Cee’s Share Your World – December 11, 2017

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Share Your World – December 11, 2017 – Repeat of Last Week

Calico Ghost Town
December 2, 2017

The undiscovered places that are interesting to me are these places that contain bits of our disappearing history, like a ghost town. ~~ Ransom Riggs

What household chore do you absolutely hate doing? Laundry. I hated laundry so much that the top drawer of my dresser was full of underwear- about a month’s supply. Same for my socks in the second drawer. Since Lynn has come into my life, we have been able to whittle those numbers down through attrition.

At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive? Just last night. In bed. But at three weeks shy of my 70th birthday, I’ve had to learn how to show passion in more tempered pursuits. Lynn doesn’t seem to mind.

How many times have you moved in the last ten years? My office has moved 4 times in the past 4 years. I guess my home has, too. And another move seems in the offing for next year. I will be retiring at the end of this month and we will be traveling as much as we can. The house is as good as sold and I received my passport last week.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Lynn always inspires me, though this week she had to take second fiddle to my new laptop. I had been using this old one for work, as well as for my processing, and it was moving slower and slower- just like me. So it had to be replaced. I hope the same fate does not befall me too soon.

Calico Ghost Town
December 02, 2017

The biggest cliche in photography is sunrise and sunset. ~~ Catherine Opie

I am sure not many have taken notice of my absence for the past two weeks. That is certainly understandable. I have stopped by to say I am not sure how long this will continue or whether or not I will come back. A lot has been going on in my life and in the world, and I find I can not muster the enthusiasm for WordPress that I used to have. Hopefully, by the new year I will have a better idea of what I intend to do besides travel and take photos. Please know that I appreciate those of you who have followed me over these past 5 or 6 years and that I miss those of you I have been able to connect with through comments and replies.

 

 

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Basilica

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The Basilica Of St. Mary
Minneapolis MN
October 11, 2017

“Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.” ~~ Napoleon Bonaparte

I wanted to start this post with something profound about the church and religion. I searched for quotes on the internet and found more than one that I liked, so today you get photos with quotes because, otherwise, this would be a very short post. I am not religious, though I consider myself spiritual on a certain level. No, I’m not a goody-two-shoes, though I try to do as much good as possible. I know I often fall short. But I keep trying.

“We need to reject any politics that targets people because of race or religion. This isn’t a matter of political correctness. It’s a matter of understanding what makes us strong. The world respects us not just for our arsenal; it respects us for our diversity and our openness and the way we respect every faith.” ~~  Barack Obama

I am not political, either. Not until recently, that is. I don’t see how anyone can just sit back nowadays and not speak up for what they believe in. And I’m not just talking about only the people who believe the way I believe. My wife and I do not agree all the time. We may have an argument- she likes to call it a discussion- but, after all is said and done, I still love her.

“I’m going to tell you what my religion is. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Period. Terminato. Finito.” ~~ Gene Wilder

Did Gene Wilder really believe this? Or was he merely speaking the words of a screenwriter? I don’t know, but I do believe in it wholeheartedly. Of course, as in all other things, I fail occasionally. And epically. But I try. That is my mantra, I guess. Keep trying!

“When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.” ~~ Abraham Lincoln

I don’t think Honest Abe was ever so succinct. This must be an excerpt from a much longer speech. And that “Honest Abe” moniker? Please. He was a politician. But then, just maybe things were different back then and one could be a politician and still maintain their values. Their humanity. I hope so.

 

Before and After: Soldier Summit UT

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Golden Hour Barn Soldier Summit UT November 1, 2017

(If you wish to see the revised, completed, version of this edit, please visit my Flickr account here.)

Well, as I mentioned, I was thinking of changing my weekly posting of In Retrospect (where I take archived photos and re-do the processing) and I have decided that it will become a monthly post, alternating with some of my newer work and also with a Before and After post once a month where I discuss the processing I go through on the featured image. Please don’t think I’m saying my processing is anything special. I just used to enjoy Stacey Fischer’s ABF (After Before Friday) which has been defunct for about a year now and I thought I’d like to resurrect it. If anyone would like to join in, just add a link in the comments section below. OK?

