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For a brief history of the site please take a look at this website; I took a trip down after seeing some cool looking photography on the 28DL website.

For the full set of posters, please visit my flickr set .

At the front of the site is an imposing entrance hall, this building holds some administration rooms.  To the right is an intersting looking block, with a water tower and chimney. No doubt this holds a photogenic boiler or something, but sadly this building is well secured.

Visiting abandoned sites, I always worry about hw to get in.  Here, the doors were all locked, fortunately, other means of entry had been created.

Some notable rooms:

The Great Hall:

A ward staff room:

Another long hallway

For the full set of posters, please visit my flickr set .

Any comments on the photos, or if you have any experience of the Asylum; please share them below.

Thanks for looking.

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Photography Podcasts

Following a recent discussion on Flickr, I’ve decided to share a few mini-reviews and links to my favourite photography podcasts I subscribe to in itunes.

In no particular order:

The Candid Frame by Ibarionex Perrello: Each month (ish) Ibarionex interviews a photographer and asked them about what has inspired and influenced their photography.  The photographers are not always interesting to me, but the podcast is well produced, Ibarionex has a great radio voice, and more often or not I get to the end of the show ready to pick up my camera and go shoot something, having been inspired in some way by the interview.

Itunes, Podcast Website

Tips From The Top Floor (TFTTF) by Chris Marquardt: Twice a week Chris releases a podcast which covers a variety of topics; although seems to mostly focus on technique. TFTTF is a lively, friendly short show, and has been a great source of guidance while learning photography.

Itunes, Podcast Website

This Week in Photography: This week in photography is a weekly (dur) show, which tends to focus on the latest products, and most weeks has an interview with a photographer.  If you are looking for new gear, it is worth a listen; and the interviews and sometimes fascinating.

Itunes, Podcast Website

The Art of Photography by Ted Forbes: Ted produces a monthly(ish) podcast, normally about photography techniques.  Each show is professionally produced, and like the title implies, focus’ on the art of photography, not the latest gear.  The shows are only short and each covers a single topic, so it is worth looking back into the archives and downloading a few that appeal.

Itunes, Podcast Website

The Art of Adventure Photography by Bruce Percy: Bruce is a landscape photographer from Scotland.  Each podcast (released monthly until March 2010) is a slideshow with commentary from Bruce.  Simple, but his photos are some of the best.

Itunes, Podcast Website

Other podcasts to try out:

Camera Dojo – Wedding focused, informative but not amazingly produced.

Digital Photography Life – Again, poorly produced, by sometimes covers interesting topics.

The Focus Ring – Infrequent show which features a round table discussion with hosts of other podcasts, including Ibarionex Perrello and Chris Marquardt.

Photofocus – Q&A Show; has some good tips but can be very basic and the show host clearly loves himself.

Do you have any other favourites?  Please share them below.

The Willis Cinderella Shoes business started 1n 1848,  and appears to have occupied this site since 1876.  In the 1960’s the business was taken over by Great Universal Stores (Gus), but the factory was closed in 1976 when Gus pulled out of shoe manufacture.

In a 1948 commercial brochure on Worcester, the business is noted as

“The Company is jealous of its reputation for the quality of its productions, being concerned only in the making of high class footwear, covering a compehensive range of Ladies’ Walking, Sports, and Hand Turned Shoes. Recreational facilities in the form of football, cricket, tennis and bowls are enjoyed in ideal surroudings. ……. The Sports Ground, which adjoins the Factory, being one of the finest in the country.”

Most of the factory has been pulled down, however the frontage and what I guess may have been offices remain,2 stories tall.

The most ineresting rooms was near the locked front door;  remains of a tiled wooden floor differentiates the room from the other, bare tiled remains, and the grand fireplace, now in pieces and tidily piled in a corner suggest this was a room of importance, maybe a room for meeting customers or senior management.

Leaving the factory, I walked across a wasteland 200m to the sports ground.  I remember winning my fist cup final here about 17 years ago, and watching a game of cricket on the same field.

A few miutesonline research highlights why the old Pavilion still stands;  I think that thegroud will need a good mow before a player like WG Grace or the Australian team will consider revisiting.  It is not possible to get inside the Pavilion, but outside there is the groundsman’s hut, full of paint and equipment needed to maintain the pitches; left like he walked out, forgetting to come back.

