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Posts tagged ‘closed’

Vale Banksia College

Banksia College was a high school that I went and photographed over 12 months ago.  It was closed a few years ago and the vandals got into it.  Not much left when I went to take photos.

It is no longer there and has been pulled down.  The school is just a memory now, so today I thought I might revisit the photos I took of it.  They are art images, and when I look at them now, they are a bit heavy handed, perhaps I will try redoing them one day, but not today.

Art on the Walls

The photos of the school are starting to run thin, it is almost time to go out and do some where else.  This is another stairwell, I would hazard a guess that they are the back stairs.  They are basic, well, I suppose all the stairs are in a school like this.  Here, take a look.

Back Stairs

Two lots of art in this stairwell, the graffiti, and we should call it art, then there is also the paintings that were left on the wall.  Though, if you look closely you can see that there is graffiti on them as well.  Apparently some graffiti artists have no qualms about ruining other artwork.  I thought they were mosaics  but I think perhaps they were paintings.

The image was taken the first time I went, and then was processed in Photomatix Back Stairs - HDR OriginalPro with 3 bracketed images.  Once back in Photoshop it was opened in camera raw and given some work.

I have used Topaz Adjust to give the image some detail, that seems to help bring out the graffiti in these images.  I desaturated the image as I thought the blue was little too much. Only one blur layer was added to it.  I did darken the whole image and lighten the wall with the art on it.

I quite like the window at the top, helps balance it out, well I hope it does.  I also did a version in Silver Efex.

Back Stairs - Silver Efex

I don’t always like the black and white versions, but with this one I do.  I didn’t like the blue.  I don’t know which one you would prefer.

It is interesting to see what they took out and what they have left.  I know my daughters did some art work that was put on the wall at their primary school, then it was removed and thrown out.  It happened after they left, but they were disappointed that their work was just chucked away.  Now someone else’s work has been left on the wall.  I don’t know why it was left, but it wasn’t nice finding it there, as though it wasn’t important and no one cared about it any more.

From Yesterday

Well, it has been over a day since my rant yesterday.  I am still disappointed, though, not so much that they said no, but because there was no discussion.  Someone mentioned putting my case to them, but I was never given an opportunity to do that.  I sent someone an email, asking about who to contact, then I was told that someone would be in touch about it, then I was told that they weren’t going to do it.

I thought that I would be given a chance to argue my case, or at least write a proposal or something.  They don’t really know me or my blog.  I also know that there are many different ways of sponsoring people.  So far, all I have done is give them lots of free publicity about their equipment and I got to play with one of their cameras for a week.

Is this the way all these companies work, I don’t know.

It is hard to understand why they give some people sponsorship and why not others.  I was given no reason why.  I have seen photographers that work for newspapers given gear by Nikon and Canon, so it is on loan, but I can’t see how that benefits them.  The only people that know about the gear are the other photographers who work for the media, and they are also getting stuff.  It is a weird world we live in.

I won’t be changing my gear, I was really upset yesterday, I think I was also in shock.  They have been a hard company to deal with, unlike Sony.

I sent an email to Sony yesterday to ask them about the a99, not long after, I received an email back to ask me what it was that I wanted to know.  I then sent an email back and about 15 minutes later my phone rang and it was the guy from Sony.  We chatted, and I told him that I was not going to be buying the camera, but he told me quite a bit about it anyway.  It was good customer service, and something that I really think is missing a lot these days.

The Sony looks like a great camera, and apparently if you have E mount lenses they will fit on it, so that makes it easier and cheaper for people to switch.  It sounds like they have put a lot of thought into the camera as well.  It also has a screen that can be moved around so you can put the camera on live view and you don’t have to look through the viewfinder in awkward places, like if the camera is up high on a tripod, or down really low.  I don’t mind saying that was appealing.

I went off track, but it has been an interesting week.  I am very happy with my decision not to get a new camera, and will stick with what I have right now for now.

Oh dear, another rant, but not an angry one this time.

Schools Out

Today I went to a place near by to get some photos. It is a school that has been closed.  I don’t know how long it has been closed for.  I noticed it a couple of weeks ago and decided to go down there today to find out if it was closed.  I wasn’t totally sure it was but thought the graffiti all over every surface was a good indication.

I was happy to see that the doors were open and we, my daughter and myself, were able to go inside.  It was weird wondering around the place.  We kept hearing strange noises and getting scared.  I think the fact that there are no children there any more is also weird.  I think  you can’t walk into a deserted school and not hear in your head the sounds of the children playing.

The sign on the door to the room above said something about Technology and we decided it was the Wood Work Room.  I like the way the light from the windows drifted across the cement floor.

I haven’t done this for a long time, showed the original image.  I don’t know if there is a lot of difference, but the one above is a 3 image HDR image processed in Photomatix Pro.  With layers piled on top of each other, one blur layer, a vignetting was applied, I also desaturated the image and turned the temperature down on it.  I thought it should be cooler as it is closed.

