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Closed in Class

Today is a day for experimentation, and not much can get in the way of me and my photography, well, maybe Yum Cha for lunch, but nothing else.  I got up early this morning to work on my post for you.  I am going to experiment with WordPress to see if I can write it now and have it published later on today.  One experiment.

I never take much notice of how long it takes me to process my images, but being on a deadline today, I knew I had to be quick, but it still took me 3 hours to do this image.  I find that surprising when I think about what I did to it, or how it doesn’t seem like I did much.

The image was, as all of the school ones have been, a HDR image which was processed in Photomatix Pro.  From there I have added detail, blur, some more blur, I have highlighted some parts and tried to hide other parts.  I had to decide what I wanted the focus of the image to be.  Did I want the broken glass, the graffiti, the walls, or the shape of the hallway.  I am not sure I still know.  I think it is the shape of the hallway.  I want your eye to follow the central wall, down the curve.  I like the shape of this building.

One of the main problems I had with this image was that the original was quite dark to start with.  I didn’t want to lighten it too much.  The end image is a lot darker still, but that helps with that abandoned feel.  I don’t know why, but there seems to be some unwritten rule that abandoned equals dark.  I might have to test that theory some day.  I did add a little warmth to the final image.  I thought it would help give it that feeling that it was a nice place once, if school can ever be described that way.

As I have been doing a lot the last few days, I have processed this one in Silver Efex. There are so many presets to try, and I am loving the different moods you can get with this software.  I have lost some detail, but I think the mood is still there.  Once again, you have the option of seeing the image in black and white, as I have done with quite a few of the school images.

I processed this one slightly differently in Silver Efex, and I should start recording what I do, then I added a sepia tone.  So this is the sepia toned version.

Once again, I would love to hear which you prefer.  Right now I don’t know which is my favourite.  I find the black and white one a little stark, and like the warmth of the sepia, though, I also like the colour version, the darkness of it.

So back to today.  I am off soon for my yum cha lunch.  I thought I might take my Nikon with me to the city, well to lunch, but with the Holga lens I bought on it, and try experimenting with that.  It would be fun to take some photos along Southbank with it.  I haven’t really played with it.

Hopefully when this is actually published for you to read, I will be arriving at Point Lonsdale to record some late afternoon shots.  I am taking the Canons with me today to try out in a landscape setting.  Though, I am planning on using the 600D more.  I want to see how it performs in that situation.

So as I said, a day of experimentation.  I love days like this, the whole day is about photography.  Did you notice the watermark? I was trying out some new stuff.  No idea about tomorrow, it is going to be a mystery.  What images will I show you?  What images worked.

88 Comments
  1. Next to last one is my favorite. 😀

    November 3, 2012
    • Thank you mamasheri, good to hear, 🙂

      November 4, 2012
  2. Lee #

    Sepia has the slight edge.

    November 3, 2012
  3. bk #

    Usually black and white is my first choice however I did like the Silver Efex a hint more. Seriously, it took a bit to find your watermark with all the graffiti. I have to say I love your work. I looked up this photo editing program and intend to give it a try. Currently I’ve been working with Adobe Lightroom 4 which has been a bit of a learning curve.

    November 3, 2012
    • Thank you bk for your thoughts on the image, hope the watermark wasn’t too hard to find. I hope you do give it a try, just play around with it. It comes with a tutorial so you can learn how to use it.

      November 4, 2012
  4. I would have to agree with both comments above the sepia adds more depth to the image than the plain black and white. Then again i prefer the colour version overall as it has more detail.

    November 3, 2012
    • I think I agree with what you have said Ben, thanks.

      November 4, 2012
  5. Kjackson00 #

    I like the top photo…pretty cool

    November 3, 2012
  6. I’m awarding experimental suucess on all counts 🙂 All the images have merit but I prefer the first image, the vignette-y effect and the subtle colours up against the stark wall juxtaposed with dark and the light. The curve effectively pulls your eye through the photo as if you were walking along the hall way, suggesting 3D. And yes, the watermark is great… I notice you’ve been doing this on other images too.

    November 3, 2012
    • Thank you EllaDee. I think the first one is certainly a lot more popular. The curve is what was missing from the image a couple a weeks ago I think. It is fun incorporating the watermark into the image, hopefully makes it harder to be removed as well. I have been having fun with the experimentation.

