Before and After: Soldier Summit UT

Gallery

Golden Hour Barn Soldier Summit UT November 1, 2017

(If you wish to see the revised, completed, version of this edit, please visit my Flickr account here.)

Well, as I mentioned, I was thinking of changing my weekly posting of In Retrospect (where I take archived photos and re-do the processing) and I have decided that it will become a monthly post, alternating with some of my newer work and also with a Before and After post once a month where I discuss the processing I go through on the featured image. Please don’t think I’m saying my processing is anything special. I just used to enjoy Stacey Fischer’s ABF (After Before Friday) which has been defunct for about a year now and I thought I’d like to resurrect it. If anyone would like to join in, just add a link in the comments section below. OK?

OK!

So, the image above was taken in Soldier Summit Utah when my wife and I were returning from a Halloween trip to visit family. This was one of the images that didn’t turn out quite right as the sky was drastically overexposed.

SOOC

So, last night, having nothing else to do (not true- I could have read either of the two books I am now reading; The Winter Fortress by Neal Bascomb, or Fantasyland by Kurt Andersen) or watch Netflix (Alias Grace, Glow, or Wanted). Instead I wanted to see what I could get out of this image. All processing was done in Lightroom with a slight detour into Topaz, and back. Let’s see if I can explain without losing you. If you don’t care to read the explanation, please jump to the bottom of this post to view the film strip.

So I had to lower the exposure by 3 and a half stops. Then I cropped the image and adjusted the whites, shadows, and brightness.

3.5 stops Lower Exposure, Crop, Basic Work Flow

Then I moved the image into Topaz where I added an Equalize filter, an HDR filter and then added an overall brown tone.

Topaz Equalizer, HDR, and Brown Tone

Topaz has some great lighting effects, so I played around with a sunlight effect.

Sun Light Effect

Back in Lightroom I added highlights to the barn and some of the weeds around the house with the Radial Filter, then added a vignette.

Radial Filters, Post Crop Vignette

I added Contrast, Clarity, and a very subtle Split Tone to move the white balance more towards a golden hour feeling. Not very successfully, I might add. I also desaturated the blue sky and lightened it with the Luminance slider.

Contrast, Clarity, Split Tone, Blue Saturation and Luminance

I worked with the Spot Removal tool to remove some of the harsh white in the clouds in the center of the image.

Spot Removal

Then I got rid of the Contrast and most of the Clarity I had added.

Remove Contrast and Clarity

I updated the Radial Filters to brighten the highlights.

Updated Radial Filter

Finally, I adjusted the overall Luminance to lighten the image.

Added Luminance

And tried again to get a Golden Hour effect by adjusting the white balance. Again!

White Balance

So there you have it. Let me know what you think. Please!

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Share Your World – August 28, 2017

Prompts and Challenges

Cee’s Share Your World

Garces Hwy State Route 155
Moody CA
August 27, 2017

 

What would constitute a “perfect” day for you? Any day I wake up is perfect. I don’t think there can be any comparison. I mean, I love sleeping. Don’t get me wrong. Man, some of my dreams are just…, well…, maybe best left for another post. Where was I? Oh, yeah, waking up…, next to Lynn. What could be better? For me, at least. For you, it might be waking up next to someone else. Or maybe you like waking up alone. Or you might say World Peace. Ending hunger. Rescuing animals, children. All very noble endeavors, any one of which I would gladly work towards. But it’s all gotta start with waking up first.

Complete this sentence: My favorite place in the whole world….. Getting lost in a good book or movie transports you and no real place can compare. Except maybe Sedona AZ. Or Monument Valley.

Who was your best friend in elementary school (prior to age 12)? I have very few memories prior to age 12. So I don’t remember who my best friend was. Probably Mark Zook, who lived across the street. I remember always being over at his house. And one time I remember going somewhere with his mother and sister and him but I don’t remember where. Maybe the beach.

What inspired you this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. Truth be told, this past week was very inspiration free. Lynn has been inspired to paint the house and get it listed for sale. She is an inspiration to watch! But that’s about it!

041514 sywbanner

In Retrospect: Daniel WY

Gallery

US Post Office
Daniel WY
November 10, 2012

We were on our way to Jackson Wyoming where we were to spend a week in a rented log cabin in the woods.  We were traveling on US Route 189, a little used road that begins in Utah and ends in Wyoming. Lynn was driving and we had not seen another car for about an hour when, out of nowhere, a dark SUV came up behind us and flashed its lights. Red, then blue, then red again. Lynn pulled over and I asked how fast she was going. “Over 100”, she answered.

The Highway patrol officer smiled politely at her and asked, “Do you know why I pulled you over?”

“No, Sir,” she smiled back.

