One Four Challenge 2016 – Feb Wk 4

Prompts and Challenges

Pioche NV week 4

This is week 4 of Robyn’s Captivate Me One Four Challenge which comes to you in a revised and edited format for 2016 (see here for info and rules on how to join in the fun). Since everyone seemed to enjoy the more vintage look of last week’s version (OK, not everyone. But Raewyn and Robyn and Charlie did) I decided to go all out. I found this preset in the On1 Photo 10 program and did not alter it at all. The easiest edit I ever performed. And I love it! I hope you do, too.

Below is a slideshow of all 4 versions.

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Wall To Wall Awards


Barstow To Ludlow-

“My new house is going to have wall-to-wall awards!”

~~ Patsy Cline

OK, as most of you know, we are moving this weekend. Well, some of you know, right? Joe? Laura?

Anyway, we are moving this weekend so this post has been pre-scheduled. I’m not really here right now. Some might argue I’m not all here at the best of times but that’s another topic. So, I’m not here right now. I’m at our old house patching holes in walls and cleaning the muck that always seems to find a home in bathroom showers. At least, that’s where I am if everything goes to plan. And “the little woman” is off doing what she’s best at doing, ordering men around! She is at the new house telling the movers where everything goes. But do me a favor. Do not repeat that I called her “the little woman”. Ever! It’s not because that is so demeaning to women, which it is, but that she hates being short. Little. Every morning she stretches her arms above her head, I grab them, and pull in hopes that we can make her taller. Actually I sort of like the height she’s at. Just under 5′ 5″, which we heard is the delineation between a short and a tall woman. But where was I? Oh, yes, the move.

I’ve been trying to keep this blog going by posting when I’m at work. When I get home at night, we have dinner, then pack more stuff. It’s unbelievable how much “stuff” one accumulates in a lifetime- or in our case, in the last 4 years together. Before that, I had my stuff and she had hers. Now we have ours. So we are trying to rid ourselves of duplicates and things we never use anymore, like the slow cooker and hair dryer I used to own. And how come its mostly my stuff we are ridding ourselves of? I don’t get it.

But that Patsy Cline quote up there? Right under that photo of mine? That’s what I plan to have in our new home. Wall to wall awards. In my den- yes, I get a den this time. Except my awards will be wall to wall photos. My photos.

All professionally matted and framed. Except for the ones on canvas. Or on metal!


Prompts and Challenges
Final version

Final version

Maybe once a week I swear off any new challenges. And then Cee comes along with a challenge I can’t refuse. This one I thought would be easy. Sepia tones only. So with my comment to her: “Take a vintage type image and process it in sepia and it automatically looks at least 50 years older. great fun this week. I’,m going to go see what I have!” I went to see what I had. (And I left all the typos intact so you get an idea of how excited I was to play!) I finally chose the old railroad station in Caliente NV which was taken a few weekends ago:

DSCF3959 copy

I decided not to crop any tighter because I liked the cloud in the sky. I have no idea why, I just did. I converted to black and white by simply taking out all saturation, then added a sepia preset:

DSCF3959 copy copyThat was certainly a disappointment. So I tried making it a bit darker:

DSCF3959 copy copy1Still nowhere near a 50 year old image. That got me to thinking maybe the current lenses are too sharp, so I added a slight blur to the image, then added a textured preset of torn paper:

DSCF3959 copy copy copyAnd finally I added more of a darker reddish-orange cast to the image, took the contrast down as far as possible, and added  a vignette:

Final version

Final version

Finally, I was happy. I hope you are, too. Or, if not happy, at least not discontent. I hate when people are discontent. Or not happy!

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One Four Challenge 2016 – Feb Wk 3

Prompts and Challenges

Pioche NV week 3

This is week 3 of Robyn’s Captivate Me One Four Challenge which comes to you in a revised and edited format for 2016 (see here for info and rules on how to join in the fun). I missed week 1 so I posted both weeks 1 and 2 last week. Above is my third iteration (I like that word) of this image; the backside of three deserted buildings in Pioche, Nevada. I added a colored texture to the original image at about 75% so that a bit of the actual color is still present. Below is a slide show of all versions to date. I hope you enjoy!

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The Changing Seasons – February

Prompts and Challenges

February in Calico Basin

So, I’ve committed a year of my life to Cardinal Guzman’s challenge, The Changing Seasons. His rules are below, which I have amended to fit my needs. And since he did not complain, I hope you will not, either.

The Bureau of Land Management’s website states: Red Rock Canyon is located 17 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip….  The area is visited by more than two million people each year.  In marked contrast to a town geared to entertainment and gaming, Red Rock offers enticements of a different nature including a 13-mile scenic drive, miles of hiking trails, rock climbing, horseback riding, mountain biking, road biking, picnic areas, nature observing and visitor center…. 