      November 4, 2012
  7. la derniere est ma préférée

    November 3, 2012
    • Merci beaucoup, bon à entendre.

      November 4, 2012
  8. The colour shot just edges it for me. The pure black & white is a little too dark for me and it feels like some of the detail of the graffiti is lost. The darkening of the left hand edge does help lead the eye into the photo along the central wall, however, the colour shot has more detail/light at the end compared to the black and white and sepia versions.

    Great photo(s) and your pseudo-tutorial style is really interesting to read.

    November 3, 2012
    • Inés #

      I couldn’t agree more!

      November 4, 2012
    • Thank you Adrian, I think I agree with what you have said as well. Though for me there is a coldness to the B&W that I don’t really like, not sure what it is.
      Pseudo-tutorial style, is that good or bad?

      November 4, 2012
      • So bad thing.

        November 4, 2012
      • Pseudo Tutorial = good. What I mean is it wasn’t done as formal tutorial, as you have done before, but was nonetheless very informative.

        Adrian

        November 4, 2012
      • Oh okay, Adrian, thank you. It wasn’t meant to be a tutorial though, perhaps that is why, I just go on about stuff sometimes. I do like to do it for images like this, because they a great way to record what I did, so in the future if I want to know what I did, then it is there. My blog has become my visual diary.

        November 8, 2012
  9. Hi Leanne! Oh I like mono but, as I find with some of my shots, colour versions just edge in there ahead – and this is the case here.

    I think that the things the mono shots lose here are those wonderful green window frames, the colours seen behind the various windows, and the coloured windows and graffiti on the far left.

    By the way, when I make a comment on someone’s blog I always tick the box that ensures I get to hear of any response but there is no such box here – do you have your blog set up so that that I’ll automatically receive any response you make? Adrian

    November 3, 2012
    • I don’t think you are alone Adrian, it seems the colour is a lot more popular.
      I think I would have to agree about your assessment of the other mono images.
      I don’t know why you can’t tick the box on my blog, I had trouble with it a while ago, but as I write this, I can see the box, maybe I will have to investigate it further
      Thank you Adrian.

      November 4, 2012
  10. I’m going to have to go with color on this one, only because there are so many colors. I like B&W images of architecture as a rule, but on this one you lose the colors of the graffiti when you convert. It took me a while to FIND the watermark, but when I did I was delighted – very cool!

    November 3, 2012
    • Thank you Joylene, I think what you are saying is what a lot of people have been saying. It is good. Thanks for finding the watermark, I was so wrapped that I worked out how to do this. Haha

      November 4, 2012
  11. Liz #

    From the perspective of abandon I think the B & W and the sepia work best. For pure asthetics though I like the first image – the colours come across really vibrantly on my lap top and actually to me it is quite a bright picture.

    November 3, 2012
    • Thank you Liz, that is an interesting take on the images.

      November 4, 2012
  12. My favorite is the B&W picture.

    November 3, 2012
    • Thanks for your thoughts YellowCable.

      November 4, 2012
  13. It’s a toss-up between the color and the sepia…I like both.
    Love the curve of the building.

    November 3, 2012
    • Thanks Marie, I love that curve as well.

      November 4, 2012
  14. Great lines in this image. I like the first, color version the best.

    November 3, 2012
    • Thank you Mike, I like the lines as well. Good to know which one you like.

      November 4, 2012
  15. Definitely the first one with color. It gives life to the abondoned hallway.

    November 3, 2012
    • Thank you Mary, I like the idea of life in the abandoned hallway.

      November 4, 2012
  16. My favorite is the color of you want to highlight the curve of the hallway…looking at the outer part of the hallway in that photo is what did it for me 🙂

    November 3, 2012
    • I love the curve in the hallway, It is so interesting to have it in a structure like a school. Thanks Renchick.

      November 4, 2012
  17. I love the original Leanne…then the black and white. The sepia least. The color highlights the artistic work of the taggers much better.

    November 4, 2012
    • Thank you Beedie, that is interesting, I think you have been the only one to like the original. It is interesting which ones each person like.

