Family Portraits at the New Smyrna Beach Sugar Mill Ruins Park

I met up with the Sczesny family at the New Smyrna Beach Sugarmill Ruins park for a family portrait session to make some updated family portraits with a different feel then the family portraits on the beach I shot for them last year.  I have been wanting to take a family to the Sugarmill Ruins for some time, and this time it worked out great.  The remains of the old Spanish style sugar mill date back to before the Seminole Indian wars, where much of the mill was destroyed and abandoned, but it has since been turned into a county park, and is open to the public.

Week 3- Shooting in the Dark

I'm a little late posting this.  I've been thinking about it since I finished shooting last weeks assignments for my 365 Project but, I haven't gotten around to it yet.  The main hold up has been that I have been trying to get ready for a job interview that I have on Friday.  I've been trying desperately to find a full-time job since I finished grad school in May 2008, and the economy has not been kind to me at all.  So my interview on Friday is kinda a big deal.

Anyways, for the 3rd week of my 365Project, I made a sub-theme if you will.  In addition to my daily subject themes which I pre-selected the week before, I also added the element of shooting at night for all my shots.  By the end of my week, I had some pretty cool shots.  More information about each shot can be found on my flickr photo stream by clicking here 

FlickR Photostream

.  Feel free to comment on the pictures.  My favorite one is the photo of the gas pump.  There was a light on the building putting out visible white light illuminating the building.  In front of the gas pump there was orange street light.  So when the white balance was set to correct the color on the front of the gas pump the color of the building was pushed to a cool teal blue.

Keep Shooting,


New Smyrna Beach Photographer


For Photo inspiration, look to local history.

Today I went out on a mission to shoot something 'historic' for my 365Project.  My family has lived down in FL for about 13 years now, so I had an idea of what I was going to shoot.  I knew there are some remains of a historic old fort near downtown, but I had also shot there and didn't think I would get great pictures there.  The remains in downtown are essentially only the foundation, and not really all that photographic.  So I was starting to think of what else was near here in FL, then I remembered that there was a small park with the remains of an old Sugar-mill not too far from here.  In 13 years I had never been into the park, but I must have driven by the entrance a few hundred times.  So I decided I would go check it out today.  The park is pretty small, an almost hidden dirt road leads into the park which had only 5-10 parking spaces.  Once you drive in the ruins of the old sugar-mill are right there.  It was cool to take a quick walk around the park to see some of the history that has been here for almost 200 years.  Apparently this sugar-mill was built in the 1830's to process sugarcane into cane sugar and molasses which was later used for rum.  in the 1840's the Seminole Indians destroyed all the sugar-mill estates in the area and forced the European settlers back across the river to the beaches.

It was late afternoon when I was at the ruins just after 4pm, so the light and shadows were pretty harsh, so I figured it would be a great place to tryout some HDR photography.  I walked around the ruins with my camera on my tripod and shot bracketed exposures of -2, 0, +2  the key was to take a bunch of photos.

when I got home I picked the sets that looked like they would come together the best and processed them with Photomatix from Aperture2 in PhotoshopCS4.  The results were pretty cool.  I don't shoot much HDR, but I do like it in situations with harsh shadows, and I think it is a great technique for shooting historic ruins and abandoned places.  Here are a couple of the shots from today, to see all the shots, just click on the images below and go to my flickR page here .

That's it for now,


New Smyrna Beach Photographer


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