Father and Son Reunion


My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me. ~~ Jim Valvano (college basketball coach and broadcaster)

I can’t do it! The quote I opened with is supposed to be sarcastic and I was going to explain my childhood and all the missteps my father took which made me the person I have become- someone who seeks love and attention and appreciation and approbation. But isn’t that what we all crave, to a certain extant? I became the class clown! People like me, or at least laugh with me! And it isn’t that my father was a bad or abusive man. He just wasn’t Cliff Huxtable. He didn’t have a clue how to deal with a kid who was inquisitive, smart in school, artistic, sensitive. And introverted. Painfully so! My father never finished high school. I finished colllege and received my Master’s degree.

My father only had eyes for my mother. Theirs is a love story to rival all others. And there, perhaps, is the problem. I was my mother’s rival for my father’s affection. Which opens up another can of worms. So let’s just put this to rest by my explaining the photos above.

I discovered a stack of 35mm slides (transparencies) stuffed in an envelope while going through some old boxes at my dad’s house. He remembers taking them sometime in the 1980’s, in Long Beach NY and Manhattan, but does not remember the camera. They had not been stored properly and had faded, were badly scratched and embedded with dust. I took them to our local Costco and had them transferred to dvd, then I processed them in Lightroom. The few that are in b & w or split tones, had no color layers left with which to play. The most difficult part of this “restoration” was removing as many of the scratches and dust spots as I could with the touch-up brush. So there you have it, the first collaboration between father and son!

I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection. ~~ Sigmund Freud (founding father of psychoanalysis)

Remember, if you need a black and white fix, visit Monochromia. ~~ Joseph Giordano


Silent Saturday


Sedona PaintPlease click the image for a high res version

Yes, I know there is no such thing as Silent Saturday. Then again, maybe there is. Or maybe I’ll start a new trend. Point is, I didn’t want to wait till Sunday and I really had nothing to say. Except I like this image of my most favorite place in the world. Up until now, that is. I mean, maybe tomorrow (no, probably not tomorrow but one day, maybe soon) I’ll get to Machu Pichu and that will replace Sedona as my most favorite place in the entire world. Truth is, too many rich people have moved into the area for it to be my most favorite place much longer! Maybe rich people have moved into the area surrounding Machu Pichu, too. Maybe there are coffee shops and candy stores and souvenirs being hawked on street corners right now in Machu Pichu. Maybe there’s a huge cut-out of Harrison Ford in his Indiana Jones get-up that you can take selfies with for only 500 pesos.

But I like saying Machu Pichu. I always think I’m going to accidentally spit on someone when I say it. Not like Sedona. Sedona slides off the tongue like butter in your mouth. It’s a very polite sound. You can’t be polite saying Machu Pichu!

After-Before Friday Week 23



I hate being told by a woman what to do. My wife understands this and has a way of making me believe that I have free will. Stacy Fischer, on the other hand, should take lessons from my wife. She has told me (Stacy has, not my wife) that I can not post an After/Before image today as there is not to be a corresponding host supported post this week. Instead we are to announce the half year celebration of her After/Before blog coming up in two weeks. That is like asking the guests to your own birthday celebration to send out invitations for you. Has this woman no shame? Next she’ll be telling us what presents to bring. That’s why I don’t go to weddings. No woman is going to give me a list of over-priced merchandise to purchase that she will never use once the nuptials are over. That is probably why my wife and I get along so well. After our wedding we drove to the local Costco and bought the food for our own reception. There were no gifts exchanged. My wedding was gift enough! And this, my friends, is why I don’t mind going to funerals. No one tells you what to bring to a funeral!

So let Stacy tell you what to expect at her party. Her celebration. Her 6 month anniversary. Click on this link here. No, not there, but here!

And don’t forget Monochromia, where no one tells you what to do as long as you do it in black and white!

Deja Two All Over Again

Prompts and Challenges

Pay attention. There will be a test. Well, not so much a test as a poll! So, the photo with processing that everyone loved- OK every one of the 64 “Likes” and 8 commentors- except for my wife:

Ford Truck

And the original straight from the camera- except for a bit of color correcting and cropping- which the wife preferred:


And the original straight from the camera:


And now the poll:

Silent Sunday


Ford Truck

Please click on the image above to see a high res version.

