This book will inspire you to visit new “old” places and to get to know them well enough to tell their story.
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Lisa and Tom Cuchara see the beauty in decay and abandonment. In this book, they take you on a guided journey of historic, grand, dramatic, and unique locations and provide tips to help you capture creative fine-art photographs of rusty, dusty subjects and locations. In this book, you’ll find a plethora of urban exploration images and discover the processes used to create each one. You’ll learn how to capture HDR images, create long-exposure photos, and paint with light. You’ll also learn how to approach challenging locations, deal with high contrast scenes, create stitched HDR panoramics, and produce light and shadow effects. The authors share the gear that was used, the camera settings, the story behind the scene, and how they pre-visualized their images and looked for light (or created it) in each location. This book will inspire you to visit new “old” places and to get to know them well enough to tell their story. (Lisa and Tom Cuchara)
Lisa and Tom see the Beauty in Decay and Abandonment. Old, Historic, Grand, Dramatic, Unique -- these characteristics draw us to explore and capture the essence of these rusty, dusty subjects and locations. Urban exploration (UrbEx) is the art of finding and exploring abandoned locations. Not all locations are technically "urban" or even "abandoned". The term abandoned is used VERY loosely. It is not "being abandoned" that attracts us to a place, it is the history, beauty, decay, charm, and architectural details (which contrast so drastically with today’s vanilla architecture). Another definition of UrbEx is the investigation of seldom seen man-made structures, a definition more consistent with our quest, since our subjects may be FAR from abandoned (like the architectural grandeur of bustling Grand Central Terminal or the surprising drama of the [empty] neo-Gothic Eastern State Penitentiary), but these sites count as "unseen" because few people actually stop to appreciate beautiful prison architecture or the jaw-dropping details of Grand Central, a place that they might even rush through twice a day.
In this book, we discuss a variety of UrbEx images, using them as examples to share a variety of capture and processing tips with you. All of the photographs taken in this book were taken on a tripod and most involved high dynamic range (HDR) capture; the few images herein that are not HDR are long exposures instead, and almost all of those are light painted. We will share with you: the gear that we used, image settings, the approach used, the story behind the scene, how we pre-visualize, how we look for light (or create our own), tips about light painting, plus post-processing. Readers will learn how to approach locations, deal with high contrast scenes using HDR, create stitched HDR panoramic, create your own light and shadows, and light paint. A plethora of both in-camera and in post-processing creativity tips are shared herein. Our goal is to inspire you; inspire you to visit new "old" places and to get to know them well enough to tell their story, inspire you to capture high dynamic range images and to light paint, and inspire you to create art from decay. We hope to enthuse you with our "Creativity is contagious, pass it on" philosophy and our "Don't shoot what it looks like, shoot what it feels like" (David Alan Harvey) approach.
Lisa and Tom have a superb knack for finding incredibly fascinating places to photograph. They are encouraging, patient and terribly creative people whose energy and passion make you never want to put your camera down." Jennifer Dooley, Workshop Participant, Avid Photographer for 20 years