After- Before Friday Week 34

Prompts and Challenges

CURSE OF THE MUMMY’S TOMB

AFTER

AFTER

The discovery, and subsequent opening, of King Tut’s tomb did not unleash a curse. That is pure rubbish and balderdash! I know! It is said that Lord Carnarvon, the person who funded the dig, died shortly after the discovery. What the media fails to mention is that Lord Carnarvon suffered from ill health for at least the year previous when, bitten on the cheek by a mosquito, he continued his morning ritual of shaving, which aggravated the bite and caused an infection. He suffered  high fever and chills and, though a doctor was sent to examine him, he died .  Presumably, at that precise moment, the lights in Cairo were mysteriously extinguished. But remember, this was 1923 when the constant flow of electricity was, at most, unreliable.  Once Carnarvon died the media went wild with stories of his death. Of the stories that surfaced, two remain prominent. One is that a cobra killed my own pet canary after the discovery. The other is that Lord Carnarvon’s dog howled and dropped dead at two in the morning when Carnarvon died. Did King Tut’s Tomb really unleash a curse? New findings are showing that bacteria on the wall of the tomb might have been the cause of the curse. The bacteria would release spores into the air allowing it to be breathed. This in turn caused people who came into contact with these spores to become ill. It all really comes down to one question. Do you believe in the curse of the mummy? We will leave that for you to decide.

Howard Carter

Kensington, London

November 4, 1932

BEFORE

BEFORE

As you can see from the original, I cropped and straightened the image. This is shown in slide 2. Slide 3 shows a desaturation of the sky. Slide 4 shows I’ve adjusted the highlights, shadows, whites and blacks. At this point, slide 5, I exported the image to Perfect Effects 9 and added a cloudy sky. In slide 6 I added sharpening and a slight HDR effect. With slide 7 I imported back into Lightroom and adjusted saturation, clarity, and sharpening. In 8 I added a vignette and in 9, the after image, I cropped even tighter and straightened the image just a touch more.

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Thanks, again to Stacy of Visual Venturing for hosting this challenge week after week. To view other submissions, please visit After Before Friday and be sure to comment. For information on how to join in on the fun, check out Stacy’s forum page.

The letter above- purported to be that of Howard Carter’s own words- is actually an invention of my own taken from the online website, KingTutOne.com.

And for the last word on the boy king, click here!

 

The Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort

Gallery

FortDid you have any idea that Mormon missionaries were the first permanent non-native settlers in the Las Vegas Valley? Nope, neither did I. And I bet you they’re rolling over in their graves to see what a mess has been made of it. All manner of vice is legal here; liquor, nudity, prostitution. Gambling alone is so lucrative that there is no state income tax in Nevada. And yet, we don’t have enough money to properly educate our young!

And don’t get me started on the homeless situation.

After-Before Friday Week 33

Prompts and Challenges
AFTER

AFTER

No, this is not a ride in Disneyland. This is a ride in Las Vegas Nevada. OK, it’s not a ride, it’s the Excalibur Hotel and Casino. But if given half a chance, they’ll take you for a ride! Then again, so will any other casino in Las Vegas. Or any where else in the world. That’s the business they’re in! Can you tell I’m not a gambler? The only time we go down to the strip is on a special occasion. So, this image was taken on a Saturday morning. The special occasion? My New Year’s resolution to take shots of each and every casino on the strip. I did not resolve that I would be done by the end of this year. I could conceivably do it. But I’d rather not get burned out. So maybe in 2020 or so I will complete this assignment!
BEFORE

BEFORE

As for the post processing, I have built a slide show that I hope demonstrates the creative magic behind post processed photos. Those are not my words, they’re Stacy’s. She says, right on her blog Visual Venturing,

After-Before Friday

Highlighting the creative magic behind post-processed photos”

So you have the BEFORE image. Number 1 slide shows what happens when I click on Lens Profile and Chromatic Aberration for my Canon kit lens. Not much. Slide 2 shows what happens with  Upright Perspective, and adjusting highlights and shadows, the white clipping, saturation and black clipping. Slide 3 shows the Experimental preset I used called “Dreams”. In slide 4, I adjusted the clarity, exposure, and updated the graduated filter to tone down the effect of the preset and add some blue to the sky. The preset erased the Upright Perspective so I had to add that again in slide 5. Then I got rid of the street sign in the lower left center of the image and added a white vignette. In the AFTER slide you might be able to see that I used the spot removal tool to get rid of some people dead center where the black section is. So, there you have it. Most times I would have probably stopped at slide number 2. But I just want to play and push a little each week when ABF rolls around. I hope you don’t mind!

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As Stacy says: “After-Before Friday (ABF) posts provide an opportunity for photographers (amateur and seasoned, alike) to share their photos, and if they wish, their post-processing decisions. The photos will provide a fun “wow” factor; the post-processing descriptions, the ‘how.’ The goal is to enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at others’ work while picking up helpful ideas along the way that each of us can use as we work with our own photos.

