Photography, Schools Out

Left at School

As I said, I went back to the abandoned school last Saturday.  This time I took my tripod and got much better images of the darker areas.  It was good to get some images that weren’t so noisy.  We went around much of the same places and I took more photos.  I also got more photos of some classrooms.  Though today’s photo is one of the last ones I took.  I saw this as we were leaving.

This school bag was just left lying there, books hanging out.  The school mustn’t have been closed all that long, either that or the bag has been left recently.  I don’t know.  It seemed very appropriate and almost too good to believe.  Though having said that, really the thing that would have made it even better would have been if the bag was a better colour.  Oh well, can’t have everything.

I did process this image as a HDR image in Photomatix Pro to begin with.  It was with 5 images.  After that I started playing and a lot of what I was doing didn’t seem to make much sense.  So really, I haven’t done a lot to it.  I wanted the bag to be the main focal point and tried a few things.  I don’t know if they really worked.  The bag just wasn’t interesting enough to me.

The other problem I had was that patch of bright green grass.  It was too bright and took too much away from the bag.  I tried a few things, but in the end I de-saturated the image quite a bit, and then added a bit of warmth to help give it that brown colour.  It isn’t great when you work on an image and just can’t seem to get the effect you want.  Unfortunately it happens.

There are still many many more images, thankfully, and I am pretty sure the rest will be far more interesting, well I hope they will be.

I did go to the market this morning in St Andrew and I did take my camera.  It was fun taking a few shots, though that is all I took.  I took my camera with the battery pack and my new lens, the 24 to 70mm, and it is rather large.  It wasn’t good, I mean it was good for taking photos, but everyone noticed it too much and it got way too much attention.  People always think I am a professional photographer, I’m not really.  I will do a post on the market tomorrow.  Can I just say, it is a great market and I know we will certainly be back.


  1. I think I like the choice of desaturating the color and add warmness to the picture. The effect gives the mood of old or deserted place. I am not sure that what you really intended but the old school or places like that should be. It appears it was cropped a bit to bring the bags nearer to the lower right corner. It too pulls the eyes to the objects first.

  2. The school looks like it hasn’t been closed very long. Note the decorative bush around the tree, it looks rather well groomed yet? I think your photography is pro grade Leanne.

    • I’m not sure John, though that plant is an Agapantha and I suspect it would always look like nice. I am pretty sure it only happened in the last year or two. It will be demolished soon I think.

  3. What a story one could tell on this photo. Love too that the colour is almost gone – adds to the sense of abandonment.

    • Thank you Colline, that is what I was hoping for. I find colour can be too distracting and can give too much life, it is nice to have gone, but not all of it.

  4. Love what you’ve done here, Leanne! I agree the bag has not been there that long, but you can change the color somewhat by lassoing it, lightening it, and using a different color brush in a low opacity…that might be one way to try.

    Overall, though, this image is a beauty, one to be proud of!

    • I did try some of that 1000, but the black was too strong. In the end I had to deal with it as it was. Thanks, I don’t know about it myself, I like others I have done from this series a lot more, so will see what happens.

  5. saymber says

    A flash of a thought went through my mind as I looked at the edited version of the picture…blurry children going to and from school in the distance. I don’t know why but I see this a lot when I look at your pictures Leanne lol.

  6. Pretty spectacular transformation Leanne. Seems like you’re capable of photographing any old thing in the worst lighting conditions and turning it into something special — a twenty-first century alchemist!

    • I would like to think I was that good, but I think I still have a lot to learn, though thank you for thinking I could. haha. Thanks ag

  7. Claire O'Brien says

    The bag is a mystery. Hmm…I wonder if unauthorized education has been going on.

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