I photographed the abandoned silo at an Abandoned America Vanishing Countryside workshop.  As soon as I looked at the silo I thought of the fairy tale, Rapunzel,  The vintage image is from e-vint.com, background sky is Photomorphis textures.  Stars are created with a Photoshop brush.

At Night


My friend Peter Nagy led a night photography field trip to the Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx the other week and the background is one of the images I took that night.  The ghostly woman is from e-vint.com.  Woodlawn Cemetery is one of the largest cemeteries in New York City and is designated as a National Historical Landmark.  Woodlawn is also known for the memorials and mausoleums designed by famous architects such as McKim, Mead & White and John LaFarge as well as the final resting places for Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Irving Berlin, Jay Gould, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney.

Children of the Corn


Cornfield photographed up in Griswold, Connecticut.  I was actually photographing the sunflower fields at Buttonwood Farms and walking back to my car came upon this great cornfield with those beautiful fluffy clouds.  I see cornfields and I always think of the movie, “Children of the Corn”.  Vintage photo is from Dover’s “Old Fashion Children’s Images”. and I colorized and retouched the image in Photoshop.  I intentionally have the little boy fading from the corn because in my story the children arise from the corn stalks. Cornfield was photographed with my Fuji X-T1.  Processing in Photoshop with Topaz Restyle, Topaz Impressions and Macphun Intensify filters.

The Old House Down the Lane


With the crisp cool mornings the past few days I feel a little fall is in the air and fall is my favorite season.  Fall also reminds me of Halloween and haunted houses.  This house is actually an abandoned Officer’s house located at Gateway National Recreation Area’s  Fort Hancock in Sandy Hook, New Jersey.  Fort Hancock is a National Historical Landmark and well worth a visit.  I actually photographed the house on a hot summer day.  I was able to get the dark look using clouds that I photographed with an approaching storm in Mount Kisco, New York.  I added some textures by Distressed Textures.  It was one of the few Officer’s Homes that was not badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Photographed with my Fuji X-Pro1.

A Little Rain Never Hurt


We desperately need rain in New York and so I decided to create an image suggesting rain instead of doing a rain dance.

The setting is the Lansdowne Theater in Lansdowne, Pa.  I photographed this awhile back on an Abandoned America workshop. The detail in this theater was amazing.   Camera, Fuji X-Pro 1. The vintage image is from Hello Tuesday on DeviantArt.

Boy in the Attic


A day late posting this week.  I spent the weekend in Pennsylvania photographing an abandoned site as well as Gettysburg.

This background of this image is the attic at Scranton Lace which I photographed on one of my numerous trips with the Abandoned America workshops.  The image of the young boy is from my private collection.  The paper boats are from Open Clipart, background sky Photomorphis textures and the water is an image I took at Sherwood Island in Westport, CT.

Time Out of Mind


Another song inspired image.  “Time Out of Mind” by Steely Dan is one of my favorites.  I always have images flash through my mind when I listens to music and when I was listening to the song the image came into my head of time coming out of the top of his head.   I bought this particular tintype image from the guys at Brooklyn Film.  It was in beautiful condition and I just loved the way this man looked.  I also took an online course on how to colorize vintage images and I really liked the way he came out.    The background is Sherwood Island in Westport, CT.  The sail boat in the back is from the Library of Congress Bain collection.  The moonlit sky is from Dare to Dream Studios background and textures.



Inspiration is from the movie “IT” based on the novel by Stephen King.  I could never look at clowns as happy go lucky characters after that movie.

Photographed in an abandoned house in New York with a Fuji X-T1.  I photographed the clock which is one that I inherited from my father’s collection of antique clocks.  The clown or clown’s feet are from e-vint.com and colorized by me.  Balloon is a stock image by Maureen Older at DeviantArt.com Clouds from a Photoshop Brush and Photomorphis textures.

Shut Your Eyes or How Music Can Influence an Image


I was listening to one of my favorite songs “Shut Your Eyes” by Snow Patrol and came up with this image.  You can hear the song here: Shut Your Eyes – Snow Patrol.  I wanted  to convey this woman in a “secret Place” that is “somewhere caked in snow” but also wanted to leave in the green of the garden so that it had this transforming dreamlike feel to it.  The garden is abandoned and located in New York.  The vintage image is from e-vint.com and the snow scene is Wampus Brook in Armonk, NY during a snowstorm that I photographed with my iPhone.  The abandoned garden was photographed with my Fuji X-T1.

Opening Reception Tonight at Upstream Gallery

RC_Upstream Gallery_eblast LG

I didn’t realize the first one I posted was really, really, small.  You can read this one!

She Lost Her Head


Photographed in an abandoned house in New York with my Fuji X-T1.  Victorian dress from Dover Pictura Victorian Fashion. Photoshop brush for bats.  This was inspired by Edward Gorey’s work.  My favorite always being his opening to PBS Mystery.

The Turret


Photographed at an abandoned school in New York using a Fuji X-Pro1.  Textures are from the wonderful Dirk Wuestenhagen. Sky composited from one of my photographs of clouds.

The Visitor in the Library


Composite image comprised of an image I photographed in the library of an abandoned house in New York with a Fuji X-T1 a tree in Rockefeller Preserve in Pocantico Hills, New York photographed with a Fuji X-Pro 1.  Rabbit from Graphics Fairy and sky texture from Photomorphis.  Vintage image of child is from my personal collection and the woman was purchased through e-vint.com.

