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-   -   Abandoned High School in Mountaindale, NY (https://forums.steves-digicams.com/architectural-photos-74/abandoned-high-school-mountaindale-ny-195604/)

vvcarpio Jan 21, 2012 9:21 PM

Abandoned High School in Mountaindale, NY
 
A friend, Barb Schmitt, who along with her husband, Ken Schmitt, owns several buildings on Main Street in Mountaindale in the Catskills gave me and my son a tour inside one of her buildings -- the abandoned Mountaindale High School.

I don’t know exactly when the school closed but from what I can gather online (if it’s the same school at all, which it seems to be), it may have closed just a few years after WWII.

According to one memoir I found, Mountaindale was a small rural community and its high school population reflected that. Students numbered from 64 in 1935 to only 20 in 1944.

Besides the small class, teacher-to-student ratio was even smaller. Each elementary school teacher “had two grades in one room”. And three grades – from ten through twelve – shared the one science subject that the school offered.

It was hardly the place to prepare for college, according to the memoir’s author. He was totally unprepared academically when he entered college. Still, he was lucky that in 1945, “many young men disappeared into the military” so he was easily accepted at NYU.

Mountaindale is still a small town. Reminding me of the early American settlers when immigrants from the Old World worked hard to make sure that their new communities worked, Barb and Ken has transformed Mountaindale’s Main Street from what New York Times called a “risky” place to live in into the attractive-looking hamlet in the Catskills today that promoted culture and arts.

Barb has offered me the schoolhouse tour several times before but I kept holding back because a free backstage pass to a subject many photographers would covet – an abandoned building with many of the history kept intact – landing on my lap seemed somewhat hard to digest. And yet when my son and I went there and left and later found my camera bag missing only to drive all the way back to Mountaindale to get it, Barb and Ken made sure that my second trip was worthwhile by giving me yet another tour in a different part of town.

Spending most of my time in the congested confines of New York City one hundred miles away, my visits to Mountaindale stand in stark contrast as they have been very relaxing and met with warmth and grace that I’d say can only emanate from the people of a hardworking small town like Mountaindale.

#1) The abandoned schoolhouse is ideal for rock band shoots, as at least one already had.
http://i44.tinypic.com/t7xttg.jpg

#2)
http://i40.tinypic.com/21cb2m8.jpg

#3)
http://i42.tinypic.com/2rpp98l.jpg

#4)
http://i39.tinypic.com/29lfvwn.jpg

#5)
http://i42.tinypic.com/120m790.jpg

Thank you for looking. C&C welcome.

banksy Jan 25, 2012 4:59 PM

Wonderful series vv. You and your son were very fortunate to be able to have a private viewing. Abandoned buildings make fabulous stories.

vvcarpio Jan 26, 2012 10:31 AM

Thank you, banksy.

#6)
http://i44.tinypic.com/m9q34i.jpg

#7)
http://i42.tinypic.com/2442pzc.jpg

#8)
http://i40.tinypic.com/30j2q8k.jpg

#9) Main Street in Mountaindale, NY.
http://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/...y/DSC03695.jpg

#10) A recently-opened North Italian restaurant in Mountaindale, NY.
http://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/...y/DSC03677.jpg

kazuya Jan 28, 2012 5:44 PM

Amazing shots as always, hope you didnt use the toilet though ;)

lomitamike Jan 28, 2012 11:54 PM

You always find the coolest places to shoot. And HDR seems to go perfect with your locations.

Very nice.

schmintan Jan 29, 2012 9:51 AM

really great set. you have really captured the atmosphere. What processing techniques did you use on them? I have never been able to get that style of image out of my pc.

vvcarpio Jan 30, 2012 12:46 PM

Thank you, all.

kazuya, no I did not -- the brown matter inside the toilet isn't mine :). (It's actually brown corrugated cardboard that could pass for the real thing.)

Mike, I guess in this case, it found me. My friend probably sensed I was into abandoned places and she had just the thing.

Hi, schmintan. I use Dynamic Photo HDR (DPHDR) first to produce a scene that is evenly lit. I then use Topaz Adjust. I use a modified version of its "Strong Detail" preset, adjusted for my camera's resolution (4592x3056).

But I think the effect that makes the most impact is when I slide Topaz Adjust's "Detail Boost" slider to 1.40 or more. (It may vary depending on the resolution of your camera.)

So for these images, my settings for Topaz Adjust's Details (after I select the Strong Detail preset) are the following:

Strength 1.31
Detail Boost 1.40
Threshold 0.11
Radius 19.33
Sharpen 3.01

Also, after creating the HDR image and before doing anything with it with Topaz Adjust, I clean the HDR image with Topaz DeNoise. I try not go over 0.07 for the Overall Strength slider as doing so tends to lose sharpness and detail in my images. I clean it so the succeeding step, Topaz Adjust, does not bother enhancing (amplifying) noise for hopefully a cleaner image. Then after running through Topaz Adjust, I run it again through Topaz DeNoise to eliminate the grain introduced by Topaz Adjust.

