Steve's Digicams Forums

Steve's Digicams Forums (https://forums.steves-digicams.com/)
-   Architectural Photos (https://forums.steves-digicams.com/architectural-photos-74/)
-   -   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!!

vvcarpio Jan 31, 2012 1:56 PM

Thank you, schmintan, Torgny, mainak.

Torgny, my friend said we were lucky we came at that time of day because she has never seen it lit that way before.

#13)
http://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/...y/DSC03659.jpg

maple muffin Apr 25, 2012 10:34 PM

mountaindale high school
 
I found your site while doing a search for the Mountaindale I remember. my family went to several bungalow colonies in the area when I was a child. That was in the sixties and seventies, long after the high school closed. I noticed something fascinating in your photo of what looked like an auditorium in the high school. Did you see the Magen David, or jewish star, engraved into the side of one of the benches? I think these are the type of benches one used to find in synagogues, or shuls. I wonder how these benches found their way into the high school. what do you think?

vvcarpio May 15, 2012 9:43 PM

Hi, maple_muffin. Sorry for this late reply -- I just found your reply earlier today.

Yes, I noticed the Star of David on the benches. My friend who now owns the building, a long time resident of Mountaindale (not sure but she might have grown up there), is Jewish. The area has a good size Jewish population so probably at one time or other the Jewish community donated benches. Just a guess.

It's really interesting to find you here. You might even know my friend, Barb Schmitt.

#14) The Living Torah Museum in the nearby hamlet of Hurleyville, I think, which is in the same town of Fallsburg as the hamlet of Mountaindale.
http://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/...s/DSC07439.jpg

maple muffin May 17, 2012 12:10 AM

what a fabulous picture- thanks for sharing it.
also- i recently emailed you, but received no reply- may I reprint one of your photos (Main Street Mountaindale) with an article I am writing on childhood Mountaindale summers, if I credit you and your website?
Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks so much!

vvcarpio May 17, 2012 4:38 AM

Hi, maple_muffin. Yes, you may freely use my Mountaindale pictures (blushing). However, I do not remember receiving your e-mail (it may have gone to spam? -- I'll check). Thank you for asking.

EDIT: I'd be interested in knowing when you finish the article, and if it is going to be available online. My friend writes a Mountaindale blog of her own (http://mountaindalenews.blogspot.com/) and I was (ahem) featured there once or twice.

MountaindaleNY May 22, 2012 1:32 PM

Abandoned High School in Mountaindale, NY
 
Billy, it's so thrilling to see the great results of that photo tour! Your skill with HDR processing really brings out the magnificence of peeling paint.
To answer some of the questions I noticed in this thread, the Mountaindale School was functional until the mid 1960's, when the school district was centralized in Fallsburg, NY. This handsome WPA building was sold off as "excess" and used as a cheap warehouse by individuals who didn't properly maintain it which resulted in the interior deterioration.

Yes, it is currently being used for numerous music videos, a fashion shoot, and was featured in a YouTube video as the Haunted Schoolhouse during a Mountaindale community event one Halloween. The exterior grounds offer several murals, a Metal Art Sculpture Garden with works by the late Peter Mott, a meditation Labyrinth, and the Sandburg Creek RiverWalk.

I hope you will all visit us in charming Mountaindale, NY and that Maple_Muffin might be inspired to post some recollections in our other blog, Mountaindale Living History.

vvcarpio May 22, 2012 3:13 PM

Hi, Barb. It's a wonderful treat to see you here -- thanks for the compliments! My frequenting Mountaindale has made me discover many beautiful places to photograph in the area.

#15) Barn on Church Road in Mountaindale. This is actually just outside of town. You can get close to the barn as Church Road runs adjacent to its side. But Barb showed me a better shot further up Church Road from where this shot is taken.
http://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/.../DSC00691b.jpg

#16) Toy train in Mountaindale commemorates the NY O&W (Ontario and Western) # 33 train which came to a crash in Mountaindale in 1904.
http://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/...s/DSC09333.jpg

#17) Also in the town of Fallsburg where the hamlet of Mountaindale is located is this falls on Old Falls Road.
http://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/...s/DSC09882.jpg

maple muffin Jun 13, 2012 8:24 PM

Hi! I just wanted to let you know that the article with your photo of Mountaindale is slated to appear June 25th, but there is no online version of the magazine. If you send me your mailing address, I can send you a copy. or, if you want me to email a pdf to you, please send me an email address and i will aske the editors to make one available to me. Thanks again!

Bynx Jun 14, 2012 1:07 AM

Some great stuff Billy. Id love to get into that abandoned school. I like the touches of some of the rooms, like the curtains hanging in the auditorium, or the half roll of toilet paper in the john or the soap dispensers and mirror in the washroom.

vvcarpio Jun 21, 2012 3:39 PM

You're welcome, maple muffin -- and thanks! I sent you private message.

Hi, Paul -- thanks! Yes the abandoned schoolhouse is a joy to photograph. Barb is a real friend for letting me in among other things she's done.

#18)
http://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/...s/DSC09385.jpg

The Barbarian Jun 28, 2012 7:32 PM

Splendid as usual. I would like to try Topaz, but so far, it doesn't work so well with GIMP.

vvcarpio Jul 12, 2012 12:25 PM

Thank you, The Barbarian. Topaz came out with a new product, "photoFXlab", which I think is a standalone program for hosting all the Topaz plug-ins. I downloaded a trial but I figure I'm already well-accustomed to using Topaz as plug-ins so I might be purchasing something I won't be using so I didn't. It's regular at $79 but is $29 until 7/31. I'm not sure if photoFXlab will replace Gimp, though, as I don't think it has photo-editing capabilities.

If anyone here knows a compelling use for photoFXlab, I'd appreciate knowing before 7/31.

#19) Interior of Uccelli's Restaurant in Mountaindale where my "Solitude" series were put on display a few months ago. My wife and I went there for Mother's Day and north Italian food was delicious -- I wanted to slurp the remaining sauce off my finished plate but it being fine dining I did not.
http://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/...tonemapped.jpg


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 5:19 PM.