Moonlight” ©2015 Karen Johnson All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

Orange You Glad

davidoff-final

©2017 Karen Johnson All Rights Reserved

I was in the city today doing a little street photography with a fellow photographer.  The orange color caught my eye and I photographed this through the window.  This was taken at Brookfield Place across the street from the World Trade Center.  I was experimenting with a new 50-230mm fuji lens on my Fuji X-T1.  I was inspired by Saul Leiter who photographed a lot of New York City scenes with a zoom in order to get a geometric compressed look.

I also have switched over from using Photoshop CC to Affinity Photo.  My decision is based on a very big problem I had with Adobe concerning the security of information on their website.  Since I could not get their customer service to take me seriously or allow me to speak to a Supervisor, I decided that if the company didn’t care enough about their customers, they most certainly did not need my money and promptly closed my creative cloud account.  I did some research and Affinity Photo is almost identical to Photoshop.  I love working with it and have not had any issues using it with my composite photography. Besides being a great answer to not using Photoshop the cost is a one time charge of $49.99, no subscription and lifetime upgrades.  I am not being paid to speak about Affinity Photo, in fact they don’t even know who I am.  I just wanted to share an excellent piece of software that I will be using for my work going forward.

All Is Not What It Seems

all-is-not-what-it-seems

I stumbled across this oil on canvas painting of a room, “Moonlight, Strandgade 30” by Vilhelm Hammershoi in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s online open access digital collection and knew I wanted to use it.  I added the bookcase from an abandoned house I photographed, the man peering in is one of my vintage images and the gloves are also from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s open access digital images.  I wanted this voyeur feel but I didn’t want it to be creepy, just mysterious.  Enough to make you wonder what is going on.

I would like to the thank the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  On February 7, 2017 the Museum made available to the public 375,000 digital images of their collection that is has been deemed to be in the public domain.  That is huge! Here is the link that explains how to use it.  I am a member of the museum and highly recommend becoming a member. It is such a beautiful museum and I it always a treat having lunch and spending the day at the museum.

 

Pass the Suntan Lotion

pass-the-suntan-lotion-2

Photographed at an abandoned resort using my Fuji X-T1.  I have photographed this place several times and the last time I went someone had placed these lounge chairs in the area.  Had to capture it.  I love this place because of the way the sunlight streams in and also how nature starts to reclaim things.  The moss on the floor almost look like carpeting.

 

The Sight of the Stars Makes Me Dream

the-sight-of-the-stars-makes-me-dream

“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream”. Vincent Van Gogh

I photographed the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park a few years ago.  I think it is such a gorgeous structure. The ballerina is from The Sum of All Crafts  and the beautiful starry night is a texture I purchased.  I wanted a magical haunting feel to this image.

Paisley is a Rat

paisley-is-a-rat

Photographed at Scranton Lace on one of many trips there with Abandoned America.  This television cabinet was sitting on top of this table in a huge room and it just struck me as funny.  It wasn’t there on past trips so I thought it best to capture it before it disappeared!

Photographed with my Fuji XT-1.

For the Thing It Most Wanted Was Hidden in the Dark*

for-the-thing-it-most-wanted

©2017 Karen Johnson All Rights Reserved

*Something Wicked This Way Comes, Ray Bradbury

Photographed at Fairfield Hills Hospital in Newtown, Connecticut.  I added the clouds for a more dramatic effect.  I love creepy old houses and this one fit the bill.

She Hides in the Glow of the Moonlight

she-hides-in-the-glow-of-moonlight

Photographed in Valley Forge National Historic Park, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.  I loved this old stone barn.  It reminded me of the “Scarecrow of Romney Marsh” which was a British mini series on Disney when I was a kid.  The vintage image is one from my personal collection.  I added a little fog on the ground for a more haunting effect.

Art is Never Finished, Only Abandoned*

 

do-you-inhale

©2017 Karen Johnson

*Leonardo da Vinci

Happy New Year!

I photographed this at an old wool mill in Pennsylvania.  I loved the graphic elements in the room as well as the old sign used as wall covering.  The door in the wall was very narrow but had this beautiful golden hue to it as well as the rest of the room.  A little gem of a room that was tucked away in the corner of the large mill.

 

 

Wishing Everyone a Wonderful Holiday

season-greetings-2016

I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season!

Photographed in my town park a few years ago during a snowstorm!  I just love those red berries.

I Have Loved the Stars Too Fondly

i-have-loved-the-stars-too-fondly

“I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night,” is from the poem “The Old Astronomer” by Sarah Williams.  The room was photographed at Trans Allegheny Insane Asylum, Weston, West Virginia.  I loved the corroded metal bars on the window and peeling paint in this room.  The vintage figure is from the Library of Congress Open Content and I decided to use clouds to fill out his head and feet.  I wanted him without any sense of recognition.  Faceless and nameless as many of the people in the old insane asylums were.  The starry night through the window is a texture I purchased.

This particular composite went through three transformations before I finally settled on this one.  Sometimes I have an idea on how I want the image to work and as I get into it I find that my first direction is not really what I wanted.  You really have to not be afraid to fail when you are creating work.  Those failures always lead to a success.