OK!

So, the image above was taken in Soldier Summit Utah when my wife and I were returning from a Halloween trip to visit family. This was one of the images that didn’t turn out quite right as the sky was drastically overexposed.

SOOC

So, last night, having nothing else to do (not true- I could have read either of the two books I am now reading; The Winter Fortress by Neal Bascomb, or Fantasyland by Kurt Andersen) or watch Netflix (Alias Grace, Glow, or Wanted). Instead I wanted to see what I could get out of this image. All processing was done in Lightroom with a slight detour into Topaz, and back. Let’s see if I can explain without losing you. If you don’t care to read the explanation, please jump to the bottom of this post to view the film strip.

So I had to lower the exposure by 3 and a half stops. Then I cropped the image and adjusted the whites, shadows, and brightness.

3.5 stops Lower Exposure, Crop, Basic Work Flow

Then I moved the image into Topaz where I added an Equalize filter, an HDR filter and then added an overall brown tone.

Topaz Equalizer, HDR, and Brown Tone

Topaz has some great lighting effects, so I played around with a sunlight effect.

Sun Light Effect

Back in Lightroom I added highlights to the barn and some of the weeds around the house with the Radial Filter, then added a vignette.

Radial Filters, Post Crop Vignette

I added Contrast, Clarity, and a very subtle Split Tone to move the white balance more towards a golden hour feeling. Not very successfully, I might add. I also desaturated the blue sky and lightened it with the Luminance slider.

Contrast, Clarity, Split Tone, Blue Saturation and Luminance

I worked with the Spot Removal tool to remove some of the harsh white in the clouds in the center of the image.

Spot Removal

Then I got rid of the Contrast and most of the Clarity I had added.

Remove Contrast and Clarity

I updated the Radial Filters to brighten the highlights.

Updated Radial Filter

Finally, I adjusted the overall Luminance to lighten the image.

Added Luminance

And tried again to get a Golden Hour effect by adjusting the white balance. Again!

White Balance

So there you have it. Let me know what you think. Please!

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In Retrospect: Goodsprings NV

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“Great were the lamentation and the cry when the news of this mischance was noised about the city. Such a tumult of mourning was never before heard, for the whole city was moved.”  ~~ Marie de France

One or two of you might have noticed my absence from WordPress recently. Most others have more probably gone about their business no less aware. The truth is I have found myself unable to continue at the pace I have been attempting and so must step back and reassess what I wish to accomplish in what is left of my life. I will attempt to continue this series as long as possible. But I would also like to receive feedback on some of my newer work. Therefore, In Retrospect might evolve into something much more encompassing. I’m not sure. I know I will probably lose followers as I have not been able to comment lately. Not that my commenting is any more important than anyone else’s. But, if you are like me, those comments are an affirmation of the quality of our work. That is, when those who comment are not merely blowing smoke up our collective skirt. (Is that sexist? I apologize to those I might offend.)

Anyway- this week I have gone back to Goodsprings NV, a very small town about a half hour south of the Las Vegas Strip.

“Goodsprings was a settlement in the hills [approximately 35 miles south] of Las Vegas. It was an important town for milling ore from the surrounding mines. It was a mining camp with a hotel, a saloon that is still standing and in operation, and a general store. The end of World War I also saw the end of Goodsprings as a mining town. But there are still landmarks of the town to satisfy the ghosttowner.” ~~ submitted by Henry Chenoweth 

So, a combination of old and new at Goodsprings NV. Population 229.

All photos were taken in Goodsprings NV on July 13, 2013 with the Canon EOS Rebel T2i and newly processed in November 2017.

In Retrospect is an ongoing series of older photos from my archives, newly processed. I hope you enjoy the series as much as I enjoy revisiting the memories.

