urbex

Bluebonnet Dance Tavern

After much consideration I have decided to have the Lasik Procedure done.  I've been in glasses or contacts since I was about 8 years old, so I am excited about not having to mess with either of those again.  I'll be having this done tomorrow morning, so you probably won't see any blog post tomorrow.  If things go wrong I may never see another one.  C'mon, that was a good joke.

Last week, whilst in Texas hunting their ever popular wildflowers, we stumbled upon this little abandoned building.  I could not have lived with myself if we didn't go back and at least snap off a few frames.  

ISO 400, 45mm, F/8 @ 1/400th

The Bluebonnet Dance Tavern.  This thing spoke to me in many ways.  First, we can't skip the name of the place, okay.  Awesome name!  Well played, person that named this place...well played.  Second, there are a lot of different textures going on here.  I love textures.  The bricks, the doors, the stucco wall and even the grass and asphalt all have different textures.  

I made this image using my new Sony A6300 camera, LA-EA3 adapter and Tamron 24-70mm Lens.  I must've been living on the edge here, because this image was handheld.

Regretfully, we didn't dance at the dance tavern, but hopefully if everything goes well tomorrow I can dance around the house...without my glasses.

Low ISO of 6400

I come from the school where a high ISO is 800.  Those days are long gone in these times of modern camera sensors and processors.

While I was at The Old Shelby Hotel last weekend I took the Sony A7S out.  Everyone knows how good it is at high ISOs but I still have a hard time believing it even after shooting with it for a year.

ISO 6400, 24mm, F/8.0 @ 1/125th second

Hover over the image to see camera settings used.  Click the image to view it larger.

Here's an image shot at ISO 6400.  In my mind, that's still insane.  In the Sony A7S' mind, it's just getting started.  I could've shot at even higher ISOs but I didn't need to with the available light.  I'm always impressed with how little noise there is in this camera for the ISO numbers it is shot at.

ISO 6400, 24mm, F/8.0 @ 1/60th second

Hover over the image to see camera settings used.  Click the image to view it larger.

Another image shot at ISO 6400.  This is child's play for the A7S.  It still amazes me.  Oh, another good thing a low noise monster like this is good for is astro photography.  I'll be taking it out west later this year to hopefully capture some milky way shots with it.

These images were made with my Sony A7S, LA-EA3 adapter and Tamron 24-70mm Lens.  Because of this camera's insane ability at high ISOs, there were handheld.

 

More From the Hotel

Here's another shot from the Old Shelby Hotel.  This is looking down the hall as soon as you walk in the front door. 

Here I simply got my tripod in a really low angle, almost to ground level, and used a super wide angle lens to take in the whole scene.

ISO 100, 17mm, F/11 @ 6 bracketed shutter speeds

Hover over the image to see the camera settings used.  Click the image to view it larger.

This image was processed exactly the same as yesterday's image, only this time I used a different preset within On1 Effects to get started.  This time I used a preset called "Just Enough Darkness".  I've found that preset gives a great starting point for creating a great mood in these types of shots.

Image made with my Sony A7R II, Metabones Adapter and Tamron 15-30mm Lens.  All mounted on my Sirui W-2204 Tripod and K-20 Ballhead.

The Old Shelby Hotel

Over this past weekend I took a trip with a friend of mine, Brad Lackey with Lookout Mountain Photography, to visit an abandoned building known as The Old Shelby Hotel.   

This hotel has quite the history.  It was said to be the first building in Alabama to have running water and electric lights.  It also played an important role in The Civil War as it served as a hospital and also training grounds for soldiers at different points during the war.  Today it is merely a shell of what used to be...but that's the kind of thing us photographers live for, right?

ISO 100, 15mm, F/11 and 6 bracketed shutter speeds

This is an HDR image.  If you want to capture all of the highlight and shadow detail in a scene like this you really have no other choice than HDR.  In a room that is dark with  bright light coming into the windows, there is no way to pull all of that detail out of one RAW file.  

Here I took 6 shots bracketed from -3 all the way to +2 at 1 stop apart.  Then I merged them using Lightroom's HDR Photo Merge feature.  After tweaking a bit inside Lightroom, I jumped over to On1 Perfect Effects to finish this image.  I used one of my favorite presets for this kind of stuff.  It's called Kryptonite.  It gives a pretty strong effect, but you are able to dial the opacity slider back to your amount that suits your taste...just like you would in Photoshop.

This image was made with my Sony A7R II, Metabones Adapter and Tamron 15-30mm Lens.  All of this was mounted on my Sirui W-2204 tripod and K-20 Ballhead.