What a world we live in. Last month it was cold enough to snow in the mountains. This Thursday, one month and 2 days later, the prediction is for 80 degrees, followed by 81 on Friday and 82 on Saturday. It looks like, for the next 10 days at least, we will not drop below 80. So, the theme for this week’s 52 week challenge from “The Girl” is “In The Distance”. Most of my photos are taken of objects in the distance. I’m not sure this is a good trait, though I do like this image. I was standing on the outside patio of a restaurant in the mountains when I spotted this cabin. And I just happen to have my camera and zoom lens with me. I could be very happy living in a place like this, though I expect I’d have to live alone. My wife doesn’t take to the snow all that much.
Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge (COB) is all about those great photos that you take which really don’t seem to fit into a common category. We’ve all taken them and like them, because we just can’t hit delete and get rid of them.
There is never a theme to this challenge, so what is an odd ball is all up for you to discover and photograph.
I love post processing. Almost as much as getting out and searching for that one shot that will make me rich and famous. Now, I’m not saying I want to be rich and famous, only that I love the search! Anyway, Cee’s challenge this week is to convert your photo into b & w using any post processing technique you have but to not rely on just letting the camera or your app change your photo into a simple gray scale. Because b & w relies on light and contrast even more so than color, I tend to add highlights with sliders and filters.
Here’s my original color image straight out of camera:
So, before converting, I cropped and removed the tree limb and metal in the lower right with the spot removal tool:
The conversion to a gray scale:
Playing with the blue, yellow, and orange sliders darkened the sky, lightened the grass and the house:
I used the graduated filters top and bottom to close the photo in and then used the radial filter to add highlights on the house and parts of the grass. At this point the effects are pretty subtle:
I then added overall contrast, clarity, and a post crop vignette:
With the final image I used a large radial filter to darken, and reduce the sharpness and clarity all around the house to focus your eye. I also removed some bright spots on the tree limbs on the left with the spot removal tool:
I hope I didn’t get too long winded. The entire transformation took maybe 30 minutes.
Each month I take one photo at Calico Basin for Cardinal Guzman’s Changing Seasons. Actually, I take several photos but choose only one to post. Since Tuesday, September 20, it has been overcast in Las Vegas. Shortly after I took this photo, at 3:43 in the afternoon, it started to drizzle. Just enough to make my car look dirtier than it actually was. The next day, September 21, it rained for about 5 minutes and we had an actual rainbow off in the southeast. This year the Fall Equinox was yesterday, September 22. Meaning summer was officially over. We are currently blessed with daytime temperatures in the 80’s and nighttime lows in the 50’s.
And now for your viewing pleasure, a retrospective of the year to date from Calico Basin.
What’s this “Changing Seasons” blogging challenge?
«The Changing Seasons 2016» is a blogging challenge with two versions: the original (V1) which is purely photographic and the new version (V2) where you can allow yourself to be more artistic and post a painting, a recipe, a digital manipulation, or simply just one photo that you think represents the month. Anyone with a blog can join this challenge and it’ll run throughout 2016. It doesn’t matter if you couldn’t join the first month(s), late-comers are welcomed. These are the rules, but they’re not written in stone – you can always improvise, mix & match to suit your own liking:
These are the rules for Version 1 (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.
These are the rules for Version 2 (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!
From the official town website:
Located on the world’s only Extraterrestrial Highway
Population: Humans 98, Aliens ??
The town of Rachel is located in Sand Spring Valley, in the southern Nevada high desert, along the world’s only Extraterrestrial Highway, aka. Hwy 375. It is located about 115 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
In its heyday Rachel had over 500 residents, today the population is down to less than 100. Most of the people living in Rachel are retired, work at the alfalfa farms or in one of the three local businesses. A few people work at the Tonopah Test Range (TTR) or in Area 51, but of course those who really do can not talk about it.
The only remaining local businesses in Rachel is the Little A’Le’Inn Restaurant and Bar. There is a public phone outside the Little A’Le’Inn, but you need a calling card to use it.
In August 2002 Rachel got its own Fire Truck, as the result of an initiative by some of the residents.
Ever since the late 1980’s Rachel has been a popular destination among UFO fans, attracted by the nearby Area 51, and by hundreds of UFO sightings in the area. Rachel has been dubbed the “UFO Capital of the World”, and people from all around the world come to visit Rachel and the Little A’Le’Inn, and to get information to plan their personal expedition to that mysterious base in the desert.
Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge runs weekly on Fridays.
What is your favorite comfort snack food? I really don’t have a favorite snack food as I rarely snack. Although I used to insist upon a bag of popcorn whenever I went to the movies. Even with the synthesized butter product they pour on it, I prefer the movie popcorn over home made with real butter from organic grass fed cows and Celtic or sea salt. I mean, there’s a time and a place for healthy snack food but a movie theater is not it.
Is the paper money in your possession right now organized sequentially according to denomination and with the bills right side up and facing the same way? Normally I would answer yes. But a few days ago I went to purchase an item at a store for $50 with my card and it was denied. So I had to pay with my sequentially organized according to denomination bills all facing the same way. When I got back to my office, I checked my bank balance, then called the bank to curse them. They said they denied the card based on my spending- I had charged an iced coffee for $4.00 and that small a charge is a red light for fraud. They said thieves often charge a small amount to make sure a stolen card is still good before charging something much more expensive.
If you were a mouse in your house in the evening, what would you see your family doing? Well, not eating home made popcorn, that’s for sure. Lynn is usually in the living room on her laptop while I am in my den working on photos or reading about photography. We usually make dinner together first. Sometimes we’ll watch a movie or documentary together.
Would you rather not be able to read or not be able to speak? I would normally go for the cheap joke here and say I’d rather my wife was not able to speak. But I’m more mature and have much more class than that. So I will take the high road and say I’d rather not be able to speak. I could always write or type. But if I were unable to read, well, that would mean that I am blind, or legally so, and would not be able to watch a movie or see my wife smile.
Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? Last week we left the house about 3 in the afternoon for a ride and found the Extraterrestrial Highway that leads to Area 51. We were not looking for it and I really had no idea we lived anywhere near it (only 2 hours away). But it was too late in the day so we promised ourselves to return this week. We did so yesterday and I will have more photos within the following week.
(This is a continuing feature of Cee’s weekly challenges which I enjoy playing. I am late this week because I was going to take a week or so off and may do so sooner or later. Probably later!)
So, I just discovered a new challenge hosted by The Girl That Dreams Awake that I couldn’t resist. It is a 52 week photo challenge. Some people may get tired of me always saying I need to cut back on posting. But the posting isn’t the problem. The problem is commenting on all the posts I follow. I keep promising I’ll get better and yet I never do. So here’s my promise. I will get better. I will. But until I do, I hope you enjoy this image that I shot last Friday, August 5th, while playing hooky from work.
This shot was taken in Goldfield NV on March 20, 2016. My first shot included another rusted car to the left but I chose to post this version instead because, as I was scrolling through my Reader on WordPress, I saw almost the exact same image from Mike of American Photo Blog. He had posted it two days ago so I don’t know if he visited Goldfield after, or before, me. It looks like it could have even been on the same day! My first impression was- of course- great minds think alike. But to get almost the exact same angle? Just amazing. And because of Mike, we visited Grafton this past weekend, which we never even knew existed. That image is here and looks nothing like his, probably because it is not the same structure, but another- just to the left of his.
Sidenote: This Goldfield shot is one of my wife’s favorites and was printed, matted, and framed and is now hanging in the hallway near our front door.
Six months of Cardinal Guzman’s The Changing Seasons? That’s the second longest commitment I’ve ever made- the first being marriage. So, if you click on the link above, you can get all the rules. In short, I am taking one photo a month in an area near Red Rock Canyon in Las Vegas called Calico Basin. In that way, you will supposedly get to see the change of seasons around here. But around here there are no change of seasons. It’s just hot, more hot, and less hot. When I took this photo, we hadn’t even reached the summer solstice yet and it was already 108. Since then, still in the month of June, we have reached an official high of 115- even though the thermostat in my car read 120. Lately, the temperature has been hovering in the low 100’s. The rest of this week the forecast is for 110 today, 106 tomorrow, 107 Saturday, and 109 for Sunday. And all next week is more of the same. I can hardly wait for August, our hottest month. So, anyway, I had to cheat on the above photo. Rather than just a straight out of camera rendition of 108 degrees, I added a light leak and bleached out the image to approximate how hot it was.
It was hot!
Below is a slideshow of all the changes to date.
January through June.
My little blue eyed blue jean girl
We took that Chevy for a whirl
I look back and I still see
The way you looked at me
Please visit Monochromia for a black and white version of this image.