The Wild Horses of Cold Creek

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Wild Horses of Cold Creek NV

Wild Horses of
Cold Creek NV

Cold Creek is one of my wife’s favorite places, all because of the wild horses that frequent the area. It has become one of mine, too, because of the great photo opportunities it affords (see herehere, and here). Or see below:

But over the weekend we happened upon this online article. We had heard reports of previous roundups by the local BLM (Bureau of Land Management, who has been selling off desert land to new home developers with no regard to the existing drought) in the past but this is even more criminal- if there can be degrees of criminality, which I believe there is!

Someone should be held accountable!

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Everywhere I Go

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Sam’s Mercantile, part of Mystic Falls Atrium, inside Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall, Las Vegas NV

Yes, I take my camera everywhere I go. That’s partially because it is so small lately, the Fuji X-T1. But it is a habit I started when I had my Canon T 2i. (And can someone tell me what the T stands for in these two cameras?) Anyway, we had just seen a matinee showing of the latest Mad Max film with my brother-in-law. We had no desire to see it but it was his birthday and he chose the film. The theater was inside Sam’s Town, which is a neighborhood casino as far from the strip as you can go and still be in Las Vegas. As we were leaving the casino, we entered the 25,000 square foot Mystic Falls Park Indoor Atrium. The above image was taken there. One of the first shots with my new Fuji.

 

Back To School

Gallery, Prompts and Challenges
Fujifilm X-T1 1.420 sec at f/8, ISO 100, 23 mm

Fujifilm X-T1 1.420 sec at f/8, ISO 100, 23 mm

Yermo CA is a small town off Interstate 15, 150 miles SW of Las Vegas NV. A perfect place to live off the grid. Del Taco was founded here in 1962. Yermo hosts the 1,859-acre (7.5 km2) storage and industrial annex of the Marine Corps Logistics Base. It is part of the Silver Valley Unified School District, which also serves Daggett, Ludlow, Newberry Springs and Fort Irwin areas and is ranked in the Top 20 school districts in California!That being said, this was the most exciting find of the day!

Now, one thing bothers me about schools being back in session and that is that the speed limit drops down to as low as 15 mph when kids are present, which usually means in the mornings when I am going to work, and in the afternoons whenever I am trying to leave work early. Come on, get serious. Even the youngest kids can run out of the way of a car going only 15 miles and hour. Why not raise it to 25 or even 35? Probably because then, drivers would push it to 35 or 45. And have you ever been in a school area and realized who are the worst offenders? Usually mom’s who are racing to get there in time to pick up their kids or, once their kids are in the car, make illegal u-turns and floor it to get back home.

It’s a zoo out there, people. Please be careful.

For a black and white version, please visit Monochromia.

ABFriday Week 56

Gallery, Prompts and Challenges

Every week, since it’s inception, Stacy Fischer has hosted the After Before Friday challenge, where we all take one of our own photos and show the transformation from Straight Out Of Camera to our finished post processed image. Well, not this week. It seem’s Stacy’s daughter was more important than us, and she- Stacy- has turned up AWOL. Which is to say she has not turned up at all. I don’t know, but if my 19 year old daughter was moving from New York to California, well, let’s just say she’d be moving over my dead body. No daughter of mine will ever live in California, nor will she ever marry. She’ll be content to live with dear old dad and take care of him in his waning years. Yes, I know that with any luck Lynn will out live me and will be able to take care of me as I slow down, become less vigorous, more cross, irritable, contrary. And I promise, I will need a lot of care. But my wife can hardly care for me by herself now. So, what hope is there for the future?

Anyway, the original image we are dealing with today was taken during our 3 year wedding anniversary spent on the Queen Mary, which has been moored in Long Beach Harbor (California) since 1967.

The After:Queen Mary--2

Let me explain one important aspect that should be taken into account when booking a room on the Queen Mary. An aspect we were unaware of when I booked our anniversary stay! The white noise of the running engines was a constant when the ship was actually sea worthy from the 30’s through the early 60’s. No longer. So the walls between rooms were never adequately sound-proofed. Our first night, around ten o’clock when we retired for the evening, we heard a baby next door. After a few moments, we realized it was no baby. Just some babe canoodling with her boyfriend. (I had to look that word up; canoodling!) Maybe it was her husband. The point is, we were so inhibited from someone possibly eavesdropping on us celebrating our anniversary that we did not celebrate. We simply shared a chaste kiss good night and slept- or tried to sleep. The next morning they departed and that night we were serenaded by two heavily accented men watching tv, then snoring through the night! Still, I loved the experience and would go back. The art deco is just amazing and beautiful. I think I was born a step out of time.

Anyway, the Before:

Canon T2I F/3.5 at 1/1000 sec ISO 100 18mm

Canon T2I
F/3.5 at 1/1000 sec ISO 100 18mm

This was a pretty straightforward edit. I adjusted the white balance, then cropped and went through my regular workflow in Lightroom. I exported into Perfect Effects and added sharpness. Back in Lightroom I adjusted for noise and added a slight vignette.

Et voila:

Queen Mary--2

Now, I have to thank Lore Dombaj for taking the reins from Stacy this week. Please go visit her at Snows Fissures and Fractures for more after/before submissions.

Stacy’s Visual Venturing is always worth visiting, too.

