A Valentine From the Abandoned House

Continuing my series of images from the abandoned house we found on Highway 278 west of Tupelo, Mississippi:

I’ve been holding on to this image ever since I started processing this series, just waiting for Valentine’s Day to share it with everyone.  I found this abandoned dirt daubers’ colony in the middle of a blank wall in the front room of the house.  The heart-shaped sculpture created by those peaceful little creatures on this cracked and peeling surface just struck me as beautiful!

I used my tripod to capture a series of brackets and then processed this as an HDR in order get all the texture in the dauber nest as well as the wall itself.

This image is best viewed large, and I can’t wait to have it printed on canvas and hung on my wall!

Abandoned House - Valentine

Shot with my Nikon D700 with my 14-24mm Nikkor glass. Processed in Photomatix, Paint Shop Photo Pro, and Topaz Adjust.

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The Kitchen Has Seen Better Days

Continuing my series of images from the abandoned house we discovered on Highway 278 west of Tupelo, Mississippi:

The heart of any home is the kitchen, and I’m sure this house was no different.  Upon entering this room, we were struck by the layers of wall covering that were visible–some fabric, some wood.  The fabric looked like it could have even been old bed sheets, tacked to the wall.  The colors were preserved or faded in broad swaths, depending on what, if anything, had covered them in the past.  The linoleum floor showed the faint outlines of a pink floral pattern that must have been all the rage at one time.  It probably even matched the wall covering when it was new.

Along the far wall was a row of large nails that had been hammered into the wood at odd angles.  What were they for?  Did they hang pots and pans there, maybe their coffee mugs?  And what were the two faucets sticking up from the floor used for?

So much to see, so few answers.  But old houses like these leave so much to the imagination!

Abandoned House - The Kitchen

HDR image created from brackets taken with my Nikon D700 and my 14-24mm glass. Processed in Photomatix, Paint Shop Photo Pro, and Topaz Adjust.

Check out the other rooms we visited before:

The Living Room

The Back Room

The Back Room

Continuing my series of images from the abandoned house that we discovered west of Tupelo, Mississippi…

After entering the door of the house and walking through the living room, you enter a back bedroom.  But don’t go in there too quickly, or you could find yourself standing on the ground.  The floorboards in the middle of the room have rotted to the point that there’s a huge, gaping hole, partially filled with the remains of carpet padding, where you can see the ground under the house.

I love the old windows with the triple panes at the top, through which the sunlight poured to illuminate the mess in front of us.  An open closet contained a few old coat hangers, one with the paper advertisement of the local dry cleaners still attached, telling us that this place must have been inhabited in the not-too-distant past.

We walked through here very gingerly, staying close to the walls to set up the tripod and camera to get this shot.  Enjoy!

Abandoned House - Back Room

 

Shot with my Nikon D700 and 14-24mm Nikkor glass.  Processed in Photomatix and Paint Shop Photo Pro, using Topaz Adjust filters.

The Living Room

Continuing the tour of the Abandoned House on Hwy 278

Upon entering the door of the old house, this is the sight that greets you.  Even though it’s sad to see a house in such disrepair, one can’t help but try and imagine what happened in this room.  Who lived here?  Were they happy?  Did something awful happen here that caused this place to be abandoned, to slowly return to the elements?

The room is coming apart, layer by layer.  Wood paneling on the ceiling gives way to acoustic tile, which gives way to insulation and wood.  Wallpaper gives way to older wallpaper, which gives way to wood. Multiple layers of flooring are peeling away, and the underlying structure is rotting back into the ground.

Only the brick in the fireplace seems permanent, although it too will eventually dissolve.

If only the walls could talk….

Abandoned House on Hwy 278 - Living Room

Shot with the Nikon D700 and my 14-24mm glass.  Six-exposure HDR.  Click on the photo and view as large as possible.