Titans of Industry – Steam and Steel


This is the second image in a series of the Titans of industry.  The background of machinery and building were photographed at my first Abandoned America workshop call Steam and Steel in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. You can see the stacks I photographed of the Bethlehem Steel mill in the image.   The vintage image of the man is from e-vint.com.  The watch and clock face are from Graphics Fairy.  The goggles on the man are from another Abandoned America workshop, the Children’s Clothes Factory.  They were hanging in one of the rooms and I photographed them knowing I would use them somewhere. I added the clouds to the goggles and clock face from a Photoshop Brush.  The texture in the photograph comes from a one of my experiments using Citra-Solv on an old National Geographic Magazine. Filters used were from Topaz ReStyle.

There Might be Dragons Part II


I was working with this image I had taken at an old children’s clothing factory through Abandoned America and wanted to incorporate one of my vintage images.  I had this image of a beautiful woman seated in a chair in my personal collection and she seemed to fit right in.  Once I placed her in the image I notice the framed picture (which actually held a picture of a chimpanzee…go figure) on the sill of the window and I thought maybe she is sitting by the window waiting for her lover to return.  Then it hit me, put in the image of the guy in There Might Be Dragons, from last weeks blog post and create a story around that.  The cardboard on the right looked like a giant book so I decided to write the story and write it so it bled off the page so you would only get a gist of the story.  So we have a continuation of the story from my image last week into this one.

The dragon tattoo in the image as well as the bee are from Graphics Fairy. The flying dragon in the window is from ClipArtBest.com. The cloud gesture background is from Photomorphis.  The letter is from Vicki Robinson’s Vintage Writing which I purchased on Design Cuts.  Children’s Clothing Factory image was taken with my Fuji X-Pro1.  I used the filters from Macphun Intensify, Nik Color Efex Pro, Topaz Impressions and Topaz Restyle in Photoshop CC 2015.

There Might be Dragons


I was photographing abandoned farms with Abandoned America and fell in love with this silo.  When I originally photographed it I was thinking of incorporating a vintage image into the door opening at the top.  This particular vintage image is from e-vint.com and he is actually part of a group of three men.  I picked him because he was young and dashing in his uniform, exactly someone who could fight off a dragon.  The dragons popped into my head while putting it together.  I was going to originally name this post “Secret Weapon” but “There Might be Dragons” had more of a ring to it for me.  The dragons are a vintage illustration from Graphics Fairy .  The airplane is from WikiCommons.

The Silo was photographed in daylight and I brought clouds in from Photomorphis and then darkened using a color fill and hue and saturation layers.  The clouds and stars are from a Photoshop brush.  I wanted the image to be whimsical and fun.

The Old Woman in the Barn

The Old Woman in the Barn

Happy Father’s Day!

I photographed this abandoned barn recently and was drawn to this open door.  I ran a cross the image of the old woman on Graphics Fairy and really wanted to use it in this scene.  I colored the image in Photoshop working with many layers so that the I had control over the color of the hair, her lips, eyes, etc.  This is actually a lot of fun to do but takes a lot of time and a lot of layers.  Since it was a head shot, I found positioning it in the backdoor gave the appearance of a portrait hung in the barn.  But as we all know I can’t leave it as mundane as that and had to bring a haunting quality to it.  So I made it slightly transparent, just enough so you could see the wood grain of the board in the door to suggest she could be an apparition.

I photographed the barn with my Fuji X-T1 and processed the image in Photoshop CC 2015 using  the filters from Macphun Intensify and Topaz Restyle.

Girl in the Striped Dress


Girl in the Striped Dress is a composite image I created using a vintage image from my personal collection and a wonderful abandoned asylum in New York State that I photographed a few weeks ago.  Only I could view an abandoned asylum as wonderful (goes back to my wanting to live in the Adam’s Family House as kid). What I created is a haunting image of a ghostlike young girl with her ghostlike doplangers.  You can look at the image and come up with your own interpretation of what is going on (which is what I want my images to enable you to do).  My feeling when creating it was she could not escape from the place as represented by this curious chain (invisible) of herself attached to the image in the doorway.

I photographed the building at the asylum with my Fuji X-T1 which is such an amazing little camera.  I am constantly surprised by the quality of the images I get every time I shoot with it.  Plus it is so nice and light for me to carry.  The black bird on her arm is a Jackdaw (curtesy of FrankandCarySTOCK at DeviantArt).  The vintage photograph is from my personal collection and I hand colored it in Photoshop CC.  The birds in the sky are a photoshop brush from Distressedtextures.com.

Beach Ruins


Beach Ruins is set in one of my favorite rooms at Scranton Lace Company.  I photographed this massive space several times but this shot is from the first time I went there.  It had these huge piles of cement in the middle of the floor and the room had incredibly high ceilings with that wonderful architectural detail in it.  I knew I wanted to incorporate the room in a future image and when I happened upon this photograph of a woman in a bathing suit in the Library of Congress images in Flickr, I thought of the beach.  The water she is wading in is actually from Sherwood Island in Westport, Connecticut.  The hot air balloons are from Media Militia, a great source (and yes I did make a donation).  The trees were photographed by me this winter in my back yard.  All together I wanted a whimsical image with a little of that darkness I like so much.  Scranton Lace Company and the trees were photographed with my Fuji X-Pro1.