He asked for her license and registration. Well, I’m sure you know the routine. It took him less than 5 minutes to write the ticket.

“You might want to slow it down in the future,” he told her.

“It’s just so beautiful out here,” she said.

“Well, why not take your time to enjoy it?”

“Yes, sir.” She looked down at the ticket. He had written it up for 91 mph. “Thank you,” she smiled.

He gave her a strange smile back.

I did not get any shots of the beautiful countryside. It’s impossible to get anything in focus when your wife is speeding down the highway at over 100 mph. But we did stop in Daniel to stretch our legs and switch drivers.

That’s when I took these shots.

Gasoline and Motor Oil
Daniel WY
November 10, 2012

 

 

Textures

Prompts and Challenges

On one of our spontaneous day trips when neither of us have a clue where we are going or where we might end up, Lynn and I came upon this rock house named, coincidentally, Rock House, out in the middle of the Mojave National Preserve in California.

Rock House
Mojave National Preserve
July 2, 2017

 

Maybe too easy for The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Textures.

But, whatever works!

 

Rock House
Mojave National Preserve
July 2, 2017

 

If you were wondering how anyone could-or would want to-live in the remote desert that is now Mojave National Preserve, take a walk along the Rock Spring Loop to find some answers.

The Rock House was constructed by Bert Smith in 1929. He came to this area to recover from poison gas exposure suffered during World War I. Doctors told him he didn’t have long to live, but the dry desert air proved so beneficial to Smith’s health that he lived here for 25 more years! The second long-term resident was artist Carl Faber, who lived and worked at the rock house in the 1980s, selling his artwork to passing travelers.

Christina Mills
Park Ranger 

nps.gov

 

It’s Not Unusual…

Prompts and Challenges

The International Car Forest of the Last Church
Goldfield NV
May 15, 2016

“For this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge”, Lignum Draco says,  “please post a photo that is unusual in some way for you, whether it be through technique, by subject, or in some other unique way. This theme is wide open to interpretation because only you know what is unusual to you.”

Well, some of you might think nothing much is unusual to me. But this “forest” was quite a find. Though every website that mentions this place states you can’t miss it, you can. We did. It is not visible from the highway into Goldfield and we finally had to ask for directions from a friendly storekeeper in town after our third attempt at trying to find it on our own.

For me this was not the highlight of our visit to Goldfield as it is a pretty lively ghost town with a population of 268. And just about as many photo opportunities of the kinds of subject matter that intrigue me; old wooden and brick ruins, old cars and trucks, abandoned homes and hotels! What’s not to love?

The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual

Share Your World – April 17, 2017

Prompts and Challenges

Wooden Barn
Springdale UT
April 15, 2017

When writing by hand do you prefer to use a pencil or pen? Writing by hand is definitely a lost art. I can’t remember the last handwritten note or letter I received. Having said that, when I was doing a bit of creative writing, it was always in pencil. But I would never erase anything from draft to draft, just line it out in case I decided to go back and rework it. I’ve tried writing on my laptop but nothing seems to flow as it once did by hand.

Wooden Shed
Springdale UT
April 15, 2017

Would you rather be an amazing dancer or an amazing singer? I actually have two left feet. It’s true. When I go shoe shopping, I have to buy two of the same style and color, then use only the pair of left shoes. If anyone knows someone with two right feet, let me know. I’ve got several pairs of right shoes I could let them have for free. I was in choir in high school and sang several solos. I also fronted a jazz band my senior year. Don’t know how I ever got up the nerve to perform like that. I think my Jewish side exhibited lots of chutzpah when I was younger.

Ford Truck
Rockville UT
April 15, 2017

If you were on a debate team, what subject would you relish debating? I hate debating. I get tongue tied whenever Lynn and I have what she calls a “discussion”. I call it an “argument”. A debate, to me, is an argument that no one is going to win. Sort of like our “discussions”. Except Lynn always wins those.

Mechanics Garage
Rockville UT
April 15, 2017

What are you a “natural” at doing? Nothing comes naturally to me. I do not excel at anything. I love photography but always feel everyone else is better than me. Same with everything I have ever attempted. I played tenor saxophone in school but was never that good at it. Same with sports, singing, acting, French, Spanish, creative writing, you name it! Mediocre at best. With my photography I think I have finally surpassed mediocre, but in no way am I comfortable with where I am at.

Rusting Tanker
Rockville UT
April 15, 2017

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 that April 15 has come and gone and my tax bill was about a thousand less than I expected. I am looking forward to getting back to a section of Route 66 next weekend. I was going to go this weekend but we had to take a surprise (to me) trip up to Zion Park to meet some family members. On the way home I took the photos that adorn this post.

Thanks again, as always, to Cee for coming up with these questions and giving us a chance to get to know each other a bit more.