I’ve always been a big fan of sci-fi and horror flicks, and I’ve got a pretty good imagination to boot, which is probably why a lot of the URBEX environments I visit remind me of some movie I’ve seen before.  Sometimes, that can be a bit creepy, especially if I’m in one of those rooms alone with only the dripping and creaking sounds of decay.  This particular room reminded me of the scene in one of my all-time favorite horror flicks, the 1978 Invasion of the Body Snatchers remake, when Donald Sutherland’s character’s pod-self is transforming as he sleeps.  Click here if you want to see that still (to me at least) creepy scene.  Speaking of which, it’s midnight as I post this, so I suppose I should go to sleep now.  Wonder if it will be me who wakes up in the morning?

Warm on the inside

While I continue my deliberations about my future in photography, I’ve promised that I would still post-process and post photographs I’ve take over the last several months, but have just not had the time or inclination to work on.  This shot, of an old spiral staircase, is one I shot during a fairly recent trip to an abandoned paper mill in former East Germany.  I photographed this vertical panorama (or Vertorama) with my 24mm tilt-shift lens, using both shift (to shoot the upper and lower frames of the vertorama), and tilt (to keep the stairs sharper, while allowing the rest of the shot to blur).  By the way, if anyone has questions about how to use a tilt-shift lens, Photomatix and Photoshop to do this kind of work, give me a holler!  And if you want to see a true Vertorama master at work, check out South African photographer Paul Bruins’ work on flickr.  He is known there as Panorama Paul, and it was through his amazing work that I was turned on to Vertoramas!



The Blue Portal to the Within

I’ve seen this unique church entrance just about every day for the last two years, and I keep promising myself that I will photograph it.  It was not until today, as I was returning from an awesome full day of Urban Exploration (URBEX) with Luis dos Santos, a Berlin-based URBEX photographer extraordinaire, that I finally made good on that promise.  At first, I had intended to shoot this with my 16mm fisheye lens, so I could get really close and further exaggerate the lines of this entry way.  Problem was that the fisheye lens, aimed up at this entrance as it had to be to capture the scene, was straightening the lines of the columns of the entrance, which just would not do.  I wanted you too see it the way I see it, and that meant… you guessed it: a tilt-shift lens, one of the best tools in my arsenal when it comes to creating panoramas, vertical (as in this case) or horizontal.  It was the only way I could capture this entrance in all its glory, which I did by shooting two sets of brackets (one set to capture the bottom half of the shot, and the other set to capture the top half).  After that, I sent the resulting two files to Photoshop, via the MERGE TO PANORAMA function, which produces the vertical panorama I was after.  One of the great things about using a tilt-shift lens (specifically the shift function) to shoot panoramas is that you loose next to nothing from the frames when you merge (that is, there is little to no cropping required), so you end up with a HUGE beautiful file to work with.  This may sound complicated, but it is not.  In fact, I think I’ll try to put a video together showing just how this is done, which I hope to have out in a few weeks.  Until then, enjoy the blue portal to the within.




And they could never tear us apart…

As we draw closer and closer to Christmas, I’m dedicating today’s post and image to my wonderful wife, who’s put up with my craziness  for the last nineteen years and seven months.  She clearly has the patience of Job, and for that I will remain eternally grateful.  She’s such a great woman and, in the words of INXS, I love her precious heart, dearly!

Just because…

I think I sometimes forget why it is, exactly, that I shoot and post-process what I do, and why I maintain a website.  Is it because I want lot’s of people to come see my pictures and enjoy seeing a bit of what I got to see?  Sure.  Is it because I enjoy reading comments from all of you who drop by?  Absolutely.  So that’s it?  Uh, no!  In the end, I do it for me… just because.  Because I like the calmness I feel when I am out shooting, as well as when I am at home post-processing.  So I suppose I have nothing to really say about today’s shot, other than to say that I photographed it, post-precessed it and posted it… just because.

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