Baltimore County Maryland

The Crossing

The Crossing

Now that Standard Time has returned and Autumn is in full swing, showing it's vibrant colors, it's a great time to be enjoying the beauty of outdoor photography.

Bird Hangout

Bird Hangout

Birds have been known for their migratory behavior, traveling between their breeding grounds and places that they spend the Winter. These flyways have many stops...

Til the Cows Come Home

While looking back through one of last year's (2012) catalogs, I came upon this image taken one full year ago. It was an early morning drive through farm country and I saw the cows milling about not far from the property's fence. I slowed the vehicle, grabbed my camera off of the passenger seat and grabbed the image below right out of the car window. Somehow it ended up collecting dust on the external hard drive while it awaited it's fate. Deciding to get it off of the storage drive and do something with it, I processed it with the result below.

Photograph of cows on a farm
Photograph of cows on a farm

While processing, the image was given a generous crop to reduce the large sky caught within the frame and cleaned up a bit using Topaz's Denoise 5.

A black and white conversion seemed in order for this timeless scene,  so I ran the image through Topaz's Black & White Effects.

Black and white photograph of cows on a farm
Black and white photograph of cows on a farm

Until next time, thank you so much for visiting!

4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM
4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM
4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM
4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM

Old Sparks Elementary School

Welcome back everyone! For those of you who observed the Memorial Day holiday, I hope the extended weekend was enjoyable. In addition to the day of remembrance, the holiday is also known as the "unofficial start of Summer" and the weather certainly has been very Summer-like during the past several days. Yes, the meteorological Summer is still weeks away but with temps in the high 80 to low 90 degree range, it's a tough argument to make. :-)

Recently I had some business to conduct for the county and noticed an old building on the grounds. Immediately you could tell that it had been standing for many years so, a photo opportunity was there for the taking. This could be considered URBEX, although the area is quite rural, but urbex is a better keyword than rurex. Anyhow, I took a few dozen images and wanted to share a few here today.

Old Sparks Elementary School - Distant View
Old Sparks Elementary School - Distant View

Above is a distant view of the old Sparks Elementary School in Northern Baltimore County. It opened as "Agricultural high school"  in 1909 but underwent a name change to Sparks High School around 1920. As mentioned above, this area is very rural, even by today's standards. This is farm country for the most part, although the continual advancement in time has changed things a good deal from the days when this was a thriving schoolhouse.

Old Sparks Elelmentary School - Staircase
Old Sparks Elelmentary School - Staircase

Looking up the staircase you can see right out the front door, which is still in place but ajar.

Sometime prior to 1953 this structure was a combined high school and elementary school but became totally elementary when the new high school opened (1953) in nearby Hereford.

Old Sparks Elelmentary School - Window
Old Sparks Elelmentary School - Window

Now this is what really does it for me, this great stonework. Likely from a nearby quarry, these stones remain beautiful. By the way, this building suffered a devastating electrical fire in 1995. The place had been sitting idle and unused for many years prior to that event.

Old Sparks Elelmentary School - Archways
Old Sparks Elelmentary School - Archways

This is the front entrance with it's lovely archways and, after all of these years, flagpoles that have somehow survived.

You've likely noticed that most of these shots are looking skyward. The building is surrounded by chain-link fencing which does not lend itself to what I want to see. In a couple of the previous images I removed some of the fencing from the bottom of the image using Photoshop's spot healing brush with the content aware box checked.

Old Sparks Elelmentary School - Front Doors
Old Sparks Elelmentary School - Front Doors

Now we've come full circle to take a look at the front doors. The building code-friendly push bar remains in place but shows it's age and exposure to conditions.

There is a lot of history associated with this building and the area in general. I'll be sharing other images of this old schoolhouse in a future post.

Thanks so much for clicking by!

4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM
4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM
4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM
4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM
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