Thursday, November 15, 2012


Over the past few days I have found myself going back several times to the abandoned house that's located a few miles from our home.  Of course, the property has No Trespassing signs posted in several locations, but that has not deterred me.  Actually, that's not quite accurate.  I have had some trepidation in wandering around on the property, worrying that someone might show up with a large, heavy stick.  I will say that I have gotten more comfortable as no one continues to show up.

As a reminder, here is a shot of the house (both in color and in B&W), which has been the subject of previous posts.

On these visits I spent quite a bit of time inside the house as well as outside and also spent some time in the barn that is also situated on the property.  I have decided to divide these into a number of posts as a result.  First, the exterior.

Ambient lighting can make an enormous difference in the quality of the images, and no amount of post processing can fully make up for those differences.  The above shots illustrate the bright, early morning sunlight that was being reflected off the front of the house.  Here is another shot from that morning.

The light is beautifully warm but does create a sharp shadow.

Here are a couple of shots also of the front of the house taken around midday, when the sun was still nicely catching the clapboards.

I liked the reflections in the windows of the above shot, but I haven't been able to figure out what caused them.  

As a contrast, here is a shot of the front (east side) from the following afternoon when the sun was on the west side of the house.

The shadows are gone but so is the warmth.  The composition is interesting, but image is flat.

Once Daylight Saving Time ends in November, sunset comes early in Milwaukee.  I returned around 4 pm on the second day and was able to catch the sunset behind the house.

When I took these two photos, I felt that I needed to overexpose the shots in order to expose the house adequately.  It wasn't until post processing that I realized that the primary subject of these shots was not the house but the sky.  The house simply served to provide some context and interest to the shot.  So while I overexposed the shots in the taking, I underexposed them in post processing in order to bring out the colors in the sky.

Here is another sunset shot taken the next evening. 

I had learned that I should underexpose the shot, even though it left the house largely in the dark, to make richer the colors of the evening sky.  All of these shots lack dynamic range, so I am still learning how to do this.

Taken with my Nikon D7000 with Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 lens and Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 lens.

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