Calico Basin (where all my photos for this challenge will be taken) is one mile east of Red Rock Canyon, 16 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip. Red Rock has always been my favorite place to hike in Las Vegas, better than Mt. Charleston and Valley Of Fire. I enjoy the different microclimates in the park and often go there to revitalize myself when necessary. Calico Basin was discovered on a company picnic one year.

As for Cardinal Guzman’s challenge:

These were/are the rules (The Changing Seasons V1):

  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery.
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.

Here are the rules for the new, updated version of The Changing Seasons (The Changing Seasons V2):

  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
  • Each month, post one photo (recipe, painting, drawing, whatever) that represents your interpretation of the month.
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!

You can see my January response here or at the end of each post I will add a slideshow which will include all photos to date (see below).

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On The Road


On The Road to Scotty’s Castle, Death Valley CA February 13, 2016

The above image is what Lightroom calls a pano; two images stitched together side by side. I was trying to get a shot of the desert wildflowers which you can barely see (the yellow on either side of the road). Due to the weather we have had, those in the know are calling for an earlier spring than normal in Death Valley. But the wildflowers are still sparse, though there is great promise in different areas of the park. We will return at a later date and hopefully catch the blooms at their peak. As a side note, the wildflowers do need ample water to grow and this road to Scotty’s Castle was closed due to floods about two weeks earlier so it should be a great show, Right now all we saw were yellow and a few purple wildflowers. Can’t wait!

Pioche NV


Pioche 5 copy

As promised, the front of the buildings  from Friday’s post. Pioche NV is about 3 hours north of us and neither of us had ever been there even though we have lived in southern Nevada for 10 years.

Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day to anyone who does not believe the day is only a marketing ploy to sell cards and flowers and chocolate!


One Four Challenge 2016 – Feb Wk 1and 2

Prompts and Challenges
Pioche NV week 1

Pioche NV week 1

So, I have not been keeping up to date with most people I follow online as I have become much more insular of late. I hope to break from this selfishness shortly. But ever since the first of the year we have been mostly consumed with moving and getting our home ready for listing. We still take one day over the weekend each week to enjoy a day trip for photos. Last week we traveled to Pioche NV, about 3 hours north of us. It was a beautiful day and not quite as cold as the photo above would make it seem. And since I just found out that Robyn of Captivate Me has brought back her One Four challenge this year in a revised and edited format (see here for info and rules on how to join in the fun), I decided to join in. I missed week 1 so I am posting both weeks 1 and 2 today. Above is my first attempt at a cold winter’s feel to this image of the back side of three deserted buildings in Pioche. The far right building is the old fire house. The middle building seems to be an old hotel or boarding house. And the third, the brick building on the left, might have been a store. I do have the front of the buildings from another angle and will publish them this Sunday or Monday. Below is version 2. I hope you enjoy!

Pioche NV week 2

Pioche NV week 2

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Prompts and Challenges

Pioche NV February 7, 2016

So, if you’ve followed me for over a week, you know that Cee has a challenge or quiz called Share Your World in which she usually asks only three questions and then a bonus question. I always look forward to it and have fun responding. Since this week she has come up with ten questions, I will attempt to make my answers short and sweet so you can get back to work (if you’re anything like me and are merely pretending to be busy right now). On a side note- when I processed the photo above, it looked more like golden hour, when it was shot. On here it seems to have lost that golden cast. Sorry!

  1. What is your favorite word? I’m not sure I really have one. Wait! I think ambidextrous has a nice ring to it. And, you can put that ring on either hand!
  2. What is your least favorite word? Republican. Followed very closely by Democrat
  3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Beautiful weather turns me on creatively, be it clear blue skies or torrents of rain. Spiritually it would have to be wide open spaces, nature revives me. Emotionally, my wife (she’s looking over my shoulder right now)!
  4. What turns you off? Any mention of this year’s  candidates for president! Or the drivel that comes out of their mouths!
  5. What is your favorite curse word? I really don’t think I can say it here. Does anyone remember “dagnabbit”? I think I heard someone say it on an old movie or television rerun from before I was born. Anyone use that lately?
  6. What sound or noise do you love? Laughter is right up there. A child’s laughter is the best!
  7. What sound or noise do you hate? The sound of someone blowing their nose or spitting just grosses me out!
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I’m not too crazy about my profession. How about travel writer?
  9. What profession would you not like to do? Well, I used to want to be a doctor until I realized I can’t stand the sight of blood. Maybe a theater director.
  10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? We weren’t expecting you so soon

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I’m sorry but I can’t think of anything worthy of note for this bonus question as most weeks are uneventful. I guess I’m grateful that they are uneventful and that I’m still able to awaken each morning to greet the day. As for looking forward to next week, I’ll be grateful if I’m still here. Not that I have any plans otherwise.