In Retrospect: Sedona AZ

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Cottonwood AZ
November 21, 2010
9:23 am

We had spent a couple of days at a bed and breakfast in Cottonwood AZ, about a half hour outside of Sedona. It had been lightly raining all night and as we started for home, we came upon this rainbow arch. Why did we stay in Cottonwood? Just check out the prices for a week’s stay anywhere in Sedona proper. I don’t even make that much money in a month!

We were on Route 89A, headed northeast towards Red Rock State Park. On the outskirts, the trees were singing in color.

Red Rock State Park AZ
November 11, 2010
10:10 am

A fine mist of rain started crawling over the cliffs.

Sedona AZ
November 21, 2010
10:24 am

And by the time we drove through Oak Creek Canyon, the snow started to fall.

Oak Creek AZ
November 21, 2010
12:17 pm

I used to tell everyone that Sedona is my most favorite place in the world. But it’s actually Red Rock State Park. 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 Red Rock State Park as my most favorite place in the entire world. Truth is, too many rich people have moved into the area of Red Rock 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!

(This post was originally published in a slightly different form on October 25, 2014 under the tile Silent Saturday.)

 

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The Daily Prompt: Wheel

Prompts and Challenges

Nelson NV
June 3, 2017

Blessed is he who talks in circles, for he shall become a big wheel.
Frank Dane

Sound familiar? Now, I’m not here to get all political on you. There are big wheels in either political party here in the U. S. as well as abroad and around the world. I mean, there are people in my own office who are big wheels- in their own minds. They talk in circles until they get to where they want to go. Sometimes they have no idea where they are going but just like the sound of their own voice. My wife will be the first to admit (well, sometimes she is the second to admit) she talks in circles. But more often than not, she’ll make a full stop, look both ways, then ask what she was saying.

I wish politicians would be just as honest.

 

Share Your World – June 26, 2017

Prompts and Challenges

What goal are you working on now? I do have lofty goals of saving the planet, but for now I have to be a bit more realistic and work on not causing bodily harm to any of my co-workers. I had my own office up until a week ago when our company downsized and I was relegated to a room with 4 cubicles. Laura wears too much perfume and is very loud when she talks on the phone or laughs. And she calls everyone “Sweety”! Tony introduced himself to me by stating, “I can be very loud. I’m Italian and have had a 40% hearing loss since I was a kid”. Heather asked me how to set up her phone and as I was trying to explain, she turned to Laura and asked if she knew how. Yes, it might be a bit difficult to stay out of jail this year.

What is one thing you’re glad you tried but would never do again? Online dating. I’m glad I tried it as that is how I met Lynn, my wife of 5 years now. But you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince (or, in my case, princess). One such frog was a very attractive woman- at least based on the photo she had posted. She was dressed in pants and a silk blouse and lounging across a double bed. We set up a time to meet at a local Starbucks and, when I got there, the place was crowded and I couldn’t see her. Thinking I was stood up, I turned to leave, heard my name, and turned back around. There she was, looking like Miss Piggy from Sesame Street with dirty blond uncombed hair, a bit overweight, and wearing a mumu! Even a Caramel Cocoa Cluster Frappuccino couldn’t save that date.

Did you choose your profession or did it choose you? I chose this profession. Real Estate. But I found out I was not particularly adept at cold calls and trying to sell people a property that fell short of being the home of their dreams So property management chose me. I manage owner’s properties and find tenants for them, take care of all maintenance and repairs. And occasionally I sell. This is actually my third profession and will most probably be my last.

Have you ever gotten lost? All the time, but we call it exploring. The photo above was taken when we took a wrong turn down a side street in Mount Carmel, UT on the way home from vacation. I spent about two hours amongst the old homes and barns we found. Lynn sat in the car. Afterwards we found a local diner and had dinner. Don’t avoid local places. Sometimes you’ll get great food, sometimes a great story. Unfortunately, this place had neither.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? It hasn’t been a great week. This move was foisted upon us a few days before it actually happened. We’re all trying to adjust. On the plus side? I have Lynn who listens to me complain when I get home at night.

