Photography, Schools Out

Report to the Office on Arrival

It’s Saturday and it has been hot and dusty here, well it was at the BMX racing.  It was a relief to come home.  BMX is quite different to other cycling events I have photographed.

Back to school today.  This is the front door and this door leads to the office.  Most students would rarely use this entrance, except when they were late and needed a note, or if they had to leave early, that kind of thing.

To process this, a HDR image was first created with Photomatix Pro, then I did some simple layers. I only added one blur layer, then masked most of it away.  I added some warmth and did some darkening with the gradient tool.  I’m afraid that I really didn’t do as much as I usually do.  I’m a bit worn out, so I hope you don’t mind.

There are quite a few BMX photos to go through yet.  I’m wondering how they’re going to be.  It’s always really hard taking photos when there’s a bright sun.  I might put some up for you tomorrow.


  1. Who knows I may use this image for inspiration to write a story, just exactly or different from the one you just gave it a like. Thanks BTW

    • Of course you can do things like this, just takes time. I did have a good weekend, hope you did too, thanks. :)

    • I didn’t realise how popular it was here until recently. I hope you saw the shots, the second day was so much better. Thanks Marie,

    • No, I don’t like the bright sun, it is too hot and it burns so much. We have lost our ozone layer, and that makes it so horrible. I would love what you have. Hahaha.

  2. Lovely photo. It looks like a rough area with the graffiti and broken window. My office is in downtown and we get hit with graffiti, but fortunately we rarely get broken windows.

    BMX is fun to watch and challenging to photograph.

    • It isn’t in a great area. though I suspect the same thing would happen anywhere, I don’t know why kids think it is cool to destroy things.
      I really enjoyed watching and photographing the BMX, it is different.

  3. Wonderful what you made happen here, Leanne…so much more of the abandoned feeling…and the emphasis by lightening the graffiti makes for even more sense of loss. The building itself seems to be sturdily built and not that old, so I’m wondering why the School Board (?) gave up on this place.

    • Thank you 1000, I was worried that I didn’t give it enough care. I am glad you liked what I did, that means a lot. It is a sturdy building, probably built 60’s or 70’s. They combined a couple of schools and this one was closed. Crazy really. They did that where we are, they combined two schools, closed one, and now the one that is left is bursting at the seams. Really doesn’t make sense.

  4. Hello, Leanne!

    Thank you so much for visiting my photo blog “Reflected Glory – My Adventures in Photography.” ( ). Whenever I receive a visit from true artists like yourself, I ask for real critique. I have a passion for photography, but I am a rank amateur and need all the help I can get, as well as the encouragement that comes from getting comments that help me grow. I love your photo-art. I will be back as often as time allows, and I have subscribed to your beautiful site. I do offer prints (I have a lot of chutzpah!) of my works for sale on Fine Art America and on Red Bubble.

    Thanks again, and I hope to hear from you when you have time. BTW, your comments can be public or private. My e-mail is

    I wish you enough. . .
    Paula Tohline Calhoun

    • Hi Paula, I am not really comfortable giving people critiques like that, I do offer it as a service, it is different when people are paying you, but I am uncomfortable just going to peoples blogs and doing it. Sorry. I am glad you like my work and I hope you learn a lot here. If you are selling your work then you must be doing well. Thanks

  5. That forboding sky works very nicely with the command of “Report to the office!”

    • Thank you, it is nice to read comments like that. Layers are great and not really crazy, I don’t even think about them now.
      Oh yes, please lets trade it is going to be 38 here tomorrow, which 100.4F, I don’t like that.

  6. You got some danger and drama into that photo … it became very intriguing. I’m drawn into this photo. Really like it.

  7. My son has hopefully left his tagging behind as now he does spectacular pieces on canvas lol

    I have an award waiting at my place for you when you have time

  8. Strong image!
    Another Thousand Words is onto something – a few social facts can pack a wallop, re fine art photography, and a few are all you need.
    My completely unsolicited guess: forced consolidation with a neighboring district. So: a tale of social class. The community can’t afford even the maintenence costs to preserve the building for other uses. Significantly, it also can’t afford to tear the school down,
    Residents of middle-class-and-up areas don’t tolerate public hazards such as state abandonment of huge institutional structures. There had to be a fight over this. That you have documented the aftermath lends a new level of meaning to the series.
    Of course that was just a guess. But every school closing has a story.

    Um, at least they do here. I think your national govt provides much more equitable public education than does America’a.. So, if my comment seems to apply only to the States, well……never mind , then (:
    Thanks for the pix – great, as usual !

    • Thanks Claire. Our education system is run differently here, it is run by the state, though your guess of consolidation is pretty spot on. I think they then closed the school with no idea of what to do next, and the school has now been so trashed that it would be cheaper to demolish it. I have heard that a week or so after I took the photos there was a fire there. I don’t know how much damage it did.
      I have no idea what the plans are for it, there is a primary school across the road that has been closed for many years, and it is still there. Our state government is useless, and so is our federal govt.

  9. I’ve read that you use blur layers several times now. Could you explain that a bit more? And how you do it? I am assuming you use the blurs in the filter menu, like gaussian blur, etc.

    • Yes I do, I add one layer of blur and then a mask, reveal the image underneath and then do it again. Just have to be careful how strong the blue layers are. I hope that helps.

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