Up and Down

Today  two great things happened, first when I woke this morning I discovered the internet was back to normal and secondly I had another class over at Eltham for Living & Learning Nillumbik.  It was a small class, 4 this time and I think they all had a great time.  I did some photos, but I will show them to you tomorrow.  Today, I am going to back to the abandoned school.  Here is the image I have chosen for today.

It wasn’t an especially sunny day, but when this image was taken there was enough coming through, and the shadows it cast on the walls were stunning.  The graffiti on the windows helps cast some interesting shadows.

With processing this, I wanted to convey that feeling of abandonment.  I hope that whilst the stairs look fine that you can tell by the graffiti and the darkness that it is no longer used.  I did darken it some and then brought up some light in other places.  I did try and draw out the detail in the stairs, and think that worked.  I have the original image for you as well.

I didn’t process this the same as I have with others.  I did start with a HDR image that was processed in Photomatix Pro.  Whilst I did some similar things, I didn’t do as much.  I knew there was potential to loose the stairwell in darkness, and I didn’t want that, so there aren’t as many layers.  I did add one layer of blur, but it is very soft and it was very light.  I also desaturated the view outside the window at the bottom.  The green was so bright, I thought it needed to be toned down.

I love doing these school ones.   I have organised to go to my daughters school when it is closed and try taking some photos.  It will be a challenge to photograph a school that is still operating and make it look as though it isn’t any more.  That is going to be interesting, I am actually really looking forward to it.  I love doing these images, but I am glad that I do other posts as well.  It stops me from getting too bored.

I am hoping to get out tomorrow morning for some more images.  The weather is getting better and it should be good for some photos.  Well I hope it will be.  It is also so nice to have the internet back.  We will have to be careful that the same thing doesn’t happen again.  I am sure it will, but hopefully not so long next time.


  1. Nice…a quick glance, and it looks like it could be a stairwell in an art gallery…then, you notice something’s “off”… look closer…and the sense of abandonment creeps into view…and the viewer.
    Glad your ‘nets’s up again!

    • It is quite amazing, you are right at a quick glance. I like that description, thank you.
      I am so happy, we all are, then my husband turned it off so he could do something, we weren’t happy, but it is back now, so that is great.

    • That’s great to hear, there might be a lot more, I took more there today. I think it should be my saturday thing, what do you think? Thanks Alice.

  2. It’s better than ‘nice’ you have the Internet back, Leanne! Love the balance of chiaroscuro you’ve created here…never thought to be thankful for graffiti, but the shadows do enhance, greatly. Also, even though everything is dark and lonely, loving the way you’ve ’emphasized’ the ‘real world’ outside!

    Hope class went well, and really looking forward to new work!

    • It is better than nice, it is fantastic. I know, the graffiti really helped the image. I thought it would be nice to show some outside, it was so green and so nice.
      The class went really well, thanks 1000.

  3. saymber says

    Glad to read here your internet is back to normal and there is a stark contrast in feeling between the original and the edited version for sure! Your purpose was accomplished.

    • It is great to have it back and to be able to visit everyone, Do I follow yours, I need to correct that if I don’t, you are a great supporter, thank you.
      That is great to hear thank you saymber.

  4. Sad the walls are splattered with paint, wonder why it says Texas on the wall. Glad your Net is back!

    • I suppose it would hard to expect kids not to take out their anger on the school, to have free access to do what they want. The place is full of it. No idea why Texas is written on the wall. I am so happy to have it back to, now I just need to catch up, but I am getting there. Thanks John.

  5. Your photo took my breath away. There are so many layers to it….shadows on the stairs, graffiti, outside images… wow! (also like that you included your original photo)
    I’m so sorry I can’t take the odd photography class with you.

    • What a lovely thing to say, thank you. I find a lot of people like me including the original, I don’t do all the time, but I do when I can. Glad you like the image.
      Wouldn’t it be lovely if you could take a class. I am thinking of doing some class type things, so keep an eye out in the future. Thanks dearrosie.

  6. I’ll look forward to more of your images from this derelict building. And your continuing commentary is worth the reading.

    • There are going to be a lot of photos, over a lot of Saturdays, I went back and got more today. What a lovely thing to say, It is nice to know that people like what I say, thank you so much.

  7. phrenzel says

    absolutely fabulous, a mood so thick it could be cut with a blade. Brilliant work

  8. The processing is perfect. I love what you did with it. Dark was definitely the way to go. The emptiness is conveyed. The graffiti really adds to the scene. Great job.

    • Thank you YellowCable, I like doing that, it helps me to solidify what my thoughts are and why I have done what I have done.

  9. I can hear the flat reverberation of echos… that’s what elevates an image to art! Stunning ~

  10. You made Quiet Stairs into a velvety, urbane stairwell. Others might see it differently, but my first impression was precisely that. I had to look carefully to realize the sense of abandonment that did not strike me. Perhaps I alone saw it that way. The graffiti cast shadows on the wall that looked like a mural to me. The use of light and shadow here is lovely. Not “haunted” at all. It is odd that artistic interpretations speak to viewers so differently.

    • I don’t mind how you see it George, I just hope you liked it. I was really happy with this image. It is nice to work on an image that I am really proud of. Thank you so much George.

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