 

Abandoned House on Hwy 278

Wow, it’s been a long time! I’ve really been struggling with my photography muse for awhile now, trying to resurrect my passion for shooting and processing photos. Now that I work from home full time, I spend all day at a computer in my home office. I find it very difficult to get excited about spending additional hours in that same little room at the end of the day, processing photos. And during the winter months, I never get outside during the daylight hours from Monday through Friday, and the weekends just seem to fly by.

But….enough of the excuses. My goal for this year (I refuse to use the word “resolution”) is to do one decent project a month. Surely I can handle that!!

So, my project for this month–I wanted to take a road trip from Tupelo to Clarksdale along what was supposedly part of the “Blues Trail”. The Mississippi Delta is well-known as the birthplace of the blues, and I was hoping to see some of the old juke joints and music hangouts of some of the blues legends.

Well, long story short, most of those places are long gone, bulldozed and burned down to make room for big agriculture. We did find some interesting things on our trip to Clarksdale, and I’ll share those in the next few posts. But the most interesting thing we found, photographically speaking, was an abandoned house just west of Tupelo on Highway 278. We just happened to come upon it at the right time of day for some fantastic lighting, and the weather was beautiful (too cold for snakes and bugs), and the door was open….who could resist?

I used my Nikon D700 and my 14-24 glass to take a series of bracketed photos of both the exterior and interior of the house. I’ve begun processing them, but I’ll dole them out slowly here on my blog. Can’t wait to share them all with you!!

So, to start things off, here’s the front of the house that we found. Funny, it took finding something that had been abandoned by someone else to help me recover something that I myself had almost abandoned–my creativity.

Abandoned House on Hwy 278

Blue Suede Cruise Continued

There were so many great automotive machines at the Blue Suede Cruise, and they all made great subjects for some black-and-white photography. The people-watching was pretty sweet, too!  Here are a few more shots that I processed.  Click through on the photos to see them large on black, as they should be viewed.  Enjoy!!

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These were all made with my Nikon D5000 using an 18-55mm zoom.  All shots were processed in Paintshop Photo Pro X4 using Topaz Black & White Effects plug-in.  You can see some of the earlier shots that I posted here.

If you like my work, please subscribe to this blog and feel free to offer comments. You can also find me on:
Facebook at ZannWalker Photography
Twitter @suzanne_hight
My Official Website at http://zannwalker.com

Blue Suede Cruise in Tupelo

In all the excitement around last weekend’s supermoon, I almost forgot about the other huge event taking place in Tupelo last weekend — the Blue Suede Cruise.  This annual event features classic cars from all around the area, gathered together for a weekend of “cruising” all the historic areas of Tupelo, especially those related to the King.

The central gathering place for the Cruise was at the BancorpSouth Arena, but we saw these classic cars being driven all over town over the three-day weekend.  The rules stated that the cars had to be at least 25 years old, but exceptions were made for certain models like Corvettes, Thunderbirds, Prowlers, etc.

I took my Nikon D5000 with my 18-55mm lens (for a little wide-angle viewing) to the festivities on Saturday morning.  We spent about an hour admiring the many different vehicles on display, listening to the music, and soaking up the atmosphere.  I took quite a few shots, all single-exposures.  When I started processing them, they just called out to be processed in black-and-white, so that’s what I did.

Here are a few of my favorites that I’ve processed so far…I still have more to work on, but gotta save some for those days when I need something to do! 🙂

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And then there’s this shot….I have no idea why the guy behind the car has his belly on display!

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These were all processed in Paintshop Photo Pro X4, using Topaz Black & White Effects (which i dearly love!).  I’ll share more later as the mood strikes me.

Since moving to Tupelo last September, we’ve come to love the many festivals and events that bring out all the colorful characters and the best of the South.  Take a look back at some shots that I took at the recent “Don’t Be Cruel BBQ Duel“. (Starting to feel that “Elvis” vibe?)

