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!

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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Share Your World – June 6, 2017

Prompts and Challenges

Nelson NV
June 3, 2017

What’s your strongest sense? A constant sense of confusion follows wherever I am. Indoors or out, home, office, and all points in between. The only time I am free of such befuddlement (I love that word) is when I am asleep. Though I must admit, the dreams I remember make very little sense.

Which of Snow White’s 7 dwarfs describes you best? (Doc, Happy, Bashful, Sleepy, Sneezy, Grumpy, Dopey) Funny, but, in my youth I had a company that sold animation artwork on the second hand market to collectors and my nickname was Doc- probably because no one thought it a good idea to call me Dopey. It does not instill any degree of trust. But I do think any of those names would suit me.

If you could be one age for the rest of your life, what age would that be? I do prefer my present age, only because the real alternative would then be death. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not afraid of death. I just do not prefer it. As Benjamin Franklin has stated, “Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75.” Or take this, from Woody Allen. “I’m not afraid to die. I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”

List of Jobs You Think You Might Enjoy: Even if you aren’t thinking about a career change, it can be fun to think of other jobs you might enjoy.  [Remember:  This is SYW where even your dreams can become reality.] Be careful what you wish for. Retirement is looking damn good right now on this Monday morning full of problems. But, let’s just see that list for fun: nature photographer, writer. That’s it. Both solitary professions.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? Saturday I went out to Nelson NV, about the millionth time I’ve been out there, but I was alone and didn’t want to stray too far from home in 104 degree temperature. I’ve heard that the Springs Preserve here in Las Vegas has recreated a 1905 boomtown that I want to get out to next week.

Thanks, Cee, for your challenges each week!

52 WEEKS PHOTO CHALLENGE: WEEK 36- SIMPLE THINGS

Prompts and Challenges

Riverside National Cemetery
May 27, 2017

Whose bright idea was it to wake up at 4 am on a weekend morning to then drive three and a half hours on one of the only days I get to sleep late? Somebody (no names, please) had the great idea to volunteer to place flags on the grave sites of veterans for Memorial Day. Now normally I would be very supportive. But the closest military cemetery was in Riverside California, as I said, three and a half hours away. We were going to leave the night before and stay at our friend’s place, which is only about a 40 minute drive from the cemetery. That way, we could get up at 7 and still be there by 8 am. But, at the last minute, that idea was dismissed. So, we awoke at 4, but were unable to leave until almost 5 (you know how women are)! And Lynn, who had been to this particular cemetery many times before, took the wrong turn twice. So we got there at 9 am. But we got there. And one of the simple pleasures was being able to spend time with family and friends who volunteered on such a beautiful morning. We have all pledged to do it again for Veterans Day. And I would suggest that others look into doing the same in their own community.

It just feels good!

Riverside National Cemetery
May 27, 2017

I did not plan on making this post all about me. Those we honored sacrificed more than I can ever imagine. And we are all thankful for their service. Every day, in the smallest of ways, we are thankful! They gave their lives so that we could enjoy the liberties we have at home.

And we celebrate the memory of their lives in simple things.

Share Your World – May 29, 2017

Prompts and Challenges

The Eiffel Tower
Paris Hotel and Casino
Las Vegas NV

What is the most famous landmark or building you have ever seen? The most famous is the Eiffel Tower. Ok, yeah, that sounds all romantic and everything but it was actually the one in Las Vegas. I also saw the Statue Of Liberty- no, not the one in Las Vegas. They do have one here, too, but the real one in New York. And I’ve seen the Grand Canyon. The real one!

Do you like long vacation or lots of mini-vacations? Right now we’re content with lots of mini-vacations. We’re gearing up for longer vacations by next year. Right now we’ve been doing lots of discovering in the southwest area. But we want to take Route 66 from here all the way to Illinois. That will possibly be our first long trip of 2018.

What is your favorite National or State Park? That would have to be Monument Valley. Of course, there’s also Canyonlands, Grand Canyon, Canyon de Chelly, Montezuma’s Castle, Arches, Capitol Reef. And the list goes on and on…

What is your fantasy vacation? Retirement is the ultimate fantasy vacation. Hopefully it does not remain a fantasy and we get to enjoy it.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I am grateful we were able to join family and friends in placing flags at the Riverside National Cemetery for Memorial Day.  I am looking forward to an uneventful week. But as so often is the case, once spoken aloud there becomes less of a chance.

And thanks to Cee for week after week of fun!

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52 WEEKS PHOTO CHALLENGE: WEEK 35 – FROM ABOVE !!

