Man Made Items Re-post

Gallery, Prompts and Challenges

Hoover BridgeThe Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, spanning the Colorado River between Arizona and Nevada, opened in 2010. Taking 7 years and approximately $240 million to build, the bridge was the first concrete-steel composite arch bridge built in the United States. It incorporates the widest concrete arch in the Western Hemisphere, and at 840 feet (260 m) above the Colorado River, is the second-highest bridge in the United States. It is also the world’s highest concrete arch bridge. The bridge is located approximately 30 miles (48 km) southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, and carries U.S. Route 93 over the Colorado River. It was the key component of the Hoover Dam Bypass project. (Source:Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

For photos taken during construction, please visit Travel With Intent.

Originally posted January 15, 2014

Everyone knows someone who knows something about everything! You can quote me on that. For us, it is our neighbor, Max. That is not his real name but I like the name Max. Maybe I shouldn’t use a name I like for this windbag as I will forever associate that name with him. OK, let’s call him by a letter. How about Q? There are so few names that start with Q.  I can only think of Q from Star Trek, who is said to be omnipotent. Our Q would have everyone believe he is omnipotent, or at least all knowing. He lives across and two houses up the block from us. If we are in our backyard and he is in his garage, with the garage door down, we can still hear him. He is loud, and has an opinion about everything. When we first mentioned that we had gone out to Boulder City to see the new bridge, he wasted no time in elucidating all the shortcuts taken by the builders in order to save money and time. He is convinced that one day the bridge will fall into the river below. He does not say specifically when this catastrophe might occur but the bridge is already 4 years old. How many more years might it have, if Q is to be believed? I’m not sure I actually do believe him. But I know that whenever we go across it, 70 mph just doesn’t seem fast enough. I try for at least 100 mph so that I may be assured of jumping the chasm that might open up below us if it does fall while we are driving across.

Oh, and Happy New Year!

Of Cabbages and Kings Re-post

Prompts and Challenges

“The time has come,’ the walrus said, ‘to talk of many things: of shoes and ships – and sealing wax – of cabbages and kings’.” ~~ Lewis Carroll

Cabbages-2The head of a walrus over a fireplace is so strange and out of place that it makes me smile. I hate to admit I am a vegetarian, so I can only hope it was never a real walrus! I’m not even sure it is a real fireplace!

First posted January 9, 2014

Tracks Re-Post

Prompts and Challenges

Elgin Tracks

OK, I know this is not a very imaginative presentation, but at least I tried. My wife is from Elgin IL and, when we discovered that there was an Elgin NV, we had to go there. It took about 3 hours to get there, the main road had been washed away so we found a dirt road that was passable. There was a school house, an old deserted wood cabin and these tracks. Nothing more.

First posted December 10, 2013

 

Christmas Morning

Prompts and Challenges

A few of my favorite quotes on this fine blustery morning…

The two most joyous times of the year are Christmas morning and the end of school. ~ Alice Cooper

The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live. ~ George Carlin

Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice. ~ Dave Barry

What I don’t like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day. ~Phyllis Diller

Santa Claus has the right idea – visit people only once a year. ~ Victor Borge

The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, D.C. This wasn’t for any religious reasons. They couldn’t find three wise men and a virgin. ~ Jay Leno

I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up – they have no holidays. ~ Henny Youngman

I love the excess of Christmas. The shopping season that begins in September, the bad pop star recordings of Christmas carols, the decorations that don’t know when to come down. ~ Mo Rocca

And, in all seriousness…

Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting. It is happiness because we see joy in people. It is forgetting self and finding time for others. It is discarding the meaningless and stressing the true values. ~ Thomas S. Monson

Wishing you all the joy of giving

Light and Time Re-post

Prompts and Challenges

Nelson NV October 29, 2011 47mm 1/60 at f 5.6 ISO 160

Please click on the image to see a high resolution version

Over these holidays I have decided to re-post earlier images that might have been missed.

I hope you find something of interest and will return time and again. And again!

This was my first post, dated November 22, 2013

After Before Friday- Week 30

Prompts and Challenges
15316733714_d592cb6705_o

AFTER

To see a high resolution version, please click on the image
See the guy with wings and a ponytail atop his head? Now, the guy just below him with the conveniently placed sheet draped haphazardly across his naked… umm, front? There’s a strange message going on here. He rests a hand on the man hugging his thigh- rather tightly, I might add- while his wife, naked breasts exposed, tugs at his wrist and attempts to get his attention, all the while clutching her baby in a rather careless and negligent way. Perhaps he has suddenly realized he is more attracted to men than women? I don’t know. I was going to say that I used to look just like this guy when I was younger. Thick wavy hair, strong chin, chiseled body. But now I’m not sure I want the comparison. I mean, I love my wife. Really. I do! I am not homophobic but I have no interest whatsoever in members of my own sex. Just wanted to clarify that! Sure I like football, even though it’s a bit rough of a game for me. And you have to admit those male ice skaters are really athletic- wearing skin tight, spandex suits that stretch with every lithe movement. Ummm, where was I?
OK, Here’s the before image:
BEFORE

BEFORE

With this image I first played with Enable Lens Profile in Lightroom, which corrects any lens distortion. I then played with the Horizontal Perspective and cropped it. I then adjusted the highlights, shadows, white and black clipping. Seeing that the color was less than exciting as a monochrome biage, I converted to black and white. I then imported into Perfect Effects 8 and increased the sharpness and the Dynamic Contrast. Back in Lightroom I increased the clarity and adjusted the contrast.

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Thanks as always to Stacy Fischer who has been hosting ABF for thirty weeks now at Visual Venturing. Venture on over there here!

Half Dome

Gallery, Prompts and Challenges
AFTER

AFTER

June of 2012. We had been married less than 2 months when her sister invited us on a camping trip to Yosemite. Neither of us had ever been there and neither of us were campers. I had slept in a sleeping bag only once in college. I will not go into the particulars of this trip except to say that none of us showered for the 5 days and nights we were there. On the way home my wife and I were so miserable that we almost stopped at a local justice of the peace to get divorced. We have plans to visit other national parks in the future but have discussed a motor home of some type. I think, though, we’ll probably opt for cheap motels when the time comes.
Safe to say we are neither of us pioneering stock.
BEFORE

BEFORE

My first steps in Lightroom are always the same with a slight variation from time to time. I adjust the brightness and shadows, clip the blacks and whites. These 4 steps open up the image so you have a better idea of what you’re working with. At this phase, the mountain sides to left and right were very blue so I reduced the saturation of that one color- which didn’t seem to affect the sky. I then played with overall contrast and clarity but the mountains on either side were lacking definition so I exported into Perfect Effects 8. I used Dynamic Contrast and Tone Enhancer, which both seemed to add more definition and cut through the slight haze. I then imported back to Lightroom and went overboard with the saturation- which I’m not happy about. My feeling is that I went a bit too far and the image does not need the over saturation of color. Also, there is a slight ghosting on the upper left edge of the mountaintop which I need to address. So, this image is in no way completed. Your thoughts and comments are- as always- greatly appreciated!

Please visit Stacy’s Visual Venturing for more After-Before Friday submissions!