Before and After: Soldier Summit UT


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?


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.


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: Virgin UT


Fort Zion Virgin Trading Post
Virgin UT
November 14, 2015

Now before you get all excited or start a petition against the practice, I’m here to tell you that the Fort Zion Virgin Trading Post does not actually trade virgins. They don’t actually trade anything, come to think of it, unless you call paying cash for something trading. And it’s not a real fort, only built to resemble one. I mean, come on! They have air conditioning. I can just see old Davy Crockett at the Alamo asking someone to set the ac lower during the fighting. (And yes, I know the Alamo wasn’t a fort, but a mission- which has air conditioning now. And why do you always allow me to get side tracked?)

Fort Zion Virgin Trading Post
Virgin UT
November 14, 2015

Anyway, I have never been inside the “fort” because they are closed off season, between November and, I think, March. It is actually a souvenir shop and restaurant. From reading people’s comments on Trip Advisor, the store is overpriced but the restaurant is not and the food is good. They also have a petting zoo and there are other buildings out front to resemble a small western town.

Wild West Town
Fort Zion Virgin Trading Pos
Virgin UT
November 14, 2015

Wild West Town
Fort Zion Virgin Trading Post
Virgin UT
November 14, 2015

And let’s not forget the conestoga wagon out front. Now that’s what I call air conditioned!

Fort Zion Virgin Trading Post
November 14, 2015

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


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!

Lehi UT

Canon EOS Rebel T2i f/14 at 1/40 sec ISO 100 January 5, 2013

Canon EOS Rebel T2i
f/14 at 1/40 sec ISO 100
January 5, 2013

In Retrospect:

OK, just because I live in a desert, don’t think I don’t know cold. This shot was taken in Utah in 2013 on a cold January morning when the outside temperature was only 7 degrees. I was wearing a tee shirt. And a flannel shirt. Maybe I had on a sweater, too, I’m not sure. Oh, and a down jacket. A wool knit cap. And probably gloves.

Man, it was cold!

So, to all those 5 people who are following this blog, I must admit that it was ill advised. Not that anybody actually advised me or that I would have listened if they did. But there was no real reason to start a second blog except for maybe ego or something. I do want to continue posting older photos from my archives, but I have decided to do so every Saturday on my original blog, Photos By Emilio. This will be the last and final post on this site. No tears, no recriminations.

It wasn’t you, it was me.

Share Your World – 2016 Week 44

Prompts and Challenges
See below for a black and white rendition of this same image.

See below for a black and white rendition of this same image.

What was your favorite subject in school? Anatomy. Actually that wasn’t a subject in school, but after school, with which I was consumed throughout my formative years. I used to sneak Playboy magazines into my room and hide them under my mattress until I found out my father was finding and reading them. It sort of took the excitement out of it to share a hobby like that with one’s father.

If you could have a servant come to your house every day for two hours, what would you have them do? Tickle my wife’s back. She loves a soft feathery touch all across her back. I just don’t have the stamina for it. Every time I’m done she calls for more. But if I did have a servant, it would not- could not- be a man. I don’t want anyone with rippling biceps around my wife. No, I’m not jealous. I just don’t want her getting any ideas.

Where did you live when you were in the third grade of school?  Is it the same place or town you live now? No. When I was in the third grade we lived in an apartment in the San Fernando Valley in Southern California, across from a dairy farm. The smell of cow manure is an odor you never quite get over.

In your opinion, list some places that are great for shopping? The internet is the best place for shopping. You can get anything there. Why waste time and gas driving to a shopping center and fighting the crowds?

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 had a great holiday. But we also found out I was a victim of identity fraud and I will probably be sorting through all the paperwork I now have to attend to through the following week. I’ve had to contact my bank, the police, the IRS, Social Security, all 3 credit bureaus, the post office, rent a private mail box and change my mailing address with everyone. Neat, right? 🙂

The photos above and below are specifically for Stacy of Visual Venturing who thought maybe we didn’t really see any bison on our vacation last week. But the main draw of Zion Mountain Ranch where we stayed, besides having some great cabins,was having their own bison herd that freely roam the grounds.

And thanks once again to Cee for letting me and anyone else who wants to contribute, to Share Your World.

This is a black and white version of the color photo that kicked off this post.

This is a black and white version of the color photo that kicked off this post.

Please check out Cee's Share Your World for more answers to these earth shattering questions.

Please check out Cee’s Share Your World for more answers to these earth shattering questions.


Prompts and Challenges
Zion Mountain Ranch October 23, 2016 iPhonography

Zion Mountain Ranch
October 23, 2016

My best birth control now is just to leave the lights on!

~Joan Rivers~

So, this is the final post in my trilogy of daily quotations made possible by the invitation extended to me by Marilyn of Serendipity. Please see my previous post, and the one before that if you missed them.