Monday, September 23, 2013

Carrie Furnace

In November we will be hosting a rather unique meetup at the Carrie Furnaces in Rankin, PA, but first a little history.  The Carrie Furnaces were part of the Homestead Steel Works located on the Monongahela River outside of Pittsburgh.  Today all that remains on this site are the number 6 and 7 blast furnaces.  Built in 1907,  the furnaces produced iron for the Homestead Works from 1907 until 1978.   

This facility appears quite large when you first visit, but as I researched the history  I found myself wishing that more of the site remained.   The unique thing about our visit in November is we will be the first group to ever photograph the location after dark!   I’m really looking forward to light painting parts of this facility.

For the picture above, I used a Lensbaby Composer Pro with a double glass optic.  Considering that pipes seemed to run in every possible direction, I used the Lensbaby to help simplify the shot. 

If you want to see more of this great location, check out the small gallery I posted on Flickr.

Thursday, September 12, 2013


When I press the shutter these days I try to not only envision what I see through the viewfinder, but also what I envision in my mind.   Recently I was talking to another photographer who commented that he strives to get it right in camera and was not interested in playing on the computer.    When you take the image the camera has no idea about your creative vision, it just captures the photons.   I think most of us see the scene in our minds first and sometimes do not consider that the electronics of the camera might not be seeing the same thing.

This image is a good example of that concept.  I took it a few months ago while leading a tour at the Trans Allegheny LunaticAsylum.  When I pulled up this image the other day, I felt that it was more of a cold stark image and did not fully reflect what I saw in my mind when I took the picture.  In order to get a darker and I think creepier picture I used Topaz Adjust to realize my vision. 

This month Topaz is putting Adjust on sale for 50% off the regular price.  Just use the code “septadjust” at checkout.  You can also download a trail version of the software.