Al Swanson  

Pennsylvania Mine by Al Swanson

September 2020 - Pennsylvania Mine

September 2020 - Al Swanson


About the Image(s)

We visited some friends in the high country of Colorado in July and took the opportunity to four wheel into the mining country of Summit County. Colorado is full of ghost towns and mining camps. I had never been to this one before above Keystone. Anyway we went there late one afternoon and climbed into the hills to the old Pennsylvania mine. This was a very extensive mine with several layers inside the mountain and the remnant that remained outside was still in pretty good shape 150 years later. We drove above the mine and I walked down the roadway shooting it all the way against the valley backdrop. It was late in the afternoon and we had little time to prepare to get ideal exposures and composition. So I took what I could and processed it in Photoshop and studio. Enhancements included cropping and enhancements in lighting and saturation. I then worked to manipulate the contrasts. In studio I added a filter to give more of an antique look and this is what I came up with.

4 comments posted

Jerry Biddlecom   Jerry Biddlecom
Nice composition, with the mine structure being framed (and overwhelmed) by the mountains which are the reason for the mine's existence in the first place. Here, like with so many examples of old buildings, it appears inevitable that nature will in the end triumph in reclaiming what once was man's. Perhaps you ended up with a bit too much of a yellow cast, which gives the mountains a kind of pastel look, and maybe there was a bit of haze that made it appear that the mountains lack contrast. With the filter you described this might be the effect you were looking for. Good result!   Posted: 09/08/2020 10:23:12

Peggy Reeder   Peggy Reeder
I think you have turned your photograph into a work of art that would look nice on someone's wall. The filter you chose in Studio gives this kind of a fantasy look, yet maintains the ruggedness of the scene. You have done well in correcting the underexposure and bringing back detail. I enjoyed seeing that little strip of snow way up high even though it was July, and glad you left it in. Nice work!
  Posted: 09/10/2020 13:49:10

Marti Buckely   Marti Buckely
Another very good image from you, Al. I feel the mountains are just a little too washed out looking. I want to add a little saturation to the greens. However, your version does set off the mine away from the background which makes it more prominent to me.   Posted: 09/15/2020 22:33:57

Mike Patterson   Mike Patterson
I kept returning to this image before posting anything, thinking it reminded me of something I'd seen before. And then it came to me. This looks like what an artist might provide for a hardback dust cover on a classic novel about the Old West. You've taken a rather drab initial image and gave us an entirely fresh way of looking at this. I hope you take this as a compliment -- there was a lot of nice artwork on those books.   Posted: 09/16/2020 16:47:22


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