HDR Photography and More by Dave DiCello

Heating up

Well, I’m finally back after a very long weekend.  Well, it wasn’t so much a long weekend, I didn’t have any extra days off, but I have been away from the blog for a few days.  I’ve fallen into a habit of taking Fridays off from blogging, which I think will end this week, and for some reason I didn’t post yesterday.  Can’t really give you  a great reason.  But, I am back at it today.

Had a great weekend in terms of photography.  Actually I had a great weekend overall.  Got to see a couple sets of good friends, both sides of the family for a nice dinner on Sunday as well as spent most of Saturday shooting with friend and fellow HDR photog Mike Criswell, aka Theaterwiz.  Wiz came in from Ohio to spend the gloomy day in the Burgh getting some good brackets.  We made stops at PPG Place, the North Shore and PNC Park, as well as Heinz Field.  After a quick bite and a few pints at Hard Rock we headed up the river to Homestead in search of a location that he saw on flickr, Carrie Furnace.

Carrie Furnace was a blast furnace that operated from 1884 until 1982, and in its heyday was producing between 1,000 and 1,250 tons of iron per day.  It is located just across and up the river from the Waterfront in Homestead, and talks are still in the works to develop it into some form of museum, as it is now designated a historic landmark (thank you Wikipedia).

Let me say this.  For thinking about being turned into a museum, they is a lot that needs to happen to even get to the place.  The direct access road is closed and fenced off, and the only way to get there is over the hill and through the fence, to Carrie Blast Furnace we go…um, sorry.  Anyways, so over the next few days I’ll be posting various shots of the inside and out of Carrie Furnace and the surrounding area.  It’s an awesome place to go, and I will definitely be making a return trip at some point to get some more shots.  Maybe this weekend.  Who knows.

The two shots above were taken from the railroad tracks that run parallel to Carrie Furnace while we were trying to figure out the best way to get in.  It was already a fairly gloomy day, which really helped to add to the mood surrounding this decaying landmark.  The second one above was actually taken with the 70-200 2.8, the first HDR that I’ve taken with it, well, at least the first bracketed and not faux HDR.

For today’s post we will actually take a look inside at one of the main hallways that runs through the building.  It was difficult to figure out where to shoot, as there was so much going on, so many cool angles, and just not enough time to get all the shots I wanted (hence the reason to go back).  I liked this angle, because it had a bit of graffiti on the left that really stood out against all the other rust and metal and there is so much to see everywhere here.

On to the processing.  This is a 7 exposure HDR processed in HDR Efex under the “Clean” setting (ironic?).  Over in Photoshop I masked in part of the -3 exposure so that I could recover a bit of the blown out highlights in the back of the shot.  I destaurated the reds, as they were a bit overwhelming and added a blue curves layer to bring out some of the writing on the wall.  Overall S curve added for added contrast and finally a Tonal Contrast Filter as well as some high pass sharpening.

More of these to come, so stick around.


18 responses

  1. Amazing images Dave, stunning.

    April 12, 2011 at 5:53 am

    • Thanks a lot Jason, much appreciated!

      April 12, 2011 at 6:17 am

  2. That place totally rocks, and your shots are awesome! Wiz mentioned that you and him found a great place to shoot, so I guess this is it! Man, if I only lived closer…oh well, someday I will get to the Burgh and shoot with ya mate! Wonderful stuff, I just love old decayed heaps of junk in HDR! Jim

    April 12, 2011 at 8:21 am

    • Jim – Definitely one of the coolest places I’ve ever shot! Need to get back there soon. I need to make it to TX at some point in my life to see a Cowboys game, hopefully this season! I’ll let you know!

      April 12, 2011 at 9:49 am

  3. These are some great images – definitely the type of place I’d love to shoot one day, especially with the bursts of graffiti everywhere.

    April 12, 2011 at 9:48 am

    • Thanks Kristi! It was my first time shooting a place like this, and I can’t wait to find more in the area. There is just so much character and history in a place like this. Thanks for stopping by!

      April 12, 2011 at 9:51 am

  4. Great shots Dave, looks like an awesome place to shoot. I love taking photos on cloudy days like that.

    April 12, 2011 at 10:01 am

    • Thanks Jason! I was a little concerned because early in the day there was just a white sheet of clouds, no differentiation. The clouds provided a perfect backdrop for the urbex!

      April 12, 2011 at 10:20 am

  5. very, very cool images, Dave!

    April 12, 2011 at 11:10 am

    • Thank you very much! I appreciate the visit!

      April 12, 2011 at 11:32 am

  6. Well Dave, I’m envious. Great shots of a fascinating place. Wish we had more abandoned industrial sites around Austin.

    April 12, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    • Thanks Van! I’m hooked now. I gotta get me out urbexing again soon!

      April 12, 2011 at 12:24 pm

  7. Wow awesome detail bro! I would love to see this old place! The graffiti really stands out! Great job! Also, any idea what that quote said on the last photo, on the floor?

    April 12, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    • Thanks Ty! We should definitely make a trip there!

      April 13, 2011 at 7:11 am



    April 13, 2011 at 5:25 am

  9. Very cool location and great shots. I may have to come up to your neck of the woods!

    April 15, 2011 at 6:59 am

  10. Great shots, I like the interior shot the best.

    April 15, 2011 at 8:30 am

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