HDR Photography and More by Dave DiCello

Carrie Furnace

Back into the fire

At least for today, we will be making a trip back to Carrie Furnace.  I know that I’ve been jumping around a lot lately, but I feel like sometimes I will go to process an image and think, “Eh, not really feeling this one today”.  Then I’ll see the exact same set of brackets a week later and say to myself “Why the hell haven’t I processed this yet?!?!”  Well, I’ve been doing that a lot lately, especially after my recent upgrade to Photomatix.  I’ve been going back to shots that I wasn’t crazy about the result out of HDR Efex that I now love out of Photomatix.  So because of this I’ve been all over the place lately.  Which I am fine with.  Gives you a bit of variety.

This first shot (and today’s official post) is the view of one of the, um, one of the, uhh, I have no idea really.  Maybe it’s one of the actual furnaces?  All I know it is looked pretty cool in person and even cooler in HDR.  Mike, aka Theaterwiz posted this same view a few weeks ago, check out his work if you have a chance, you won’t be disappointed.  One of the coolest things about Carrie Furnace was all the graffiti.  If really cut through all the rust and stuck out like a sore thumb, adding some pop to every scene.  The processing was fairly straightforward on this one.  It is a seven exposure HDR processed with Photomatix and given a Tonal Contrast filter in Color Efex.  I like processing scenes like this sometimes because you don’t have to worry about dust spot removal, halos, etc; you can be a bit more over the top with it.

I wanted to share a bit of a different view as well, just slightly to the left of the first shot.  I decided to go B&W for this one, and I even mulled over the selective coloring.  I sometimes have a tendency to overdo that effect, so after processing it with HDR Efex I gave it a run through Silver Efex to see how it would turn out and ended up being pretty happy with the result.  Maybe I’ll start doing a bit more in B&W.

Ahh, Thursday.  Hope you all enjoy yours.

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Outlawed

Little bit of a late post today, it’s been a crazy start to the week that’s for sure.  It’s always a little bit harder to get out of bed on the Monday following a nice long weekend.  I hope all of you who celebrated Easter yesterday had a nice day, at least the rain held off here for part of the day.  Today is warm and sunny, so maybe we are finally shaking the last bit of winter off.

A couple more shots from Carrie Furnace today on a quick blog and run post.  Above is from one of the control rooms there, though I can’t be 100% that that is what it is.  The graffiti tagged along the top of the locker like terminals is what really caught my eye.  For those of you with a keen enough eye you will see that this one has been processed with Photomatix 4.  I finally took the plunge and upgraded to 4 and will be using it alongside HDR Efex.  Not that I still don’t love HDR Efex, it’s just that it’s good to have as many tools in your toolbox as you can.

Next is one that was processed with HDR Efex from one of the many ladders that are around Carrie.  Again, I thought that the graffiti really stood out, more so as I have been looking through the pictures than I noticed when we were there.  You can really see the decay in this shot as well, as the rust and what little paint is left is really peeling away from the old cylinders.

Quick post today, more tomorrow.  Big game tonight, game 6 between the Pens and Lighting.  Pens win, they move on.  If not, game 7 on Wednesday.  Let’s hope for a win.

Let’s go Pens.


Chugging along

Big game tonight.  Pens vs. Lightning, Game 4.  Pens win, they go up 3-1 with a possible clincher at home on Saturday.  Would be nice to get these next two and have a nice little break until the next round.

Couples more shots from Carrie Furnace for you today, though one does not feature the actual blast furnace.  Above is a shot of one of the railroads that runs right next to Carrie, which is still in use.  I took this shot while we were pondering whether or not to trek into the abandoned warehouse or simply be happy with our pictures from afar.  For as many train tracks as there are in and around the city of Pittsburgh, I have only ever taken one other shot where I was near the tracks and none like this.  I know that this is a fairly common picture to take and now I can say I have mine.  Would have been pretty cool to see a train coming right at your though.  Snap the seven brackets then run like hell.  Maybe next time.

Today’s shot is from inside what looked to be some kind of pump room at Carrie.  The coolest thing about this room was the stairs in the back of the shot.  You can see water full to top of the stairs, meaning the entire basement was flooded and that is the top of the water level.  I was going to go over and get a closer shot of this, but there was some kind of green liquid dripping from the ceiling that I didn’t particularly want to get all over me.  Again, next time for sure.

Both of these were processed in HDR Efex under the “Crisp” Method.  For the train tracks shot I had to do a bit of masking above the tree line, as that particular HDR Method gives a slight halo.  Applied an overall S Curve to give it some more contrast and finally a Tonal Contrast filter in Color Efex.  For the one of the pump room I applied the Tonal Contrast filter, then did some selective coloring to bring out the colors that I wanted, like the graffiti on the back wall.  I also maked in part of the -2 exposure to help recover some of the blown out highlights.

Let’s.  Go.  Pens.