Just got back from a workshop in Buffalo, NY at Silo City and it was an incredible experience. Mark Milo hosts the workshop and I was the guest instructor at this unique place to have a photography workshop. Mark gained access to a group of old silos in Buffalo and we are allowed to explore and photograph places that no one else has photographed in a very eerie location. The silos are a great location to do HDR photography; with all its detail and buildings succumbing to age there is almost no place you can point your camera that is not worth an HDR shot. Mark asked me to come along for two reasons, one for my HDR photography and two for my light painting. As we ended up having a lot of rain during the workshop light painting became the name of the game if you wanted to photograph. One of the attendees even commented to me after the second day about the number of flashlights in all the different rooms she went into and that apparently I’ve had done my job of teaching light painting.
For my photography I ended up light painting so much that my forearm cramped up from holding the Brinkman flashlight over my head. There are places at Silo City that have never been photographed because there is no light in these rooms, but they are incredible places to see and to photograph. One of my favorite images is of this doorway with a file cabinet in the small room. The room was completely black no light was getting in and when I walked around the corner with the headlight on my head and saw this amazing image that I needed to photograph. Two of the attendees with me set up their cameras and we proceeded to work on this image. This image is a composite of three different shots blended together in Photoshop to make this one photograph that I just love.
Another room that I fell in love with was the belt room as it’s called. This room housed numerous belts that helped keep the machinery running inside this building. I photographed it the day that we had sunlight and love the HDR image that came from it, but as the clouds moved in I knew that I wanted to light paint this room. The next morning as the rain was pouring outside and the sky was dark I took the Brinkman and went into this room before anyone else could, as they were still eating donuts and drinking coffee and I don’t do either. This image is another light painting composite of six images as I needed to light paint the back of the room, plus I had to overpower the sunlight that was still coming through the windows and was very blue.
As I was flying back from Buffalo and looking at my images on my laptop I have come to the conclusion that I have a new arsenal in my photography bag where I can photograph in inclement weather and come away with images that I’m very happy to have in my portfolio. When you look at these images think about the times that you said I’m not to go out and photograph because the sun isn’t up or the lighting looks just horrible and think about how you might be able to come away with some great images even in that type of weather.
Here are a few more images: