Like many fine art photographers I like old things—(that’s why I photograph ghost towns!) and old things left outside, in a four season climate, to degrade and rust are the Best! So, when I first visited Silver City after checking out the historic buildings I ventured up into the hills on the town’s edges looking for those old things left outside. I soon found several old car chassis, hunkered down in the weeds, rusting way, paint peeling…
|f9.0 @ 1/200 sec., ISO 400; Lens @ 73mm
The peeling layers of paint on this old car’s “suicide doors” is art in itself! That’s why I did so little in post processing on this image besides cropping in camera to off-set the doors’ seam pushing the door handles to the right (“rule of thirds” composition). I suppose I should title this one, “Bloody Suicide Doors”.
Next I found this old car being consumed by weeds…
|f9.0 @ 1/320 sec., ISO 400; Lens @ 32mm
Or, maybe, as edited into B&W, my vision of this as a metallic skull, with the trunk lid gone, creating a huge maw, it looks like this beast is doing the consuming of the weeds!
TECH NOTE: I converted this RAW file into B&W with NIK’s HDR Efex Pro using the B&W Art Preset modified to my taste. Here is the original file….
|Original Unmodified File
This original file just did not have the sinister punch I wanted for my vision; it had to be monochrome. I also picked-up a lot of texture in the rusted steel with the HDR conversion.
Here’s my favorite view of Silver City….
|f8.0 @ 1/640 sec., ISO 400; Lens @ 32mm
Whenever I photograph any well known site I always try to create something that other photographers have not done. I do not copy other photographer’s work. So, looking for a different composition is important, and one of the compositional elements many photographers neglect is the tried and true: Foreground, Middle-ground, Background concept. To create this concept I find a subject—in this case the old school house—and then I back-off and look for an alignment of some foreground element. Well, I had to back WAY-OFF, but I found this really nice archway created by some old vine covered trees that gave me the perfect foreground to frame my schoolhouse scene.
Not content with that look I pushed it to the surreal….
One of the benefits of our digital photography age is that we can create surreal images so easily. One of my favorite printing techniques from our film days was Solarization and it happens that included in the NIK bundle of effects is both color and B&W Solarization.
TECH NOTE: This was done with NIK’s Color Efex Pro using the Color Solarization #3. However, when using the Elapsed Time Slider for the look I wanted it created some unwanted colors in the clouds over the school house. So, then I dropped the image into Photoshop and used the Spot Healing Brush Tool to clean up the sky.
Hope you enjoyed my one day adventure….’Til next week…
Author: Jerry W. Venz, PPA Master Photographer, Craftsman
Training Site: http://www.LightAtTheEdge.com
Client Site: http://www.TheStorytellersUsa.com