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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In Retrospect: Santa Barbara

Gallery

Pier
Santa Barbara CA
October 25, 2015

I’m not so sure this pier was actually in Santa Barbara, but it was in with all my other Santa Barbara photos and shot on the same day so it must be. If anybody knows differently, please let me know.

We had visited family in California and, on our way back home, planned on visiting Santa Barbara and spending the night. We have a habit of choosing inexpensive motels to stay in as we don’t spend much time in them, merely to sleep. The family insisted on paying for a room for us and we accepted after hours of back-and-forth, only because it was Lynn’s birthday.

Sunset
Santa Barbara CA
October 25, 2015

The Fess Parker Doubletree made us feel like we had died and gone to heaven. OK, maybe that’s a bit of hyperbole. But it’s a beautiful hotel right across the road from the beach, with a beautiful sunrise view over the water. I didn’t take any photos of the place since you can visit their site and read all about it if you have a mind to. And if you have the money, I’d definitely recommend the place. 

Stearns Wharf
Santa Barbara CA
October 25, 2015

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.

 

Cee’s Share Your World – September 4, 2017

Prompts and Challenges

Valley Of Fire State Park
Overton NV
August 20, 2017
7:13 PM (pst)

What color do you feel most comfortable wearing?  I guess blue would be my most comfortable color, as you’ll usually find me wearing blue jeans. Unless you find me in bed, in which case you don’t want to find me! Anyway, for the previous 10 years I have been a good corporate team member, wearing dress slacks, rarely corduroy. But in the last two or three years I finally woke up singing “I Gotta Be Me” and started wearing my favorite jeans to work. No one ever made a comment so that’s all I wear now. The wedding we went to last month, I wore my jeans and a dark sport coat. No tie. And if I have anything to say about it, I will be buried in my jeans, too.

What is your favorite type of dog? (can be anything from a specific breed, a stuffed animal or character in a movie)  For the last 3 years we have been dog sitting a Chihuahua. Anyone who has been following this blog even intermittently, should know I detest the beast. She is needy and is treated like a person. She is always underfoot and she yaps. Lynn knows that my upbringing has been no feeding the dog scraps from the table but would rather irritate me than the dog. So, if we were ever to get another dog, firstly it would be a rescue dog. And secondly, I would have to get rid of Lynn.

List at least five favorite flowers or plants. Flowers and plants are not my bailiwick (love that word) but we have a Ruellia and a Golden Dew Drop in our back yard, both of which I get great enjoyment from. Then there are pine trees and oak. At least five? OK. Weeping Willow.

What inspired you this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. See that photo up there? My first attempt at astrophotography with the X-T1 and the remote app on my phone. OK, it was more like a month ago but it has really inspired me to get out and play with more nighttime shoots. Unfortunately, the heat is still prohibitive, peaking in the late afternoon and dissipating slowly until the following morning when it starts climbing all over again. The photo is not sharp, but I will get better. I hope!

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Cee’s Share Your World – September 4, 2017

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Colors that start with the Letter B

Prompts and Challenges

Cee calls this series Alphabet with a TwistThis week is Letter B and the topic needs to be colors that start with the Letter B.  For example, colors like beige, brown, burgundy, blonde, blue, burnt sienna, berry, etc.

So, here we have a baby pink sunset at the beach. The blond babes have all left hours ago, along with their bronzed boyfriends. No one was frolicking in the buff, the nude beach is several miles north. No cameras allowed. No Beach Blanket Bingo!

La Jolla CA
August 4, 2017

 

In Retrospect: Goldfield NV

Gallery

Welcome to Goldfield
May 15, 2016

The purpose of  Friday’s “In Retrospect” was to feature older photos from my archives that I had not previously posted. The question, then, is “how old is old?” These images are only a year and a few months old. But I had fun reworking them and hope you enjoy seeing them- one or two you might have seen before. But these are all newly processed. And all were taken during our second (or maybe it was our third) trip north to Goldfield Nevada.

Sunset Boulevard
May 15, 2016

Why do I call the above Sunset Boulevard? Because that’s the film in which Norma Desmond says “Alright, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up” and this looks just like one of the characters from Disney’s (Pixar’s) “Cars” waiting for their close-up. Look at that anthropomorphic face!

OK, so the first two shots I left the sky alone. But then I got crazy, I admit it.

Ford Model
May 15, 2016

The sky I added is subtle here. Just because. No real thought behind it. I just tried different clouds and decided this worked best with the deep rust of the car.

This next one I went a little crazy but love the way it turned out.

Sinking Like A Sunset
May 15, 2016

OK, this last one isn’t clouds at all. It’s a texture that I found but I think it works beautifully!

