Old and Abandoned

11Feb12

Catskills Winter Photographers Weekend II
There’s no shortage of old and abandoned buildings in the Catskills and one doesn’t have to look hard to find these forgotten places. Some were left behind long ago to be weathered by the elements creating fascinating photo subjects. While the Catskills are still a popular tourist destination today, I get the impression that it was even more popular back in the day … when people from NYC were in the habit of driving to nearby vacations rather than flying to far off destinations. With dwindling tourism many places could not keep up and were abandoned. One such place is the Cold Springs Hotel which must have been quite nice in its prime. With each visit it seems to sag a little more and one day I am sure I will find a huge pile of rubble in its place. Though many buildings are left to decay, there are also some preserved like All Souls Church and the Saugerties Lighthouse pictured at the end of this post.

Second Thoughts
I wasn’t happy with the first ‘Catskills Haunt’ photo I posted so I gave it another try. The first one was an HDR process but the one there now, is not. While I liked the HDR large it was losing something small. From my bracketed shots I used the middle exposure and darkened the sky bringing out more detail, enhanced some colors and brightened the front of the building. Even though this is not HDR I wanted it to have a similar look to the others in the collection. There’s one other photo that is not HDR. Can you tell which one it is?

'Catskills Haunt' © Denise Bush

'Shutting In The Past' © Denise Bush

'Parking To The Right' © Denise Bush

'The Alpine' © Denise Bush

'Abandoned Mountain Retreat' © Denise Bush

'All Souls Church In Winter' © Denise Bush

'Saugerties Lighthouse' © Denise Bush



19 Responses to “Old and Abandoned”

  1. 1 Ken Henriques Jr.

    Wow, brings back some wonderful moments spent in the Catskills. Great job on the photos, Denise, as usual.

  2. 3 knudsens

    Great pics.

  3. Well this is different from the Catskills… love old buildings… so many here in Jersey are there one day and gone the next. Really captured the essence of the place with the decay and textures.

  4. 5 sarah kruger

    Denise, you certainly capture the Catskills in winter beautifully. For those that have never been to that part of the country, or who miss it (😉 ), it shows the richness of that area. Miss you!

  5. 6 denisebushphoto

    Thank you for looking and leaving comments. I have some birch tree abstracts coming!

  6. Love the images and the theme.

  7. Awesome HDR images Denise. Love the Lighthouse.

  8. 9 Linda Kamholz

    Well, this is a fun game. My guess is “Parking to the Right”.
    Nice collection, Denise. Brought back memories of Catskills stories my dad use to tell.

    • 10 denisebushphoto

      Thanks for playing Linda. That was a good guess but that’s not it!

  9. I’m going to say “Shutting in the Past” because it only shows one plane. It would have been easy to expose for just the one plane.

    • 12 denisebushphoto

      That’s a good guess too Terry but that’s not it either! Thanks for playing the game. We’ll see if someone answers correctly. Of course it gets easier with the process of elimination.

  10. Com’on… its the “Abandoned Mt Retreat”…..errr what did I win????

    • 14 denisebushphoto

      Nope — that’s not it either! This is fun. Hint: don’t let the sky fool you.

  11. Great photos. Great view points in the All Saints and Cold Springs images.

  12. With the skies clue, I’d say it’s All Saints.

  13. 17 denisebushphoto

    Well that is the last guess because there is only one other option with the hint I gave. ‘All Souls Church In Winter’ is not the answer either. It is an HDR image … Saugerties Lighthouse is NOT an HDR image and therefore the correct answer. At the lighthouse my tripod leg fell off and I was not able to take 3 exposures that would line up handheld. Sometimes it works but with that bush in the foreground it was impossible! I was able to process it to look like the rest by using just the medium exposure.

    I wanted to make a point here that NOT ALL HDR IS CREATED EQUAL. I try to process my HDR images in a more subtle way and so that my work has some continuity. When I hear people say ‘I don’t like HDR’ I like to point out there are different degrees and processes for HDR. Whether I use a program or blend exposures manually, HDR techniques help to increase the range of tones and detail in an image. With some subjects, like abandoned buildings I like to take a stronger approach with HDR, bringing out all the gritty detail while still looking believable. Then, my nature subjects are rendered to have a more natural feeling.

    I hope this guessing game helped to demonstrate my point!

    • Oh, so you still goosed it into shape, only using one exposure. (That’s my process most of the time.) But isn’t that still HDR? Just not using 3 diff exp.

      • 19 denisebushphoto

        Why would it still be considered HDR? I did not process it with more than one exposure value in RAW nor did I use HDR software. I processed the one RAW file and brought it into Photoshop to achieve the results I wanted. I believe for it to be considered HDR you would either need to expose for different values, or process for different values then blend them.


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