In Retrospect: Nipton CA

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THIS JUST IN: In August 2017, Nipton was in the process of being purchased by American Green Inc., a maker of cannabis products, for $5 million USD with plans to turn the town into a cannabis tourism destination. The CEO of American Green Inc hopes to make this into the first “Pot Town, USA”.

Nipton is a small, relatively isolated, town in the Mojave National Preserve. The hotel looks more like a motel, though I have yet to see any travelers sitting on the porch and even fewer cars parked in the gravel parking lot.

If I were to ever stay the night, you’d find me settin’ on the porch of an evening after dinner, just enjoying the quiet, staring at the stars in the dark night sky. Or maybe I’d stay out back in one of their unique cabin tents. Complete with air conditioning.

And the local trading post has all the supplies one might need. Spam, mini hot dogs in a can, marshmallows, chips, ice, beer, wine. Though the only trading I’ve ever seen at the trading post is goods for cash, I’m almost positive something could be arranged as they seem a friendly lot.

And I think I’ve finally figured out who this lonely man stepping over the railroad tracks might be. Catch sight of the top of the long haul truck behind him in the lower left of the photo? He’s a trucker.

Or a possible specter; a visible disembodied spirit:  a ghost, or something that haunts or perturbs the mind, a phantasm!.

All photos were taken in Nipton CA, part of the Mojave National Preserve , on February 28, 2015 and newly processed in 2017.

In Retrospect is an ongoing series of older photos from my archives, newly processed. I hope you enjoy the series as much as I enjoy revisiting the memories.

 

In Retrospect: Santa Barbara

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Pier
Santa Barbara CA
October 25, 2015

I’m not so sure this pier was actually in Santa Barbara, but it was in with all my other Santa Barbara photos and shot on the same day so it must be. If anybody knows differently, please let me know.

We had visited family in California and, on our way back home, planned on visiting Santa Barbara and spending the night. We have a habit of choosing inexpensive motels to stay in as we don’t spend much time in them, merely to sleep. The family insisted on paying for a room for us and we accepted after hours of back-and-forth, only because it was Lynn’s birthday.

Sunset
Santa Barbara CA
October 25, 2015

The Fess Parker Doubletree made us feel like we had died and gone to heaven. OK, maybe that’s a bit of hyperbole. But it’s a beautiful hotel right across the road from the beach, with a beautiful sunrise view over the water. I didn’t take any photos of the place since you can visit their site and read all about it if you have a mind to. And if you have the money, I’d definitely recommend the place. 

Stearns Wharf
Santa Barbara CA
October 25, 2015

In Retrospect is an ongoing series of older photos from my archives, newly processed. I hope you enjoy the series as much as I enjoy revisiting the memories.

 

Share Your World – October 23, 2017

Gallery, Prompts and Challenges

Hair Of The Dog
San Juan Capistrano CA
September 9, 2017

Was school easy or difficult for you? How so? School was easy. And because it was, I never really excelled at anything. I hardly studied and coasted through with a solid “B” average.Interestingly enough, my sister was just the opposite and dropped out of high school when she was a Junior. On my first day at that same high school, I was called into the principal’s office. He asked if I was related to Marie and when I confessed, he said he would keep an eye on me and at the first sign of trouble, deal with me as he had with my sister. I never saw him again.

List some of your favorite types of animals. By now, people must know I am not fond of pet photos. That is not to say that I don’t like pets. I grew up with dogs and had several cats later in life. I also wouldn’t mind owning a horse, though my riding days would seem to be numbered.

