I drove up to Waterford, Connecticut about a year ago with my Fuji X-Pro 1 to photograph Seaside Sanatorium. Seaside was built in 1930 as a tuberculosis hospital for children. In later years it would become a hospital for the elderly and then mental patients. In the 1970’s reports started to surface that the patients were being ill-treated. The hospital finally closed in 1996. Today it sits abandoned on the water. There is security on the premises but you are allowed to walk around and photograph it. It is really haunting.
The woman is one of the vintage images I purchased on line and I worked with Adobe Painter to give her dress more volume and windswept. All the vintage images I use I have to retouch and colorize. It is a very long process but is a lot more pleasant to do since I purchased an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. I use a program called Astropad which allows me to work with the image on my Apple Cinema display right on the IPad. The bird is a Jackdaw and one of Frank’s from DeviantArt. The image of the woman on the wall of the building and a tiny image of a man standing on the roof of the building is another one of my tintypes. I photographed the clouds at Byram Lake in Mt. Kisco, New York. Lightening is one of my Photoshop brushes.
I was playing around with one of my tintypes of a young man and decided to transpose it with a tree I had photographed at Rockefeller State Preserve. I wanted this slight haunted look to it (of course, heaven forbid I work with butterflies and flowers in pastels).
I worked with the stormy sky that was in my photograph and laid a texture of sky from Photomorphis over it. It gives it a slight painterly feel to it. I then placed this off center black border around it because I like it framed this way.
With all the snow we had yesterday, 14 inches where I live, I should have titled this the Snowmaker! I wanted a dark and magical image. I needed a dark magician character so I created him using Adobe’s 3D software, Fuse. I elongated the original jacket to a cape since the Fuse software has very limited clothing or at least clothing I like to have my characters dressed in (Steampunk or Victorian). The Jackdaws are from Frank at DeviantArt. The background is an undisclosed abandoned poor farm I photographed with my Fuji XT-1 on New Years day. It is one of my favorite locations. Texture is from Shadowhouse Creations. Clouds, rain and lightening are Photoshop brushes I use. The fog is actually from a photograph I took of clouds, again photographed with my Fuji X-T1. The alchemy of mood was created using various filters in Photoshop from Topaz, MacPhun, and Nik.
I hope everyone on the East Coast is safe, sound and slowly digging their way out of the blizzard. It was a massive storm.
The War Room is a composite I put together using photographs I had taken at Scranton Lace Company on one of my Abandoned America Workshops. The cannon was photographed on a trip I took to Gettysburg this past summer. The soldier is an image I purchased from E-vint.com. The airplanes are from a vintage photograph from the Library of Congress that I colorized to red. The world maps are from a texture set I purchased. Textures used on this image are from Shadowhouse Creations and Photomorphis.
I was inspired by the room itself at Scranton Lace. The cement ceiling had caved in and broken pieces of cement were all around. It looked like a “war zone”.
I was photographing an abandoned poor farm on New Years day. This was photographed with my Fuji X-T1 in an old lavatory in one of the buildings. The graffiti was fantastic in this place. The golden triangle caught my eye and I immediately pictured an Egyptian or Indian goddess feel to it. I had this vintage image I downloaded from Hello Tuesday on DeviantArt. I liked juxtaposing the vintage image with the newer graffiti art and the decay of the building.
Photographed with my Fuji X-T1 at Scranton Lace Company. The figure is a 3D figure I created using the new Adobe Fuse 3D program. The ocean scene was photographed at Tod’s Point in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, clouds photographed at Byram Lake in Mt. Kisco, New York. Ship is from Pixelsquid since I don’t have access to old pirate ships!
Digital Photographic Art incorporating images I shot at Tod’s Point in Old Greenwich, CT as well as textures from Dirk Wuestenhagen, Photomorphis and Shadowhouse Creations. Vintage image colorized and transformed by me, ship from Pixelsquid.
I photographed the background image with the Fuji X-T1at one of the Vanishing Countryside workshops with Abandoned America. The vintage image is one of my tintypes and the fairy in the jar is a vintage image I purchased through evint.com. The mason jar the fairy is in is one of my jars that I photographed against a backlight with my iPhone. This is one of those images that just popped in my head one day! I used some textures on this from Flypaper.
I photographed this room at Pennhurst State School on one of my Abandon America workshops. It is one of those places that is very, very eerie and I love photographing the buildings there. The vintage image of the girl is a tintype from my collection that I colorized in Photoshop. The Raggedy Ann doll was on the couch in that exact location (I don’t move things around when I shoot abandoned places). The sky is a combination of a sky I photographed on a stormy day down at Kensico Dam and a sky I purchased with a tutorial from Phlearn.
I used textures to create the mood from the wonderful Dirk Wuestenhagen, Shadowhouse Creations and my own created from peeling walls at Pennhurst. Flypaper textures in a preset from Nic Color Efex Pro filters were also used. In short, I used a lot of textures to get the mood I wanted. A Fuji X-T1 was used to photograph the room at Pennhurst.
A great abandoned house I came upon while photographing up in the Catskills this past September. I wanted to give it a more painterly look so I put through Topaz Impressions and then worked with the light in Photoshop. Photographed with my Fuji X-T1.
The setting is photographed with my Fuji X-T1 at an abandoned Children’s Clothing Factory in Pennsylvania on one of my Abandoned America workshops. I loved the two dressmaker mannequins that were in front of this very colorful display of threads and thought about making them come to life or half life! The two images are from a vintage black and white photograph collection I purchased through Dover Pictura and were colorized by me. The eyes on top of the shelf are steampunk like glasses that are also from the Dover Pictura collection I purchased. I used a fairy dust photoshop brush to add a little magic and two textures from 2 Lil Owls to set the color tone I wanted.