This image took many layers and a lot playing around with lighting and figuring out exactly what I wanted floating in that lofty ceiling.  I used Topaz Impressions, Topaz Restyle, Macphun Intensify and Nik Color Efex 4 to get the coloring and mood just right.

Stranded in the Moonlight


I took a ride up to Sherwood Island in Westport, Connecticut a couple of weeks ago to photograph the beach and water.  When I came home I decided to make it a moon lit beach scene with this elegant woman lying in the sand.  I wanted her to appear as if she crawled out of the water and played down from exhaustion.  I found this great graphic image of the seashell and decided to use it as a resting place for her head.  I then waved my Photoshop brush with stars and I had a magical scene.  The beach was actually shot in broad daylight and there were a few people on the beach which I was able to remove in Photoshop.

The woman is one of the vintage images I purchased through e-vint.com and I added different colors to it to bring it out.  Beach was photographed with my Fuji X-T1 and the wonderful 10-24mm lens.

The Lady in Blue


I was inspired to create “The Lady in Blue” when I was looking through some of my old art history books.  I love the old portraits by Richard Brinkley Sheridan, John Singer Sargent, Charles Albert Walhain, Gainsborough.  Though I am inspired by these great artist I always have to add that twist to mine.  The abandoned house in the background with lights on, giant bees, a butterfly bow and a dramatic sky.  Always a dramatic sky.

The abandoned house was photographed at Fort Hancock in Sandy Hook, NJ.  The meadow was photographed at Rockefeller State Preserve in Pocantico Hills, New York, the clouds are a texture by Photomorphis, the bees and butterfly are from the Graphics Fairy and the woman in blue is an image from e-vint.com.

Processing was done in Photoshop CC, Macphun Intensify, Topaz Restyle and Impressions.  Many photoshop layers later I had “The Lady in Blue”.

I am going to be exhibiting two of my images, “Witch Tree” (shown below in the promotion piece) and “The Captain” with the Red Circle PhotoArts Group at the Desmond-Fish Library Gallery in Garrison, New York.  There was also an article written about Red Circle PhotoArts here.




A new addition to my vintage series.  The location for this image is Scranton Lace Company which I photographed on an Abandoned America workshop.  I believe I have been there at least four times so I have a vast amount of images from there.  The man is one of the e-vint.com images I purchased and the sailboat I photographed a few years ago from Battery Park in Manhattan.  The water reflections are actually on the floor in the original image and they caught my eye when I was at Scranton Lace.  The reflection of the man holding the sailboat was added as well as a ghost image behind him.  I had tried putting fish in the reflections but I happened to remember the sailboat I photographed and thought it would be interesting to have them sailing on this imaginary ocean.

Scranton Lace was photographed with my Fuji X-Pro 1 and the sailboat with my Pentax K-5.  I processed the composite in Photoshop CC using Macphun Intensify, Topaz Impressions, Topaz Restyle and Nik Color Efex Pro 1.

Falling Tiles


Happy Mothers Day!  Below is a portrait of my Mom who passed away last August.  It is my first Mother’s Day without her and I miss her.


The image above my Mom’s is called Falling Tiles.  The background was photographed at Scranton Lace Company on one of my many visits there through Matthew Christopher’s workshops, Abandoned America.  I love this room.  Actually I loved all of Scranton Lace.  It was my absolute favorite abandoned building to photograph. This room had a pinkish color to it and a large number of the ceiling tiles had fallen down.  It just was interesting walking into one of the only rooms in the building that had such a large number of these tiles on the floor.  I went with one of the e-vint.com images of this woman who had a classical look and pose to her.  She was colored but I decided to change her coloring myself.   I added a river that I photographed at Rockefeller State Preserve in Pocantico Hills, New York.  The clouds in the windows I photographed at Byram Lake in Armonk, New York on a very stormy day.  The smaller clouds are a Photoshop brush.  Processing was through Photoshop CC, Macphun Intensify, Topaz Restyle and DXO Film pack.  I wanted a very old classical feel to this image.



I was looking through some images I had taken at Pennhurst State Hospital on my trip with the Abandoned America group and saw this cabinet that had a harlequin, circus feel to it.  I looked at some of the images from e-vint.com and decided to go with a Pierrot Clown theme.  This particular image really captured my imagination because the male Pierrot looks like he is up to no good.  The background is a room at Pennhurst with the cabinet barely visible.  The clouds are from Photomorphis and the moon and stars are Photoshop brushes.

This is an image that I started out with one look and it just didn’t resonate with me.  As I was clicking off layers the sky layer dominated the top of the image and I really liked it. Never be afraid to back out of a work flow to get the image that you want.

The Assignation


I have always been a big fan of mysteries and growing up I was addicted to the girl detective series, Nancy Drew.  This image has a little of that mystery feel to it.  I wonder why she is looking off to the side, what does the note say and the key unlock? Who is she meeting?

