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.