When I first saw this abandoned house near Roper North Carolina, while I was on a CNPA camera club outing, it brought to mind a Halloween card, haunted house. Once I decided on an idea for my photograph, and what I was trying to convey, I tried to use my photographic knowledge to enhance the idea and eliminate anything that did not contribute to the idea of a haunted house.
Wide Angle Distortion
I used the distortion of my wide-angle (16 x 35mm) lens, set at 16mm to make the house appear to be leaning backwards. This makes for a more unsettling haunted house. I also wanted the leaves on the grass to be prominent in the photo. I set my tripod down low pointing up the short hill, about 10 inches from the first leaf. The distortion from the wide angle lens is greater the further from level the camera is tilted.
I could have captured the dynamic range of this photo in one shot since it was gray day with little contrast. But I knew that using HDR (high dynamic range) would bring details out in the clouds that one image couldn’t accomplish. I took three photographs, each two stops apart and combined them using Nik software’s HDR Pro plug-in.
Continue To Develop the Idea in the Digital Darkroom
While developing photographs in the digital darkroom I try to remember the idea behind the photograph and continue enhancing this idea with Adobe Lightroom. I made sure to disable the lens profile corrections, I even used the manual lens corrections in Adobe Lightroom to tilt the house back even further.
I want to thank my photo buddy and fellow workshop leader, Dan Beauvais for helping me with the filters in Nik Software, Color Effects Pro 4. We used the midnight filter and the detail extractor filter to really enhance the spooky feeling of this image. It was a lot of fun messing around with this photo, trying to create a spooky haunted house.