Sultry and Sexy


New York New York

From a New York Times article written by Anthony Ramirez and published April 15, 2011

…[T]he United States Postal Service chose an image not of the original statue in New York Harbor but of a replica at the traffic-choked corner of Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard.

The service is sticking with the nip-and-tuck facsimile, a close-up of Vegas Liberty’s face, because it looks good.

An up-close visit on Friday confirmed this. Compared with the original, it appears, in fact, a lot less weather-beaten, much pout-ier, and, if such a description were ever appropriate for a national monument, far more sultry, and, frankly, sexy.


ABFriday Week 9- Any Minute Now!

Gallery, Prompts and Challenges


At first glance- even at second and third glance- this appears to be a set or model. I’m not sure why. The angle perhaps? But it is a real building against a real mountain with a very real vintage bus and a very real vintage truck parked alongside. How long the building may stand is anyone’s guess. I would say any minute now it might crumble to the ground.



I downloaded the Before into Lightroom and cropped and straightened it. I opened the shadows and brought down the highlights, and set the clipping on the whites and blacks.


I then boosted the clarity, lowered the contrast, and lowered the exposure.


I used the graduated filter from the bottom of the frame up to lower the exposure and sharpen the texture of the gravel. From the top down I used a separate graduated filter to darken the sky and reduce the clarity and sharpness. I brushed highlights on the gravel and the building to help it stand out from the background. Then I added a post-crop vignette.

14694172653_20da0ebb29_bHope you enjoy!

If you like pictures (Come on, you have to. Why? “Because Everyone Likes Pictures”!) then go visit Stacy’s Visual Venturing!


And for all your black and white needs, please visit Monochromia for a new black and white photo by a different photographer every day of the week!

First Widow Winter – Special Offer

Prompts and Challenges

This is a first for me but I thought the emotion behind the offer was well worth it!

My Digital Eye Queue

First Widow Winter

This is a very special post.  From now, through 8/31/14, any widow or widower who requests it via E-mail, may have the above print.

You don’t have to prove it, I trust you.  If you wish to make a PayPal donation to cover printing and mailing costs, inquire in your E-mail.  If you don’t or cannot, the offer still stands.

If you feel lost, confused, alone, angry or sad – I am here to tell you that it does…lessen.  This is my contribution to those in this position.

The only loss greater than a spouse, is that of a child.  It matters not how many years; that bond was established, legally or otherwise.

Those of you that follow this blog, if it is not applicable to you, I ask that you re-blog please.  I’d like to give back, especially to those just starting on this painful and long journey.


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Magical Mystery Tour

Prompts and Challenges


I assure you this will not be a very magical, nor mysterical, tour. It will be a virtual blog tour which Joanne Sisco invited me on and which I, in turn, have invited Laurie and West to join in on. My part of the tour will commence as soon as you complete this sentence, if you proceed along after that. Laurie and West will continue on next week. On Monday, July 21st to be exact!

The gentleman in the photo above? Just ignore him! He is there merely due to the fact that this being a photo blog, it therefore behooves me to include a photo.

I am behooved.


What Is The Virtual Blog Tour?

The rules are simple.  The participant (me) composes a one-time post which is posted on a specified Monday (today, July 14) provided by the person (Joanne Sisco) who has invited the participant (me) on the tour.  There are 4 questions that need responses:

      1. What am I working on?
      2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
      3. Why do I write/create what I do?
      4. How does your writing/creating process work?

The answers to these four questions should give other bloggers and visitors a bit of insight as to what inspires us to do what we do.

The tour is then passed on to up to four other bloggers.  (This time only two, Laurie and West. But what a pair!) Their permission is obtained in advance and they are given the rules and the specific Monday they are to post their responses.

My Response to These Four Questions

What am I working on?

Funny you should ask. I have drastically cut back on my posting here (at Photos By Emilio) to contribute each Tuesday to the new black and white blog Monochromia, which I hope you have all visited at least once if not a dozen times already. It is comprised of six very talented photographers, and me! That is not merely feigned modesty. I was told when I first started this blog that I could not call myself a photographer unless I made money at it. Since I tend to give my work away to family and friends, I guess that excludes me from the club! Oh, well! I (we, my wife and I) are also working on a photo book which has a twist that I can not divulge but that would hopefully set it apart from the other 723,000 photo books that will be published this year. We have distributed advance copies to trusted family and friends and the comments are so far all positive (well, of course they’re all positive. They’re from family and friends!)

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I do not have the vaguest idea how anybody’s photography differs from any body else’s nowadays! I mean, if you can point your cell phone- you don’t even have to know how to focus- you’re a photographer! Me, I love Lightroom. I enjoy playing for hours on end with an image until I get it just right. And then I’ll try 36 other variations! While I’m on the pc, my wife is on the couch, reading, until she nods asleep and I have to carry her into bed. Well, I don’t actually carry her. I shake her until she comes to and then take her by the arm for support and lead her into bed. Then I take advantage of her!

Why do I write/create what I do?

I have always been a creative person.  In high school I was a member of the drama club and choir. And I also played the tenor saxophone. I did none of them very well. In college, I majored in Theater as a director, worked on my Master’s, then quit to join the real world. Let me tell you the real world is over-rated!

When I came into a little money ($2000 as a bonus for something I did at work) my then girlfriend, who is now my wife, said not to waste it on bills but to go buy myself a camera. So I did. (When we married, we had no money for a honeymoon and so ended up at a Costco in Illinois, bought a cake, and brought it home to feed the gathering hordes.)