Photographed with my Fuji X-T1 at Scranton Lace Company in Scranton, Pennsylvania on my second to last trip there with Abandoned America. The vintage image is from e-vint.com and the water was photographed at Gateway National Recreation Area in Brooklyn, New York. Textures are from 2 Lil Owls and Flypaper textures in Nik ColorEfex 4. Topaz Impressions was used to give it a soft painterly feel. I wanted that darkness of the old masters.
When I came across this cart at the lace company I immediately thought of a boat or ship and I loved the way the lace was hanging over. I could just picture it floating in water.
This idea came by accident. I had hand colored and retouched this vintage photo from Graphics Fairy and was going to incorporate it into another piece I was working on. When I brought the image of the beach into the piece I came up with the idea to use her as a message in a bottle. The beach scene was photographed with my Fuji X-Pro 1 at Gateway National Recreation Area located in the Rockaway Beach area of Brooklyn, New York. The message in her hand was taken at an abandoned silk mill in Maryland. The bottle is one I have here at home and I photographed it against a light box. I used a one of the textures created by Dirk Wuestenhagen for warmth. Seagulls are created using a Photoshop brush.
I love the light rays coming down. I told myself it was the former members smiling down at me.
It was a crisp beautiful autumn morning when I called my friend Linda to find out if the clubhouse, that stood on her parent’s property was still standing. It was but scheduled to be torn down that morning. I grabbed my camera and tripod and ran over to Wago Avenue to take a picture of the of the old Armonk Breakfast Club clubhouse before it was torn down. The Armonk Breakfast Club was started by a group of Armonk men who were lifelong friends growing up in Armonk, my father belonged to it. The clubhouse was located behind my Aunt Mildred and Uncle Charlie Wago’s house where they lived with their two daughters Linda and Charlene. Though they were not my blood aunt and uncle they were lifelong friends of my family and back then when you were that close to people you had the honor of calling them your aunt and uncle.
The Armonk Breakfast Club met every Sunday morning where the men would meet, cook breakfast, talk about hunting and fishing and enjoy each others company. Once a year they would allow the wives to come down for breakfast. Us kids were never allowed. Below is a picture of some of the members taken at Linda’s wedding. You can see the roof of the clubhouse in the background.
Members from left to right front row: John Torlish, Ray Bell, John Dean, Kenny Abrans
Member from left to right back row: Joe Wago, Harry Saglibene, Frank (Hank) Johnson (my Dad), Louie Tartaglia,
Ike Eisenhower, Harold Lape, Fred Coupe and Charlie Wago (aka Uncle Charlie).
The sad part is everyone in this picture except for Fred Coupe has passed on and I wanted one last picture of the clubhouse to remember them by. Some of the members not photographed were Tom Durkin, Bimbi Cox, Tommy Cox and I apologize if I missed anyone. Remember, I wasn’t allowed down there!
The club had it’s own patch which they would have sewed it on a jacket to wear around town. My Dad had a green wind breaker that he wore it on.
They must have had 50/50 raffles because Buffy Fisher (another old Armonk Family) and the excavator on the tear down of the clubhouse found them in the shed and gave me a few. I haven’t the faintest idea what they raffled off but I can imagine!
I couldn’t stay and watch the clubhouse come down because I knew I would cry. Another loss that over the last three years has been quite a bit for me. Change is constant and sometimes I embrace it with open arms and other times I look open it with the loss of wonderful times. I was very lucky to grow up in a small town where everyone knew you and you made lifelong friends. Times were so much simpler then.
I dedicate this weeks blog to the members of the Armonk Breakfast Club. I love and miss you all so very much.
A special thank you to Linda Wago Herbst for letting me photograph the club house, providing me with the picture of the some of the club members and the patch. To Buffy Fisher for being kind and patient waiting for me to photograph the clubhouse before tearing it down.
I put this composite together last January and never got around to posting it. The background is Fort Totten located in Bayside, New York. The building of Fort Totten began in 1862 to protect the East River entrance in the New York harbor along with Fort Schuyler which is located across from it on the Bronx side. It is a very interesting Fort to visit. The ghost like figure is me which I photographed somewhere in my house. I wanted that old, eerie castle or old abbey kind of feel to it.
Background photographed at Scranton Lace Company a few weeks ago using my Fuji X-T1. Vintage image of dancer is from Hello Tuesday on Deviant Art. I photographed the ocean at Gateway National Recreation Area located in the Jamaica Bay area of Brooklyn, New York. Rain was created with a Photoshop brush. The sunglasses I drew in Photoshop.
I have no idea what that little tub was used for but I had put someone it it!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
I came up with this concept using a great IPad app called Brainstormer. It was developed by an artist and is a great way to get ideas. You spin three wheels and three words come up. This spin gave me mad scientist, lecture hall and disco ball. I immediately thought of this science room I had photographed recentlyat one of the Leap of Faith workshops with Abandoned America. I then looked for a man that had a scientist or academic look to him and a disco ball. The lightening and smoke added to his slightly “mad” experiment.
Textures used to create the mood were purchased from Dirk Wuestenhagen and processed in Photoshop using Topaz Impressions. Disco ball and microscope from Pixelsquid. Clouds, lightening and smoke are Photoshop brushes. Room photographed with my Fuji X-T1.
I recently drove down to Asbury Park, New Jersey to take pictures of the boardwalk. I absolutely love Asbury Park. The background of this image was taken in the closed casino on the boardwalk. Photographed with my Fuji X-T1. I loved the reflection in the rather large puddle and wanted to create something with it. The swan and fish are vintage images from Graphics Fairy and pixel squid, the vintage woman is from e-vint.com. The swan in the background I photographed at Rye Playland. I used two textures from the wonderful collection by Dirk Wuestenhagen.