Back in early March, I posted several compositions of the old Bailey Power Plant in the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, located in downtown Winston-Salem, NC. Here are few additional compositions I didn’t get to. Demolition continues on the interior, the site is being renovated for commercial use – restaurants and specialty shops.
I can’t seem to make up my mind on the best approach for this abandoned house on Hwy 158 near Belews Creek, NC. Color or Black & White? After basic image enhancements in Lightroom and Photoshop, the color version was processed in Alien Skin’s Exposure 7 to emulate vintage 1960 Kodachrome 25 slide film tonality. I use this treatment for a lot of my abandoned/urbex color compositions.
The black & white version was also processes in Exposure 7, but this time to emulate Agfa APX 100 b&w film. Again, my b&w go to for an extra dash of contrast and addition of old school analog grain. As much silver and chemical I literally had my hands in during the 70’s and 80’s, I appreciate the accuracy of Alien Skin’s emulations. In the future, when I’m breaking even with my photography, I may give film and photo-paper enlargements another go. For now, I just don’t have the time.
So, which do you like best, color or b&w? You can also click on an image to see a higher resolution version from my portfolio site. I appreciate your feedback.
Another one of my recent back-road finds, this relic graveyard located on Hwy 27 in Red Cross, North Carolina has much to offer the artist’s eye. This first post features 3 classic cars from the 1950s – a 1955 Packard Clipper Constellation, 1959 Buick LeSabre and 1950 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe.
While researching the make & model of these old cars, I came across dozens of photos of fully restored versions of each. The boldness of styling in their day can still be appreciated in both the restored cars and in these old relics.
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Once an American icon, the drive-in movie theater is mostly a relic from our mid-20th century landscape. Their demise is blamed on several factors, included is the exhaustion of cheap and “unlimited” space, the slow and steady decline of the middle class, the evolution of American car culture and the cost reduction & increased quality of home entertainment technology. Today, like other abandoned buildings, they serve only as a canvas for graffiti artists.
I vaguely remember piling in my parent’s station wagon to see True Grit and The Parent Trap at our local Charlotte, NC drive in. Ok, yes, I’m old. Of course drive-ins are also a favored backdrop in movies from or about the 50s & 60s. These image are of the abandoned Bel-Air Drive-In in Walkertown, North Carolina. It was built in 1955 and survived until the year 2000. In the image above, two spray paint cans remain on the concessions counter; left by previous site visitors.
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Like most photographers, I’m usually up for an opportunity to travel the back roads. However, when accompanied by my wife and teenage sons, those opportunities become very limited. I can understand how boring it would be to sit in the car while I work a scene. So, when I travel alone and have a fair amount of time, I look forward to taking the “road less travelled”.
I found this scene late in the afternoon on my way back from a recent trip to Charlotte. Sometimes I can see a subject worth stopping for in the distance and can pull over as I approach. More often, I’ll pass by and then quickly decide if the opportunity justifies the time and effort to turnaround and go back. When in doubt, experience has taught me to err on the side of going back to work the scene. Though usually dependent on the lighting, I rarely come away with compositions that don’t justify further consideration and post processing.
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This abandoned warehouse sits adjacent to an old railroad track in Albemarle, NC. The location is adjacent to the large grain silos featured in an earlier post. Perhaps this warehouse was once used to store and load grain for rail shipment.
After my usual post processing to emulate Agfa APX 100 b&w film stock, I decided to try something new by applying a subtle sepia tone to each image. The original color image featured an impressive variety of rust colors ranging from yellows, to oranges, to reds. So, in the final processing step, I added back a small amount of color (in select areas) to the subtle sepia version. This final idea came to me in the shower this morning. I am pleased with the results and perhaps a bit cleaner too; hope you like it as well.
Let’s take a look at the next root of neglect – economic dislocation.
To differentiate from stress related distraction in my first post, here the context for dislocation is where an abrupt, forced change becomes the primary result of an event or action. Globalization seems to be a commonly referenced driver, where manufacturing has moved offshore to pursue cheaper labor costs, leaving vast industrial and even residential wastelands in developed countries. Hey, didn’t we know there’d be a consequence to the “everyday low prices” at Walmart? Other factors include the rise and fall of the real estate market, industrial automation, obsolescence, and natural disasters.
A few words about this image. Subtle digital burning and dodging in Lightroom was applied to embellish and emphasize the natural lighting. Though somewhat a busy composition, I’m very pleases with multi textures, shape and broad tonality. I finally tweaked my standard Agfa APX 100 b&w film emulation filter preset in Exposure 7 as the last stage in my workflow.
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