What is your favorite large city you have been to? What is the one thing you remember most? Funny, but my first response was “It has to be New York”. Excuse me? What? I have always openly proclaimed San Francisco as my favorite city! But when Cee asks, I speak without thinking? I went to San Francisco State College and lived in the city for 7 years. I fell in love with Betty during Freshmen Orientation and we dated exclusively from day one. We used to take the M bus from the school into the city, then walk aimlessly, maybe see a movie. But, our favorite date was buying a loaf of sourdough bread and some cheese and hike on up to Coit Tower, sit on the wall overlooking the bay, and eat our dinner. I don’t remember what we used to drink in those early years as neither of us was old enough for wine. I’ve been back several times since and it still remains my favorite city.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. So many things this week, but the one that stands out the most is the family member who is 21 and just got married. She never took a camera class in her life. But nobody ever told her she couldn’t and so started her own photography business when she was 19. This month, she has quit working behind a desk because she is making much more money shooting weddings. I hate her! 🙂

Share Your World – October 23, 2017

In Retrospect: Oatman AZ

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Jackass Junction
Oatman AZ
May 16, 2015

We first discovered Oatman AZ when a loud, obnoxious, nosey neighbor asked where we were off to one weekend in 2012. We told him about our habit of driving around aimlessly until we found whatever we didn’t know we were looking for. He gave us directions to Oatman and, from that day onward, we could not get rid of him. He and his wife became friends with whom we would share wine, snacks, and the occasional outdoor fire. He remained loud and at times obnoxious. But he was a well-meaning guy. Of course, his wife was long-suffering, constantly rolling her eyes in annoyance.

Gold City Hotel
Oatman AZ
May 16, 2015

In Retrospect is an ongoing series of older photos from my archives, newly processed. I hope you enjoy the series as much as I enjoy revisiting the memories.

 

Share Your World – October 16, 2017

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Minneapolis Skyline
October 13, 2017

If you had to move to a country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why? If you read the news lately, every country has its own peculiar problems; either political or social or economic or financial. We just seem to have them all at the same time right now. So my response would be not a country, but the country. Somewhere far away from civilization, but close enough for the essentials. Maybe live off the grid, out of a camper that I have yet to buy.

What color would you like your bedroom to be? My bedroom is not my bedroom. It is our bedroom! And when you’re married, the man has little control over what color our bedroom should be. Right now, Lynn is painting the entire interior of our house white, because she read on Facebook or somewhere that it is the best color if you are listing your property for sale. Never mind that I have been a Realtor for 15 years. I know nothing. So white it shall be.

What makes you Happy? Make a list of things in your life that bring you joy. Lynn actually does make me happy. And frustrated as hell, sometimes. But that’s life. Or marriage. It’s not all wine and roses, you know. Quite a bit of wine, though! As far as a list? Lynn, photography, new sights, a good movie, classical music, a good book, my son. Not necessarily in that order.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. I took a week off and visited my son, who lives in Minnesota. What a beautiful place. I had no idea. And what a beautiful son. He is happy, has lifelong and new friends who love him, has a great sense of humor, and enjoys his work. He took me to places where I could shoot and he loved the image above from the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis. I think it still needs more work, possibly a different approach.

Share Your World – October 16, 2017

In Retrospect: Furnace Creek CA

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Mining Wagon
Furnace Creek CA
March 1, 2014

Furnace Creek is appropriately named, as it holds the record for the highest ever recorded temperature in the United States, as well as one of the highest ever worldwide, reaching 134 °F (57 °C) on July 10, 1913. It is 190 feet below sea level. Badwater, just down the road, holds the distinction of being the lowest elevation in the United States at 280 feet below sea level.

Rear View Mining Wagon
Furnace Creek CA
March 1, 2014

There are so many ghost towns in Death Valley due to the mining of precious metals that began in 1849. But it wasn’t only gold and silver that drew the people here. Borax is still mined and is still used in any number of products, a mineral so common that it is used in cleaning and beauty products as well as enamel glazes.

Vintage Steam Engine
Furnace Creek CA
March 1, 2014

Furnace Creek has become a favorite stop for tourists as it boasts a general store, motel, diner and bar, and golf course and is a short distance from Badwater, Dante’s View, Artist’s Drive, and Zabriskie Point. And lots of ghost towns for me!