The background was photographed with my Fuji X-Pro1 at the old Catskill Game Farm on one of my Abandoned America trips. I visited the game farm as a child so it was  a lot of fun going back to see it without the animals.  This was photographed in one of the animal stalls.  I really loved the color of the walls and the light coming in when I photographed it.  The vintage photo is one from e-vint.com, the note on the floor is from an abandoned silk mill in Maryland and the key is from one of my father’s collections of locks and keys.  The sky textures is from Photomorphis.    I processed the image in Photoshop CC using Macphun Intensify and Topaz Restyle for detail and color.

The Titan of Industry


This composite image is made up of an abandoned industrial building I photographed and the man is from a collection of vintage images I have.  The sky is a texture from Photomorphis and the playing cards are vintage and from Graphics Fairy.  I processed the image in Photoshop CC and used Macphun Intensify to bring out the detail, Topaz ReStyle for adding color filters and Topaz Impressions for a slight painterly feel.

This is a surreal commentary on industry.  I have been watching a great documentary on Netflix called “The  Men Who Built America” which led me to this image.  These “Titans” of the industrial age took risks, risked lives and played with very high stakes to get what they wanted and to fulfill their dreams.  The vintage cards represent this.  The puppets hanging in the background are how they orchestrated their deals, the government, workers and each other.  The abandoned building is how the large industries these men built have long been abandoned.

A Room with a View at Pennhurst


I was at one of my favorite abandoned sites yesterday, Pennhurst State Hospital.  It was a great workshop led by Matthew Christopher of Abandoned America and one I highly recommend.  This is one of those places that you can only access if you are with a group that has permission from the owner.  If you trespass, they will prosecute.

This is a view from a dorm room on the third floor of the Mayflower Building looking at the Administration Building.  When I was photographing it the screen caused a moire on my LCD and I was afraid it would show up on the image but it did not.  This image was shot with my new Fuji XT-1 using a Fujinon 10-24mm lens.  I processed the raw file in Iridient Developer and then brought three images into Photoshop CC and used luminosity masks.  I processed the image in MacPhun Intensify, Topaz Restyle and Nik Color Efex Pro.  I was able to capture a lot of images and will be working some of them with my vintage photos.

Happy Easter!

Memories in the Moonlight or How Mistakes can be Creative


This is one of those composite images that took me awhile to create.  I stumbled upon it making mistakes which often leads to the results I want.  The background image was taken at the Victory Theatre in Holyoke, Massachusetts at an Abandoned America workshop with Matthew Christopher and Matt Lambros of After the Final Curtain, a  wonderful blog to raise awareness on the plight of these old and magnificent theaters.  This is the upper mezzanine foyer.  The vintage photo is from e-vint and I changed the color of her gown from cream to pink to add color.  I made the woman transparent because I wanted her to evoke a memory.  The sky on the ceiling is a texture from Photomorphis which I duplicated and mirrored so that the clouds appeared to wrap around the beam in the ceiling. That was a mistake while using a mask but noticed if I left part of it on the beam it gave it  3D look.  A pleasant mistake with a positive result.  From there I made it a night sky by darkening it and adding the stars with a Photoshop brush. The idea for a night sky and the whole image being set at night was another mistake.  I didn’t realize I had discarded the clipping mask on an exposure layer so the exposure layer now affected all the layers.  The result looked like it was set at night.  I realized that is exactly what I wanted. The moon in the window is a Photoshop brush.  I used Topaz Restyle and MacPhun Intensify to give me the additional mood and drama I wanted in the image.

Making mistakes in Photoshop or even when photographing a scene can lead to opening new creative ideas and avenues.  Don’t be afraid to takes chances with your art.


This is another image that will be part of a series I am working on combining vintage photographs and abandoned places I have photographed.  The woman is from my collection of vintage photographs and the room she is in is in an abandoned house that was part of the “Steam and Steel” workshop I took with Abandoned America.  I colorized the vintage image of the woman in Photoshop cc and it is a process I really enjoy.  I love trying to pick a color to make her dress, eyes, adding lipstick and a little cheek color.  It harkens back to my color book days.  I added the night sky (I have this thing about night time), trees and a wisp of smoke to the fireplace.  I added the trees because I wanted a camera obscura look to it and was inspired by  the work of Abelardo Morell.  I always try for that haunting, moody look.

All the work was done through Photoshop CC using Topaz Restyle and Topaz Impressions filters as well as MacPhun Intensify.  The little alarm clock is a vintage graphics image from the Graphics Fairy.  The room was shot with my Pentax K-5 (pre Fuji days).

The Captain


This composite image, “The Captain”, is made from three different images.  The background is of the Nottingham Loom in the Scranton Lace Factory (considered one of the last Nottingham Looms in America), the ocean and beach are from Fort Tilden, the ship’s wheel is from the Nottingham Loom and the “Captain” is a vintage photo I bought from e-vint.com.  Believe or not of all the vintage photos I have I did not have one of a captain standing. Sitting yes, standing no.

I found that I really have a lot of fun working with vintage images and placing them in images of abandoned places I have photographed.  When I go to these places I am generally shooting two different shots.  The first is always recording the beauty in these decaying places and the second is shooting for backgrounds for my composites.  The Scranton Lace background and the Fort Tilden Ocean/Beach images were photographed with my Fuji X-Pro1.  The clouds and rain are a Photoshop brush I use.  The image was processed in Photoshop and then I used both Topaz Re-Style for color toning and Topaz Impressions to create the chiaroscuro light.  This one image had about 20 or so layers in the main image.  I’ve learned to color and retouch the vintage images as a separate image before moving it into the main image.  It keeps the file size down a little but I generally have very large files.

I am currently working on a third image.  They take a lot of time and I find I have to stop, come back and check to see if I like where I am going with a particular image.  I find that I am more creative working with the vintage images so you will be seeing more. With surrealist images you can create and add whatever you like and I like that kind of freedom.  With the coming of spring I will be off shooting at Abandoned American Workshops and I am very excited to be taking a workshop with Harold Ross in April called “Light Painting the Still Life”.  If you haven’t seen Harold’s work, you can check out his site here.  I just love his work.

Open Doors


My sister and I were going through our parent’s house and came upon a box of vintage photographs.  I had been wanting to work with vintage photographs in my composites and now I had a whole box to play with!  I took a Photo Restoration class on CreativeLive to learn how to bring these great old images back to life and a great free webinar from Retouch Pro with Maggie Taylor on working with vintage photos in composites.

The room in the image above was taken in an abandoned house out in Pennsylvania.  I processed the room in Photoshop, MacPhun Intensify and Topaz Restyle. The painting on the wall is actually a photograph I took of flowers right outside the house and brought it into a vintage frame in photoshop.  I ran that photograph through Topaz Impressions to give it an oil painting look.  The floor is one I created for another one of my images and the woman is one of the photos I found in the box.  I added a dragonfly mask to her face which I created from a clipart of a dragonfly I found on the Graphics Fairy site.  Clouds are a Photoshop brush as well as the stars on the ceiling.

I wanted a surreal and magical feel to the image.  This took me about two weeks to put together and a lot of trial and error.  I can’t begin to count the number of layers I had created but it is a huge file.  In the end I had so much fun working on it.

March Snow Storm


I drove out with my friend and fellow photographer Ilene to see the exhibit “Modern Alchemy: Experiments in Photography” at the Heckscher Museum in Huntington, Long Island.  The forecast was for a winter storm but my friend Ilene is a pro in driving in the snow and so we went under cloudy but clear skies.  The exhibit was fantastic and had some of my favorite photographers exhibiting; Maggie Taylor, Jerry Uelsmann, Abelardo Morrell and of course Man Ray. I was very inspired by their work.

On the way home, the snow started.  I am not good in a car in a snow.  I think it is an age thing since I had no problem when I was younger but as I am getting older, I hate driving in the snow.  So with Ilene at the wheel I was able to take the iPhone out and relax by taking some pictures as we drove along the LIE (for those of you who are not New Yorkers, that is the Long Island Expressway).  The photo above and below I used an IPhone app called Slow Shutter.  It’s fun when using in a moving car since the shutter stays open for a long period of time and you get this surreal looking image.  I brought this into Photoshop and worked with it using Macphun Intensify, DXO Film Pack and Topaz ReStyle.  I wanted a dreamlike quality to the image.

The image below was just processed in Photoshop, Macphun Intensify and Topaz Restyle. Again the dreamlike but darker quality to this one.


As we were heading over the Throgs Neck Bridge (which I for some reason always call the Frogs Neck Bridge) Ilene said, you have to get a shot of the bridge.  So here is my shot of going over the bridge in a snowstorm.  I processed this in Photoshop, Macphun Intensify, DXO Film Pack and Topaz Restyle.  There was very little snow on the bridge but you can see the snow coming down in this one.

I can’t wait for Spring!



I photographed the above room on an Abandoned America workshop at Pennhurst State School in Pennsylvania.  It was number one on my bucket list of places to photograph. I will be going back to shoot their in April so I will have new images coming.  This wheelchair was located in the Mayflower building and I started out working on it in color but B&W came through when I brought into a new Topaz program called Restyle. Sometimes color just does not work for me on an image and I have to go to my beloved B&W.

This one was taken at Scranton Lace.  I really loved the light and shadows in this building as well as the colors of the peeling paint and rust. This one I would not do in B&W because I love the colors in it.  I also worked this image in Topaz Restyle and Nik Color Efex Pro.  MacPhun Intensify helped out with the bringing out the detail in the image. All images photographed with my Fuji X-Pro1.


School of Fish


This week it felt as if my creative muse decided to leave the coldness of New York and head to Florida.  I had a tough time getting an idea to work with.  This morning I was looking through some images I had taken on an Abandoned America trip to the Scotland School for Veteran’s Children and there was this hallway.  It was in a renovated building but the floor was so clean and shiny it looked like water to me.  I dug through some images I had taken at the Norwalk Maritime Center and decided to make the hallway inhabited by fish. I added a blue sky from one of my images taken at Fort Hancock in Sandy Hook, New Jersey. I love surreal art so I was off and running on the idea.

My usual process of Photoshop, Nik Color Efex, Macphun Intensify and Topaz Impressions pulled it all together. The School was photographed with my Pentax and the fish are a combination of my Fuji X-Pro 1 and IPhone 5s.

Red Room


I photographed this at Holmesburg Prison in Philadelphia, PA at an Abandon America workshop.  The room had this very strange red light in it and I really thought it was interesting.  I liked looking from this room into the cell across the hall that just had natural daylight in it.