If you like my work, please subscribe to this blog and feel free to offer comments. You can also find me on:
Facebook at ZannWalker Photography
Twitter @suzanne_hight
My Official Website at http://zannw

Meet Ti and JJ

Meet Ti and JJ.  These two goofballs are the grandsons of our next door neighbor, and they visit just about every weekend.  They are typical boys–always into mischief, full of energy, bound-and-determined to participate in whatever you might be doing in the yard.  One weekend Ti, the youngest, helped me wash my car (if you can call squirting the water hose in every imaginable direction “helping”).  JJ, the oldest, is always into something he shouldn’t be into….one day we watched him climb the fence in the backyard and then burst into tears when he realized he was too scared to get down.

Today we had the lawn sprinkler running in the front yard, and since the temperatures were in the 80’s, it was just too much for the boys to resist.  They spent a joyful half hour playing in the water, and were more than happy to pose for photos:

Ti and JJ 01

Ti and JJ 04

Ti and JJ 03

Ti and JJ 02

Ti and JJ 05

All images were shot with my Nikon D700 and the 28-300mm Nikkor zoom lens.  Processed in Paintshop Photo Pro X4, using Topaz Black & White Effects.

If you like my work, please subscribe to this blog and feel free to offer comments. You can also find me on:
Facebook at ZannWalker Photography
Twitter @suzanne_hight
My Official Website at http://zannwalker.com

Back in the Saddle

For the past few weeks I’ve been totally obsessed with my iPhone, playing with all the apps that are available for editing those photos that I’ve taken on the fly.  It’s a lot of fun, it’s quick and it’s easy.  But it’s not the same as the satisfaction I get from taking out the full-frame Nikon 700 with a 50mm prime lens to capture image in a way that the iPhone never will.

This evening I took my camera with me to the Women’s Hospital in hopes of getting some photos of my brand new great-niece, but there was a sign on the door that they weren’t taking visitors right then, so we just left them a note at the visitors’ desk and left.  On the way home, however, I decided to make a quick stop at Veterans Park as the sun was just slipping behind the trees.  I figured, I had the camera with me, might as well shoot a few frames.

I wasn’t sure what I would come away with since the golden hour was already past, but I upped the ISO to 500 and opened up the aperture and took a few shots of the welcoming committees of geese that came to greet us.  I processed a few of these when I got home, and was pretty pleased with the results.  I like the shallow depth of field that resulted from the wide open aperture, it seems to make the geese “pop” from the background.

Let me know what you think!  Better than Instagram? 🙂

Pretty Ducks All In A Row

Grungy Geese

Must Not Be Biting

If you like my work, please subscribe to this blog and feel free to offer comments. You can also find me on:
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Don’t Be Cruel BBQ Duel

This past Saturday was St. Paddy’s Day, that’s true, but here in Tupelo, it was also the weekend for the “Don’t Be Cruel BBQ Duel”. The two-day event featured almost 100 BBQ cook-off teams from around the country who came to Tupelo to battle it out for bragging rights and a pretty decent cash prize. And to up the ante, the crew from the TV show “Pitmasters” was on site to film an episode from here in the heart of BBQ country.

We spent a couple of hours checking out the grills and the grill-masters. I took my smaller Nikon D5000 with the 18-55mm lens mounted. I also got to use my new Lowes Passport Sling camera bag which I dearly love.  I’ve processed a few of the shots in black and white, and love how they came out.  I used Paintshop Photo Pro X4, with Topaz Black & White Effects.  Easy-peasy!

Don't Be Cruel BBQ Duel 01

Don't Be Cruel BBQ Duel 02

Don't Be Cruel BBQ Duel 03

Don't Be Cruel BBQ Duel 04

Don't Be Cruel BBQ Duel 05

Don't Be Cruel BBQ Duel 06

Don't Be Cruel BBQ Duel 07

Don't Be Cruel BBQ Duel 08

Don't Be Cruel BBQ Duel 09

That last one is probably my favorite! 🙂

If you like my work, please subscribe to this blog and feel free to offer comments. You can also find me on:
Facebook at ZannWalker Photography
Twitter @suzanne_hight
My Official Website at http://zannwalker.com