Chair, Cell Block 8, Cell 21, Eastern State Penitentiary

Chair, Cell Block 8, Cell 21, Eastern State Penitentiary

Dug up another image from my last trip to Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia.  This is a High Dynamic Range (HDR) image composed of four images each about 1 f-stop apart.  In this case I used Nik Software’s HDR Efex Pro 2 to merge the images.  I like HDR images, they look almost 3-D.  I should say I like HDR images, as long as they are not “overcooked”.

You could also use Photoshop’s Merge to HDR Pro Function (File -> Automate -> Merge to HDR Pro).  I have used both in the past, but prefer the Nik Software because it has more presets as well as better control over the merged image.  The Nik Collection is a great deal at $149.  Get the trial offer and try it for yourself.  There are also some video demonstrations on YouTube that demonstrate the versatility of the entire collection.

Location: N39 58 05.95  W075 10 21.49

Philadelphia Graffiti Underground

On December 31, 2010, in Photo of the Week, by admin
Philadelphia Graffiti Underground

Philadelphia Graffiti Underground

This image was taken at a place in Philadelphia called the “Graffiti Underground”.  The area appears to be an abandoned loading pier jutting out into the Delaware River.  The concrete structures look like the support beams for a rail spur.

This is a great location to work on compositions consisting of repeating shapes and bright colors.  There are also a lot of neat textures and small color patterns for close-up and macro work.  The first structure on the pier has larger columns spaced further apart and some rooms with graffiti on three walls.  The second structure has smaller columns placed closer together which make for a different type of composition.  This image was taken near the front of the first area with the larger columns.

The Graffiti Underground is only a 15 minute drive through Philadelphia from the Eastern State Penitentiary.  Two great locations that can be combined into a single day trip from DC.

To find the Graffiti Underground, enter “2225 Richmond St, Philadelphia, PA” in  This address takes you to an industrial warehouse with a road looping behind the back.  The image below shows the satellite picture of the area.  Park where indicated and then walk about 1/4 mile along the path.  If you go north under the interstate there are a lot of restaurants and gas stations.  It is about a 2.5 hour drive from Springfield, VA (with no traffic!).

Eastern State Penitentiary Part II

On December 28, 2010, in Photo of the Week, by admin

Cell Block 9 Mirrors, Eastern State Penitentiary

The images above show the facing mirrors located in Cellblock 9 in the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, PA.  The image on the left shows both mirrors.  Note the fire extinguisher along the right side.  Not shown are the exit sign and the museum information sign.  These are distractions you need to work around.  The mirrors can be arranged to show the length of the hallway or to focus on the hanging door visible in the left image.

I used the mirrors for the image on the right.  I focused on the portion of the walls just below the two mirrors.  If you did not see the image on the left, my image on the right would appear to be an abstract.  Try to imagine what the right image is without the left image.  Kinda like an M. C Escher image huh?

Next time I will do something to improve the image.  Notice the slight shadows on the upper left edge of the right image.  I find the shadow a bit distracting and would like to get rid of it without doing a lot of photoshop work.  I will take a reflector and try to redirect some light up into that area to get rid of that shadow.