Friday, July 30, 2021

August 2021: A Slight Change of Plans


Things for the next month or two are going to have to be pulled from my stock, as I have broken my ankle and can not get out to make any new photographs. It is hard, especially on a nice day like today, but I do have to admit that I am getting to the point where I do often need encouragement to slow down and not do some of the things that I used to be able to do without even thinking about them first. Sitting with my feet up is not in my nature though, and this is incredibly frustrating. My father would have called this experience "building character", and encouraged me to not complain about it. 

I am told I should be walking again in early September. So this month you will get yet another shot from my latest trip to the old asylum in Traverse City. Next month I will change it up for you and give you something extra special. ;)

This photo was taken in the children's ward of the asylum, which was also used as the TB ward. I have been told since I was there that there is a doll still in this cradle, but I didn't get any closer to it than this shot so I never saw it. It is hard to imagine the realities of an infant being in an asylum, but it does tend to make me grateful for what I have, and puts the struggles of our current reality into a much healthier perspective. 

Sunday, July 4, 2021

July 2021 Addenda


I just remembered that I meant to post these. Since I mostly do nature work, I rarely have photos taken of me "in action". Rarer still is when they are as cool as this one, taken by the multi-talented Chris VanAntwerpen, who was our host, guide, and provider of access for the day. 

It is an interesting shot for me, as it is the very first time I was using the 9000 lumen LED light rig I had built specifically for shooting in the total darkness of the tunnels and basements under the old hospital facilities.  As you can see by Chris's shot, the powerful LEDs throw a very blue light which I have to correct on the computer later.  9000 lumens is a LOT of light, but the rig is made up of 3 independent units of 2000, 3000, and 4000 lumens so I don't have to use them all at once.  This narrow tunnel with all 9000 was horribly over-exposed, so I killed two of the units and lit it with just 3000 lumens...almost enough to illuminate the end of the tunnel, but not quite. That keeps a little bit of mystery in the shot. :)  So here it is, the shot I was making in the above photo:

As you can see, it is still a little over exposed at the top and sides, where the powerful LEDs were closest, and the color correction still needs some fine-tuning, but as this is really just a "proof-of-concept" shot, I probably won't spend any more time on it. I was very pleased with how the light rig ended up working. 

Thursday, July 1, 2021

July 2021: Asylum Revisited


In June I went back to the old Traverse City State Hospital for a day of shooting some of the abandoned buildings. This shot is from a regular ward building that we had been through before. Most of the rooms are in far worse shape than this one, and while there are a few fixtures and smatterings of old furniture still here and there, the lighting in this particular room really made it feel like it wasn't all that long ago that some poor troubled soul lived here.  The floor in particular is in really nice shape all things considered, though that probably has more to do with the fact that the roof and window are intact than anything. Many of them in these buildings are not, and Michigan winters are not the kindest.

Have a great July, and we will see you here again next month!