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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