By the cricket pitch, almost lost in brambles, you can still see a scorers hut; it is tempting to go back with some chalk….

If you have any comments on the photos, or if you have any memories from the factory or sportground, please feel free to add them below.

Thanks for reading.

A flickr contact posted  a fantastic HDR picture of an abandoned garage last week, so after a quick mid-week scout of the site, I went for an explore Saturday morning.

Here is the full set on flickr.  (Shows a full screen slideshow, on black).

All the breaking had been done previously, so it was left for us to slip in through a side entrance, using some chairs conveniently left by previous visitors.

At the back of the garage we find a small office, perhaps a supervisor would have sat here, or mayb it was a tea room…One chair remains with a few pieces of left equipment.

Supervisor?

Supervisor's Chair

In the main work area there is a workbench, complete with some tools, perhaps put down on the last day of business.  The tool boxes are empty, perhaps the small tools were taken by the former owner, or maybe they have been stolen.

Workbench

Workbench

I was really looking for the personal touches left behind; those little signs that tell a story about the individuals wh used to be here.  At the back we found some hooks, perhaps for mugs or coats.

Chris didn't have a hook

There is a second floor space, almost empty aside from a cast aside can of WD-40.  Here is my take on this room, similar to AKPhotography’s, but I’ve gone for a b&w approach.

WD-40

Finally, the signs at he front of the garage show that the site was used as a trailer showroom.  Here is a shot of the now quiet front room, perhaps also where fuel was paid for.

Sales Office

Teccie Bits:  All shots take on an Olympus E510 with 11-22 F2.5-3.5 lens.  Tripod when required.  Processed in Lightroom (cropping), Photoshop CS2 (distortion, perspective correction, with PT Lens), and Silver Efex Pro (B&W Conversion, dodge and burn).

Next door to the garage is a house, also abandoned. I will be processing and uploading the shots from the house later in the week.

Thanks to AK Photography (flickr, website) for sharing the location.

50p Toy Panoramic Camera

Toy Panoramic Camera

At a car boot sale this morning I picked up a Halina Panorama-F 35mm Point and shoot.  Instead of actually shooting a wider than normal size shot on the film it actually shoots a standard width frame, but one that is shorter than on a standard 35mm camera.  It does however have wide field of view (24mm perhaps) and was good fun shooting a test roll during a bbq.

VickyThe camera is fixed focus, and claims to be sharp from 1m to infinity.  As you might expect from a plastic lens if is not exactly sharp, but plenty sharp enough to take interesting shots without thinking about aperture, iso and shutter speed.  The shutter speed is fixed, so the only user control variable is the, which can only be changed by switching film.  The instructions claim 400 is best, but 100 or 200 can be used in bright light.  I used HP5 400, which shoud give me plenty of room for error.  Only a few shots taken indoors without the flash where unusable

I find with panoramics, it usually makes a better picture if care is given in getting subects both close and further from the camera to help give the picture depth.  In this group shot, I positions a person closer to me on the side of the frame.  By doing this I find it draws the viewer into the picture, so that in this case they are part of the group eating marshmellows.

Finally, a portrait of my with my chicken taken byVicky.  After a BBQ and beers, the extra frame width is handy.

Just uploaded a couple of pictures (more to come) taken with a new ND1000 (10 stop) filter.

Pebbles and Groyne

Pebbles and Groyne

Click here to see the set.

While searching for information on the abandoned cottage I visited recently I stumbled upon a mention of a walk passing two abandoned cottages, not too far from home.

Using the walk route, I was able to spot on my OS map the building, and last Saturday was able to make a visit.

The photos shown, and more, are best viewed big on a black background here.

The building contains what appear to be two separate dwellings, and conveniently for me, the door of one of these was missing.  I walked into a large room, dominated by a bricked in, cast iron stove and fire.  Apart from the fire the room was bare, and furniture must have been taken away.  I can imagine this being a living room, and while the picture shows what look like a cast iron stove, there was a bigger, brick oven in a back room.  Maybe the back room was added on later and this was previously where the food was cooked.

