Before and After: Soldier Summit UT

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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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In Retrospect: Goodsprings NV

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“Great were the lamentation and the cry when the news of this mischance was noised about the city. Such a tumult of mourning was never before heard, for the whole city was moved.”  ~~ Marie de France

One or two of you might have noticed my absence from WordPress recently. Most others have more probably gone about their business no less aware. The truth is I have found myself unable to continue at the pace I have been attempting and so must step back and reassess what I wish to accomplish in what is left of my life. I will attempt to continue this series as long as possible. But I would also like to receive feedback on some of my newer work. Therefore, In Retrospect might evolve into something much more encompassing. I’m not sure. I know I will probably lose followers as I have not been able to comment lately. Not that my commenting is any more important than anyone else’s. But, if you are like me, those comments are an affirmation of the quality of our work. That is, when those who comment are not merely blowing smoke up our collective skirt. (Is that sexist? I apologize to those I might offend.)

Anyway- this week I have gone back to Goodsprings NV, a very small town about a half hour south of the Las Vegas Strip.

“Goodsprings was a settlement in the hills [approximately 35 miles south] of Las Vegas. It was an important town for milling ore from the surrounding mines. It was a mining camp with a hotel, a saloon that is still standing and in operation, and a general store. The end of World War I also saw the end of Goodsprings as a mining town. But there are still landmarks of the town to satisfy the ghosttowner.” ~~ submitted by Henry Chenoweth 

So, a combination of old and new at Goodsprings NV. Population 229.

All photos were taken in Goodsprings NV on July 13, 2013 with the Canon EOS Rebel T2i and newly processed in November 2017.

In Retrospect is an ongoing series of older photos from my archives, newly processed. I hope you enjoy the series as much as I enjoy revisiting the memories.

In Retrospect: Daniel WY

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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

 

 

Saddle Up!

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Nelson NV
June 3, 2017

Every time I go to Nelson NV, I find something new to shoot. I swear the time before last, this array of saddles didn’t exist. And when I saw it, I thought of my friend Janet, whom I’ve never met. Can you be friends with someone you’ve never met? Well, if you can’t, then I believe there wouldn’t be any WordPress, or Facebook. Heck, if I was on Twitter, I could be friends with the President of the United States. So, Janet, for better or worse, I call you my friend!

I could have taken a photo of a dozen or so horses for you- knowing how much you love horses. But anybody can find horses to take a picture of. I got you the saddles instead.

Anyway, there are no horses in Nelson.

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.

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 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!

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.

A Common Sea

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I feel we are all islands – in a common sea.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Sunset at The Salton Sea

On our last day of vacation in Los Angeles, we decided to head south and drive through the Anza Borrego desert on our way home. We ended up just before sunset at Bombay Beach, on the eastern shore of the Salton Sea.

The Ruins at Bombay Beach

The Salton Sea had some success as a resort area, however, many of the settlements have been abandoned, mostly due to the increasing salinity and pollution of the lake over the years from agricultural runoff and other sources.

Dead Fish Along The Shoreline

Many of the species of fish that lived in the sea have been killed off by the combination of pollutants, salt levels, and algal blooms. Dead fish have been known to wash up in mass quantities on the beaches. The smell of the lake, combined with the stench of the decaying fish, also contributed to the decline of the tourist industry around the Salton Sea.

Remains of an Abandoned Structure on the Shoreline

Many people now visit the Salton Sea and the surrounding settlements to explore the abandoned structures.The US Geological Survey describes the smell as “objectionable”, “noxious”, “unique”, and “pervasive”.

Noah’s Original Ark (?) at Bombay Beach