Archive for the ‘rust’ Tag

The Iron Men of Hattingen, Germany   5 comments

The Iron Men of Hattingen, Germany


Hattingen, it would seem, is a rather proud town.

Outside the old, walled section of the town stand these statues by Polish artist Zbigniew Fraczkiewicz. The iron men symbolize the battle for steel manufacturing in Hattingen. (In 1720, there were 52 operating coal mines within the municipal area and Hattingen became one of the first industrial cities of the Ruhr region. Steel production started in 1853, when the Henrichshütte was founded. The Henrichshütte became one of the most important employers of the whole region and dominated the town until it closed in 1987.)

The town of Hattingen was first mentioned in 1396, when the Duke of Mark granted permission to build a city wall. Today, Hattingen has a picturesque historic district with Fachwerk (timber-framed houses) built between the 14th and 16th centuries. The old city is still partly surrounded by the city walls, and provides a place for fascinating strolls through medieval buildings.

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Grandfather’s Legacy   14 comments

Grandfather's Legacy


We recently had the pleasure of spending a day with Jeff, a new friend who builds the most amazing birdhouses out of timber and tin recovered from old barns, sheds, and smoke houses. Wandering about his rural property while chatting and taking photos, we got a better sense of his artistic inclinations. We already knew that he loved each of his birdhouse creations. What we discovered was that he seemed to be on a mission to repurpose old buildings, giving them a second life by saving them from inexorably melting into the landscape.

At his property, a quiet place dotted with sheds, cabins, and workshops, I noticed an irresistible old tractor peeking out from an open shed. As we had other places to visit, we had almost passed this by. It turned out that the tractor was more important than we knew…

The tractor is a ’55 Allis Chalmers B. Jeff’s wife’s grandfather owned it and used it to work his garden. He was a farmer for much of his life and he loved his tractor. Grandfather is now gone, but the tractor is being maintained almost as a monument to his memory, perhaps one of the last tangible reminders of the man who used it to till the land.

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Southern Summer Cottage   8 comments

A dilapidated cottage in rural eastern North Carolina

Southern Summer Cottage - © 2011 Rob Hanson Photography

In last week’s post A Stair Whisperer’s Invocation, I wrote that at one location we had been stopped by a rather large gentleman in an even larger pickup truck, wondering just what we were doing there. This is ‘there,’ although at the time I had some pretty serious questions as to exactly where ‘there’ was.

One often hears advice that you should shoot what you have available. Even this morning, a blog I follow suggested that you become a tourist in your own area, seeing the sights anew. Well, this is what we tend to have available there in eastern N.C., or at least available for the things that I find interesting. It doesn’t take much of a drive to find some curious mess strewn about.

We walk a curious line, though: In the summertime, subjects like this can be completely overgrown and invisible. In the winter, you can find them more easily, but they lack the interesting foliage. But, sometimes you stumble across the perfect mix — a great opportunity, provided that no one gets too upset about your being there.

Right after taking this set, a pack of dogs started barking across the field. I figured I’d better ‘git.

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Serviceable   12 comments

In the description for my recent image What, Did You Miss Me?, I mentioned that an issue with summer photography in North Carolina is that a lot of the good targets are inundated with weeds, vines, and other foliage. This not only presents a problem in approaching a subject — think tall, itchy weeds on bare, sweaty legs — but the subject itself might be all but invisible under the new growth of summer.

On a recent cruise through the more rural areas of Pamlico County, NC, we managed to find one old barn that had an exposed, northern side, and also happened to be close to the road. Perfect… I’m not sure who owns it — there was a planted field just across the street — but unlike some barns around here, this one was still in service. I would have loved to take a look inside, but the decrepit door was held closed by the leaning 2×4 seen on the right.

I love the character of these old buildings. The rust and the weathered wood always seem to make an interesting subject for HDR processing. I only hope I’ve done this old beauty some justice.

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To Every Purpose   8 comments

Old barn with rusty equipment on Ravenwood Farm in Pollocksville, North Carolina

Along the side of a barn near Pollocksville, NC, I found a collection of old pieces of farm gear, so I moved in for a close up. This is just one small section of the barn featured in If You Don’t See It, I Don’t Got It and Sorry, I Wasn’t Expecting Company.

Locations like this provide a wealth of opportunities for interesting images, so I consider it good fortune when we run across one of them. One thing I like about this view is that the upper part of the wall, protected by the roof and eaves, is of a distinctly different color than the gray, weathered area farther down the wall.

