I’m starting a street photography and urban landscape series from a recent visit to my hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. Arriving early mornings, before my all day meeting sessions in Uptown, I found a lot of great urban subjects to cover. Late afternoon walks after work also offered up some great street photography opportunities.
Thanks for taking time to visit my photo blog. The best viewing experience is available by clicking on an image to view a high resolution version from my portfolio site.
This is the second part of my street photography post from the University of South Carolina campus. I’ve mixed in some architectural abstracts captured as well.
If you like these images, please see part 1 of this post, there you’ll fine more behind the scenes info about this shoot. For the best viewing experience, click on a image to see the high resolution version.
The drought is finally over! Outside of family photos and portraiture, I haven’t really shot any new street or field photography in the last four months. Instead, I’ve spent that time processing and posting photos from last year which I never got around to.
A few weeks ago, my wife Adrienne, dog Casper and I traveled to Columbia SC to visit my son Parker at USC. While Adrienne helped Parker straighten up his dorm room, Casper and I headed out to explore campus. The light was almost perfect; it was late afternoon, the sun was low and slightly diffused by thin clouds.
It was a lazy Sunday afternoon, and the mild high 60’s (approx 20 degrees C) temperature offered a preview of spring weather. After weeks of cold rain, you could tell folks were really enjoying the warm sun. Oh, and so did Casper, he was also quite patient with me stopping frequently to photograph.
During my shoot, I was conscious of maintaining a medium depth of field. Unfortunately though, I missed a few compositions because the subject was slightly out of focus. I had been shooting in shutter priority and let my depth of field dropped to around f5.6. Rookie mistake.
That’s what happens when you’re not on the street or in the field for 4 months! In the past, aperture priority between f8 & f11, depending on focal length, had worked well in these situations. I also need to relearn my Nikon auto focus modes. Perhaps I’m just getting old.
Big news on the computer tool front. I just finished building a monster PC! Actually my oldest son Austin did most of the building, I watched. My 4th Gen i7 and 960 Nivida video card were just getting bogged down trying to crunch photography workflows.
For you computer geeks like me, the new build was in a NZXT H700i case with Core i7 9700, 16GB 3000 Mhz RAM, 1TB Samsung 970 PRO NVMe M.2, 1TB Western Digital SSD and Nvidia Quadro P2000 graphics card. The PC OS, software and Lightroom catalog & libraries are all on the Samsung Samsung 970 Pro (7x faster than SSD drives); the system takes about 7 seconds to boot, as does the start for Lightroom. The Quadro P2000 enables 10bit color display on my BenQ monitor. And for the young folks, its all about the LED lights! Well, I did spend an extra $30 to get LED RAM. Oh, I should recognize Adrienne and the Amazon Store Card for enabling this purchase!
I have a few more compositions from this series to post later in the week. Thanks for taking time to visit. For the best viewing experience click on a image to see a high resolution version from my portfolio site.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
While recently traveling the back roads of the South Carolina Midlands, I took time to explore the downtown area of Kershaw. You can bet older small towns, off the beaten path, will usually have some interesting old or abandoned structures to photograph. Along E Marion St., I found a string of cool abandoned brick buildings to capture.
For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view the high resolution version from my portfolio site. Thank you for taking time to visit my photo blog!
It’s time to leave Toronto with this final street photography post. I was fortunate to be in such a cool city with a mix of European contemporary flare, old city charm and diverse ethnic character. An excellent recipe for street photography!
I expect this to be the final post of Toronto architectural abstracts, and following this should be a final street photography post. I’ve enjoyed exploring the pushed HDRish styling used in this series. I hope you have as well.
For the best viewing experience, click an image to see a high resolution version. Thanks for visiting my photo blog. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
As a follow up to my early November street photography post, I’ve included here eight additional compositions I curated from my 4 day visit. As you view this series, I hope you find and enjoy the subtle and not so subtle features contained in these compositions.
Thank you for taking time to view my photography. For the best visual experience, click on an image to view a high resolution version from my portfolio site.
High above Victoria St in Toronto, I spied this brave fellow painting the metal window framing of a twenty story building. At this point in time, the painter was painstakingly applying primer. So he had to go back over the face of this structure again to apply the final coat of red! I would say these are mashup of architectural abstracts and street photography.