Snow Jalopy

Gallery, Prompts and Challenges
Snow Jalopy Image By Robyn G. Post processing by Emilio P.

Snow Jalopy
Image By Robyn G.
Post processing by Emilio P.

So Robyn G. of Captivate Me suggested we  share an image of hers to post process. Actually, maybe I was the one to suggest it. Either way, we agreed. I have to give a special thank you to Stacy Fischer of Visual Venturing for running a challenge like this every first Friday of each month. Any way, I have no idea what Robyn did with her image, nor does she have any idea what I did. I do know that she did not use any Photoshop, only Lightroom, as did I. This was not agreed to before hand, it just happened that way. The only things I can tell you about what I did, short of my usual work flow, was to play with every individual hue, saturation, and luminance slider in HSL. Then I laid in about 20 or 25 highlights throughout with the radial filter. Hope you like it. Now, if you haven’t already, go see what Robyn did here. And thanks, Robyn, for a fun time. Next image is on me!

Oh, Robyn’s original photo?

20150712-Snow Jalopy-9548

Build A Boat

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Lake Las Vegas- (2)“Someone asked me, if I were stranded on a desert island what book would I bring… ‘How to Build a Boat.'” ~~ Steven Wright

“Someone asked me, if I were stranded on a desert island what book would I bring… ‘How to Build a Fence.'” ~~ Emilio Pasquale

For a black and white version of this image, Please visit Monochromia

It’s Over

Prompts and Challenges

IMG_1365

I just got back from spending 3 days at Photoshop World at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. It’s only about  a half hour drive from my home and my business so when I say I just got back, I mean I took a mini vacation from work to attend. There were a lot of familiar faces from the blogs and tutorials and websites I follow. Reps from Adorama and SmugMug, Adobe, Canon, B & H Photo, Bay Photo Lab, and on and on. The website Photoshopworld.com was registered with GODADDY.COM LLC on November 08, 1998 by Kelby One Media, so I can only imagine that their conventions date from that time, or soon after. Of course, Scott Kelby of Kelby One was there.

I listened to RC Concepcion (on the right with Scott Kelby) talk about Synology and have to tell you he is now one of my photo gods. Such a nice guy with great energy and sense of humor. And knowledgeable. The following day I heard him speak about printing your own photos and I only attended because he was speaking- I have no desire to print for myself.

IMG_1373

 

I also listened to Julieanne Kost from Adobe talk about her work flow and photo technique for her new book. I would say she is now one of my photo goddesses but their is only one goddess in my life and she is a mighty jealous one. So Julieanne, I’m sorry. But I do like you a lot! And I can’t wait for your book to come out.

 

There were also demos and many photographers in attendance brought their cameras. I captured two of the models on my iPhone:

Before you ask, yes, there were female models, too. But I was a bit intimidated pulling out my iPhone when all that testosterone was floating around. I mean, these male photographers must have a problem if they feel the need to carry their 800 mm barrel lenses around with them at a trade show. Compensating, perhaps? They remind me of those guys who drive trucks that are lifted so far off the ground you need a ladder to get in. But they won’t use a ladder or steps of any kind as that’s less manly. Guys, I am now shooting with a Fujifilm X-T1 with a mere 23mm lens. Call me what you will but I’m in touch with both my masculine and feminine sides and damn proud of both. (OK, sorry, I sometimes get carried away.)

So yesterday, the last day, the show ended at 1 pm. By 2:30 it started to rain and there were numerous storm advisories of flash floods and downed power lines and all I could think of is all these people trying to get home. Sorry guys- and girls- but let me leave you with a reminder of what it is normally like here in sunny Las Vegas NV. This was taken on the first morning around 9:30 am:
IMG_1364(All images above were taken with my iPhone without any post processing- except for the image of Scott and RC which was taken from the internet).

Take a look at Scott Kelby’s short youtube about what it was like here!

Groundhog Day

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20120517-untitled-2203-EditI’m going to have to think of a better title for this image. It was taken 6 or 7 days after  getting married. I say 6 or 7 because we were married in front of a local judge on the 10th of September 2012 but had a separate gathering on the 11th in which we said our vows in front of family and friends. So I count the 10th as our wedding anniversary, Lynn counts the 11th. This image was shot on the 17th.

Lynn wanted to take me to the town where the Bill Murray film Groundhog Day was shot. Woodstock, IL. Strolling around the town, I took a couple of dozen photos, but this was one of my few favorites. It was shot mid-afternoon on a very bright and sunny day.

Boy, do I love Lightroom!

Eat Here

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Digger’s Dave, Chloride AZ

Please visit Monochromia for a black and white version of this image.

If your town  has 250 residents according to the last census, can it honestly be labeled a ghost town? Though their web site states “There Is Always Something Happening In Chloride”, nothing was happening in Chloride. We spent about two hours or so driving around the town. We did find a mock up of an old west town where locals stage a gunfight every weekend at 1 pm. We arrived sometime after 2! The town was empty. Not just the old west town but the entire town of Chloride. So I guess, in that sense, it could be called a ghost town. While we were there, we saw no other cars or people except for a lone straggler walking down the center of main street with her dog (posted here).

Digger Dave’s looks to be the only restaurant in town. For vegetarians like us (sorry- pescatarians), they offer Cod, veggie burgers, and tuna melts.

And Bikers are welcome!