I took lots of photos of the school and there are some other ones I want to photograph as well.  I don’t necessarily want to do ones that are closed, or closed for good, but I thought I might try taking some photos at the school that my daughters go to.  Of course this can’t mean that I will be giving you photos of old schools for the next few weeks, but I have decided to start a new thread, is that what it is called?  So once a week, I will explore the concept of these schools.  I think this is a much better way of doing it.  It might be a Saturday thing, or it might be during the week, haven’t decided yet.

My inbox is filling up with emails from posts that many of you have done.  I have so many, but I can’t get to many of them.  It takes forever for the pages to load, so I might have to leave them all for now and start again, I hope you can forgive me.  I try and look at some each day, until I can’t stand it anymore.  One week to go and it should be back to normal.



There comes a time, well, the thing is, I am running out of images, and I need to make some decisions.  I can’t photograph abandoned buildings in the city, I don’t know any, so I need to start working out what to do in the city while I am here.  I have had to go through some of my photos and I found one that I took when I was on my trip to the Mallee.

This is a street in Hopetoun, definitely showing signs of the times, lots of shops closed.  It is remarkable how busy these towns must have been once.  There are so many shops, and I can’t imagine that they would be have been built if they weren’t going to be used.  I think if you take a look at all the shops, including the closed ones you can get a great idea of how busy these towns actually were.

While I was processing this image, I wanted the harsh light, but I wanted to remove all traces of what could be considered life.  It is not that I want you to think the towns are dead, but I do want you to consider that what the future may be.

I didn’t really do a lot with this image.  I did start by doing a HDR in Photomatix, but the main thing I wanted to do was to bring out the detail in the shops.  I have probably been heavy handed with the vignetting, but I wanted to give it that old time look.  I like vignetting.  I also added some warmth to the image.  The original image is the HDR as it was first processed.


  • Photomatix Pro – 4 images
  • Photoshop Camera Raw
  • A new layer was added, with blur and diffuse
  • Mask added to take away the blur on the shops
  • a new detail layer was added
  • the image was opened in Topaz Adjust and warmth and vignetting was applied
  • a mask applied so that only the shops were given the detail
  • blending mode was used.
  • I highlighted some parts of the shops and used feathering and then applied curves to lighten that part
  • gradient tool used to dark more of the edges.

That was about it, I think.

I heard back from Photomatix and when I get some tutorials done they are going to offer you all a chance to purchase it with a 15% discount, so I might start by doing a tutorial on that, how I do them.  It makes sense, it is where I begin nearly all my images.

I hope you have had a look at the Topaz products.  I was playing with the new fxlab today.  It is fun, reminds me a lot of instagram on the phone, but you can use it for your photos, though it does have some basic editing as well, so it might be a good place for people to start, when they are first looking at editing.

I am hoping to get out tomorrow to take some photos.  So I might have some new stuff for you tomorrow night.  Fingers crossed.


Near where the photos were taken under the railway overpass are a series of shops, that I think, I imagine have been there since the over pass was built.  They are in the same style.  You can see what you think.

Architecturally, I think they are beautiful, but the shops that exist here never seem to be open.  One by one they close down till only one is left.

I don’t know about other countries, but here in Australia our retail industry is suffering.  We, the consumers want to help, but how can we help when we know that we can buy goods overseas for half the price, and in many cases by far more.  It seems to be a concept that someone or some people don’t get.  Our suppliers think we are stupid.  Anyway, that idea is what has inspired today’s image.

This image was taken because it is like the lights are going out slowly in our stores, and for this image, there is only one left.  These shops are old, I am pretty sure they are around 100 years old.  I have never been inside, so I have no idea what they look like.  I wanted this shot because there were no people around, and none of the shops had things outside.  It really suited what I was trying to convey.

The processing, has been done the same as the other images like this.  There is the original on the left.  I have added detail, blurred some, but the thing I do, that most people seem to ask about is that I layer stuff over the top, the same image, at times, and then I blend them using multiply, which has a tendency to cause it to go dark.

The original image is a HDR, and the post processing is done with Photoshope CS6 and Topaz Adjust 5.

I see some people are looking at the field trips and I just wanted to let you know that I will be adding more this week.  I need to find out what cycling events I am going to be doing.  Once I know that, then dates will be set.  At this stage, I will be doing more trips down lane ways and arcades.  More night shoots along the Yarra River. I would like to take a group to St Kilda, maybe early in the morning, before the town wakes up.  There will be a number of them over the next few months.  I hope you find something you would like to do.

I would also like to take this opportunity for all the support I got after yesterdays post.  I feel so much better today and I really wanted everyone to know that it was really appreciated and loved.  Thank you.