This past Saturday, I had originally planned to go hiking with some friends. Unfortunately, plans ended up falling through and we had to cancel the hike. Instead, I decided to go for another drive through the back roads of Virginia. This time I went north and east instead of south and west. I did not do quite as good of a job of picking paved roads to drive on as I have in the past, but I had a good time. As I was driving down state road 621, I passed by a small pond to the right of the road with an old mill building right beside the mill. I didn’t notice the hole in the wall with the exposed gears until it was too late to stop. Luckily, I was able to find a place a little ways down the road to pull in and turn around. I found a grassy patch on the side of the road just barely big enough for me to pull off into and park. You can clearly see where the old water wheel would have been. I thought the gears inside the building were really cool, though I wasn’t able to get a picture that showed them in good detail without completely washing out the exterior, especially the rocks…or so I thought.
Later, when I made it back to the dorm, after some pretty rough roads up near Mountain Lake, I was playing around with this shot in Photoshop, looking at all of the “artistic” filters available. As I was working my way through them, this one really stood out:
This is the “Bas Relief” filter. While it is definitely a cool effect, what really caught my eye was that it picked up the smaller gear inside the building, as well as some of the woodwork back there. It meant that it actually captured the smaller gear in the shot, you just couldn’t see it in the final version. This gave me the idea to play with the “Shadows/Highlights” options for the original. Sure enough, the recommended settings in Photoshop brought out that gear from the shadows. The image definitely picks up somewhat of an unrealistic look to it, but I think it’s pretty cool.