Photography is my creative outlet.  I’ve tried creative writing, but it always feels too much like work. So my blog is mostly devoid of narrative!

How does my writing/creating process work?

I do not have a process. I read and follow a lot of Photography blogs, subscribe to youtube videos, and look at others images on 500px and Flickr. The amount of talent out there is prodigious. I sometimes become morose, despondent that my images look nothing like those. Then I rationalize that I am still learning. But as for my process, my wife and I like to be spontaneous by planning road trips approximately every two weeks. In fact, we have one planned for this weekend. We will head out on one of the many highways nearby, travel 50 miles, then take the first exit and explore. Lately we have had to push it to 75 miles. This weekend I think we’ll actually be travelling closer to 100 miles. To a place called Pine Mountain in the southern end of Utah! When we get home, I will no doubt transfer my new images to the pc. My wife will retreat to the sofa. After several hours I will shake her awake, accompany her to bed, and then to sleep.

Good night!

Passing on the Tour

I, at first, hesitated when asked to do this tour. Not because I didn’t know what to say (obviously) but because I did not wish to impose or have somebody feel that they might hurt my feeling by saying no. So I found two young ladies who I imposed upon and were reluctant to lose my friendship by turning me down. They are:

West517, whom I call West for lack of a better name. I could call her 517, I suppose. 5 for short! But as I have written just recently, her blog is called The World We Know. Her style of post processing whether it be a preset, or of her own making colors everything in a haze of nostalgia. And she loves old signs! Go visit her and let me know what you think.

And there’s Laurie of Life On The Bike And Other Fab Things who, after at least one hair- raising accident, is still driving her Harley (at least I seem to remember it as a Harley. If I’m mistaken, she will correct me, I’m sure.) and taking photos that she thinks are just average

West and Laurie will be posting their responses to the Virtual Blog Tour on Monday, July 21st.

So thanks for joining me on this tour and following me all the way to the end. This is the end. You can stop reading now.

Good night!

Deja Vu All Over Again!

Prompts and Challenges

Drink 2

So I invited my blogging buddy West to take this image and put her post-processing spin on it. Her response? “I’d absolutelyLOOOOVE to!!! LOL~ I ALWAYS have time for art~ always!!! 🙂  Just like a giddy school girl! Maybe because that’s what she used to be, a giddy school girl! Or maybe because she was drinking. I’m not sure. But I love what she did with it. Hope you do, too. Here is the result, along with her comments!


 I made just a few changes before I  began~ the first was to get rid of the car/people and misc. items behind the sign 🙂 I just “carried” the gravel over to create a more sparse backdrop. 
Second– I had to add some “sky” …just a little in the upper right corner of your picture~ And since you did a distressed print perfectly, I thought I’d do something different- a little less Levi’s 501 and a little more along the lines of, “yea, I’m in the desert and who needs boots, I have stilettos…” (LOL) Seriously though I just wanted to set the Coca-Cola red on fire and give the rusty rim a 2nd degree sunburn 🙂
Lastly – and I hope you don’t mind~ I updated your watermark… If you hate it I will not be offended in the least, but I couldn’t help it – force of habit and all… I’m a graphics designer and web consultant 🙂
Let me know what you think~ and thank you again so much for asking me to re-spin your already terrific pic 🙂
I love what West did with it. Hope you do, too! For more of her work, visit The World We Know!



Nostalgia Ain’t What It Used To Be!

Gallery, Prompts and Challenges

Drink 2

The earliest evidence of this expression known to Quote Investigator was published in a 1959 novel titled “The Tents of Wickedness” by Peter De Vries.

No. Nostalgia, as his Uncle Joshua had said, ain’t what it used to be.

Which made it pretty complete. Nothing was what it used to be — not even nostalgia.

This is for my buddy West at The World We Know. Her style of post processing whether it be a preset, or of her own making colors everything in a haze of nostalgia. And she loves old signs! Go visit her and let me know what you think.


ABFriday Week 7- Brothers

Gallery, Prompts and Challenges

Moonlight Beach, Encinitas CA, June 14, 2014


I was sitting on damp sand, my camera mounted on the tripod, just waiting for the sun to set when these two kids wandered into my line of sight. What could I do but shoot a few shots? No, I did not get a release from their parents. Prove they’re your kids and we’ll talk! 🙂


Brothers- After


Brothers Before

I process everything in Lightroom 5. I love it! The image above is straight from the camera. My first steps (below) are always to bring down the highlights, open the shadows, then adjust the white and black clipping. I then straightened it (using the horizon line as a gauge) and cropped. Then I adjusted the white balance to Shade- which adds a yellow hue:


Next I added a slight magenta tint, boosted clarity, and used a graduated filter on the sky to add contrast, highlights, clarity, and adjusted the color temperature (the blue). And finally, I lowered the overall exposure and added a vignette. Hope you enjoy!


For more ABFriday, please visit Stacy at Visual Venturing. “Because everyone likes pictures.”



Monochromia Is Here!

Prompts and Challenges

I am very pleased to announce the premiere edition of Monochromia, the brainchild of Joe Giordano of The Visual Chronicle. I will be one of 7 contributors, each of us posting one day a week.  It will be a black and white only photo blog to which I have the distinction of being the first contributor by dint of a random drawing of names from a hat! If black and white photography is one of your passions, I hope we do not disappoint. If you do not particularly care for black and white photography, please give us at least a week for one of us to hopefully change your mind. The odds should be with us! Please do not hesitate. Click here for the first ever edition, issue, post of the new blog

For Lovers Of Black And White.