Processed in Photoshop CC using multiple luminosity masks.  I then brought into Macphun Intensify to bring up the clarity and details.  Imported it into Topaz Impressions to play with lighting and texture and then finished off in Nik Color Efex again for lightening and darkening areas.

Witch’s Tree


This image developed in my mind when I photographed this beautiful and haunting tree in Waveny Park, New Canaan, Connecticut and hearing the song “Hanging Tree” from the “Hunger Games” movie “Mockingjay, performed by Jennifer Lawrence, music by James Newton Howard.  The lyrics and music haunted me, “Are you, are you, coming to the tree, where I told you to run, so we’d both be free.  Strange things did happen here no stranger would it be. If we met at midnight, in the hanging tree.” Lyrics/words by Suzanne Collins author of the book “Mockingjay”.

The image is a composite of several images. The tree and landscape was photographed with my IPhone 5s, I was photographed with my Fuji X-Pro 1.  The bird is one of the Photoshop brushes by Distressedtextures and the ribbon is vector art from Graphics Fairy.  The clouds were photographed by me and the one texture I used is by Dirk Wuestenhagen.  I worked the image in Topaz Impressions using the Warm Haze filter and Nik Color Efex.  I darkened the ribbon to a blood-red because I wanted it as a symbol of “blind justice” or being blind to things in our life.  Not wanting to see or face things.  Between the lyrics and the image it just seemed to meld together.

Dreamy Landscapes


I’m getting ready to batten down the hatches with a Nor’easter heading my way.  I am not looking forward to wind gust up to 50 mph and 20-30 inches of snow.  With that kind of weather looming ahead I decided to create my own landscapes which DO NOT contain SNOW!

The image above is a composite of a tree I photographed in our town park and a door I photographed in Connecticut.  The background is composed of two textures from Photomorphis, sky-cloud and horizon, combined with a sky image I photographed.  The mood is created by three textures by Dirk Wuestenhagen.  I processed the image in Capture One, Photoshop, MacPhun Intensify Micro Bold, Nik Color Efex Pro and Topaz Impressions Water Color IV.  My goal was to create a fairy tale, dreamy place.

The image below is a composite of an image I photographed at Fort Tilden a boat located in a barn I photographed in Pennsylvania and one of my sky images.  This was processed in Capture One, Photoshop, Nick Color Efex Pro Contrast, and Topaz Impressions Cracked ImPasto and Pastel IV.  Birds are a photoshop brush from Distressed Textures.  Again, I wanted a very dreamy fairy tale feel to it.  All images except the tree were photographed with my Fuji X-Pro 1.


Moonlight Walk


I hope everyone had a very happy New Year!

This is a composite I have been working on.  The boardwalk was photographed at Playland in Rye, New York.  The background cloud texture is by Photomorphis Textures.  I used Capture One for my raw processing, and Photoshop for all the magic of blending different layers and photos. The Playland landscape was shot with my old Pentax and I was photographed with my trusty Fuji X-Pro1.  The image is really just two photos (background and me) and the texture.  I just worked using color layers, curves, and gradients to get the moon lit night feel to it.

I have a new Fuji in my bag, the Fuji X-T1 which I haven’t been able to really get out and shoot with it.  The fact that I can shoot the camera with the remote on my iPhone is worth every penny since when I photograph myself for the composites with the X-Pro 1 I constantly have to shoot, jump up look at the image, go back reposition myself, make sure before I do that the focus is locked.  Now I can just focus on myself while standing in position.  A lot easier for me.  I also get terrible motion sickness throwing myself in an out of scenes and looking at the camera.  This will be so much better.

Resting by the Sea


I haven’t worked on a composite in awhile and this one was calling to me. Photographed with my Fuji X-Pro1.  Composed of three photographs one of the beach at Gateway National Park, one shot in my living room and the sky is from one of Brooke Shaden’s package from her Creative Live class which I combined with a sky texture from Photomorphis.  Other the textures are by Dirk Wuestenhagen.

I processed in Capture One, Photoshop CC 2014, and Topaz Impressions. Lots of layers burning, dodging, curves, levels, you name the tool and I probably used it!  My goal was to create a very moody and atmospheric image leaving the viewer to create a tale.

I would like to wish you all a very Happy, Healthy and Wealthy New Year!

Lomo Instant Love


I was down in the Soho area of New York City this morning and brought along my Lomo Instant Camera.  This is a great little camera that has interchangeable lenses and uses Fuji Instax Film.  The picture is a little 2×3 but the dreamy B/W quality can’t be beat.  I landed up getting this camera by backing them through Kickstarter.  You can get the camera online here or at one of the worldwide Lomography Gallery Stores.  Click here for locations.  The image above was taken on Grand Street. I did not alter these in Photoshop or any other program.  Straight out of the camera.  I scanned them into my computer and just added my copyright notice.

The image below is also Grand Street and the first one I shot.  I couldn’t figure out why the shutter wouldn’t work and then click/flash and I had this double exposure look!  One of those great mistakes.


This is looking down the sidewalk on Grand Street. I am still figuring out the exposure and everything else but I really love the Fuji B/W film.  The lens I used is a 28mm.


