Asylum D

Title  :  Asylum D

Photographer name : David ‘Davideo’ Broad

Description of place :  An old de-commissioned UK Asylum, circa 1848 to around 1995

Technical information

Camera – Canon 7D

Lens –  Samyang 8mm

HDR Software –  PhotoMatix 4 and further treatment in Photoshop CS6

ISO – 100

Aperture – f/8

Number of exposures –  3

Tripod/handheld – Tripod

Extra processing information:

  I took 3 photographs, I think in this instance at -4 to +4,  I usually go -3 to + 3 , also some of you will frown but I shot with JPG not RAW ….arrrghh don’t shout at me ok , then I processed with the defacto tool of HDR creation, namely Photomatix , everyone has there own take and style here don’t they? as for me I do like the finished image to look as natural as possible but sometimes hey ho lets go and take it to the fringes of surrealism, after all it’s what you like yourself that counts the most right?

On this I didn’t push any of the sliders to their respective extremeties apart from strength which is always on full blast, I dont have a standard workflow on any image, as for me anyway they all seem to need their own treatment unless of course its the same subject, from the same session, I keep my colour saturation down to around 40, Luminosity and Detail Contrast usually hover in the regions of 7 – 9 as for the lighting adjustment I have gone from using medium to natural to now just having it on the slider around the 0 mark, Smooth highlights around the 50 mark, everything on this one is pretty neautral, the one slider I sometimes agonise over is the Micro Smoothing I have this niggling thought in my head that to have it on 0 is wrong I dont know why this is but it usally is between 1 to 4.4

I took the processed image into Photoshop CS6 and found that the building itself looked a little too dark and hid some detail, so from the lighter exposure, I layer masked that back in but only at quite a low opacity to try and keep it natural looking and not defy the sky to much.

I took the sky from the darkest exposure as the processed one seemed to have too much noise, so again I layer masked in the sky with a greater amount of opacity to try and keep the noise down but not wanting the sky to be too dark either, on the then combined sky section only, I used a rather mild helping of Topaz Denoise.

Finally I tweaked the curves into a mild s shape for contrast and altered the colour balance to best mimic the late afternoon sky but with added artistic license :) I wish now that it had been a cloudy overcast day which would have conveyed more drama to suit this rather menacing, imposing but grand, elegant hulk of a building.

Photographers bio :

I do quite well producing short visual effects driven films/videos and releasing them primarily on YouTube, some have gone viral attracting millions of views and also featuring on various US and UK network TV shows, one of the most successful being “Modern Warfare 2 Secret Old Lady WTF” with over 11 million hits, wanting to take the image quality in my short films to a higher level, I purchased a Canon 7d to use as a video camera, with its lens choices , filmic looking depth of field and being one of the only few Canons that didn‘t drop its HD output to SD in record mode thus making it feasable to use a field monitor to circumvent using the notoriusly difficult lcd screen for focusing in film mode. I wasn’t really interested initially in its photographic side at all , altho as a film maker and previously working as a graphic designer , I did have an interest in image aquisition.

Then one day my partner and I were out with our cameras and found an old industrial park filled with old buildings, machinery and odd apparatus, we photographed and marvelled at the peely paint, rust, how decay and mother nature were reclaiming the land and also the thrill of being off limits, the bug of “Urbexing” had taken hold.

The pastime of photographic documentation of old, decaying and usually off limits buildings such as hospitals, asylums , mansions and so forth, I had toyed with HDR a little before but when I saw Romany WG‘s book “Beauty in Decay” and saw the fine detail captured in ultra real to surreal processing, my partner and I were truly inspired not just with the imagery but with the adventure and exploration of it all, we travel anytime we can to all manner of places across the UK in search of abandoned buildings of all kind and next year we are delighted to get our first exhibition, entitled “Uninvited”.

Check out David’s work on flickr