Completion

Posted in Pittsburgh, Projects, The Carrie Furnace Project on February 9th, 2013 by Howard

I have been taking my New Year’s resolutions pretty seriously this time around!  The resolutions included getting out in the winter cold and snow to photograph.  Check.  Have a look at my last few posts and you can see that I have been doing that.  Another was to focus on finishing some projects.  I have written about my Carrie Furnace Project before and have made it into an e-Book.  But I still hadn’t made it a complete ‘portfolio’ of prints.  Well, that is now also completed!

There is now a complete and formal presentation of the project in the form of a 44 print portfolio.  It comes in a beautiful Pina Zangaro anodized aluminum case that is reminiscent of the steel industry with one of the portfolio images on the front.  The inside of the case is lined with acid free material to give a nice contained fit to the forty four 8.5×11 inch images that are printed on hot press, archival, matte finish fine art paper that is quite thick (330g/m2) with a luxurious tactile feel.  The folio also contains a 4 page explanatory pamphlet about the project and the location, as well as a list of the prints.

box Completion

The Carrie Furnace Portfolio Box

The image below is one of the forty three portfolio prints.  Each print has an image, the image title, and the project’s name on it.

photo3 Completion

The folio is for anyone with an interest in Western Pennsylvania and its history, the steel industry, or urban exploration and is now available on my website.

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Designing A Product II

Posted in Business, Creativity, The Carrie Furnace Project on September 24th, 2012 by Howard

For Part I of Designing A Product, click here.

Here are some pictures of the finished Carrie Furnace eBook product.  I wasn’t going for anything fancy in terms of lighting for these photos, but just trying to demonstrate what the finished physical product looks like….

The disk itself, with an image and title inscribed onto the surface using LightScribe technology:

disk Designing A Product II

Copyright Howard Grill

The CD Case:

case11 Designing A Product II

Copyright Howard Grill

case2 Designing A Product II

Copyright Howard Grill


And finally the Photoshop file that I used to make a flat image to be placed into the CD case plastic pouch that then gets bent by closing the case, covering front and back with a unified image.

CD Case copy Designing A Product II

Copyright Howard Grill

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Designing A Product I

Posted in Announcements, Business, Creativity, The Carrie Furnace Project on September 20th, 2012 by Howard

Those of you who read my Facebook Photography page will have heard this already (but read on because that is not what this post is about) …..but  the Rivers Of Steel organization is going to be co-marketing my eBook “The Carrie Furnace” with me.  They not only want to sell it from their website, but also requested a physical product to sell in their brick and mortar gift shop.

What a great opportunity!  But it raised some challenges that I had never really thought about.  Providing the finished product via download was relatively easy.  By simply uploading your file and paying a service like e-junkie 5 bucks a month, one can get an attractive check out cart for your website and you are done.  But think about what it would require to put together a physical product.  You can’t exactly just burn the file to a CD and be done!  There needs to be a professional appearance to the final product.

The disk needs to be attractive and have some sort of identifying label.  Then what do you put it in?  You can’t just slap it into an empty clear jewel case and throw it on a shelf.  There needs to be some type of packaging that will serve to catch a potential customers eye and make them want to investigate and learn more.  There are also other informational nuances.  Customers will want to know what exactly is on the disk, what equipment will they need to play it, and why they should want to buy it.  And then there is the cost…..disks, packaging etc all add to the cost of the product.

Needless to say, these issues engendered quite a bit of thought on my part and I decided that I definitely wanted a professional appearing presentation.  What would I need?

1) A LightScribe CD/DVD burner (about $40) to inscribe a label and image onto the surface of the CD itself.  I thought an inkjet printed label would look too unprofessional and its application would be a bit irregular from disk to disk.

I had to choose a photo that would look good on the disk with the title and my name inscribed on top of it.

Oh yes, and I would need to buy LightScribe disks….about $45 for a hundred disks.

2) DVD/CD case.  I decided to go with the type that movies come in as opposed to a jewel case.  These movie cases come with a clear plastic pocket that spans the case.  It would be a bit of work, but I could use photoshop to design what I thought would be an attractive and eye catching insert.  Again, the image used would need to look good with words over it.  My plan was for an image that had no top, bottom, left, or right so that I could wrap the image around the front and the back of the case.  In the best of all worlds I thought I could use the same image for the disk and the case cover to give a consistent feel.  The cover insert and the clips inside the case would also allow me to at least have my website URL visible to further market my work.

The cases, in lots of 100 were also about 50 cents each.  Designing the insert was going to be difficult, but it would only have to be done once.  Having it look good by printing it on photographic paper would add a bit to the expense.

3) Finally, I wanted to use the opportunity of creating a physical product to give the buyer a little something extra that might not normally be expected and that might whet their curiosity to see more of my work as well as  to potentially differentiate my product from others on the shelf.  One cover of the CD case has two little clips on the inside. My idea is to include with the CD a small original signed inkjet print of the furnace’s cast room that is a bit smaller than 5×7 inches.  It is small enough that I don’t feel I am ‘giving my work away for nothing’ but large enough to show the quality of the work.  The actual cost and time needed to add the photo is pretty minimal (though the overall time input to assemble the product is not) and will help justify the added price the customer will have to pay compared to the downloadable version of the eBook.  This price increase is because I will have to charge for the physical materials and, more importantly, for the time involved to assemble the entire product (burned disk with files and picture, CD case insert, the print etc).

