Tag Archives: abandoned

Curbex (new word?- Country Urban Exploration) ‘Enjoy The View’, Plus Photovision discussion

I came across this gloriously ratty seat when I was chasing down the bald eagle in yesterdays post. I’ve actually been to this site before, it’s an abandoned shack and field off the main road into Durango, CO, I pass it whenever I go into town. The chair is new, though, as are several piles of dumped trash in the field to the right of this image. Sigh. But back to the image… I fell in love with this chair at first sight. Not enough to sit on it and get wet, mildewy or scabies, but as a photographer who has a secret urbex fantasy (I really, really love urbex photos and wish that I was in a place where I could take more of them), this seemed like a good mix of urbex and country landscapes. Hence, curbex. Which has probably been used before, but I will swear forever now that I invented it.

I watched my first episode of Photovision 2010 last night, and for a set of DVD’s that cost me $30, it was well worth it. I think if I lived in a place where there were lots of photo workshops and such, it wouldn’t be quite as helpful. But I learned several things, including several handy Photoshop tips that I am super glad of using. One I used in last nights image- making a layer, turning it black and white with gradient map (photoshop menu Images–> Adjustments –> Gradient Map) and then I lowered the opacity to around 50%. It gave a darkened, moody, desaturated feeling to the image. Another handy photoshop tip was to create a layer and change it from normal to hard light- it gave an amazing strong look to the photo (also lowered in opacity, it would have been too intense). I use the lighting in layers a lot with textures, but hadn’t even thought to use it in an image! It made the photo (an HDR from 3 exposures) look a bit more edgy. Hopefully not too edgy, but it needed that look. Once I see the whole set, I’ll make more of a comment. But, halfway through the first DVD, it’s already worth it to me.

Lots of little details worked on here, but I’m glad that I did them. I really liked this image, as soon as I saw it in real life and could imagine what the final photo could look like… yay!

For more urbex, I’ll gush in the near future about Scott Frederick Photography, but you can check out his blog here right now! He is a steady contributor to HDRspotting.com, as am I, and I really respect his work.

See my work at www.kelleybard.com, flickr, or “like” it at facebook or buzztown (see links on right). Lots of stuff coming up soon, including some exciting opportunities to get cheap photo shoots in my new home studio!



Abandoned Barn Owl

Last summer (2010) I took this photo while nervously exploring around an abandoned barn and house near where I live.  I was taking photos of the ground level detritus and heard this owl flutter crossly at me (how did I know he was fluttering crossly?  Check out that look on his face.  You would have known it too).

I really liked the image, and took several versions but they were all handheld and very few came out well.  I couldn’t do a traditional HDR although I really wanted to, the light exposures were all blurry.  Even the regular exposures were wonky.  Luckily, the dark exposures came out good and I was able to make a decent single-exposure HDR from this one.  This is also cropped significantly, mostly to make the owl more prominent but also to get some distracting elements out.

Processed with all the toys- Photoshop, Photomatix Pro 4, and Topaz Adjust and Denoise.

This is finally being finished as a part of my 2011 daily photo blog, and I’m not sure if it will end up on http://www.kelleybard.com or not.  It might, I really like it.  It will depend on comments that I get here, on facebook at Kelley Bard Photography’s page, and on flickr “kelleybardphotography”.  I will try to post it on HDRspotting.com as well.  So we will see!

Mining Cabin Red Mountain

Mining Cabin Red Mountain

I came across this spot while driving through the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, between Silverton and Ouray.  This mine is near Red Mountain (hence the name) and surrounded by beautiful, high altitude vistas.  I bet that in all the times I have passed this, I’ve barely given it a glance.  But this time, for some reason, it caught my eye and I stopped.  Next time, I should go through the door of the mine and explore a bit more.  But for this shoot, I had plenty to explore outside.  I love this crushed cabin, the texture of the wood on the mine entrance, the cutely carved aspens surrounded by the decay and devastation of time and weather.  The acid green muck stream in front of the cabin.  There are many things to enjoy in this image, I hope that you take your time to check it out!

Processing this was a bit painstaking, but hopefully worth my while.  I enjoyed it overall.  I put the 3 original images through Photomatix to start.  Once I had the HDR I moved it to Photoshop for tweaking and playing.  I put the photo through Topaz Adjust, which gave me some sharpness and some nice contrast and color.  I then put the image through Noiseware Professional which allowed me to clean up the digital noise left over from the HDR process.  I also had to go over the image piece by piece to clean up any additional noise.  I chose to let several areas appear slightly noisy, to keep their sharpness.  So I did a lot of masking to remove Noiseware Pro’s effects from sections.  I finished with some cleanup cloning, blurring, and a slight desaturation, courtesy of Photoshop.  A final trip through Lightroom and it was ready to go!

This photo is available at larger size and higher res on my website, www.kelleybard.com, in the “Places” gallery.  It’s also on flickr and was submitted to HDRspotting.com.  Check these sites out if you like this type of photography!

Enjoy my work and come back for more, I show a photo a day and like to find variety in my images and how they are processed- which means you will see lots of different, beautiful images here.  So return soon.

Marmot Car

Marmot Car

This car was something I saw as I drove past Red Mountain, high in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.  Red Mountain was a big mining area, with lots of abandoned mine shafts and buildings scattered around.  It is also quite beautiful, with bright rust and red and orange dirt on the mountain.  I had my camera and was on a long, lazy drive through Colorado, so I stopped.  I have passed this area many times before, sometimes stopping, mostly not.  Anyways, I saw that there were some miner’s homes which had been preserved off of the viewing parking lot.  When I wandered down the path, I saw this car.

It was red and blue and rusty and half hidden in the plants.  The damage was horrific and I can only begin to imagine how it all happened.  I decided that I must take a photo because a) I have wanted to take the obligatory HDR car image, and this was sort of a play on that whole idea (HDR, or High Dynamic Range imaging, looks GREAT with shiny metal, so vintage cars and such are frequently shot for this type of post-processing look), and b) the cute marmot.  marmots are like fat, lazy high-altitude woodchucks.  Really cute to see.

I processed the original 3 images in Photomatix to get the HDR .tif, then moved them to Photoshop and really spent some time fixing this photo up.  I desaturated most of the photo by a way-too-long and embarrassing to admit series of steps.  I could have just masked the whole thing (realized later).  Oh well.  I took the image into Topaz Adjust to bring out some of the small details (I think I used Spicify, which I hardly ever use).  I also used Noiseware Professional to start the damage control from the HDR processing.  I ended up going over all of the image carefully, blurring some noisy spots and desaturating missed pieces of grass, etc.  My final fun act in Photoshop was to brighten up the marmot so he was more visible in the wheelwell.  Then I finished in Lightroom, giving the shadows in the photo a warm glow and picking over the color saturation on the car.

I like how the rusty spots and the damage came out, and, of course, with HDR you can see into the car and other details that would be lost in a normal image.  Enjoy this piece of art and look for it at www.kelleybard.com and hopefully soon to be seen in Flickr and HDRspotting.com. I love suggestions too, so feel free to pass them on in the comments section here!

Fav pic of the week

Find this image and others at http://www.kelleybard.com

Playing with HDR lately, trying to learn it… this is the best pic I’ve made so far. It has problems but it makes me so happy- it’s exactly what I imagined, which is rare!