Thursday, August 22, 2013


Last week I found myself once again heading for the site of the Solvay Coke Plant, which was abandoned 30 years ago.  In reviewing what I have shot in the past, I felt that, for the most part, the best shots have been those that have reflected a wider view of the scene, and that is what I tried to focus on on this visit.

Here, for example, is a shot of a wider scene in the main factory room.

One of the features of this place, in addition to the display of deterioration and the graffiti, is the amount of random trash present.

And here is an exterior shot of one of the buildings, showing off both the dilapidation as well as the massive graffito.

Following are some more interior shots.

I think what is most striking about these shots is the quality of the light.  These were relatively long exposures, generally 0.5 to 1.0 seconds, at narrow apertures, f/11, taken with a tripod.  (It wasn't nearly as bright inside the buildings as these photos would lead one to believe.)  And because the difference in the amount of ambient light in the buildings was so low relative to the amount of light coming into the building through windows and doorways, in post processing I found myself reducing contrast at both the brightest and darkest ends of the continuum.  The result looks a bit like HDR, thought that was not my intention.  Additionally, there is a lot going on in these shots--decaying structure, graffiti, garbage.

In addition to these wider angled shots, I did a few shots of selected more recent graffiti that I thought were interesting.

I'd like to find another location that would offer similar opportunities.


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