The only other feature in the room is a small cupboard to the left of the stove, built into the wall.  Empty now, it is possible to imagine the cupboard being conveniently positioned to hold a few ingredients, or if we are in living room a few treasured items.

The walls throughout the property where covered in cracked plaster, with patches where the wooden lattice beneath could be seen.  In one place the plaster was carved with “Michael Cole 1911”.  Perhaps Michael was a previous resident?

The second room is narrower, and has two long shelves down the wall.  Looking at the shape, I think it was too narrow to be a room where people would have spent much time, so maybe it was just for storage?

Looking up, little floor remains on the first floor, just the beams the floorboards would have been laid on.  On the side of the beams were occasional hooks.  Perhaps these were convenient for hanging a light.

Through the floor boards the upstairs door can be seen.

Leaving the first room be a door at the back of the building we enter a third ground floor room in a single story section of the house.  Here we find another brick stove and a back door.  Outside here is an old iron pump for water.

The second dwelling is a mirror image of the first, but has not had the benefit of the roof being repaired.  As a result a number of trees have grown inside the building, poking their tops above the roofline.

In the wall between the two homes are a series of holes.  I cannot see any clues as to what these were for, but maybe they held some furniture, perhaps shelves or a sideboard in place?

I was able to leave through the front door of the second home I explored.  The door, wile weathered, still latched and swung smoothly.  Looking back I can see a view into the home a view that perhaps previously welcomed a farmer or farm hand?  The main room at the front of each house appears to be the living room, so perhaps in place of the dirt floor we can now see, there may have been an arm chair by the fire?

Any comments on the photos or ideas for similar sites in the South West Midlands welcome, thanks for looking.

Teccie bits:  All photos taken on an Olympus E510 with either Sigma 30mm F1.4, Zuiko 11-22 F2.8-3.5 or Zuiko 70-300mm lenses.  Processed with photoshop CS2, using PT Lens to remove distortion from the wide angle shots, and a few levels adjutments.  Black and White conversion contrast adjusments and split toning in Silver Efex Pro, and final cropping in Lightroom.

Kitchen

Originally uploaded by BaldyD

Abandoned Cottage, Near Clifton-On-Teme, Worcester.

Unfotunately this place has been abandoned a long time (graffiti indicates 1911?) and there were no leftovers from occupation. The cupboard seen here was empy, and the floor was hidden beneath dirt.

The photo here shows what I assume would be a stove, so perhaps this room was a kitchen/dining room. THe only other room on the ground floor was pretty narrow and had long shelves attached and no source of heat, so perhaps was just for storage. This room may have also been used for living quarters.

The rural location of the pair of houses, in the middle of a field must mean that the house was for farm workers. The building has two almost identical separate dwellings, so perhaps farm workers rather than a land owner?

Out the back was an old iron water pump. Otherwise I cannot imagine that there would be any addtional utilities.

Snowdonia

Snowdonia

A short post, on Monday I took a walk in the snow in Snowdonia.  Due to ice and mist, I walked up the Miner’s Track to where in joins the Pyg Track, then retuned along the Pyg Track. This was generally a very easy walk, apart from the steep climb at the end of the Miner’s Track where it joins the Pyg Track.  This was steep, and as I was the one of first to climb in the morning, hidden in snow and slippy.  I hope to have the weather to get make it worthwhile getting to the top next time.

A few photos from the trip can be found here.

Photos from the walk are here, generally shot in Aperture Priority.  Panoramas shot handheld, merged in PT Gui. B&W conversion in Silver Efex Pro.

The Abandoned Road

While in Derbyshire I took a trip to Mam Tor.  While the weather was not good for shooting the landscape, it was perfect for exploring the abandoned road at the base of the hill, above the village of Castleton.  A slideshow of the photoset can be found here

Due to the white sky, I generally took a selection of exposures for later compositing in Photomatix.  To exploit the old, broken, empty and abandoned  feeling of the area, I felt I should match this with dark claustrophobic processing. The starting point for this was the Pin Hole preset in Silver Efex Pro.  I find this emphasises the feeling of decay.

There is about 300 metres of abandoned road that has been subject to significant subsidence due to the area’s geology.  On a good day it is probably possible to get good results combining the road with a view down the valley, but on my visit the wider view was largely obscurred by mist.