Abandoned Chair Factory and Photography School

On September 8th I attended the 50th anniversary of the Randolph Community College Photography Department in Asheboro, North Carolina. We enjoyed several great seminars, tours of the recently update facilities, vendors and most of all, reconnecting with classmates from the class of 82!

Abandoned Chair Factory - Cyclone Composition
Abandoned Chair Factory – Cyclone Composition

Afterwards, I took a trip downtown with friends for a round of malt beverages. On the way, I passed this abandoned factory and decided to stop by on my way out of town. Despite lengthy research online, I was only able to determine the facility had once been a chair manufacturing plant.

Abandoned Chair Factory - Window
Abandoned Chair Factory – Window

Part of the abandoned plant had been demolished. Perhaps to make room for new construction, or more likely because what remained was unsafe. I cautiously made my way into another section were the roof was falling in. Though I haven’t done a lot of interior urban exploring or “urbex”, I certainly got a sense of the suspense and fear induced adrenaline rush sometimes described by urbex bloggers.

Abandoned Chair Factory - Falling Interior
Abandoned Chair Factory – Falling Interior

I ended up working off and on over a week’s period preparing the images for this post. As you can see, different styling approaches were used. In most cases I experimented with different looks, but was pleased with the final technique chosen for each composition.

Abandoned Chair Factory - Excavator Window
Abandoned Chair Factory – Excavator Window

The black & white images followed my typical monochrome workflow, which includes a Agfa APX 100 b&w film emulation using Alien Skin’s Exposure X3 for a slight contrast boost and addition of realistic old school grain.

Abandoned Chair Factory - Exterior
Abandoned Chair Factory – Exterior

For the sepia compositions, I started with some Lightroom dehaze processing on the sky, and then used Aurora HDR software to extend the tonal range and apply sepia toning with orange highlight and shadow toning. Finally Photoshop was used to mask the sky for some additional curves processing to further punch up clouds and sky contrast.

Abandoned Chair Factory -Truck Interior
Abandoned Chair Factory -Truck Interior

HDR processing was also used to punch up the texture and color contrast in the color photo below. Here, the trick was to not over do it. Now, in several of my architectural shots of Toronto late last year, I heavily pushed the HDR processing, almost to the point of abstraction. For abandoned compositions though, I’ve found a more subtle amount of processing works well to reveal and feature weathered and patina surfaces.

Abandoned Chair Factory - Shop Wall Composition
Abandoned Chair Factory – Shop Wall Composition

Back to Randolph Community College, when I attended as a Commercial Photography student, it was Randolph Tech. I did start my career as a commercial photographer, shooting mostly home furnishing in the furniture capital of the world – High Point, NC. I eventually drifted into multi-media, IT and project management. Now, I enjoy photography as more of a hobby. But hey, that’s a story for another day.

Abandoned Chair Factory - Shop Entrance
Abandoned Chair Factory – Shop Entrance

Thank you for taking time to visit my blog! I would certainly be interested in hearing your feedback on any or all of these compositions. For the best viewing experience, be sure to click on an image to view a high resolution version from my portfolio site.


C. S.

36 thoughts on “Abandoned Chair Factory and Photography School

  1. Your processing contributes to the eerie atmosphere here in all these images. They certainly stand firm as a series. If I were to select a single one, I guess my pick would be the Excavator Window.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Greetings, I appreciate your thoughtful feedback. Yea, I shot a series of excavater compositions trying to get the best framing. I suspect the excavator was used for the demolition seen on site. Wish I knew why.


  2. WOW … what a great set of images! This looks like such a fun place to shoot. I would have loved it! My favorites are Abandoned Chair Factory – Window … love the way the window leads you in … and Abandoned Chair Factory – Falling Interior … for the light and natural vignetting.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Karine, it was indeed a practical cloudy, flat day. I did give the composition a little contrast boost, but got most of the tonality range from adjustments to blue, yellow and orange luminosity settings in Lightroom.


  3. Your pics. of the building are nice. I like the HDR shots. The shot that you took under the arm of the Bulldozer that little shot is great! Also the door on the ground , the perspective was Awesome!! The pictures make you think of what was. Like who worked there and what they did etc.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You’re welcome! This shot definitely represents a range of techniques, scenes and processing – all covering the same theme/location. Thank you for taking time to visit my blog 🙂


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