One of the most anticipated shoot locations that I’ve had on my mind since landing in Nebraska last week was this abandoned church located alongside I-80, in Milford (A huge thanks toand all of the crowd-sourced people who let us know about this place). The location is not hard to spot at all, but it did require some creative parking to prevent us (me and ) from being seen. :)
We knew that most everyone would likely be preoccupied as they prepped for their 4th of July festivities, giving us exclusive access. However, what we didn’t really budget for was just how much light we still had when we arrived in the area. It was too flat with really ugly shadows. Sure, we could have just shot away but rather than settle, we decided to explore all of the farming and side roads around the town of Milford.
We had a luxury that, as photographers, we don’t normally have. Namely, time was on our side!. So, rather than just waste it at this location, we scouted other areas and actually found some gorgeous and picturesque fields of corn and hay bales that stretched out as far as the eye could see (those pictures will be hitting the stream in a few days).
After a few hours, we could tell that the light was getting to be just right and hustled back to this church. Sure enough, we arrived just as the beautiful golden hour light enveloped the side of the church, giving a sort of beauty to this dilapidated structure.
I chose to share the interior of the church first, though. I absolutely love UrbEx shooting and this location did not disappoint. I shot it with the Canon 15mm Fisheye lens on because it really embellished the curved wooden barrier that this broken piano sat on. I also like how the window portals and surrounding walls all bend towards the piano.
In terms of processing
This is a seven exposure #HDR tone-mapped image. I created the 32-bit intermediary file with Photomatix and did all tone-mapping in Lightroom 4.1.
Stylization was straightforward in Perfect Effects 3 by. I selectively masked Thermopylae onto the piano itself. I felt that it helps it pop off the otherwise busy background graffiti. For the exterior, I applied Urban Sickness and then I globally applied Return of the King and some Tonal Contrast.
Final touches were applied in Lightroom 4.1.