They call Me Trinity

Here’s another non-URBEX shot, this time of a cool little Russian Orthodox I found, yesterday, at the top of a hill just inside the woods in Potsdam, Germany.  It being Sunday today, I knew yesterday when I saw this place that I would process it for today.  This one, as you can probably tell, is a tilt-shift shot, for which I used one of my favorite “special-effects” lenses, the Nikkor 24mm PC-E.  By the way, to get this shot, I shifted the lens all the way up (so I could fit the whole church in there and maintain the straight lines), tilted the lens as far left as it would go (to get maximum tilt effect), and opened the lens as wide as it would go (f/3.5) so I had max blur beyond the point of focus.  Go extreme, or go home, eh?

My whole world surrounds you…

Hey all.  Got another photo for you from my 11 November shoot at the very cool abandoned Krampnitz Kaserne.  As soon as I walked into this particular room, I was taken! It was just so sublime: the colors, textures, the light, the dark… the loneliness; everything I love about my world, which now surrounds you, too.  This room begged me to shoot with my beautiful Nikkor 24mm PC-E (a tilt-shift) lens, and it did not disappoint.  To make sure I was going to get the shot I envisioned, I flipped on my D700’s Live View function and played with the 24mm’s tilt and the aperture until I got just the right amount of blur over the right side of the frame, while at the same time ensuring maximum sharpness on that great sink.  That called for an f/5.6 aperture, by the way.  Fired off the brackets, post-processed to taste, and this is what I got.  Tune-wise, I listened to Puddle of Mudd’s awesome Blurry while processing (man I love those lyrics).

… and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.

I decided to make a short visit to Krampnitz Kaserne, an old abandoned military German military base in the Potsdam area of Germany.  For those not already familiar with this photographer’s wet dream, you can read more about its history here at the Irish Berliner’s website.  I’ve shot there place several times, 99 percent of the time solo (a bit dangerous, so be careful if you decide to do this, as there are lots of ways you can get hurt here if you’re not careful); much like wreck diving without a buddy, or parachuting without a reserve chute, it can be both scary and exhilarating at the same time, but that’s not why I go solo.  I go solo because I control the pace, lingering in one place or another as long as like to visualize my shots and to make every shot count!  When I came across this particular room, I was immediately reminded of the scene in from Alice in Wonderland where Alice has gone down into the rabbit hole, and ends up in a room with several doors of varying sizes, including a small door behind a curtain.  Of course standing in this space then had my mind racing over several songs and movies, including the  “Matrix” (love that flick).  In particular, I thought about my favorite scene in the movie, where Morpheus invites Neo to take the red pill, stay in Wonderland and see how deep the rabbit hole goes.  It’s all about having control!  Control over your own life, and your own destiny.  Don’t let “The Man”or anyone else do that for you!

To process today’s shot, I listened to Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit, Blue Man Group’s awesome rendition of the same song, as well as the super awesome rendition called Rabbit Hole, by Living Legends!  Check all three tunes out.  I think they are all fantastic in their own way!

Alone in the dark

I’m one of those guys who loves being alone in the dark, and I surround myself in darkness whenever I can.  My office is dark, my study is dark, and I suppose my pictures are dark as well.  I think if you look at my body of work, you can see what I mean.  Not that I can’t shoot and process other stuff, but I prefer that kind of work… at least at the moment.  So today I thought I’d let you all take a peek behind the scenes of my workflow to see how how post-process my HDR work.  As you’ll see in the video, I’m a big fan of HDRSoft’s Photomatix Pro, when it comes to pulling my brackets together and tone-mapping my HDR.  So, without further ado, here is the final image and, below that, the video that shows you of how I got there.  Let me know what you think!  (BTW, I’d be grateful if someone could clue me in to how I can properly and center the the video I have up on vimeo with the photo in this blog. I’m using wordpress with P3 and, for some reason, every time I center the video using the ‘Align Center’ radio button, the video disappears and is replaced with only a text link to the video .  Thanks in advance.)

(EDIT: Since posting this, this fine folks at HDR Soft have allowed me the privilege of offering to all of you the coupon code FOTOFREQHDR . That will save you 15% on your purchase of the fantabulous Photomatix Pro (this also works for purchases of Photomatix Pro Plus Bundle, Photomatix Light, Photomatix Plug-In for Apple Aperture, and their Tone Mapping Plug-In for Photoshop CS2/3/4/5.  All you have to do is type the code FOTOFREQHDR or fotofreqhdr into the “Coupon Code if available” box and you save some cold hard cash!)

Fotofreq’s HDR Post-Processing Workflow from fotofreq on Vimeo.

In the house of the rising sun…

I really love the effects the Nikkor 24mm f/3.5 PC-E (tilt/shift) lens can produce, and I find myself using it more and more to create an almost doll house effect with some of the images I bring back from my urban explorations.  If you stand alone in room like this long enough, your imagination can get the best of you.  You might imagine being stuck in this building, perhaps in a dream.  The doors are sealed, and there is no way out… the only way out is to wake up.  But how?  It is at that moment you realize you are not alone in this room; there are dark shapes moving in the corners, watching… and waiting for dark.  The dark that is their domain.  It’s smiles knowingly at your feeble attempts to remain in the light, a light that soon fades to nothing.  And then you listen as the shadow-dweller scampers up the walls, to the ceiling and above you.  You hear the scratching of its claws, and then you hear nothing as it descends upon you.  And, if you’re lucky, you wake up.  And, if not…

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