Old Ballroom


An old abandoned ballroom I photographed a month or so ago.  I loved the pale pink and greens, the tilted gilded light scones.  I could imagine all the parties that must have taken place here.  I think part of the reason I love photographing abandoned places because I can still see remnants of  what these places looked like when they were occupied and I like to capture that.  We discard so many beautiful buildings without a thought of bringing them back to life or putting them to use again.

Photographed with my Fuji X-Pro 1 35mm Fujinon lens. Processed in CaptureOne, Photoshop CC 2014 using luminosity masks, Macphun Intensify and Topaz Impressions.  I also want to give a plug to my friend and fellow photographer Matthew Christopher of Abandoned America.  He has a book out called “Abandoned America: The Age of Consequences” and you can buy it on Amazon here .  It is a gorgeous and beautifully written book and I highly recommend it.  Matthew is the reason I have been able to capture such great abandoned places and his images inspire me.

Abandoned School


I had the opportunity to photograph an abandoned school with my friend and fellow photographer Harry a few weekends ago.  It was a really fantastic place to photograph.  This is a picture of the pool.  I loved the greenish blue glow of the light in this room.  All the photographs were shot with my Fuji X-Pro 1 and processed in Capture One, Photoshop CC 2014 and then brought into MacPhun Intensify and Topaz impressions.

This is a photograph of one of the classrooms.  I loved the yellow chair.JW-Cooper-Yellow-Chair-Classroom

I love the paint peeling in this building and the old bathroom sink caught my eye looking down the hallway.


Entrance to the Gym.JW-Cooper-Entrance-to-Gym

The repletion of the numbers on the back of the theater seats also caught my eye.


The entrance to the ground floor of the gymnasium.


View of the basketball hoop.


Fairfield Hill Hospital


I shot this image at the Fairfield Hill Hospital in Newtown, Conneticut.  It is an abandoned green house I discovered on the property.   I used a lot of textures from 2 Lil Owls and then processed it pretty heavily in Macphun Tonality and Topaz Impressions.  I just wanted this very ghostly, dark feeling to the green house.  Believe or not I shot this on a cloudy day and not at  night.

I missed posting last weekend because I was out in Pennsylvania photographing an abandoned school with my friend and fellow photographer Harry.   I landed up smashing the front element of my favorite Fuji lens (35mm).  I sent it off to the Fuji doctors this weekend and have my fingers crossed that it can be repaired.  Luckily my equipment is insured so I should be able to recoup the cost if they are not able to fix it.  However, my Manfrotto tripod is never going to be used again since it is an unstable piece of garbage that just tipped over.  I was standing 4 feet from it when it just crashed forward.  So I will be shopping this week for a new, heavier tripod.

I wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Iphoneography in NYC



I decided to post two of my iPhone pictures this week. The one above was taken when I got off the elevator at the building I am currently working in.  I love the view out the window of the building next door reflecting the building I am in.  I processed both images with Snapseed and IColorama which is one of my favorite iPhone apps. I used a sketching filter on both.  The image below was taken outside of the Waldorf Astoria Valet Parking Garage.  I was walking to the catch the train home and saw this tour bus with the people and that wonderful ad.  I have this thing for tour buses in New York City.  I just get a kick out of them and the people riding them.  It is a great way to see the sights.


Catskill Game Farm


I photographed the Catskill Game Farm back in July with a group from Abandoned America and wanted to come back in the again with them in the fall.  I knew it would be beautiful in the fall and I was not disappointed. The day was full of thunder clouds and the light that was able to sneak through and light the gorgeous fall foliage up.  The image above is looking down one of the roads and it really shows the coming storm.  All the images were shot with the Fuji XPro-1 and processed in Capture One 8, Photoshop, MacPhun Intensify and Topaz Impressions.  I did use two of Dirk Wuestenhagen’s textures on the image above.

The image below is of the abandoned restaurant.  That gorgeous light filtering in from the clouds was just beautiful


Another great abandoned building.  Because of the dark cloud coverage, shooting inside was not going to get the light and shadows I like to photograph so I concentrated on the landscape.



Below is looking down the main road of the game farm and standing in the middle of the road is my buddy Grady, the Owner’s dog waiting for me.  He has to have Australian Shepherd in him because I watched him herd eight goats that were off somewhere on the property.  He is an amazing herder.  Grady decided to keep me company for the last hour and a half I was shooting.  He is so clever.  He figured out that when he heard the beep of my camera timer go off I would be moving on to another area to photograph.  He would be wandering around and as soon as he heard the timer go off he would run back over to me and wait for me to pick up the tripod and move onto the area to shoot.  He stood perfectly still for this shoot!






I did not post last week because I was away photographing some very interesting abandoned places upstate New York with my two friends Harry & Peter.  This series is an abandoned hotel that just had some wonderful areas to photograph.  I spent about 5 hours shooting here and it was not the most safe place to be in but we were very careful and very respectful of the environment.  The only thing I ever take are pictures and the only thing I leave behind are footprints.  The image above just had this fantastic gilded mirror laying on it and I fell in love with the color of the couch as well as the “moss” carpet.

Below is the registration desk and the graffiti just gave it this very abstract painting look to it.  I shot everything with my Fuji X-Pro 1 and the processing on each image is an alchemy of layers and filters.  I am still playing around with Topaz Impression and Macphun Intesify.  I like combining the artistic effects in Topaz with the high detail in Macphun Intensify and then brushing in and out details and softness.