“A Sailor is an Artist Whose Medium is the Wind”*

a-sailor-is-an-artist-whose-medium-is-the-wind*Quote is by Webb Chiles, Sailor.

I photographed this beautiful ocean at Pine Knoll Shores, North Carolina.  The vintage man is from Open Content Program, J. Paul Getty Museum.

When I saw this man with his invention I immediately thought of a ship and knew I wanted him in the water.  The bubbles were just that little bit of whimsy I like to add sometimes.

 

Waiting for Their Return

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Photographed at an abandoned hotel this past September.  This was the main reception area where guest would check in.  It always amazes me how buildings are just left with the furniture in them, waiting for guests who will never return.

I always get asked why I photograph abandoned places and part of it goes back to my childhood and my love of mysteries.  I still have my entire Nancy Drew collection in my library.  I also wanted to live in the Adams Family house.  I thought it was a really cool house.  Walking into these places, all I see is light and shadow and the sense of a mystery of what happened.  I’m rarely frightened in these places.  The only thing I am afraid of are humans who are up to no good in these places and can harm me. The only time I had a really bad scare was when I was photographing with a fellow photographer and two urbex explorers came out of the dark and startled me.  I have a highly sensitive “flight” mode, when scared, and landed up backing up super fast (breaking the number one rule when exploring an abandoned place- NEVER back up) and fell 3 feet out a door.  Luckily it was only 3 feet and I landed up with only a sprained ankle and minor cuts.  I never explore alone and preferably with a group of three.  One to stay with someone if they get hurt and the other to run and get help.

 

Piercing the Darkness

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Photographed at Scranton Lace Company, Scranton, PA using a Fuji X-T1. The light beam coming from the window opening was so beautiful in this decaying hallway.  When I wander around an abandoned building I am always looking at the way the light filters into a space and reacts with the dark shadows. It is a theatrical quality that I look for.  You don’t see this kind of lighting in buildings that are not abandoned unless the light is intentionally created.

Along the Passages They Come and Go

along-the-passages-they-come-and-go

I photographed the hallway at the Trans Allegheny Insane Asylum in Weston, West Virginia.  I love the pink and blue peeling paint as well as the length of this incredibly long hallway.  The doors off of the hallway lead to rooms where patients at the asylum stayed.

The two little boys are from a beautiful glass plate photograph from Powerhouse Museum collection on Flickr ‘s The Commons site.  They are very generous placing a large number of their vintage photographs on Flickr for people to share and use.  I love the fact that one of the boys is sitting on this great vintage tricycle.  I colorized and retouched the photograph since it was originally in black and white.  The clouds are just a touch of whimsy I sometimes like to add to enhance the “not of this world feeling.”

Title:  From Haunted Houses by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

All Within is Dark as Night

all-within-is-dark-as-night

I photographed this room at the Trans Allegheny Insane Asylum in Weston, West Virginia.  The vintage image is from my collection.  I started out working with this image in color and decided to try working with some black and white filters and effects.  I really felt what I used gave it that true eerie abandoned feel that I felt when I was photographing this insane asylum.

Title is from the poem “The Deserted House” by Alfred Tennyson.

 

Of Night and Day

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Photographed at Carrie Furnace, Swissvale, Pennsylvania with a Fuji X-T1.  Sky was photographed during on an oncoming storm at Byram Lake in Mt. Kisco, New York.

I really loved the Carrie Furnace.  The architecture has a victorian steam punk look to it.

 

Ghost in the Machine

ghost-in-the-machine

Had to put this one up for Halloween.  The industrial looking machine was photographed at Carrie Furnace near Pittsburgh, PA.  I was out there late spring with Abandoned America. When I photographed the porthole I had envisioned a persons head in it.  The vintage man is one of the ones I purchased online.  Goggles on his face were purchased at Cirque du Soleil’s Kurios that I attended a couple of weeks ago.  It was excellent!

I was playing with pushing color and just trying to abstract this out a little.  I always like to play to see what I come up with.  I think this would look really good as a print with a resin coating to pop that color.

Fractures

fractures

I was working with mirror images and mixing up symmetry with an image I photographed at the Carrie Furnace.  I really love abstract art. Working with these industrial elements and pushing the color created this interesting image.  Very different from what I usually do but this kind of work is inside me too and has to get out!

I Dwell in a Lonely House I Know That Vanished Many a Summer Ago

i-dwell-in-a-lonely-house-i-know-that-vanished-many-a-summer-ago

Photographed at an abandoned resort.  This image was created using a mirror special effect in post processing so that I was able to get this curved couch.  Background was photographed at Waveny Park in New Canaan, Connecticut.  There is a cloud image laid on the background landscape that was photographed at Byram Lake in Mt. Kisco, New York. The vintage image is one I purchased online and colorized.    I wanted a soft haunting look to the piece.

The title is from “A Boys Will”by Robert Frost.

 

I was in New York City yesterday playing around with the Hipstamatic app on my IPhone. This is the Jane lens with Robusta film. Street scene is in Soho.

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