Monthly Archives: June 2013

Fonthill Study: Where Should I Put This?

Study by 2013.

I can imagine what a problem Mercer had with finding places to put his collection.  Can’t find a place?  Just put a net on your ceiling and stuff it full of interesting things.  Here, Henry could lay on his sofa below, look up and view his Etruscan pottery collection.

For some reason this collection captures my attention each time I enter Mercer’s study.  Not necessarily for the photographic interest but by my awe of Mercer and his ambition and drive to collect such a variety of artifacts from around the world.  His fascination of pottery led him to develop and create his fantastic tiles.

The image below shows the perspective that Mercer could have viewed his collection from.  I am sure there were a lot of good naps taken here in the comfort of his study.

Study by All rights reserved.

Fonthill Study: One Last Desk

Fonthill Study by Karl Graf.

Mercer’s fourth desk is my least favorite.  This is my only image of this desk from my multiple visits here.  My eye has always focused on the large windows and the chest.

Mercer’s study is an intimate and very warm feeling room.  I imagine that if Henry got a little bored in his study, he could always go down to his more formal large library on the main floor of the castle.  The Library will be a future set of posts sometime in the future.

Fonthill Study: Another Desk

Fonthill Study by 2012.

This third desk is nestled into a small alcove in the back part of Mercer’s study.  I have not seen light reach this part of the study.  Note the strange looking object hanging from the ceiling.  It is an Arabic oil lantern.  Mercer’s collection of ancient implements and artifacts around the world is amazing.  There are very few walls in the castle that are not covered by art or artifacts.


Welcome Summer !

130621_YellowZoomTwist by Karl Graf.


Welcome Summer!  This Spring has been very interesting … periods of heat, cold, wet, and dry conditions, all mixed together.  Right now we are between periods of rain and warm days.  It is hard to tell which is growing faster, our flowers or the weeds.  One thing for sure, our knees are getting their workout separating the two.

This image is a multiple exposure created by simultaneously rotating and zooming around the center flower.  Karen’s garden creates an abundance of photographic opportunities.

More of the Fonthill Study coming …


Fonthill Study: Desk #2

Fonthill Study  Study by .

This desk with late morning sun shining across it is located on an adjacent wall from the desk shown on my last post.  Depending on his mood and light, Mercer would pick where he wanted to work in his study.

The image below is taken looking down the desk from the end.  At the end tucked away in a corner is a leather lounge sofa.  I imagine it was a good place for that “afternoon nap”.  Above the sofa is his collection of ancient and Early American pottery.

Fonthill Study by 2012.

Fonthill Study: Remington Noiseless

Study by Karl Graf.

Henry Mercer’s Study is my favorite room at Fonthill.  Mercer has 4 working desks situated strategically around the room to capitalize on the light as it progresses throughout the day.  This image is one of the “standard” photographs taken of the room.  I attempted to give it a little different perspective by converting to B&W and focusing the light on the typewriter.


Making the Best of It


130617_HersheyRoses1 by Karl Graf.

Karen and I had planned a trip up to Hershey, PA to see the Hershey Rose Garden for quite some time.  We delayed the trip one day due to an extremely severe rain and lightning storm that passed through the area.  We knew that the gardens would be impacted, but went the next day anyway.  The day was a beautiful bright summer day in the 80’s.  However, the roses had been damaged by the previous day’s storm as expected.  It was not the best for photography.  It was time to get creative and try some different things.

The image above is an “in-camera” multiple exposure of a group of roses with a water fountain in the background.  The first image was taken with a moderate depth of field at normal exposure.  The second image was defocused and slightly overexposed.  The combined image was adjusted for brightness with NIK Viveza and NIK Color Efex Pro.  A painterly look was then added with Topaz Simplify.

No matter what the condition, there always seems to be something worth capturing.

For reference below are the two images that were combined.

130617_HersheyRoses2 by Karl Graf. 130617_HersheyRoses3 by Karl Graf.

When You See RED …

130616_Woman in Red by Karl G. Graf. I can’t help myself.  When I see RED, I have to shoot.  It was 90+ degrees in Washington, DC.  People were flocking around the fountain and pool of the Sculpture Garden across from the National Archives.  I was having fun just people watching as I was sitting in the shade enjoying a cool glass of wine.  What a wonderful way to spend a hot afternoon.

With this image, I will end my short series on Washington, DC.  It was a great trip and a wonderful way to spend time with some of our family from the other Washington.


Related Images: