Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hole in the Wall

Graffiti Underground. Extended tripod to maximum height and used live view to compose and focus. Topaz an NIK filters used.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cabin Window

3189-95 topaz nx b 72dpi, originally uploaded by Donnie Fulks.

View through the window at one of the cabins in Cade's Cove, TN.

HDR with Topaz and NIK filters.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

New Lens

IMG_0053, originally uploaded by Donnie Fulks.
My new lens arrived last week- the olloclip. Yep, it is for the iPhone. An ingenious gadget, it is three lenses in one- fisheye, macro and wide angle. This image was made using the macro lens.

Apps used: PhotoToaster, SnapSeed, PrefectPhoto, ShockMyPic and Impression.

Wheel Fence

_DSC6756_DxO_7_DxO_8_DxOHDRI tonemapped topaz nx 72dpi, originally uploaded by Donnie Fulks.

A farmer in the Palouse region collected years ago hundreds if not thousands of steel wheels from old farm equipment and made this fence around his barn. One of my original attractions to the region were pictures I had seen of these wheels.  Less than a quarter of the fence is shown here. Rain clouds were rolling in as I shot this scene.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Palouse Abstract

Palouse Abstract, originally uploaded by Donnie Fulks.

I was supposed to be working on marketing copy and employee training manual revisions last night but I was coming up blank. So I turned to my folder of "crazy apps" looking for some creative inspiration on the iPad and came up with this. Like the picture- it started as a landscape from my Palouse trip last year- and did get some copy inspiration in the end.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Swipe Serendipity

_DSC8716_DxO nx 72dpi, originally uploaded by Donnie Fulks.

Serendipity- the "...phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for..." Merriam-Webster dictionary. Intentionally moving the camera during a longer exposure, otherwise known as a "swipe", is usually done with a landscape subject to create an abstract. This image was actually a bit of accidental combination of the two. I had begun a 13 second exposure and realized I had made a mistake on one of the camera settings. Out of frustration I released the ball head and moved the camera while the exposure finished. I moved on to the next shot and forgot about it until I processing the files. Nothing ventured, nothing gained the old saying goes. Thought this was perhaps "cool" and certainly different. Hope you like it.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

iPhone goes to the Silk Mill

IMG_3671, originally uploaded by Donnie Fulks.
A few from the Mill with my phone- processed with various apps in the phone.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Thready Mystery

The function of the silk mill was to spool silk thread. Very few full spools were left behind when the factory closed. I am not sure if the thread seen here is silk or synthetic. I've read that during the last years of production some synthetic threads was spooled.

The lot numbers and notes on this rack is intriguing. Equally interesting to me is the mystery of the manufacturing process of that occurred here. Beyond the rows and rows of machines used to spool the thread are drying chambers, large spinning tubs and documents describing material treatment recipes. Apparently the thread was treated with various chemicals by soaking for specified time and temperature as part of the manufacturing process.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Hung Hangers

_DSC8758_DxO nx 72dpi, originally uploaded by Donnie Fulks.

A simple subject. I had seen Tony Sweet's take these hangers. Tony's version is soft and elegant- a beautiful image by a master. While I played at a similar effect, I kept coming back to a more edgy, gritty interpretation.

To Grunge... or not?

This is the grungier version that was supposed to be in yesterday's post. The storms (now totaling over 7" from Lee) knocked me off the net last night before I could add it to the post.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pane-fully Broken

The view through a broken windowpane on the top factory floor is symbolic of the toll time and neglect have taken on the old Silk Mill building in Lonaconing, Maryland.

My processing choices were influenced by the feelings of lost glory for this old building, now half a century from it's prime. With the roof leaking badly in several places it may not be around much longer. A large infusion of cash will soon be needed to alter the inevitable outcome of the final chapter in this saga. So my interpretation took a decidedly "grunge" look. I'm not usually a huge fan of this style, but it seems to fit here. The question in my mind was, How much grunge? Below is an even grungier rendition:


Seems one always gravitates back to the elevator shaft during a visit to the old mill. This day was no exception as near the end of the visit several photographers were having fun with flash. While I tend to think of photography as an individual pursuit, I have found that these trips also become both social and highly collaborative. I joined Tony, George and Richard on this episode of creative chaos. I hear John had a hand in this escapade as well. This was a several second, 10 to 13 seconds, exposure with a number of flash bursts back in the stair well. Boys and their toys having fun.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Suspended Spin

IMG_3564, originally uploaded by Donnie Fulks.