Prompts and Challenges

5th Avenue and 36th Street
New York City NY
December 12, 2015

Don’t ask. Would you believe I hired on as a window washer in the city, not realizing that while I was thinking car windows, they were talking office windows? On skyscrapers? I lost my lunch- and the job- while hanging in a chain link cage outside the 40th floor of a downtown office building. OK, well, would you believe we were filming a new King Kong feature only it was called Queen Kong and I was basically the male version of Fay Wray (look her up, kids) and this giant she-ape hauls me up the side of the Empire State Building where she meets her end? OK, OK! The real truth- as if there could actually be a false truth, like an alternative fact- is that I was on the 11th floor of our friend’s apartment on 5th Avenue, dangling my camera out the crack of the window to get this shot.

Now, which story do you prefer?

Feel free to add your own.

Go read more tall tales at The Girl That Dreams Awake!

52 WEEKS PHOTO CHALLENGE: WEEK 34- MOVEMENT

Prompts and Challenges

Fairfax District
Los Angeles CA
March 23, 2017

Grand Central Station
New York City NY
December 11, 2015

“I’m in a hurry to get things done
Oh I rush and rush until life’s no fun
All I really gotta do is live and die
But I’m in a hurry and don’t know why.”

I’m In A Hurry (And Don’t Know Why) ~~Roger Murrah and Randy VanWarmer

Recorded by Alabama

Thanks to The Girl That Dreams Awake for the word challenge.

Share Your World – May 15, 2017

Prompts and Challenges

How many languages do you speak? I was an English major in high school with a minor in foreign languages so I used to speak English, French, and Spanish. Nowadays, I even have trouble with English.

What are you reading, watching, listening to, eating? I usually have two books going at the same time but, when I mentioned this to a doctor, he suggested I suffered from ADD. Imagine what he would say about my viewing habits! So, right now I am reading only one book: The Winter Fortress by Neal Bascombe. It  is non-fiction about “The Epic Mission To Sabotage Hitler’s Atom Bomb”. As for what I’m watching? It varies each night depending on my mood, but all from Netflix, they are Fauda, Jiro Dreams Of Sushi, Shetland, 13 Reasons Why, The Assassin. Listening to: R. Carlos Nakai. Eating? Nothing right now, but my favorite is Italian. We’re going for pizza tonight if anyone wants to join us.

What was the last photo you took with your phone? I rarely take photos with my phone. But one evening in Zion National Park, on our way to dinner, we spotted a family of 8, also having dinner, on the front lawn of the Lodge where we were staying. I couldn’t fit them all into a single photo, though, but here’s a shot of the youngest.

Zion Park Lodge
May 8, 2017

What is your favorite time of day? Breakfast, lunch, or dinner time. Dialogue between my wife and I last week driving back home from Canyonlands:

Lynn: I know you’re going to be hungry so where would you like to eat?

Me: Well, at least I have my priorities.

Lynn: I thought photography was your priority. 

Me: Well, that’s number 1. Followed by wine and food, not necessarily in that order. And then you. So, you’re in the top 5.

Lynn: What about water? Air? Housing?

Me: OK, but then you’re moving down the list. At least you’re still in the top 10.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I’m grateful that Lynn understands me well enough to accept that photography, wine and food come before her. I was only joking about the air, water, and housing. Looking forward to traveling to California for a piano recital of our friends’ kids.

Thanks, as always, to Cee for the fun she gives us every week.

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Share Your World – May 8, 2017

Prompts and Challenges

Horseshoe Bend
Page AZ
May 8, 2017

When you’re alone at home, do you wear shoes, socks, slippers, or go barefoot? The first thing I do when I get home is take off my shoes. If I’m alone, I take off all my clothes and dance around the room in just my socks. We have wood floors and it’s the only way to get them really clean. The only problem is that it can get a bit embarrassing when Lynn’s daughter, who is staying with us, comes home unexpectedly.

What was your favorite food when you were a child? Bread. Specifically, a salt bagel. it’s like a giant pretzel with salt. They are still my favorite, but Lynn wants me to stay away from carbs. I don’t know why she’s so concerned with my health!

Are you a listener or talker? You can’t guess? I’ll give you a hint: I’m married! All I get to do is listen and make encouraging grunts every so often.

Favorite thing to (pick one):  Photograph?  Write? Or Cook? My favorite things to photograph are those things that have been left to the elements to corrode and decay. The quote up there right under the title of my blog pretty much sums it up for me: “The undiscovered places that are interesting to me are these places that contain bits of our disappearing history, like a ghost town.” ~~ Ransom Riggs

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? We had a great mini vacation at Zion and then Canyonlands. Photos will follow but the shot above is a sample I was playing with last night. I’m not too crazy about the processing but getting the shot was definitely an experience. Next week? I’m looking forward to sifting through about 500 or more shots I took to find one or two to post!

Thanks, Cee, for the fun!

Please check out Cee’s Share Your World for more answers to these earth shattering questions.