Rusted Relics

Rusted Memories of a Bygone Era
Rusted Memories of a Bygone Era

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While I was down in Alabama I took a drive out past the place where my Grandparents lived. The old house is gone now and I drove a little further down the highway to see if there was anything that might make a good photo along it. I came upon a log cabin, sitting in the middle of a field, that is covered in old metal signs and has several old gas pumps in the yard. This image is a detail of one of the pumps.

As is my practice today I shot a three bracket set of images for HDR processing. Another advantage of shooting brackets is the near certainty that one of the images will be a good exposure if I need something quick for a deadline. I don’t often need to do that but it sure is handy when the need arises.

The first thing I did was merge the three frames in NIK HDR eFex Pro 2 for tone mapping and detail adjustment. I used one of the Realistic presets as my starting point. I then took the HDR image into OnOne Perfect Photo 6 where I used a few different effects to add a vignette and enhanced some of the color. On e of the nice things about Perfect Effects is that it allows me to create layers and apply the effects in varying amounts. By stacking a few effects and adjusting the amount of each one from zero to 100% it is possible to get the feeling I’m looking for. After I had the image nearly finished I returned it to Aperture 3 where I adjusted the shadows and highlight, contrast and sharpened the image.

Keep Out
Keep Out

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This bird house seemed such a great subject with it’s weathered texture and the sign below it. I ran it through the same basic process and settled on this final version. I’m glad I started exploring the OnOne Perfect Photo 6 Suite again. In the future I will be using it more often when I want to convey more emotion than using only HDR techniques affords me.

9 thoughts on “Rusted Relics

    1. Thanks Jerry. I love the old and decrepit; I suppose because that’s where life eventually leads us all and though I’m soon to be 65 I still feel there’s a lot of road ahead. I love the textures of decay for their reinforcement of the circle of life. Nothing lasts forever be it man, beast, mountain or planet, sooner or later it all dissolves into the atoms and stardust from whence it was born. Thanks for stopping by my blog and taking time to share your observations. Maybe one day our Harleys will cross paths and we can sit down and get to know each other over a cup of coffee in some small cafe. Until then ride safe and enjoy this life, far as I can see it’s the only one we get.

    1. Thank you for commenting Murray. You ask an interesting question; I wasn’t consciously trying to catch the letters I was simply looking for a good composition that emphasized the curve of the form and contrasted the shiny chrome with the texture of the rust. Once I have my eye in the viewfinder I think I shift into my right brain and start following my instinct as to what to include or exclude from the frame. That is one of the aspects of making art I most enjoy; the giving over of myself to the direction of my subconscious mind. I guess a simple way to put it is that I am in “the zone” at that point, much as when a musician starts to riff on the notes he is hearing.

  1. 65? Ah, but you are but a youth! I’ve got you by 13 years. And yet I feel often as I did in my youth whenever a camera is in my hand. I recall when I was about 11 of saving $9.95 for a Brownie Reflex and oh, the joy of those first images. I sometimes have good flashbacks even today when I am out shooting; even snowflakes or raindrops in a puddle or swirling leaves can bring those precious memories back to me.
    I’ve had a camera in my hands ever since, graduating to an Argus twin lens reflex, Mamiyas and Nikons and Graflex and eventually settled on Canon’s quality as I worked my way on up to my Rebel of today. I’ve photographed a 1000 weddings, thousands of school children, dozens and dozens of beautiful models; I’ve hung out of helicopters and laid on green grass looking up at tulips all because the click of the shutter meant that I had captured “feelings on film”.
    Someone once said that I will still have a camera in my hands in my casket, lifting the lid with “There’s just one more shot I’ve got to take.”
    So, when I see your pictorial of the simple bird house, the pure beauty of it is that I can feel the image. That is the purity of soul-art. Never the money, only the preservation of the moment – being able to share it with others, encouraging them to feel what you feel.
    Blessings on you my friend. Keep on keepin’ on.
    Dudley Danielson

    1. Thanks Dudley for such a wonderful story of your love for photography. I too feel that when the camera is in my hand and my eye is in the viewfinder I am transported to another dimension. Time means nothing and all I can feel is a desire to make images that speak to me. That others can see them and hear the story they tell and feel the vibrations that my images stir in their souls gives me great joy. Art isn’t always definable but when it resonates with the viewer it is completed and transcends the physical world much as notes in music sing to our souls.

      1. Dudley, Just moments ago I read this quote and thought how appropriate it was to our exchange.
        “No man is a failure who is enjoying life.”
        – William Feather

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