Swamped, pun intended, at the farm right now getting ready for our fall pumpkin season so I thought I'd share some iPhone images from the silk mill taken earlier this summer. This is from my first visit to the mill and most of the "keepers" were done with the iPhone. My second visit was about a 50/50 split between the iPhone and Nikon DSLR. The third visit was all Nikon except one or two images. I'm finding the iPhone with it's gazillionphoto apps (I have 79 last count) to be a tremendous vision and creativity enhancing tool. All of the pro shooters I know personally say the same. I'll get back to some big boy camera stuff in a few days.

This is one of my favorite iPhone stitched pans, comprised of 9 vertical ClassicPan shots times 2 sets of exposures for a total of 18 captures. This app has an exposure slider so I made two series of exposures to emulate a HDR effect. Even so, the window at the far end of the isle was "blown out" so I used the Rays app to add a sunburst. Would you have known I added it if I had not mentioned it? The old adage, when you have lemons make lemonade, applies in photography.

The white specs on the floor are fallen paint chips. I'd guess that paint over 50 years old was of the leaded type. I noticed on our last, recent visit the floors have been swept.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


IMG_0015, originally uploaded by Donnie Fulks.

A sunflower image from this summer I found in my files. First iPhone capture processed on the iPad. Apps used:

6x6 cam
Pixel Blend
Auto Painter
Dynamic Light
Pic Grunger

Monday, September 5, 2011

Basement Calendar

_DSC8744_DxO nx BW 72dpi, originally uploaded by Donnie Fulks.
History indicates the manufacturing levels of the Silk Mill were declining in the later years. While the mill closed in 1957, this calendar in the lower level is from 1955 indicating that operations in this area was phased out earlier.

I wanted to draw attention to the calender so I converted to mostly B&W and painted the red portions of the calendar back in. The color version is shown for comparison. While most of the images captured here are HDR, this scene worked as a straight shot.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Spool Burst

_DSC8730_DxO nx 72dpi, originally uploaded by Donnie Fulks.

Several bins of spools sit in the basement of the mill. Just sitting there. 50 years ago they were in constant motion. I thought a zoom burst would portray the spools more dynamically.

DxO raw conversion, a number of NIK filters in Capture NX featuring Monday Morning.

Friday, September 2, 2011


3400-06 Post topaz nx 72dpi, originally uploaded by Donnie Fulks.

I'm wondering if this post was used years ago as a bollard to secure coal barges? The water is just to the left of the picture.

Topaz and NIK filters used.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Left Hanging...

_DSC8689 nx 72dpi, originally uploaded by Donnie Fulks.

...since 1957. Stopped by the silk mill yesterday to shoot with friends, old and new. Picked up a load of pumpkin bins on the same trip. I surmise these tags were used to ID production lots. While there is a long row of these hanging on the wall, I chose a tighter composition for the more intimate view.

I under exposed by at least a stop and lit the scene with a SB-800 strobe, 1/2 cut of CTO gel, Rogue grid modifier at 1/128th power. NIK color Efex filters used: Tonal Contrast, White Neutralizer Glamor glow, BW conversion (low opacity helped the grit and aging), Lighten/Darken Center and few control points. I preferred the flash effect over a reflector due to the more directional light provided by the grid. Pretty boring shot without the added light.

Gone South

_DSC5045 nx 72dpi, originally uploaded by Donnie Fulks.

Once. there were three Osprey chicks. The little guy didn't survive more than a week or so after this photo was taken in early July. The older two grew up and were last seen this past Sunday. Tracking research shows they migrate as far south as the Amazon. The adults will return in the spring. The young ones stay there and return to this area the spring after next, I'm told.