June 26, 2017

 

In Retrospect: Kanosh UT

Prompts and Challenges

Kanosh UT October 3, 2015

I think I’ll stay awhile in Kanosh. In my mind it was the most perfect lighting and sky and subject matter in my short photographic journey. In fact, I believe I could post photos from Kanosh all year based on the number of shots I took in a two to three hour window.

This wooden structure might have been a ranch worker’s home, the brick building behind it perhaps used to preserve meat or canned food? I have no idea. Anyone please feel free to suggest or invent.

Share Your World – June 19, 2017

Prompts and Challenges

Mission San Juan Capistrano
June 3, 2017

What is something that people are obsessed with but you just don’t get the point of? Well, I’m glad you asked. Women seem to all be obsessed with me. It’s true! I don’t encourage such behavior. And I really don’t get the point of this obsession. I’m just a regular guy. I put my pants on one leg at a time. (Of course, those pants do tend to look better on me than on other people.) My wife doesn’t understand this obsession either, but then she is, of course, my wife!

What quirky things do people do where you are from? I’m not originally from Las Vegas but it seems to have been my home for much longer than I ever anticipated. Did you ever hear that quote, “Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it”? Well, forget about all the backward steps that this administration is taking, I’m talking about the weather, a topic that seems to consume anyone from around here who has yet to embrace the heat. Yesterday, the high was 109 and this morning, when we awoke at 4:30 am because the dog needed to go outside, the temperature was 91. It did go down to 88 by 6:30, though, before starting its climb back up to 111 today, 115 tomorrow. Everybody talks about the weather!

What are some things you wish you could unlearn? I wish I could unlearn the false historical narrative that we were taught in school and from the movies, though I am sure all countries indoctrinate society to justify their abuse of native cultures.

Who is someone that you miss having in your life? I would love to say I miss my mother, father, and sister- and I do- but the first name that came to mind was that of my first love, whom I had lost touch with, then reconnected with some years later when I moved to Las Vegas and she lived in Los Angeles. We saw each other several times until she died quite suddenly in 2000.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? It is way too hot to get out with my camera so I’m not at all grateful that I won’t be able to get outside until autumn. Or whenever we travel out of state. But I’m alive and able to complain, so I’m happy.

Please check out Cee’s Share Your World to read more or join in!

In Retrospect: Kanosh UT

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Kanosh UT
October 3, 2015

“It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.”

Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton

So, I’m not sure about the night, but the day was certainly dark and stormy. And the scene lies not in London, but in Utah, as we drove south on the I-15 freeway back home after spending a few days visiting family. It was just before sunset as the clouds parted and the rain ceased. On the east side of the road we could see derelict barns and old wooden structures in decay from years of neglect. Lynn, my ever faithful wife, directed me to take the next exit and, knowing better than to disagree, I followed her directive. We ended up on  the main road of Kanosh, exploring. The above photo might have been taken in the neighboring town of Meadow, but we prefer to say it was taken in Kanosh.  We justify ourselves by agreeing there was no discernible demarcation between the two towns, Kanosh melding into Meadow and Meadow to Kanosh.

I took almost 200 photos that afternoon. The sky was perfect as were the decaying wooden barns and cabins and rusty vehicles that we found. We did return once but the place holds no magic without an ominous sky!

Share Your World June 12, 2017

Prompts and Challenges

Torrey Pines Gliderport
San Diego CA
May 27, 2017

What do you do when you’re not working? If you are retired, what do you that is not part of your regular daytime routine? I will be retiring at the end of this year, but until then, when I am not working I am eating, sleeping, listening to music, watching movies, or playing on the computer. Oh yeah, or out shooting!

