Tag: derelict

Water Tower and Distilling Plant

Water Tower #1

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This is the last set of brackets I was able to shoot when I was on the abandoned distillery this week. Right after these shots were taken the caretaker arrived and asked me to leave.

I shot four exposures of this scene and then merged them in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2. I’ve discovered that using the anti-ghosting at 100% is not necessary and can even cause serious halo issues with bright area such as the sky. I dialed it down to 20% and the results are much better. I really don’t have a lot more to say about this image.

Exploring an Abandoned Distillery (Part 3)

Looking Back to Another Time

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I can’t stop working with these images. I’m so intrigued by the architecture and the way nature is slowly taking back the place. I keep trying to understand what this place is and why it was allowed to fall into ruin. It is highly unlikely this property will ever be restored and therefore in time nature will completely consume it and the stories it could tell.

The image here is another bracketed set of five exposures that I merged in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 before applying the Realistic Deep preset. I made some adjustments to the tonality and tone compression sliders and then returned the image to Aperture 3 where I added a vignette, adjusted the saturation and vibrance and finally sharpened the photo.

The composition is a symmetrical composition which I don’t often use but in this case it seemed to be the best choice to capture the scene and convey the mystery and stillness of the place.

Exploring an Abandoned Distillery

HDR Panorama of a Gazebo and Pool at Old Taylor Distillery
Temple to the Whiskey Spirits

Yesterday after lunch I decided to take a motorcycle ride down to the State Capitol in Frankfort. The weather was much nicer than it had been in July and I needed to get out of the studio. As is often the case when I take one of my rides I had no particular destination in mind I simply wanted to feel the road under my wheels and to savor the joy I get from riding my Harley. I found a little road outside Frankfort that followed a small stream and decided it needed to be explored. As I rode along this road I came upon an abandoned distillery complex that I wanted to photograph. I pulled off near one of the gates to the property, got out my camera and tripod, and started looking for a place to access the property.

I spent nearly an hour probing the fence around the property but could not find an access point to the complex. I could see through the trees and brush along the fence that the buildings were collapsing and that there were a lot of photo ops but since I couldn’t get a clear view of the place I decided to take a few shots through the brush and move on. I headed further along this road when I came another group of whiskey warehouses that have been engulfed by the forest but that property was truly unaccessible and there was no place to park the bike. I’ll have to go back there again and see if I can find a way in though because they are so interesting with the forest slowly consuming them.

Down the road a little farther I came over a rise and saw yet another abandoned distillery complex. There were several interesting buildings as well as a place to park my bike that would be safe and keep it out of the photos I knew I was going to be shooting. I found an easy access point into the complex and started exploring the grounds. I love to shoot derelict and abandoned industrial subjects and this place was a treasure trove of rusted equipment and decaying structures. As I went around one of the buildings I spied an ornate roof poking through the small trees that have begun to reclaim this property. I went up the small path leading into the woods and was astonished to find the remains of the largest gazebo I’ve ever seen. It covered a stone pool that may have been a swimming pool or simply a water tank; it was impossible to know but it must have been something incredibly opulent when it was in use. It is at least 100 feet long and 30 feet wide with stone columns supporting the roof. I went into the structure and was amazed at the design and craftsmanship that I saw. At the far end was a circular area and above it stood this huge circular roof with a massive iron chandelier hanging above the water. There were steps leading down to the walkway around the circular pool so I went down to that level and set up my tripod to shoot the scene.

Once I was down on the lower landing I realized that even with my 18mm lens I could not capture the scene as I was seeing it so I decided to shoot it as a vertical panorama. I knew immediately that I was going to shoot bracketed exposures because the light level inside and outside the structure was too wide a range for a single exposure. I started at +2 and watched my histogram to be sure that I had a complete range of exposures for later HDR processing. As it turned out I only needed four exposures to get the histogram where I wanted it +2, +1, 0, and -1 exposure values at f8 worked well. I shot four frames at these settings and then repositioned the camera vertically and shot another set of four exposure. I wound up only needing three vertical frames to capture the scene for my panorama.

Once I was back at my studio I loaded each bracket set into NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 and merged them using the default setting in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 before saving them back to Aperture 3. Once I had all three vertical frames merged into HDR images I took them into Photoshop CS5  to merge them into the panorama. After cropping and saving the panorama I returned the panorama to NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 where I adjusted it using the Realistic 2 preset and made my initial adjustments to the tonality of the image before retuning the image to Aperture 3 where I straightened the horizon, boosted the detail and clarity and did my sharpening.