      November 4, 2012
  18. Liked all..but just loved the first one.. with the depth of the hallway well captured 🙂

    November 4, 2012
    • Thank you, I like what you have said. 🙂

      November 4, 2012
  19. I like the top one best. The color gives it a ‘Carnivale’ type feel and goes wonderfully with all the markings. When the image goes to monochrome a lot of energy is gone.

    November 4, 2012
    • Thank you Anita, I don’t think you are alone there, That is an interesting description of the image. I think you are right as well about the monochrome.

      November 4, 2012
  20. I think I like the color one best. You did a good job allowing both the shape of the hall and the graffiti to share the focus 🙂

    November 4, 2012
    • I love the shape of the hallway, I almost didn’t do anything with the graffiti, I think it is good that I did, thank you Heather.

      November 4, 2012
  21. Each image has its own merits, Leanne…it it difficult to decide which I prefer. The color image is beyond wonderful with all the detail…and the B/W and sepia both emit the mystery of abandonment, without the ‘clutter’ of color. The image itself has great composition…you really brought out a lot of the loneliness in ALL of your processes.

    I’ve been trying to figure out how to post at a specified time, myself! Have any hints?

    November 4, 2012
    • I like that term “without the ‘clutter’ of color”, I might have to borrow that from time to time. I like the composition of the image as well 1000. Thank you so much.

      Yes, lots of hints, or I could just tell you, when you do a new post, in the box in the top right hand corner, just above the publish button you can see Publish immediately Edit, just press edit and you can set the date and time you want to publish your post. I will be using this a lot I think.

      November 4, 2012
      • Thanks, Leanne…I looked at that box when I posted, didn’t try it, but figures I might sometime today…and you’ve provided the answer!

        November 4, 2012
  22. Leanne I loved all the versions of this and I think that’s because in each one my eyes were drawn the fragment of light in the window. Kind of like a symbol of hope in such decay?

    November 4, 2012
    • I can understand that, I had to be so careful with that, it was getting blown out in some processes. Thank you saymber

      November 4, 2012
  23. Both the B/W and sepia, I like the most. If I had to choose, it would be the sepia one, hands down.

    Have a good day experimenting.

    November 4, 2012
    • Thank you David, is very interesting hearing what everyone likes.
      I did have a great day, the images are almost ready to put up.

      November 4, 2012
  24. Pat #

    I think I prefer the color version because there are some interesting details to see. I can’t help wondering why this school, that doesn’t look too old, was abandoned and left to ruin.

    November 4, 2012
    • Thank you Pat, there are some interesting things in there. It is a mystery, I’ve tried to find out, but I can’t even find out when it closed. I do think, and this is just an opinion, that it was closed so the school could amalgamate with another school.

      November 4, 2012
  25. I was immediately drawn to the curvature of the wall. That was the focal point for me. That wall gave the whole image the connection to it that I needed. From there I was drawn to the other subtleties of the photo. The broken glass, the graffiti and I was really drawn to the door with the broken pane. The color and sepia toned versions of this image were my favorite. Wonderful work.

    November 4, 2012
    • I love that curved wall as well. I tried to get it in many images. I love how you have described your experience of the image, thank you so much.

      November 4, 2012
  26. I liked the colour one. It’s really cool how the image and feeling it produces changes when you experiment with the look. Great Job!

    November 4, 2012
    • It is pretty cool, I am addicted to doing it I think. It is also a lot of fun. Thank you.

      November 4, 2012
  27. Yes, the colour one for me too. Closely followed by the sepia. It’s really interesting how different this is with each image.

    November 4, 2012
    • Thanks Richard, I think Silver Efex helps with that.

      November 4, 2012
  28. Put a vote in the color column for me Leanne. D

    November 4, 2012
    • Done, thanks Dave.

      November 4, 2012
      • Still no Gravatar for you when I view notifications. It’s always something! D

        November 4, 2012
      • It is isn’t, I find that all the time, I love WordPress, but when they decided to fix one thing, another thing stops working. In this instance it only seems to happen for you. So weird.

        November 8, 2012
  29. Very cool photos xxxx

    November 4, 2012
  30. Hard to choose which one I like most. They’re all very nice images. 😉

    November 4, 2012
    • Thank you for saying that, that is lovely.

