Jim Wulpi  

Castle Otttis by Jim Wulpi

February 2024 - Castle Otttis

About the Image(s)

I recently traveled to one of my favorite towns in Florida, St Augustine. It's a very picturesque town known as the oldest settlement in the United States. Lots of great photo opportunities throughout the town.
Little known amongst the tourist attractions is a modern castle built by two brothers who were stone masons.
It's called Castle Otttis. (www.castleotttis.com). It's right off of Hwy A1A just north the town (Karen Botkin might know of it).
It's not generally open to the public, but often rented out for various events like weddings, but does host an open house Sunday mornings (9am - noon).
This is a 3 image HDR (on a tripod). We were the only ones there and had run of the castle. No restrictions on cameras or tripods. I was in heaven!
In this image I love the leading lines of the railing(s) and the lifting of the eyes with the spiral staircase. The colors were embellished a bit from a mostly gray tones to make the wood stand out better. Other interior images I converted to B/W.

Canon 6DMkII with 24-105 "L" lens at 35mm; ISO 640; f/13; 1/30 sec.

Your thoughts?

This round’s discussion is now closed!
17 comments posted

Martin Newland   Martin Newland
I think this is a well thought-out image.
The eyes starts in the lower right corner at the bright window and then it follows the balustrade around, past the 2+ bright windows, then heads off towards the window in the righthand wall, before heading upwards towards the far window.
It is a great journey... well done Jim   Posted: 02/01/2024 01:00:24
Jim Wulpi   Jim Wulpi
See the changes I made and reposted to Garys comments   Posted: 02/09/2024 16:41:58

Piers Blackett   Piers Blackett
Fascinating story, technique and image. The only criticism I can think of is to bring up the question of where the lines lead to; the "line to nowhere" cliche. However the placement of the windows and the central one at the upper end of the stairway is perfect I think.   Posted: 02/02/2024 18:23:03
Jim Wulpi   Jim Wulpi
See the changes I made and reposted to Garys comments   Posted: 02/09/2024 16:42:11

Tor Nenzen   Tor Nenzen
Hi, and thanks for showing this picture. I like it. I hope it's ok, but I downloaded the image and made some adjustments: I cropped it a bit. I also added a bit of contrast. And finally a bit of a gradient on the bottom to make that a bit darker. That said, it was a great picture to start with in my opinion!   Posted: 02/07/2024 12:07:26
Comment Image
Jim Wulpi   Jim Wulpi
It's interesting that you did the cropping that you did to my image, because, just earlier this evening another PSA member in one of my local Photo Clubs had the exact same suggestion after seeing my submission this month.
Then, I logged on to this page and saw your input. I will pursue that change and submit it into other competitions. Thanks   Posted: 02/07/2024 21:29:37
Jim Wulpi   Jim Wulpi
Tor, See the changes I made and posted to Garys comments   Posted: 02/09/2024 16:40:57

R Gary Butler   R Gary Butler
(Group 4)
Jim, this is to me a very interesting shot with nice lines and high potential. The exposure and DoF are well done. To my eye the colors look very real.

From my experience there are a few things that can add to any shot that features architecture. Among this are 1. Make the eye run left to right into the image (in western culture this is our nature.) 2. Try to reduce or eliminate bright spots and distractors at the edge of the image. 3. Use contrast to your advantage to highlight the structure you want to eye to fix on.

In the VF I have (quickly) flipped the image and removed the newel post top in the corner. I selected the sky (again quickly) and reduced the exposure as much as possible w/o having it gray-out on me. I selected the spiral stairs in the back and added contrast. I then adjusted the white point and black point. If I had more time I would have tried to also eliminate the window that is now in the lower left. The VF is what I got.   Posted: 02/08/2024 09:26:50
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Jim Wulpi   Jim Wulpi
Thanks, Gary.
If you note, another member of Group 02 made the same suggestions as you did about cropping out the final newel post and windows.
I like the right-leading "flip" in yours.
This is one of the things I like best about these discussion groups.
Thanks for the input.
  Posted: 02/08/2024 10:34:59

R Gary Butler   R Gary Butler
(Group 4)
Jim, my response and his were different. He cropped the nowel post out, and as a result, he lost that part of the image. I cloned the cloned post out and this retained that part of the image.
  Posted: 02/08/2024 14:19:37
Jim Wulpi   Jim Wulpi
Based on your suggestion and others, I've reworked my image to 1) eliminate the end newel post (Thanks generative fill), 2) reverse the image for better visual flow, and 3) extended the canvas just a hair to include the framing stone work surrounding the window on the outer edge. (Thanks again to generative fill with expanding canvas).
I'll be printing this and entering it in the Lee Co. Art Alliance gallery.   Posted: 02/09/2024 16:39:45
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Karen Botvin   Karen Botvin
Well, guess I'm late to the party! lol! Yes, I know exactly where this site is along A1A. It's known as the Tower here. Our camera club had a field trip there one evening, but for some reason, I did not attend. I like your image but as others have said, the newel post top on your image stopped me in my tracks. I really like what Gary did to preserve the window below by cloning out the post top. Very nicely done, Jim!   Posted: 02/09/2024 14:06:19
Jim Wulpi   Jim Wulpi
The friend who we visit in that area lives just north of that castle, so we pass it anytime we come or go into "town". We went to a church service in the castle a few years ago, and that was interesting, but were pleased to see they've now replaced that service (once each month) with an open house every Sunday.
I will take to advice of those of you who noted the newel post as a distraction and clone it out, reverse the direction of visual flow, and print it.
Thanks for your input.
  Posted: 02/09/2024 15:55:54
Jim Wulpi   Jim Wulpi
See the changes I made and reposted to Gary's comments.   Posted: 02/09/2024 16:40:20
Piers Blackett   Piers Blackett
Do you agree that the horizontal flip really brings out the "Fibonacci spiral" more effectively. I would still argue that lower right or now left window could go. Also stepping about two feet to the left would have been great to catch the bend in the bannister as it goes behind the corner?   Posted: 02/09/2024 17:56:12
Karen Botvin   Karen Botvin
I agree with Piers, in that the bottom window could go because of the brightness it actually pulls your eye down to it and away from the rest of the scene.   Posted: 02/10/2024 17:08:36

Terri Adcock
Stunning loaction and lucky you had the place to yourself. if I get to Florida I shall put this on my to do list. I like your composition and the use of the banister leading to the staircase. I find the windows a little bright so might attempt to darken them a little as they do pull your eye away

Terri   Posted: 02/18/2024 11:14:17