Riders On The Storm
May 15, 2016

 

52 WEEKS PHOTO CHALLENGE: WEEK 31 – EMPTY SPACE

Prompts and Challenges

I am such a phony. But not intentionally. I complained to The Girl That Dreams Awake that I couldn’t join in her challenge this week because I have no photos with empty space. Then I look in my photos from this weekend- this weekend, mind you- and find this shot.

Roy’s At Sunset
Amboy CA
April 22, 2017

I do like the way it came out. The place was teeming with photographers and I was looking for a different angle when I noticed the long shadow caused by the Roy’s sign. I stood in the shadow and bracketed my shots. The moment I raised my camera, another photographer came up next to me and shot from the same angle. I’d love to see what he came up with.

Lots of work in Lightroom to get anything readable on the sign.

So, welcome back “Girl”!

Share Your World – January 2, 2017

Prompts and Challenges
Zion National Park UT January 2, 2017

Zion National Park UT
January 2, 2017

Would you prefer to receive a unicycle, bicycle, tricycle or motorcycle? You mean for free? Is that a kid’s tricycle? In that case I’d get the motorcycle, sell it, and get four unicycles, two bikes, one trike, and take the family out to dinner with the money left over. Little known fact: I used to have a motorcycle. But after two accidents- neither of which was my fault- I no longer harbor the urge to ride.

What is one thing you’d like to accomplish this year? Finish my novel. The one I’m reading!

What was one of the highlights of 2016 for you? That it’s over! I was really getting annoyed by the ever growing list of who died in 2016. Now we can get on to a more important list; like who dies in 2017.

Would you prefer to fly a kite or fly in a hot air balloon? I love hot air balloons- as long as I’m on the ground watching them. You will never get me up in one. I also said that when I first saw an airplane, that I would never fly in one, so take that with a grain of Celtic sea salt!

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? Lynn and I both fell asleep on the couch by 9 pm on New Year’s Eve as we attempted to watch Cleopatra. We had no idea it was a 4 hour movie. That has nothing to do with what I am grateful for from last week, I just needed a moment to think. I can tell you I am grateful that I have a friend who loves purchasing new cameras and is always offering me his duplicate lenses for drastically reduced prices. And I won’t tell you his name or his prices might go up in the future. I just bought a Fujinon 10-24 lens (see the photo above) and I love it. Thanks, Joe! Oops, no, his name’s not Joe. It’s… Marvin. Marvin Goldblatz. But we call him Marv for short. Sometimes Goldy! Looking forward to next week? Taking more photos. (I’m so predictable.)

And I’m grateful that Cee of Cee’s Photography came up with such a fun challenge and posts a new one each Monday. I always look forward to having fun with my answers. Hope you have fun reading them, too.

Share Your World – 2016 Week 47 (Grateful list)

Gallery, Prompts and Challenges
Cima Train Mojave National Preserve November 19, 2016

Cima Train
Mojave National Preserve
November 19, 2016

This week Cee is having a special theme for Share Your World. It is Thanksgiving in the USA and she thought we could do a grateful list for this week.  

What are you grateful for in regard to:

  1. Your home life? I am grateful I have a home. So many people do not and we see them on street corners every day asking for a handout or pushing all their personal belongings down the street in a shopping cart.
  2. Your family? I am grateful I have been given a second chance to have a family. I destroyed my family through divorce 17 years ago and was feeling pretty low and depressed for quite a while.
  3. Your blogging community? I’ve “met” a lot of great people who support and encourage me in my hobby.  
  4. Your city or immediate area in which you live? I always looked down upon Las Vegas as a place to live. But circumstances brought me here 17 years ago and I’ve learned to appreciate the abundance of things to do. Some are even free!
  5. The regional area in which you live? We are so close to so many different areas in which to savor the outdoors. The great Southwest. I have boots. Next is a cowboy hat. Then a jeep or truck and my conversion will be complete.
  6. The country where you live? I’m not too excited about the direction our president-elect seems to be taking us with the people he is choosing to surround himself with. But we are in a democracy in which we are able to protest- and I certainly will be doing so.
  7. You? It’s taken me a long time to grow up- I believe that is a problem for most men. I finally have, for the most part. But don’t ask my wife for corroboration. She’s a bit feisty that way.

Optional 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 took a day trip to Cima, in the middle of the Mojave National Preserve, which is about an hour and a half from where we live. We have been out there several times and there isn’t really anything there that we haven’t seen before. Still, I was able to get so many photos that I am still working on them this week.

Please go visit Cee’s Share Your World and share thanksgiving wishes with her. And to those of you who have taken the time to read through, Happy Thanksgiving (and please stay safe and sane through, what has to be the most asinine corporate decision of all time, the creation of Black Friday, which now starts on Thursday.)

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