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 lens at 20mm, f8, 9 exposures from Promote Control

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Found On Road Dead… Literally.   13 comments

A closeup image of an old rusty Ford near High Point and Hanging Rock, North Carolina


While Susan was taking a Saturday class, I took advantage of a beautiful day to do some backcountry cruising in an area I have never visited before. Driving along a secondary road between High Point, NC and Hanging Rock State Park (where The Last of the Mohicans was filmed), I almost dislocated my neck when I saw a suite of old trucks and farm equipment tucked into the woods. Too good to be true?

I came about and went back to the spot, which lay along a private drive. I pulled into the drive and checked the few houses there, but no one seemed to be around for permission.  Up in an oak grove just off the main road, there were multiple specimens of trucks, farm vehicles, and rusty goodness. They looked to be set up in some sort of display, so I figured that the owners wanted people to enjoy their collection.

So, I did.

I had my way with these beauties, and hope to present them in turn in the upcoming days.

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 at 28mm f/5.6, 11 exposures from Promote Control.

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Carolina Cosmetic Surgery   6 comments

A dilapidated Farmall tractor in Pollocksville, North Carolina

Another beautiful Farmall tractor from Clyde Jr’s property.

On the highways around here, from the coast to Raleigh, there are billboards featuring a nubile, curvaceous young woman, advertising cosmetic surgery. I wonder if they take referrals?

You can see other images from Clyde’s property at Entangled, Reclamation, Clyde’s Rides and American Ickers, and Gentlemen: Try to Start Your Engines

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Reclamation   7 comments

An old, rusty Ford truck dissolves underneath pine trees in rural Pollocksville, North Carolina



I had stopped at Clyde Jr.’s place along the highway because he had an interesting collection of tractors in various stages of decay. As it turns out, Clyde Jr. inherited them from his father who passed last year. I’ve been wanting to shoot the location for over a year, but before this day, no one ever seemed to be home. I was lucky this time, as Clyde Jr. was out in the yard, working on a few of the tractors along with two friends.

Clyde Jr., being a retired aviation mechanic at the local air base, is fixing up the tractors for sale in the spring. When he told me how much he might get for one piece which I thought might never run again, I was astounded, and figured that he was spending his retirement time very well.

While there, I just, umm, couldn’t help but notice some of the old farm gear (Entangled), trucks, and old school buses that littered the property, so after checking in with him, Clyde gave me permission to wander around looking for targets. This one looked particularly tempting, and while it’s slated for removal, I think it looks just fine where it is.

These gems that are hidden in fields and woods throughout eastern North Carolina are wonderful targets for photography, of course, but they also tend to instill in me a sense of comfort. I begin to understand that given enough time the land will always reclaim our man-made objects. Nothing we make lasts forever — especially the clothes-washer-turned-paperweight I have whose warranty just expired 🙂  We can’t destroy Gaia. It lets me know that no matter how much of a footprint we might make today, it will be cleared away in time. I just hope Clyde Jr. doesn’t clear his property too quickly, before I have the chance to take a few more shots.

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Tech: Nikon D7000, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens at 13mm, f/5, ISO 100, seven exposures from tripod using Promote Control with center exposure at 1/200s. HDR Express to Photoshop.

“Sorry. I Wasn’t Expecting Company.”   8 comments

The interior of a cluttered farm shed with rusty implements and an old refrigerator in North Carolina

"Sorry. I Wasn't Expecting Company."


Coming in with a late post for the day…

I worked this image up to go along with an article I wrote recently, highlighting the differences between accepting the simple output from one HDR program versus giving a set of brackets a lot of love with different tools and programs.

On Friday, 1/21/11 the article posted on, and can be found HERE.  It’s called Express Yourself… Completely!

Taken inside an old barn and shed on a local farm, this is turning out to be one of my favorite locations due to its ‘target rich’ environment. The owner graciously allowed me to wander around freely, so I was able to grab some great detail shots this time. Being respectful, I resisted the urge to see if there was any cold beer in the fridge.

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Nikon D7000, Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 lens, 17mm at f/5.6, seven exposures +/-1EV using Promote Control. Photomatix Pro, HDR Express, 32 Float, Nik Color Efex Pro, and Photoshop all had a hand in this one… but that was exactly the point of the article!

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