Posted on Aug.28, 2010, under Michigan

Middle Village Decay

(Nikon D700, 28-80mm at 28mm, ISO 2500, 7 exposures @ f/5.6)

My wife and I have been visiting the Good Hart area in northern lower Michigan on and off for many years. We used to rent a house on Lake Michigan in an area known as Middle Village. Almost across the road from the house we rented was an old, decaying structure. It wasn’t until this year that I actually bothered to take some pictures of it. Given the state of decay I wouldn’t be surprised if the building is gone in the next few years. Middle Village itself was originally an Ottawa Indian village. A Jesuit Mission was established at Middle Village in 1741 and was rebuilt by Native Americans in 1823. A church, built in 1889 and a cemetary remain. The church is still used during the summer. Some additional information about the area can be found here.

The image above is a 7 shot HDR that I took from a front window. I didn’t have a tripod so I used to window frame for support. After converting the 7 images to an HDR using Photomatix I tried some different processing ideas in Photoshop. I wasn’t entirely thrilled with the color version and I thought that black & white would suit the topic better so that’s what I went with.

I took several other shots of this building, including a couple from the outside. It’s interesting comparing the condition of the building in my shot below, with this shot taken by RPM-Photo, one of my Flickr contacts. His shot was taken in 2003 and the roof and sides of the building are in much better shape. It appears that someone has been stripping some of the siding off of the building. The image below is a double processed single image HDR. I created two virtual copies in Lightroom and processed one for the sky and one for the shadows. I then took both images into Photomatix 4 (beta). After processing I masked out the sky and used the one from my sky processed image because I thought the sky looked better.

Middle Village Decay - Outside

If anyone has any additional information on the history of this building, or general feedback on the image itself, please feel free to add them to the comments below.

Copyright © 2010 James W. Howe – All rights reserved.

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  • Aisling says:
    I love the HDR image, it’s amazing. It looks like such an interesting old house.
  • Cameron Reaume says:
    again idk if you had gotten this comment on flikr but that is the house that my grandmother Eva Vera Gilbault-Reaume grew up. with her 6-7 siblings and two parents. please contact me as soon as you see my comment or post because i now live on the michigan-ohio border and never get to visit that area anymore seeing that like i said i live in dundee michigan now lol. by dad and i tho did take pics of this place on our last visit and it is sad that it is falling apart its the only thing left from my dads side of the family seeing that all but one of his relatives (by blood) are now passed.

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