What would you do if you won the lottery? I will probably never win because I don’t play. But my wife does. Only when it is over $200 million. She feels it is not worth it for anything less. This from someone who has never gambled in her life and doesn’t consider the lottery as gambling. And since she never seems to have cash on her to actually buy a ticket, she borrows from me and never pays it back. That’s because I tell her not to in case she wins so she’ll split the money with me. But our plans are to help the people in our family who need it, then people not in our family who need it, then keep just enough to buy a jeep so we can explore off road and set off for parts unknown. We don’t need or want for much!

What makes you laugh the most? Lynn, my wife, does. We are always laughing together. Unless we’re not. We sometimes do have arguments- which are always my fault. Even when they’re not. There is a fine art to apologizing without admitting guilt, which I think I’m finally close to mastering.

What is your biggest pet peeve with modern technology? That I’m not modern. I can’t keep up. When I first purchased my iPhone, I had to ask a 13 year old girl to help me set it up. Now, I have to ask her younger brother, who is 7, to help me. She’s too busy thinking about boys!

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? Lynn volunteered us to babysit last Saturday night. A 4 year old girl and her almost 2 year old brother. We had a ball. At the end of the evening we were all on the couch watching Toy Story 2 when the boy- whom I’d seen maybe twice in his entire life- crawled onto my ample belly and fell asleep. Guess I can’t honestly say I hate children anymore. Next week? I’m looking for another babysitting job!

Please visit Cee’s Share Your World for more answers to these probing questions. A new set of questions appear every Monday if you ever want to join in.

In Retrospect: Beatty NV

Prompts and Challenges

Beatty NV
November 28, 2015

When I first posted this image on March 24, 2017, there was a tremendous uproar of approval and everybody wanted to know how I processed it. OK, there were 61 likes and 12 comments. But to me that’s significant! An uproar! Oh, yeah, and only two people wanted to know how I processed this shot. But two out of twelve. That’s 16.67%. Not bad. Not bad at all.

So, for Helen C and Julie@frogpondfarm this explanation is for you two. You’ve probably forgotten all about this but I didn’t. It’s been bugging me for over 2 months. Anybody else who would like to read along, feel free.

OK, so this is straight out of the camera- or as we professionals call it SOOC. For some reason, it was not shot in RAW but jpeg. I know, not very professional. But cut me some slack. I didn’t say a professional what!

SOOC

Now there wasn’t much color correcting to do because the camera had set that. But I did open up the shadows and add contrast. And clouds. I added clouds. And then I cropped it to 16X9 in Lightroom because I do that with most of my shots. I just like it.

Clouds and cropped

Now, here’s where it gets interesting. And technical. I’m not sure how much to tell you before your eyes start to glaze over so, if you want any info more specifically, ask nicely in the comments and I’ll try to answer. I brought down the overall exposure and added more contrast and clarity. Then I took down the saturation almost by half and added a split tone of sort of a golden hue to the highlights and a grayish brown shadow tint:

Additional Color Correcting
and
Split Tone

Then I sharpened the image and used a bit of noise reduction, then I added a post crop vignette, and then just a bit of haze overall:

Post Crop Vignette
and
Haze

And then, I added 3 radial filters for highlights; one is over the tires and part of the building on the left, one is almost dead center in the sky just over the roof, and the last is just under the overhang at the right corner of the building.

Radial Filter Highlights

And there you have it. Hope you weren’t too bored. Helen and Julie, I’m sorry this took so long. You both probably lost interest or forgot about it a long time ago! But I made a promise so, better late than never!

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Skies To Conquer

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I was just waiting for the right time to post this image, one of my favorites shot on Memorial Day weekend last month. I was waiting for a word prompt from someone, anyone. But no one was very helpful. So, I decided, why wait?

We were at the Riverside Memorial Cemetery at March Air Force Base and right next door was the March Field Air Museum. Just unbelievable, the array of planes and helicopters, about 60 in all.

This, if I’m not mistaken, is the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress.

March Field Air Museum
May 27, 2017

“Souls of men dreaming of skies to conquer
Gave us wings ever to soar….”

The Air Force Song
Words and Music by Captain Robert Crawford