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1 Comment | Report
mcbrogan
 
mcbrogan February 05, 2015
Where is this? It's amazing! Love the composition and that you didn't cut the foreground points of the rugs, it just draws me through to the hallways under the arches. So cool!
DeadlyCreative PRO+
DeadlyCreative March 04, 2015
Thanks! It's the Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells, TX. The place was absolutely amazing to explore!

Behind The Lens

Location
This is the grand entrance of the once ornate and beautiful Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells, TX. The hotel was built during the height of the Mineral Springs craze in 1929 and served as a destination spot for the rich and famous from across the US. At 14 stories, it was the very first skyscraper built outside a major metropolitan area and had the second ever outdoor Olympic sized swimming pool. In addition to the architectural feats, it provided full AC and ice water to all rooms when it opened (In 1929!!). Sadly, when the popularity of mineral springs as a cure-all faded the hotel began to suffer financial woes and finally closed it's doors for good in 1971. Since then it has sat as a slowly decaying monolith over the town of Mineral Wells. Although it's been abandoned for 45 years, it's not hard to see the opulence that it once was throughout the entire hotel. On the plus side, it looks like renovations will begin on this beauty in a relatively short timeframe as investors have almost secured all of the $56M needed for renovations.
Time
Honestly, I kind of lost track of the day as I was exploring the building. It was like being lost in a time capsule. I believe it was early afternoon when I took this photo.
Lighting
There is very little natural light in this place. The windows and doors along the ground level are completely boarded up and the arched windows that line the ceiling (which were behind me) have thick white curtains which cover most of the window.
Equipment
My trusty Canon t1i on a tripod with a Rokinon 8mm fisheye lens. No flash was used, it was taken at ISO 400 f/0 for 1/5 second exposure.
Inspiration
I was struck by the beauty of the entryway that still remained even though it was falling to pieces. It was easy to envision how resplendent it once was and how awed the guests must have been as they arrived.
Editing
A little bit in Photoshop - I dropped the saturation back on the photo and added a vignette to give it a little bit more of an "old-timey" feel.
In my camera bag
My main lens is my Sigma 18-200mm, but I also carry a Rokinon 8mm fisheye lens. I enjoy doing light painting, so I carry around a couple different flashlights of varying intensity, a Yongnuo YN450-II Speedlight and a pack of 22 different colored gels. My final piece of equipment is an asbestos rated respirator since I'm usually crawling around in very moldy, dusty and very-likely asbestos filled buildings.
Feedback
Play around with angles! It's amazing how different a composition can be by slightly changing the height you're shooting from. Most importantly, if you're in low light take the time to put the camera on your tripod. When I first started out taking photos I didn't use my tripod very often and as a result I got many slightly blurry photos, which is more frustrating than really blurry photos because they look totally fine when you preview them in the LCD screen, but they're just not crisp enough to truly capture everything and display your Vision.

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