      November 4, 2012
  31. lensaddiction #

    I guess it depends on what mood you are wanting to portray as to which is the preferred image. I like the colour one for the detail and the extra hint of warmth it has, its less about the abandoned feeling and more about a building that has been rediscovered and redecorated 🙂 Not sure if that makes sense.

    Of the other two I prefer the BW, it has more of the abandoned feeling with the colder tones, more mood to it without the colour to distract the eye.

    They are all good images, and excellent examples of how colour can add or distract from the story you are telling 🙂

    BTW do you know about this site dedicated to abandoned buildings? http://www.opacity.us/ and also this guy http://www.abandonedamerica.us/business-and-industry

    November 4, 2012
    • That does make sense actually, in a strange way, it is an interesting observation. 🙂

      Thank you lensaddiction, that is really interesting.
      No, I haven’t seen those site, I will take a look, thanks for sending me the links. 🙂

      November 4, 2012
  32. The color one works best for me, noticed the curve of the hall most provactively. Sepia is my second choice for old time feel.

    November 4, 2012
    • That is great to hear, I love that curved wall, so glad you liked it too. Thank you.

      November 4, 2012
  33. I don’t like the sepia but I like both monochrome and colour. I’d like a little more shadow detail. There seems a lot of interest in there and I think you can still keep the main line of sight along the wall. I quite like shats of light shining into abandoned and derelict buildings so I’m not convinced that abandoned = dark but it certainly creates a sinister mood. Good experimentation. You can save your own presets in SEP and there are other good free presets you can download. I often start with a preset or film choice then tweak from there.

    November 4, 2012
    • I think that was one of the problems I had with the Silver Efex, I lost a lot of the detail, probably due to me not really knowing how to use it properly yet. I think dark, as in no lights on, perhaps, I don’t know.
      Thanks for the tips about saving presets, I might have to send you an email if I buy it. Thanks Andrew.

      November 4, 2012
  34. I like the color photo because it adds emotion to the graffiti and interest to the hallway. I did notice your watermark first thing. The sepia tone is my second choice.

    November 4, 2012
    • Thank you Anne, I was so happy with the watermark, or rather being able to manipulate it like that.

      November 4, 2012
  35. Very interesting place for photograph. I like the first color picture it’s so stunning.

    November 4, 2012
    • I think it was a lucky find, I was so surprised to find it with the doors open. I think the first one has been very popular. Thank you.

      November 5, 2012
  36. In the color photo, my eye keeps going back & forth between the window on the right & the end of the hallway on the left – they say you need one place for the eye to find, but maybe not always. I think it keeps my interest, having two focal points. I think you’re right about losing too much detail in the BW. I like the sepia, too. I appreciate your telling us how much time this all took. I too like to start with presets sometimes (in LR) and then tweak from there. You just never know what you’re going to get.

    November 5, 2012
    • I did consider getting rid of the light that comes in on the right so that you would stay in the hallway, but I quite liked the way you go from the door and then down the hallway.
      I don’t often use presets, I have just started using some in Silver Efex, they are interesting. That is right, you never know what you are going to get.
      Thank you.

      November 5, 2012
  37. That is an amazing photo. I think my favorite is the color one. It really draws one in.

    November 5, 2012
    • Thank you so much Lydia, it seems the colour one has been well received.

      November 5, 2012
  38. Once again, I like the b&w but also like the color version. The b&w gives me the feeling of abandonment while the color version gives me the feeling it is not totally abandon, or at least not forgotten. No a fan of sepia on this particular shot. I love all your closed school images. bill

    November 6, 2012
    • Thank you Bill, I like them as well. It is interesting to see what has happened, and then to see what I can do to enhance it even more, if I can. Thank you for your thoughts Bill.

      November 8, 2012
  39. I know you don’t need to hear yet another voice chime in with a vote for color, but I can’t resist telling you how much more…evocative and haunting the color shot is. The presence of the children is still there and thats a lot more dramatic than a long-abandoned schoool.
    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog!

    November 6, 2012
    • Thanks Claire for deciding to chime in with another vote, I really like what you have said about the image. I love seeing the images through other peoples eyes.

      November 8, 2012
  40. I like the sensuous curve of the hallway, which contrasts nicely with the broken glass.

    November 7, 2012
    • I love that curve too poetmcgonagall, I really wanted images with that in it. Thank you.

      November 8, 2012

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