Your Own Backyard

Gallery, Prompts and Challenges
Who doesn’t love Dion DiMucci? That is, who doesn’t love Dion DiMucci if you’re old enough to remember “Runaround Sue”, “A Teenager In Love”, and “The Wanderer”. Yeah, I’m talking Dion and the Belmonts. And how do I know about a group that had rock and roll hits in the late 50’s and early 60’s? Easy. Google!
I had the title for this post and was looking up a quote when I saw that this guy had written a song by that title. So I read about his life and career and listened to a few of his songs. Not bad! But what really converted me is that his father’s name is Pasquale!
Gotta love it!
So, anyway, I had taken shots of this place before and posted my favorite b & w on Monochromia. The mock up of a Signal gas station happens to be within 5 miles of my own backyard! They have changed the layout of the cars and added to them. I did not want to duplicate an earlier shot but couldn’t help myself when I realized the place was illuminated. So, for those of you tired of reading- after all, this is a photo post- I will explain my lightroom process as quickly as possible. You can stop reading here if you like. But please take a look at the photo progression!
(Please click on “After” image below for finer detail)
Your Own Backyard


Above is what I ended up with and I am very proud of. So if you don’t have anything nice to say, please refrain! Where I started from is below!
Your Own Backyard B


OK, so, importing this shot into Lightroom I cropped tighter, opened up the shadows, brought down the highlights, then checked for clipping of the blacks and whites. This preserves some detail in both.

Your Own Backyard 2

I then added clarity and some contrast and converted to black and white…
Your Own Backyard 3
… but the shot seemed too busy so I went back to color, changed the white balance to add a bit more magenta…,

Your Own Backyard 4


then reduced the vibrancy and de-saturated the color until I got the look I was after.


Thank you, Stacy, for letting me play in your sandbox this week.

And if you like black and white- even if you don’t- please go take a look at Monochromia just this once!


31 thoughts on “Your Own Backyard

  1. Emilio I love this shot and of course your reference to one of my fave songs ‘Runaround Sue’. 🙂 Unfortunately I get an error message when trying to play the video. I’ve had this happen on other blogs from the US where videos won’t play in Canada.


  2. This is such a fabulous shot Emilio! I was able to play the video…I will now have Runaround Sue in my head for the remainder of the day…hey…hey..bumpaheadaheada…hey!


  3. Got the look you were ‘after’. Haha. I get it! ( was I even suppose to get it? 😱 ) I noticed the subtle crop, and I tried to understand your PhotoSpeak (remember me? PhotoSpeak challenged?) I’m kind of getting it, little by little. I’ve heard of this Lightroom, and it looks like a complicated kind of fun, but I’m clueless. I absolutely LOVE the after! So at least I know what I like. And Dion. I like and remember him too, but then I’m going on 63. 😁


    1. I know exactly what you mean about PhotoSpeak. I was reading someone else’s post about how they edited in Photoshop and was totally lost. I’ve never used Photoshop. Anyway, Lightroom is complicated when you first get it but there are so many tutorials on line that the learning curve is pretty quick. Thanks for “absolutely” loving the photo.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. (1) ANOTHER ONE !!! – this one’s particularly hilarious, Emilio ! Your mate is terrific with those gravatars. 🙂
    (2) Dion and the Belmonts were very much a part of my teenage years. I loved everything they put out. I note from the images in the video that Dion must’ve gone through every single popular haircut of his times. [grin]
    (3) This photo is wonderful. I do not say that with anything except praise, I promise ! I forgive you for every other whinge I’ve made. Heh heh …


  5. Love Dion and the Belmonts 😀 And love your photo – so much wonderful detail to study that were originally buried within the shadows (isn’t the shadows slider the best??). And great description of your processing steps. As you well know, I use Lightroom (almost exclusively), though I am still learning all it has to offer. I oftentimes find myself going back into the color photo after converting it to black and white to make additional adjustments – I didn’t really know if that was the “correct” way of doing things, but it just made sense to me – glad to find out you do the same thing. Or else we’re both weird 😉


    1. No question about it, we ARE both weird! Only in a good way, though! But when you ask, “Isn’t the shadows slider the best?” I have to answer, “Well, no!” To tell you the truth I don’t know which slider I prefer. I like trying them all! I’s just amazing what you can do! I’ve also been playing around with Perfect Effects 8 which I got for free and think it is still being offered as such. It is also amazing. The problem is nothing comes with instructions nowadays so it’s a lot of experimenting. I keep going to you tube for editorials on both these programs. I am hoping to submit for ABFriday this week so I will maybe do a photo all in photo effects 8 so you can see it. It does have limitations, though. But if you purchase the company’s Perfect Photo Suite, then I think you can do almost everything photoshop and lightroom do.


      1. Definitely in a good way! And, you’re right, it is fun to play around with all the sliders to see what havoc I can wreak 🙂 Haven’t heard about Perfect Effects 8, but since I already have LR and PS, no need to add it to my arsenal. I will be interested to see what it’s all about though. Always fun to learn!


  6. I am not a fan of HDR, most images I see are just overdone, but must say your’s is “spot on” as an Englishman would say….and no I’m not an Englishman…or woman 🙂 Honestly very nicely done. Now as for Dion and the Belomonts, since you had to google it, I’m guessing you are much younger than me. Great group and I’ll give you a little history that is not on google. the lead singer, and at the moment can’t think of his name, was my daugher’s science teacher when she was in Jr. High. Guess the oldies just don’t pay the mortgage!. Thanks for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment.


    1. As I understand it, if HDR is done properly, you would not even realize it. The trend seems to be over processing- which I am sometimes guilty of as I experiment. So if I ever go overboard, and you do visit again, please let me know. I want criticism, as long as it is helpful. And as for the lead singer of Dion and the Belmonts, I thought Dion was the lead singer. Shows you how much I know.


  7. Very impressive. Thanks for sharing how you got from your original shot to final product. I have to say that while I always lean toward black and white, I have to agree with your choice to use color. I think there is much more impact that way.


"I take anything other than 'you big pig!' as a compliment." ~ Albert Brooks

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