Then, with the image still evenly lit, I use Photoshop's oblong selection tool (sometimes rotating 45 degrees) and creating layers with a combination of "Multiply" and "Screen" blending modes to control contrast and make certain parts of the scene darker or brighter. In other words, I fake spotlighting for drama.

(The exception is the toilet shots. There are holes in the roof so there were natural "spotlights" on the subjects. I just had to enhance the contrast to emphasize them more.)

I hope this helps.

#11)
http://i40.tinypic.com/4jnvqb.jpg

#12)
http://i42.tinypic.com/4hujqa.jpg

schmintan Jan 30, 2012 1:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vvcarpio (Post 1281732)
Thank you, all.

kazuya, no I did not -- the brown matter inside the toilet isn't mine :). (It's actually brown corrugated cardboard that could pass for the real thing.)

Mike, I guess in this case, it found me. My friend probably sensed I was into abandoned places and she had just the thing.

Hi, schmintan. I use Dynamic Photo HDR (DPHDR) first to produce a scene that is evenly lit. I then use Topaz Adjust. I use a modified version of its "Strong Detail" preset, adjusted for my camera's resolution (4592x3056).

But I think the effect that makes the most impact is when I slide Topaz Adjust's "Detail Boost" slider to 1.40 or more. (It may vary depending on the resolution of your camera.)

So for these images, my settings for Topaz Adjust's Details (after I select the Strong Detail preset) are the following:

Strength 1.31
Detail Boost 1.40
Threshold 0.11
Radius 19.33
Sharpen 3.01

Also, after creating the HDR image and before doing anything with it with Topaz Adjust, I clean the HDR image with Topaz DeNoise. I try not go over 0.07 for the Overall Strength slider as doing so tends to lose sharpness and detail in my images. I clean it so the succeeding step, Topaz Adjust, does not bother enhancing (amplifying) noise for hopefully a cleaner image. Then after running through Topaz Adjust, I run it again through Topaz DeNoise to eliminate the grain introduced by Topaz Adjust.

Then, with the image still evenly lit, I use Photoshop's oblong selection tool (sometimes rotating 45 degrees) and creating layers with a combination of "Multiply" and "Screen" blending modes to control contrast and make certain parts of the scene darker or brighter. In other words, I fake spotlighting for drama.

(The exception is the toilet shots. There are holes in the roof so there were natural "spotlights" on the subjects. I just had to enhance the contrast to emphasize them more.)

I hope this helps.

Wow! Thats quite a workflow! I must give Topaz software a go. it seems to be behind a lot of good photos on the forums! nice job.

Torgny Jan 30, 2012 7:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vvcarpio (Post 1279962)
A friend, Barb Schmitt, who along with her husband, Ken Schmitt, owns several buildings on Main Street in Mountaindale in the Catskills gave me and my son a tour inside one of her buildings -- the abandoned Mountaindale High School.

I don’t know exactly when the school closed but from what I can gather online (if it’s the same school at all, which it seems to be), it may have closed just a few years after WWII.

According to one memoir I found, Mountaindale was a small rural community and its high school population reflected that. Students numbered from 64 in 1935 to only 20 in 1944.

Besides the small class, teacher-to-student ratio was even smaller. Each elementary school teacher “had two grades in one room”. And three grades – from ten through twelve – shared the one science subject that the school offered.

It was hardly the place to prepare for college, according to the memoir’s author. He was totally unprepared academically when he entered college. Still, he was lucky that in 1945, “many young men disappeared into the military” so he was easily accepted at NYU.

Mountaindale is still a small town. Reminding me of the early American settlers when immigrants from the Old World worked hard to make sure that their new communities worked, Barb and Ken has transformed Mountaindale’s Main Street from what New York Times called a “risky” place to live in into the attractive-looking hamlet in the Catskills today that promoted culture and arts.

Barb has offered me the schoolhouse tour several times before but I kept holding back because a free backstage pass to a subject many photographers would covet – an abandoned building with many of the history kept intact – landing on my lap seemed somewhat hard to digest. And yet when my son and I went there and left and later found my camera bag missing only to drive all the way back to Mountaindale to get it, Barb and Ken made sure that my second trip was worthwhile by giving me yet another tour in a different part of town.

Spending most of my time in the congested confines of New York City one hundred miles away, my visits to Mountaindale stand in stark contrast as they have been very relaxing and met with warmth and grace that I’d say can only emanate from the people of a hardworking small town like Mountaindale.

#1) The abandoned schoolhouse is ideal for rock band shoots, as at least one already had.


#2)
http://i40.tinypic.com/21cb2m8.jpg

#3)


#4)


#5)


Thank you for looking. C&C welcome.


Well, V V, this is a masterpiece I think. A little skewed but anyhow - wonderful light. Congratulations

//T

mainak Jan 31, 2012 7:34 AM

this is amazing .. keep up the good work!!


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