So there you have it.  The more I thought about it the more I started to realize how much thought and effort has to go into producing a physical product instead of a downloadable file.

I haven’t had a chance to take a picture of the finished ‘objects’, so I will follow up this post with the next one which will have a few photos of the completed product.

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Carrie Furnace eBook Now Available

Posted in Pittsburgh, Projects, The Carrie Furnace Project, eBooks on August 9th, 2012 by Howard

carriebookcover Carrie Furnace eBook Now Available

I am pleased to announce that my Carrie Furnace eBook is now available!

I have written several posts in the past related to my photography project at the Carrie Furnace.  In short, Carrie is a blast furnace in Rankin, Pennsylvania (close to Pittsburgh) that was used to generate iron back when Pittsburgh was at the center of the world’s steel production.  It was closed in 1978 and has lay dormant since.  It is now being restored and developed into a national historic landmark by the non-profit Rivers Of Steel organization.  I had the opportunity to photograph there early in the restoration process.

I was able to interview and show the photographs from the project to Mr. Ron Gault, who worked at Carrie in the 1970s, and he told fascinating anecdotes about life at the facility.  These comments were recorded and are included with the photos as part of a multimedia eBook presentation.

The eBook is available for immediate download and contains:

  • 63 pages of content
  • High resolution images
  • Embedded audio content – click on the audio icons to hear Mr. Gault’s commentary and anecdotes
  • Easy, rapid navigation
  • Formatted for display on desktops, tablets, and smartphones
  • Information about Carrie and Rivers Of Steel

The book can be securely downloaded for $7.99 with 25% of the purchase price being donated to Rivers Of Steel to assist in their mission to preserve the furnace.

Click HERE to go to the purchase page.

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The Carrie Furnace XVIII

Posted in Pittsburgh, The Carrie Furnace Project on June 2nd, 2012 by Howard

Another image with audio from my Carrie Furnace portfolio.

For background information about this project see my post entitled The Carrie Furnace Project.

To hear the 1-2 minute audio content click on the link below the picture, which will open the audio content in a separate page.

This post’s audio content describes how the manual valve seen in the photo was opened and closed by a man that actually did the job.   It wasn’t an easy task!

19 TheCarrieFurnace The Carrie Furnace XVIII

The Carrie Furnace Project

Copyright Howard Grill

CLICK HERE FOR 1-2 MINUTES OF AUDIO CONTENT

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The Carrie Furnace Project Now Online

Posted in Black And White, The Carrie Furnace Project on May 14th, 2012 by Howard

I am pleased to announce that my entire Carrie Furnace Project has now been posted to my website.  The project consists of 47 black and white photographs, most of which have associated audio content.  It can be viewed as a slideshow without the audio or as individual images with optional playing of the audio using the audio player on each page for the images that have this content.

To see the project click here:  The Carrie Furnace Project

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The Carrie Furnace XVII

Posted in Historic Images, Pittsburgh, The Carrie Furnace Project on April 19th, 2012 by Howard

For background information about this project see my post entitled The Carrie Furnace Project.

To hear the 1-2 minute audio content click on the link below the picture, which will open the audio content in a separate page.

This post’s audio content describes how the iron making process was essentially unchanged from the Civil War up until the 1980s.

16 Carrie The Carrie Furnace XVII

The Carrie Furnace Project

Copyright Howard Grill

CLICK HERE FOR 1-2 MINUTES OF AUDIO CONTENT

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The Carrie Furnace XVI

Posted in Pittsburgh, The Carrie Furnace Project on April 14th, 2012 by Howard

For background information about this project see my post entitled The Carrie Furnace Project.

To hear the 1-2 minute audio content click on the link below the picture, which will open the audio content in a separate page.

This post’s audio content describes how clean the rooms in the plant were kept.

15 Carrie The Carrie Furnace XVI

The Carrie Furnace Project

Copyright Howard Grill

CLICK HERE FOR 1-2 MINUTES OF AUDIO CONTENT

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The Carrie Furnace XV

Posted in Pittsburgh, The Carrie Furnace Project on April 10th, 2012 by Howard

For background information about this project see my post entitled The Carrie Furnace Project.

To hear the 1-2 minute audio content click on the link below the picture, which will open the audio content in a separate page.

This post’s audio content describes how the large popes seen were used to bring air into the stoves to be heated prior to passing it on to the furnace.

14 Carrie The Carrie Furnace XV

The Carrie Furnace Project

Copyright Howard Grill

CLICK HERE FOR 1-2 MINUTES OF AUDIO CONTENT

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The Carrie Furnace XIV

Posted in Pittsburgh, Projects, The Carrie Furnace Project on April 1st, 2012 by Howard

For background information about this project see my post entitled The Carrie Furnace Project.

In case anyone is wondering how many images are in the project’s ‘final cut’, the answer is 47.  But don’t worry, I will take breaks each time several images are presented.

To hear the 1-2 minute audio content click on the link below the picture, which will open the audio content in a separate page.

This post’s audio content describes the incredible amount of noise that one was exposed to when working in the Stove Room, which is seen in this photograph.

13 Carrie The Carrie Furnace XIV

The Carrie Furnace Project

Copyright Howard Grill

CLICK HERE FOR 1-2 MINUTES OF AUDIO CONTENT

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