HDR Photography and More by Dave DiCello

Posts tagged “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.


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.

Follow the rules

I was looking back through some of my recent posts over the weekend and saw that a few times a couple weeks ago I said that I was just going to do a quick post and run and ended up rambling on for a page or so.  Well, today is a true post and post, I’m still feeling a bit under the weather and have had a crazy start to the week already.  Is it Friday yet?  Still Monday.  Huh.  Well that’s no good.

More Carrie Furnace today.  I mean, you talk about a place made for HDR, look no further than the old blast furnace along with Mon River in Homestead.  Maybe it’s because I’ve never been to a place like that before that was so appealing to me, but every time I open up iPhoto to pick out some more picture to process I just keep seeing different angles that I want to shoot it from next time I am there.  Today we have a view shots from the same room (understatement of the day).  The first is a list of safety instructions that workers were to follow accompanied by a huge Steelers logo.  Now, It was a bit creepy looking at this area, because, as Kurt on my flickr page pointed out, at one point there was someone standing up on that staircase, giving instructions to the workers who were all looking up towards this sign.  Now…emptiness.  Kinda eerie.

The second shot is from the view of the of the person who would have been giving those instructions.  This shot is equally as eerie, because 30 years ago from this view we would have seen huge equipment, people running around working, smoke, heat…but again, now…emptiness.

Both of these shots were processed with HDR Efex under the “Crisp” Method, which is fast becoming one of my favorites.  For the one with the Steeler logo, I did selective coloring on the reds and blue to help the graffiti and the diamonds in the logo stand out.  There also was a hazy green color cast over the shot, so I did selective coloring to desaturate all the greens, since I didn’t really need them in the shot.  I also enhanced the blues and red in the second shot to make the tags on the wall stand out, as well as mask in the windows and the door opening on the far side of the building, since they were a bit blown out.

Speaking of blown out, that’s what happened to the Pens on Friday.  Let’s hope tonight yields a better result.  Let’s go Pens.

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.