As this is Silent Sunday, we are not supposed to say a word. So I won’t. Except to explain that my wife didn’t necessarily like this processing. She liked it better as shot! After going back and forth with her, I could see her point and almost posted the version she liked. But this is MY blog, after all!

Sorry, babe!

And if you prefer black and white images, please visit Monochromia.

Set Free

Prompts and Challenges


Set FreePlease click on the image above for a high res version

Once again, JannaT and EmilioP have collaborated to bring you a soul-searing Halloween tale to rival all others. No, we have never done a Halloween tale before- and I’m not even sure what soul-searing means. But this is maybe the 4th time Janna has taken one of my photos and made me look good. This time is no different. She does not disappoint as an author. Go find out for yourself and let me know what you think! Let her know what you think, too! Click on JannaT’s name and I will personally escort you to her site! Do not click on my name as it will just bring you back here!


Autumn Leaves


I’m tired of everyone posting colorful photos of dead or dying leaves.

I wish people would just leave me alone with their images of fall foliage!

Here in the desert the colors of autumn are brown and beige, which are considerably better than the colors during the rest of the year, which are beige and brown!

When I feel the need to embrace autumn, I get myself to the lobby at the Bellagio Hotel. Dale Chihuly has designed a magnificent glass chandelier called Fiori di Como, comprised of 2,000 hand blown glass blossoms.

Chihuly CeilingPlease click on the image above to see a high res version of Fiori di Como.

And if you need a sip of black and white to cleanse your palate, please visit Monochromia!

After-Before Friday Week 20

Gallery, Prompts and Challenges
Emilio Pasquale Before Week 20


What better day than a Sunday to trespass on DOT property? That is Department of Transportation property if you don’t have that particular acronym where you live. It was a graveyard of trains. There were piles of creosote treated ties along with the spikes to secure them to each other, and acres of trains in stages of distress. My wife stayed in the car with the mighty Beach (the chihuahua we are dog sitting for which, to me, seems like an inordinate amount of time already). The photo above, which I am sharing with you today, came straight out of the camera ready to post in all its technicolor (or is it Kodachrome) glory! But you know me. I couldn’t leave well enough alone. So today I have 3 Afters for you to enjoy. Or not! My intent is to demonstrate to any non-believers, that their is no sin in post processing. Nor is there but one true image. A photographer makes decisions all along the way and to insist that one should not post process an image is absurd! We process in camera all the time by choosing the camera lens, the filter, the white balance, the f stop, the shutter speed, and the shot setting (daylight, shade, cloudy, etc.).

So, in no particular order (except that I like the first one the best and the last one the least) they are below- each with post processing notes of their own.

After #1

After #1

For all versions I brought down the highlights and opened up the shadows to make sure there was still information in both. I then adjusted the whites and blacks to avoid clipping. On this version I boosted the exposure and clarity then added a split tone of blue and yellow, then desaturated all colors. The last detail, kept very subtle, was to use the circular brush for highlights on the front of the train and to darken the side of the train a bit due to glare. The final touch was a dark vignette around the edges.

After #2

After #2

On this version I converted to black and white from the After photo above, then adjusted the yellow slider so that the front and sides of the train were a bit brighter. Then I played with the radial filter and highlighted wherever I could think of, the train, the ground, the sky. Dozens of highlights just to make the lighting a bit more dramatic. I tried to keep it subtle enough to notice but not too heavy handed for the viewer to say what the…?

After #3

After #3

This was actually the least processed version and probably why it is my least favorite. After my basic adjustments on the original camera image, I boosted the vibrance to 100 and decreased the saturation to minus 90. Again I highlighted the front of the train in spots. And that’s about it!

So, thanks again to Stacy of Visual Venturing for allowing me to- as she said- step outside the box and present 3 versions of the same image. Please visit her sight for other examples of post processing by some very talented individuals.

And if you are not sick of me yet, please visit Monochromia, the place for black and white images where I share the week with others and post  every Tuesday night. There are new posts every 12 hours of every day.