I walked into this building and started heading towards the back.  The floors were spongy in spots so I walked the beams to be on the safe side. I looked to the back wall and someone had stuck the chair legs into the wall so that the chairs were just suspended.  I though it looked cool.



Another couch situated for the best view of the trees.  Very surreal lighting.  This image I used the everything on including Nik Color Efex.  The lighting was important to me so I really worked with dodging, burning and luminosity masks.  I brought detail in, took it out, brought in again.  I just had fun experimenting.  My feeling is if you don’t try it you’ll never know.


Victory Theater


I was off with a group of photographers and the two Matt’s from Abandoned America and After the Final Curtain to the Victory Theater in Holyoke, Massachusetts. The Victory Theater opened in 1920 and is a wonderful example of art deco architecture. The theater is currently owned by the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts who were gracious enough to allow us to photograph it.  They are currently raising money to renovate the theater and open it up again as a performing art center, half of our workshop fee went towards this.

The image above was taken in the lower balcony looking towards stage left.  You can still see part of the beautiful artwork on the wall.  I shot this with my Fuji X-Pro 1 that took a very, very bad fall while on the tripod in the dark projector room.  I was helping someone and backed up and knocked into my tripod and I heard the camera hit the cement floor.  Once I was able to get into the light the camera had just a little cosmetic scratch but kept on working as if nothing happened.  The Fuji X-Pro 1 is a metal body camera and obviously built like a tank!  This is my favorite camera so my heart did stop when I heard it hit.

The image is bracketed with 3 exposure stops to capture detail in the light and shadows.  I processed it in Capture One and brought it into Photoshop.  From there I used luminosity masks to bring out the best in the 3 exposures.  I then had fun with some new programs I purchased.  Macphun Intensify Pro is an awesome program.  It brings out detail and color better than Nik.  I then brought it into the new Topaz Impression which has some wonderful artistic filters.  I used the chiaroscuro filter and then blended my original image so that it has a very interesting photographic/art feel to it.  Love the combination of these two programs in Photoshop.

The image below is of the Ladies Lounge.  This room was pretty much in the dark except for the light filtering in from the door.  I looove that couch.  Very art deco.  I used basically the same process as the other image except I went with the pencil filter in Topaz Impression rather than the more painterly one.  This really popped the detail that Intensify Pro had pulled out.

Ladies-LoungeI will be showing more work from this theater. I shot around 300 images that day.

Firefly Farm


I’m a little late posting this week.  I’ve been back down in NYC working and running around on the weekend.  Time just slipped away…. I am also committing to working with a Wacom Tablet instead of mouse so the learning curve is sloooow which kills me because I am very fast on the computer.  I’m told to use it for a week straight and I will be up to mouse speed.

This week is an abandoned house I photographed out in Eastern Pennsylvania.  I wanted to portray it at night and for some reason I wanted firefly’s in it.   I worked with 3 exposures using luminosity masks, a great texture by Dirk Wuestenhagen and a night sky I created on my own.  The firefly’s are a photoshop brush I purchased.  I used Topaz Clarity to add some mood and did a lot of dodging and burning.  It just has that summer night feel to me.  Creepy but still a summer night!




I have been working on the composite piece above for a few months and finally got it to where I wanted it.  The setting is Pennhurst State Hospital one of the Abandoned America workshops I had taken earlier in the year.  I had seen this wall and thought it would make a great background for one of my composites.  The image of me was shot in my bathroom of all places!  It has a lot of light and the wonderful skylight in it that gives me the light I am looking for during certain hours of the day.   I actually put the gown together myself using fabric I purchased and pinning here and there.  I learned to do this watching a Jennifer Hudson workshop on CreativeLive.  I worked the image in Photoshop and Color Efex Pro.  Textures are by Dirk Wuestenhagen and 2 Lil Owls.  Shot with my Fuji X-Pro1.

The composite image below was shot at Scranton Lace Factory and I just kept thinking it would be really eerie if a haunting face was coming through the one of the window panes.  The image is one I shot in my library this time (another sky light area) laying on the floor with my Fuji X-Pro 1 on a tripod above me looking down.  I worked this image in Photoshop using luminosity masks to bring out the detail and light.  Fuji X-Pro 1 was used for both images.




Another image I have been working on since July.  I had it looking one way and didn’t like it so I spent last week taking back it to the beginning background and rebuilt it the way I wanted it to look.  This is an ongoing process that happens with some composites.  Sometime I get it just the way I want it in a few hours, other times it takes me months to get the feel that I really want.  The background was photographed at a nearby lake called Byram Lake. Many happy childhood memories riding around the lake looking for quail and fox with my Pop Pop Johnson.  The day this was shot a storm was coming in so I had really dramatic clouds.  The character is me in my living room and the wings I was able to take from a Jackdaw stock photo I had used before from the great Frank and Cary on Deviant Art.  The textures are from Brook Shaden’s India collection and the wonderful Dirk Wuestenhagen.  The background was photographed with my Fuji x100s and the character with my Fuji X-Pro 1.  The feathers dropping off can be the wings coming on or off.  However you want the story to go.

Reminder I have an image in the “Elements” juried show at the Loft Artist Gallery in Stamford, Connecticut starting on September 12th (reception that evening).  If you are in the area  that evening, please stop by and say hello.



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