Please be sure to visit Visual Venturing for more After-Before Friday

Breakfast of Champions

Uncategorized
Smith's Supermarket KLas Vegas NV iPhone 5 January 15, 2015

Smith’s Supermarket
Las Vegas NV
iPhone 5
January 15, 2015

Allow me to explain. There is no breakfast here, I know. The point is, I am a vegetarian. More appropriately, a pescatarian. I eat fish, but never meat or poultry. I do not eat frozen foods. I see my grandfather twice a week and take him food shopping; sometimes one day, sometimes both. His life revolves around food. On Wednesdays, he gets the sales flyers in his mailbox. I take him around to all the grocery stores that are having sales on the foods he eats. He subsists mostly on frozen foods, even though my memories of him consist of his cooking spaghetti gravy every weekend when my grandmother was still alive.

He now eats Healthy Choice dinners, sometimes frozen pepperoni pizza, frozen fish, and makes pies with store-bought crusts, jello and cranberries, and whipped non-dairy topping.

He is 92 years old and I have no doubt that he could outlive me. I have told my wife that if I live to be 90, I will eat meat and frozen foods and non-dairy whipped toppings. Oh, and pepperoni till the day I die.

And for breakfast? He eats Cheerios!

After Before Friday – Week 32

Prompts and Challenges
AFTER

AFTER

BEFORE

BEFORE

For this new year I have a resolution that I think will be pretty easy to keep. I plan on taking photos of each and every hotel/casino on the strip. Not just the regular touristy photos but details of architecture that might be easy to miss. One of my first shots is this, a detail of the New York New York Hotel and Casino. So far I have hit Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur, and New York New York. I suppose I should post them in order but what fun would that be?

The processing for this image started out pretty straightforward. Adjust the highlights and shadows, blacks and whites. And it was a nice enough image, but something was missing. I am now of the opinion the these AB Friday posts should included a fair amount of pushing the envelope, thinking outside the box, whatever the latest cliche. So I decided to try and make it look like the sun was just dawning. Or setting. I still haven’t made up my mind. With the adjustment brush, I highlighted the sides and bottom of the foreground lamp with a slight yellow glow to approximate a light bulb. Then with the radial filter I added about 6 bright yellow oval highlights to approximate the sun. The image then looked too yellow overall so I added a bit of magenta. I am aware that there might be some who will object to a slight variation of shadows. Or maybe they will ask why the sun is setting (or rising) in the south? Because! That’s why. It’s my image and I’m having fun.

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

Strip!

Gallery
The Strip

Shooting north on Las Vegas Blvd. January 3,2015 at 9:43 am f/4.5 at 1/1250 sec. ISO 125 13mm

OK, I know this post should have been titled “The” Strip, but then who would read it? This way, every adolescent minded man like me (my wife thinks I have not yet progressed past the mental age of 13) will click and, of course, be disappointed. Unless they marvel at the lack of traffic on Las Vegas Blvd., as I do!

Please click on the image above to see a high resolution version

 

ABFriday Week 31: One Photo Focus

Prompts and Challenges

AFTER

 

 

Emilio Pasquale Full-size JPEG

BEFORE

 

I’m in a very privileged position this week- or at least I feel like I am. Not because this is one of my own images but because I, alone, know the story behind it. You see, my wife and I had spotted these trucks on the side of the 15 freeway in Northern Utah. We were on our way to visit friends at the time. Two days later, on our way back home, I was almost arrested and sent up the river for innocently trespassing. And endangering my own safety. Please let me explain! We had pulled onto the dirt shoulder of the road. I got out and trudged through mud and soggy leaves while alongside me cars whizzed by at 80 to 90 mph, and then some. In the middle of setting up the shot, it seemed as if all traffic noise stopped. The ground, as well as the trucks and all surrounding shrubbery, were being illuminated by first red, then blue, then white light. A police car with flashing lights had coasted to a stop right behind me. The cop called me over and asked if I was in need of assistance. He was probably being sarcastic as he could see the camera in my hands. I told him we were fine. He said he didn’t want to see me the next time he came around and then he drove off. The part about me almost being arrested and sent up the river? OK, that part I made up! Call it poetic license.

When someone gets technical concerning their post processing, I tend to gloss over. Yes, I’m interested. But if I don’t use the same apps as they do, I am totally lost. So I will try to keep everything simple and still give you a sense of how I achieve my finished product- whether you think it good or not.

I first adjusted the black and white balance, shadows and highlights. On this particular image I adjusted the exposure almost a full stop. Though I liked the sky, it did not add anything to the image so I cropped tighter to the trucks, then added clarity, smoothed the luminance (which tends to soften the edges), then used the spot removal brush to remove the blue cord in the lower left, the block in front of the blue truck, and the wire fence in the lower right. I then imported to Perfect Effects 9 to add sharpness, more saturation, and a final vignette to darken the corner and edges and focus the attention. I was not satisfied with my results so imported the processed image into FotoSketcher, which is a free app that replicates several types of painting and sketching textures. Hence, the finished product!

Please thank Stacy of Visual Venturing for hosting this challenge by visiting her site and commenting on as many other contributors’ work as possible.

 

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