Friday, March 8, 2013

Jail Break

Jail Break, originally uploaded by Donnie Fulks.
This zoom-blur was the last shot taken from my 2011 visit to Eastern State Penitentiary. After a hectic session of photography the group was parched and ready to call it a day. While I had many images of different cells (see blog posts from July and August 2011) we thought to try something different and fun.

The scene appeared drab at first glance so I was happy to see the color and texture emerge during post from the long exposure. It takes quite a few tries zooming the lens to get a result your content with.

While the prison is opener to the public there are many areas accessible with a special photographer's group pass. This prison wing is one of this special access areas. I am hopeful that on the next visit some area previously off limits will be available.

Reviewing my past work provides ideas for approaching the next visit. Some scenes I'll want to redo. Others I missed I hope to get this time around.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Allure of Decrepitude

_DSC3803_DxO nx 72dpi, originally uploaded by Donnie Fulks.
The past few posts have delt with visiting a mountainous location for the organic beauty of landscape and nature photography. I have a couple of big trips to this sort of photography this year. Well, big for me anyway. If only time and money were no object... I'll just have to dream of traveling to the far flung corners of the globe, to places like Patagonia, Antarctica or Iceland for chance to capture stunning beauty. More on another landscape trip later.

Back to the subject at hand: Venues featuring man made places that fallen into ruin. There is something haunting about these abandoned places that is oddly attractive. Forgoten factories, prisons, mental institutions to name a few. Places where nature laughs last and time holds sway. Part of the attraction is centered around the personified ghosts of stories represented from the past.

Today's image is from one of the cells in Eastern State Penitentery. It has been a couple of years since I was there last and I'm looking forward to returning.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Cade's Cove Lone Tree

Cade's Cove Lone Tree, originally uploaded by Donnie Fulks.

You might be wondering what's up with all the painterly stuff? Due to a minor house fire and subsequent residence in a hotel while the fire and smoke damage is repaired I've been playing on the iPad. I will get back to some "real" photography in the next post and continue the series on upcoming photo trips.

This image came from my last trip to the Smokies. It started as a HDR capture that arguable was processed a bit over the top. I thought it was a fun subject for a painterly interpretation.

Next post I'll take a look back at the last visit to Eastern State Penitentiary and the Graffiti Underground as I contemplate a return visit.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Fuzzy Fix

Orange Sky Smokie Morning, originally uploaded by Donnie Fulks.

Continuing with my spring photo trip preview, I will share one or two more from past trips to the Smokies.

This image was captured during a workshop with Tony Sweet one morning. We were driving to the morning's shoot when we encountered this scene as we rounded a bend in the road. Tony hit the brakes, made a U turn back to the nearest pullout.

We hurriedly grabbed our gear to capture the most orange sky I've ever seen. There would be several more locations to shoot before we could return to the hotel to download the files. To my great disappointment, my favorite captures were all fuzzy! My tripod was on the edge of the pavement and I remember feeling the vibrations from the steady stream of assign traffic. In the excitement of the moment I failed to understand the implications.

Later during the critique session I reluctantly showed the fuzzy mess. Tony's response was that all was not lost if I didn't mind a painterly interpretation. For the image shown here, I made a version with a painting program and another version with a fine texture overlay. Then I blended those two with the original image. While it is not the straight photograph I originally envisioned, I do like the fuzzy fix very much.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Smok'in Dodge Power

Dodge Truck, originally uploaded by Donnie Fulks.

There is much more to look forward to on the Smokies trip later this spring than grand vistas. Streams and log cabins and the occasional old truck such as this one will fill the daylight hours. Who knows, maybe we'll try some light painting at night too? I say "we" because I'll be staying and roaming aroung the mountains with a bunch of photo friends.

These days it seems wherever a group of photogs gather the iPhones will be part of the bags of camera gear. It is such a creative tool to have Photoshop in your hand for instant picture making. After a long day of shooting the gang will be playing with their phones at meal time. It's part of what makes photography expeditions a social event.

This old Dodge truck has been a fun iPhone shot to revisit over and over again with the latest apps, lending itself to countless interpretations.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Smokies Sunrise

Camera Roll-722, originally uploaded by Donnie Fulks.

I'll be heading down to the Smokies again later this Spring with a few photo friends. Looking forward to the trip. I ran across this image while reviewing files from my last visit. Added the texture with Glaze app.