Dripping Springs, Texas (HDR)


From the small town near Austin called Dripping Springs…there is this old building off the road. It does not have any signs or notes. Not sure what is was used for? Unfortunately,it is now empty. An old jail?? Love these kind of places!

San Francisco, CA – Alcatraz (HDR)


I have been watching the new show called Alcatraz. Cool show. I heard today that ever since the show started, tourists think there is a special “bat cave” room under the jail and have been wandering off the tours in search of it. No such room is there. Any prison is a great place for HDR. This one has tons of tourists so people dodging is the biggest issue.

Talke Photography Settings:
Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4.0
Setting: Aperture Mode
Focal Length: 12.0 mm
ISO: 200
Exposure: HDR 7 Exposures (+3 to -3)
Aperture: f/8
Gear: Tripod
Post Process: Adobe CS5, HDR Efex Pro, Coloro Efex Pro, OnOne Software Photo Tools 2.6

Philadelphia, PA – Eastern State Penitentiary (HDR)


I am still drawn to processing an HDR’s from here almost every week. ESP has to be my favorite location ever. I think I have posted almost 6-8 shots to date? I bet I have a total of at least 30 ESP pics to get up on P2E one day! Photo book time! …but might take another year to get to them. I have been to Alcatraz and it cannot compare to ESP. Are there any other similar type locations that can compete? Let me know!! Thanks!

Philadelphia, PA – Eastern State Penitentiary (HDR)

The feedback on these HDR’s from ESP has been wonderful!  So something I rarely do..is post back to back photos of the same location…well that goes out the window today!  Here is one more shot.  I think it is Cellblock 6.   This cellblock is closed to the public. To grab this photo…I cranked my tripod in a weird way as to get as close to the locked gate (with bars).  With the wide angle lens it was fun trying not to get the gates bars in the shot.  But with a little luck…and 9 exposures later..another scary cell shot from ESP!  Now just look at this place..yikes!   I’d hate to be stuck in there at nite by myself!   I added a preset from onOne Photo Tools to give it that off color look.  I’ll post Al Capone’s Cell next week!

Talke Photography Settings:

    • Camera:  Nikon D300
    • Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4.0
    • Setting: Aperture Mode
    • Focal Length: 24.0 mm
    • ISO: 200
    • Exposure:  HDR 9 exposures (+4 to -4)
    • Aperture:  f/11.0
    • Gear:  Tripod
    • Post Process: Adobe CS5, Color Efex Pro, HDR Efex Pro,  Photo Tools 2.6

Philadelphia, PA – Eastern State Penitentiary (HDR)

Another shot from the super cool Eastern State Penitentiary.  I can do a whole month of my shots from this spooky place.  I have only had time to process 2 shots….I bet I will have about 50 total from this day!  One day I will make a gallery just from ESP.  What a comfy place for the inmates!  Winter and a hot summer day must feel great in this cell.   Love the skylight above…if it rains..maybe an extra shower!  Yikes.  I am no mason..but that rock work is awesome!  How can you not HDR this place?  To grab all the details…I used 9 brackets.  I bet a standard pic would be quite boring!  Enjoy!!

Talke Photography Setiings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4.0
  • Setting: Aperture Mode
  • Focal Length: 12.0 mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 9 exposures (+4 to -4)
  • Aperture:  f/11.0
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS5, Color Efex Pro, HDR Efex Pro,  Photo Tools 2.6

San Francisco, CA – Alcatraz (HDR)

Here is another photo from Alcatraz.  This angle is a classic technique used when lots of people are walking around you.  LOL  Look up and take a upper angle view! Actaully not bad!  This is one tough place to find a shot without tourists involved.  Just use your brain “cells”.  I’ll admit, I did get a few HDR’s here…so it was worth the trip!   For some reason I need to watch that Sean Connery movie…The Rock!  

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 24.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/8
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza
  • San Francisco, CA – Lockdown at Alcatraz (HDR)

    San Francisco is home to tons of photographic locations.  One cool place is Alcatraz.  Although it is tough to take photos without tourists, look and you can find it!!  I was just there a few weeks ago.  I walked through the main jail cells and waited and waited for people to disperse.  Tough!  I kept walking around looking and searching.  The little closed off section was perfectly quiet!  Ugh!  Closed off via gate.  I thought, why not include the gate.  My first attempt the camera wanted to focus on the gate as it was the closest focal point.  I checked it out…not so great.  Why not use the front gate as foreground bokeh and focus on the cells!   I set my focus to manual and set the shot in motion.  Came out cool!

    Although I was not impressed by the visit to Alcatraz….I did get a few shots and can say…been there done that!   It is a bit odd to think of all the bad people that lived here for some time.  At the Alcatraz Gift Shop you can grab books, photos and all sorts of goodies on the Rock!!!    Here is a strory from the web of an escape attempt….

    During its 29 years of operation, the penitentiary claimed no prisoners had ever successfully escaped. 36 prisoners were involved in 14 attempts, two men trying twice; 23 were caught, six were shot and killed during their escape, and three were lost at sea and never found. The most violent occurred on May 2, 1946 when a failed escape attempt by six prisoners led to the so-called Battle of Alcatraz.

    On June 11, 1962 Frank Morris, John Anglin and Clarence Anglin successfully carried out one of the most intricate escapes ever devised. Behind the prisoners’ cells in Cell Block B (where the escapees were interned) was an unguarded 3-foot (0.91 m) wide utility corridor. The prisoners chiseled away the moisture-damaged concrete from around an air vent leading to this corridor, using tools such as a metal spoon soldered with silver from a dime and an electric drill improvised from a stolen vacuum cleaner motor. The noise was disguised by accordions played during music hour, and their progress was concealed by false walls which, in the dark recesses of the cells, fooled the guards.

    The escape route then led up through a fan vent; the fan and motor had been removed and replaced with a steel grille, leaving a shaft large enough for a prisoner to climb through. Stealing acarborundum cord from the prison workshop, the prisoners had removed the rivets from the grille and substituted dummy rivets made of soap. The escapees also constructed an inflatable raft from several stolen raincoats for the trip to the mainland. Leaving papier-mâché dummies in their cells with stolen human hair from the Barbershop for hair, they escaped. The prisoners are estimated to have entered San Francisco Bay at 10 p.m.

    The official investigation by the FBI was aided by another prisoner, Allen West, who also was part of the escapees’ group but was left behind (West’s false wall kept slipping so he held it into place with cement, which set; when the Anglin brothers (John & Clarence) accelerated the schedule, West desperately chipped away at the wall, but by the time he did his companions were gone). Articles belonging to the prisoners (including plywood paddles and parts of the raincoat raft) were located on nearby Angel Island, and the official report on the escape says the prisoners drowned while trying to reach the mainland in the cold waters of the bay.

    Talke Photography Settings:

    • Camera:  Nikon D300
    • Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4.0
    • Setting: Aperture  Mode
    • Focal Length: 12.0mm
    • ISO: 200
    • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
    • Aperture:  f/8
    • Gear:  Tripod
    • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza