Sunday, July 14, 2013

SOLVAY COKE PLANT: DETAILS

In my prior post I focused on some of the wider angled photos from my visits to the abandoned Solvay Coke Plant on Milwaukee's south side.  (See post of July 12.  Also see post of July 1.)  In this post I am going to show some of the more detail-oriented shots that I took.

As I said before, the plant buildings are in very poor shape and continue to deteriorate.  Moreover, they include a large amount of equipment and debris from another era.  So there are ample opportunities for photographing junk.

Everyone likes to take shots of paint failure and there's plenty of that at this location.  Here are a couple of examples.



As I have mentioned previously, there was very little light in some parts of the buildings.  The above shot was taken at an aperture of f/6.3 with an exposure of 13 seconds.

Here is a shot in which the wall was "painted" with light from a flashlight.  I thought the effect was pretty interesting, as the light was coming from the side rather than from overhead.


Having the light come from the side enhanced the shadows created by the peeling paint, increasing the shot's overall apparent depth.  This shot was taken with my lens set at f/22 for an exposure of 13 seconds.

The following is of a graffito on an exterior structure that I think had been worked over by two separate artists.


I didn't want to include the squarish blue graffito to the right, which seemed unrelated to the face, but it was unavoidable if I wanted to include all of the red overlay.  I thought the "gray" artist had more talent than the "red" one, but the combined effect was interesting.

The graffiti below was located on a second floor no longer accessible without a ladder.


I liked the way that the wall was deteriorating.

Here is what I believe is a simple graffiti "tag" that I thought resembled a mouse, of which there were plenty in the buildings.


As stated, the floors were strewn with all manner of debris, including this "nest" of soft twine that I thought made an interesting shot.


To increase depth of field, I shot this at an aperture of f/16, requiring an exposure of 3 seconds.

Looking up, I spotted the following ceiling vent.


I kept trying to get this overhead shot on a handheld basis, but the light was so poor that the exposures were just too long for a reasonably crisp image, so I finally used my tripod.  This was taken at f/8 for 0.8 seconds.

The following graffito was painted on the lower section of a very rusted piece of steel paneling.


I'm not sure what the first symbol painted a bright pink in the following shot says (I hope it isn't obscene), but I think the second word is "power."  I especially liked the broken pane next to them.


I worked hard in post processing to try to bring out the radiating cracks in the glass, but this was the best that I could do.

Finally, here is one of my favorite shots, taken of a second-floor window that had been glazed with the bluish-green glass that was common in the factory building.


The thicker cross-pieces are actually some sort of framing between me and the glass, but I liked the silhouetting effect.

Overall, I am more comfortable taking detail shots rather than more panoramic ones, but it is the latter that give a better feel for this location.

John

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