The Domes of Casa Grande, AZ

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Casa Grande Dome_Pete1SW
Casa Grande Domes 01
I recently went to Pheonix and took a drive on this Saturday to Case Grande with my good photog friend John Harper. I had seen pics of this place and wanted to see them firsthand. It was about 30 minutes south of Phoenix…just off Route 8. You drive down a desolate road and you see these odd structures on the left. We parked on the road as I saw broken glass and junk on the driveway in to the domes.

We walked up to them and it was very surreal. The first one looks like a UFO…we walked thru and came across the second section. Pic above. 4 domes grouped together. You walk in and it feels really weird. Sun rays are streaming thru the holes in the ceiling. Kinda cool. I yelled out and the echo was awesome! I did my best Joe DiMaggio from Yankee Stadium. Are they haunted, not sure. All I know is it is one strange feeling walking around this place.

So I wanted to know more….(from the web) A little over 27 years ago, ground was broken for an electronics assembly plant on Thornton Road near Interstate 8, at a site now referred as “the Domes.” About 75 people attended the event that included a preview of a Thermoshell dome, champagne and a buffet lunch. A total of four dome-like structures were built. One of them looks like a classic flying saucer. Zebb then planned to move her company from Mountain View, Calif., to the new Casa Grande site, which was to become the company headquarters. Her site in California would become a branch plant, according to her plans. An office was used for a while in one of the domes but the plant never opened. Long abandoned, the site was acquired by new owners in 2006. The 5-acre plot is about half a mile from Interstate 8. At one point the Domes property was fenced but that has fallen into disrepair with vandalism.
Today a realtor has the listing for the Domes. The asking price for the 5 acres and the four structures with more than 20,300 square feet is $750,000

Philadelphia, PA – Eastern State Penitentiary (HDR)

One of the coolest places to HDR in the US…Eastern State Penitentiary. An added bonus when you visit…they allow Tripods! You have to pay ten dollars extra..but all worth it! The prison was open from 1829 to 1971. It housed Al Capone and many other scary people. I have only visitd once, but would enjoy heading back to take the “Ghost” tour. They call it “Terror Behind the Walls“. I unfortunately do not believe in ghosts…but this could be one spooky place at nite! If you are ever in the Philly area…stop by and visit ESP! Def cool!

Peter Talke Photography Settings:
Camera: Nikon D300
Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4.0
Setting: Aperture Mode
Focal Length: 13.0 mm
ISO: 200
Exposure: HDR 9 Exposures (+4 to -4)
Aperture: f/11
Gear: Tripod
Post Process: Adobe CS6, HDR Efex Pro, OnOne Software Photo Tools 2.6

Mineral Wells, TX – Baker Hotel (Infrared)

How about a swim?? The lovely pool located at the Baker Hotel will cool you off nicely! This shot is kinda puts my eyes to work….the pool reflection makes it fun! Looks like a cannonball is not possible at this time. Maybe the ghosts here can bust one out!

Philadelphia, PA – Eastern State Penitentiary (HDR)

From the spooky and awesome Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia…this is cell block #8. My little one and I enjoy watching the TV show Ghost Adventures with Zak Baggans. I am not 100% sure ghosts exist, but I do enjoy the potential of the unknown. I think I enjoy the show mostly due to the locations they visit. This is how I found out about ESP. They visit old houses, asylums, penitentiaries and much more. All these places are sweet for HDR! Who ya gonna call….Ghostbusters!

Mineral Wells, Texas – Baker Hotel (HDR-Infrared)

One more shot from the photo walk. I was using my converted Infrared Nikon D70S after my D300’s mirror locked up. I took all shots as IR-HDR’s. In the back of the hotel there is a small cul-de-sac with a rear entrance. I can assume this was for the rich and famous to enter in the hotel without interruption. When you look upwards, there is this large pipe that extends up the wall of the hotel. Very different and cool! Not sure what its purpose is? A big fireplace inside? One day, I would love to go inside and take tons of HDR’s!

Talke Photography Settings:
Infrared Converted Nikon D70S
Lens: Nikon 12-14 f/4.0
Setting: Aperture Mode
Focal Length: 24.0 mm
ISO: 200
Exposure: HDR 3 Exposures (+2 to -2)
Aperture: f/11
Gear: Tripod
Post Process: Adobe CS5, HDR Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, OnOne Software Photo Tools 2.6

Philadelphia, PA – Eastern State Penitentiary (HDR)

On a recent visit to the Philadelphia area…I had a chance to stop by the amazing Eastern State Penitentiary.  Now I have been to Alcatraz and was not too impressed.  This abandoned prison is super cool!   30 foot walls surround the cell blocks.  You cant visit every block, but they have enough available to fill your time and enjoyment!  If you are in the area and love ghost stories and HDR’s…this is a must visit!!!  The whole place is an HDR in waiting…decaying cells, rock walls, rusty pipes, brick…all the ingredients needed for great pics!   Even Al Capone’s cell!  Look for more soon!

PS..this was my first ever 9 exposure HDR!  With so many details in this place…I decided to go with more brackets. =)

Talke Photography Settings:

  • 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
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS5, HDR Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro,   Photo Tools 2.6,

Estes Park, Colorado – The Stanley Hotel (HDR) – Part 3

Don’t let the ghost stories be the only great thing about the hotel….it is beautiful!!  The photo above is form the reception area.  With that fire burning…what a great spot to sit, relax and read!!  After my visit I wanted to learn more.  I had heard about a TV Show called “Ghost Hunters”.  I checked the iTunes store and saw they have a few episodes from the  Stanley!  There is a “Best of” …so I downloaded and watched it.  These ghost shows always seem to see a dark figure in the corner or a cold spot in a room…hmmm…acting to me!  But after watching this show, I was intrigued by a few things.  Not sure if it real or great advertising?

Whatever your thoughts are for such X-File type  phenomenon, the truth is out there!  LOL  I’d prefer to see Bill Murray from GhostBusters stay here one night!   Have a ghostly good time and visit here one day if you can!!