When I arrived, there were just some thin clouds in the sky, nothing much at all. I spent some time dialing in my composition, and playing with exposures. I actually got a few really cool shots with a pink sky overhead. Typically, I would have been all over those images, but for this particular subject, the color just didn't work. It needed more muted tones to be successful so I discarded the pink skies.
As the sun came up, I started to realize that I wasn't going to have the light show that I wanted, and was expecting. There were still just very small strands of clouds in the sky to work with, so I went with my plan B which I had figured out on the way out to the mill. It was time to do some more work with my 10-Stop ND filter which would reduce the amount of light that entered the camera enough to turn a 1/2 second exposure into 8 minutes. I already had a 3-Stop ND Grad fitted to control the exposure in the sky, so adding an additional 10 stops of light reduction was serious!
The picture that leads this story off is the second attempt and represents a full five minutes of exposure at f/18. The clouds show a very nice cottony movement across the sky, and there is even a little bit of color left in them...but not too much. This mill has a sad aura around it, and I wanted to capture an image that represented that. When I looked at the LCD, I wasn't sure if I had gotten it or not, but the sun was coming up fast now, and my exposures were shrinking down into the 30 second realm.
There wasn't a lot else to work with here at the mill because the sky had gone to a fairly empty blue shortly after sunrise. After making another quick check of the hourly forecast and deciding that my time would be better spent going elsewhere, I decided to pack it up and see what else I could find to put in front of my camera.
|Derelict Mill in B&W|
With the mill behind me, I set off on an unguided tour through Yadkin County in search of something else to photograph. I was still in my rustic mood, so I was looking for barns and old cars to photograph. What I saw wasn't all that promising in the current conditions, and I was starting to wonder if I was going to find anything else before it was time to get home. As luck would have it, my travels landed me back in a familiar part of town where I have been several times before. I knew that there was a car there which has provided me with several stunning images...but these were night shots as there was a lot of clutter in the area. Despite that, I decided to check it out since I was in the neighborhood.
The old Plymouth was still there, and still in the same condition. However, the already tricky location of this car was made much, much worse by the two trucks that were parked close by the car. What's a photographer supposed to do? Well fortunately, there was another vintage Chrysler parked on the back side of the lot, and there was only one other car parked next to it.
As you can tell, this one wasn't in the best position either. It was worth a try though since last time I wasn't able to shoot it since I was working in the dark, and black just doesn't show up well at night. In order to capture this car the right way, without including the other car beside it, I had to get a little creative about angles, and focal length choices. I still had my 24-70mm lens attached, and decided that it would work fine for what I was going to have to do in order to photograph this old sedan. I added a polarizer to help control the glare, and I went to work on the Chrysler.
|Simple and Effective|
|Rough but Solid|
|Shedding a Tear|
I had about 60 images from the morning, and I'm pleased to say that I have 10 images that I would consider keepers from this set. This is much better than the three or four I was expecting as I was actually pressing the shutter button. Now I just need to see which of these images will make it into the gallery rooms here.