Collaboration With Robin #5

Prompts and Challenges
Original image by Emilio

Original image by Emilio

From time to time, Robyn of Captivate Me and me of Photos By Emilio, collaborate on a single image to see what the other person comes up with. Both of us being somewhat artistic and relatively fluent with our native language are unable to come up with a better title than “Collaboration With….” So here is our 5th attempt. A photo I took one rainy evening on my way home from work. Let me give you as much info as I gave Robyn when I first sent this image to her:

I have an image I shot last night that didn’t come out as I had planned but, hopefully, will work. On my way home about 6 pm it looked like the rain was really coming down over the mountains. You could see very low, misty clouds hugging the mountain tops. So I headed off in that direction towards a place called Red Rock Canyon to the west. By the time I got there, the clouds had gone. So had the rain. But it was windy and cold. I set the Fuji X-T1 on a mini tripod on the hood of my car. The iso was 6400. Most of the shots were unusable but this one I kinda like. I’ve attached a jpeg copy. The RAW will be sent separately from my dropbox account. I’ll be using the RAW.

OK, so what I forgot to take into account was that I’d have to process the same shot. This one was not easy for me and presented quite a few problems that I think Robyn addressed perfectly. First, the focus was soft. The lights from the window of the main house were a bit overexposed and flaring, and the biggest problem of all, the night sky was illuminated by the lights of the Las Vegas Strip- which made the clouds appear very strange. I also found elements in the original that bothered me, like the car at the bottom of the frame and the lights that bordered the dirt driveway. I removed a lot of distractions. Anyway, above is the original out of camera, then my version below, followed by Robyn’s. After all three is a slideshow to compare one right after the other. Please go visit Robyn’s post and read what she has to say about her work. Hope you enjoy

Processing By Emilio

Processing By Emilio


Processing by Robyn

Processing by Robyn


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Best Of…


Better late than never, I always say. Actually, I only say that when I’m late. Procrastination and me are frequent companions. But I finally thought I’d give the “best of…” a try. Not that anybody really cares what I think are my best images of 2015. But it gave my ego quite a boost just to go back and look at some of these again. So here goes…

I began the year with a series of Las Vegas Strip properties. I have still to do nighttime shots but maybe all that neon and glitter is passe. So, early morning light on this first one.

The Strip

About 8:30 am on a Sunday morning looking north from the Mandalay Bay. Love the overhead light pole directing your eye.


Detail of the New York New York Hotel and Casino with added sunlight flare.

Out in the middle of nowhere, taking shots down the tracks when this pedestrian appeared. The image still needs work but one of my favorites.

Attempted to convert this image to black and white but stopped here. Love the varied textures besides the colors. And that stomach ain’t bad, either.

A mostly retirement community about an hour out from Las Vegas called Chloride AZ. I only wanted the little gas station when this person and pet walked into the shot.

Brunswick Hotel Route 66 Kingman AZ

The Brunswick Hotel on Route 66 in Kingman AZ. The route traverses almost 2,800 miles between Chicago IL and Santa Monica CA.

Fujifilm X-T1 1/3800 sec at f/1.8 ISO 400 32mm

Another Route 66 image, this time taken in Seligman AZ, on my second drive out that way.


Taken in 2012 but not posted till this past year. The image was overexposed and boring until my processing skills improved. (And no smartass comments.)

The Hamm's water tower in Nelson NV with real golden hour lighting!

The Hamm’s water tower in Nelson NV with real golden hour lighting (though I did add the clouds)!

Overton trestle-

A trestle in Overton NV. We were out for a Sunday drive, just being spontaneous (we call it being “spont” because we’re lazy)!


These last two were taken in Kanosh UT, courtesy of my wife who told me to pull off the highway when there was a sudden clearing in the storm we were driving through, just before golden hour.


So, there you have it. Hope you stuck around to the end and enjoyed my walk down my own personal memory lane.

Ghost Rider Rides Again



I returned to Rhyolite NV a couple of weeks ago, just to mosey around. (I do not normally use words like “mosey” but it just seems appropriate for this area.) I posted a different version of this image earlier in my blogging career and had no intention of photographing it again. But there it was, and it was beautiful. I hope you think so, too. Below is the original post from a long, long time ago.


The Goldwell Open Air Museum is an outdoor sculpture park near the ghost town of Rhyolite in the U.S. state of Nevada, about 120 miles (190 km) northwest of Las Vegas. About 5 miles (8.0 km) further west is Death Valley National Park. In addition to the museum, the site includes the Red Barn Art Center, the ruins of a jail and other buildings of the historic mining town of Bullfrog.

The nonprofit museum was organized in 2000 after the death of Albert Szukalski, the Belgian artist who created the site’s first sculptures in 1984 near the abandoned railway station in Rhyolite. The sculpture, The Last Supper, consists of ghostly life-sized forms arranged as in the painting The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. Szukalski molded his shapes by draping plaster-soaked burlap over live models until the plaster dried enough to stand on its own. In the same year, using the same techniques, Szukalski also created Ghost Rider, a plaster figure preparing to mount a bicycle.[1][2]

Between then and 2007 other artists added new works to the project. 

The museum is a member of Alliance of Artists Communities. 

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Ghost Rider

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Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge Week #35

Prompts and Challenges
Which Way In the sky over Lake Las Vegas NV

Which Way
In the sky over
Lake Las Vegas NV

Shot with a 23 mm lens. I suppose I could have gotten a bit tighter if I was any taller.

The plane was flying due East. Unless I was actually facing South, in which case it was flying due West.

Maybe I was facing West?

I’m so confused.

Please go visit Cee’s Which Way Challenge which is this way.

I think.

Why I do What I do!


Most have been accepting, some have even been complimentary, of my need to enhance these clear blue skies of the southwest. My wife has recently taken the credit for opening up my eyes, helping me to see the beauty of a cloud littered sky. To keep the peace I have deleted any images of such skies prior to our having met and married.

Gotta keep the peace.

As for a visual presentation of why I do what I do, below is a shot of a mountain top in Zion National Park during golden hour one fine late autumn afternoon.


Below is how I saw it!


‘Nuff said?

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 Over on Facebook, Terri  Buckner says of someone else’s work (not mine) that “…I generally don’t like heavily photoshopped shots. For me, photography is a documentary art and too much editing overshadows the reality.”  Well, we would have to first argue her terms and I doubt I have the intellectual prowess to do so. But in their own ways, didn’t cinematography and even painting begin as documentary arts? Did they not evolve into  fine arts? Did Gauguin, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, ever worry about overshadowing the reality? For that matter, did Adams, Cartier-Bresson, Arbus, ever get into the darkroom and simply develop their images without dodging and or burning? Maybe Ben or Joe or Cybele can argue these points one way or the other better than me.

My head is hurting now.