Friday, October 20, 2017
A few weeks ago I took a day trip to Pere Marquette State Park and the nearby town of Grafton, which sits right at the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. This rather cheesy lighthouse is on the riverside in Grafton very near the confluence.
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
This is the view from my hotel room in Nagoya, Japan, when I visited there in November of 2006. It's hard to see, but the season is indicated by all of the Christmas decorations on the streets in the lower right of the photo.
The other thing hard to see in this photo is that there is an inflated Santa Claus clinging precariously to the wall of the Hilton Hotel on the right. It is at the near end of the row of lighted windows just above the roofline of the building across the street. I have a closeup of the photo below with the Santa magnified, and below that a photo of the Santa taken in better light.
Monday, October 16, 2017
This is a typical October countryside scene in East-Central Illinois. This fall has been much warmer than usual, which rouses my superstition that a warm autumn leads to a very cold winter. Here's hoping it's not that bad. In the meantime I'm enjoying the fall weather.
Friday, October 13, 2017
The French Riviera is justifiably famous for its climate and luxury accommodations. It is also incredibly verdant with an amazing range of colorful flowers. I don't know what these are, I'm bad at identifying plants and flowers, but I found them in La Croix-Valmer, Provence, France.
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Monday, October 9, 2017
This is a view of the quay at the Plage du Débarquement in La Croix-Valmer, on the Mediterranean coast in Provence, France. "Plage du Débarquement" means landing beach, and is so called because it was a main landing zone for Allied troops retaking France in World War II. Today the Plage du Débarquement is a wonderful beach with smooth sand and nearby restaurants.
Friday, October 6, 2017
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
This is a view of a portion of the famous San Antonio River Walk in downtown San Antonio, Texas. The river walk is worth visiting any time of the year, which can be attested to by the fact that this photo was taken in January.
Monday, October 2, 2017
This is the ill-fated Main Building, commonly known as the UT Tower, on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin. The tower was the site of a notorious massacre and a large number of suicides. It is, however a striking building at the center of the University of Texas campus. This photo was taken from the South Mall.
Friday, September 29, 2017
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Now that summer is ending I thought I'd post some favorite pictures from summers past. This one is of the New Church, built in 1824, in New Preston, Connecticut. It's a beautiful old building set in beautiful surroundings in northwest Connecticut.
Monday, September 25, 2017
Now that summer is coming to an end I thought I'd post some photos from summers past. This view is of some old ranch buildings in Park County, Colorado, just west of Hartsel along US 24. The river in the foreground is the Middle Fork of the South Platte River.
Friday, September 22, 2017
This is a panoramic view of the Mascall formation from the overlook in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. This stunning vista was just off US 26 in eastern Oregon. John Day was an early 19th Century trapper who was an interesting character, and somehow got a lot of things named after him.
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
This is a classic view of the Grand Tetons, taken from the Snake River Overlook in Grand Teton National Park. It is in Wyoming along US 26, the road I was driving out to Oregon this summer. The majesty of the Grand Tetons is obvious.
Monday, September 18, 2017
Now that summer is over I am looking back on my travels and reviewing the photos I took. I drove 8,500 miles, driving to both coasts and back. It was great fun.
My first trip was to the west coast. This photo is of the rock Schoolhouse at Ash Hollow State Historical Park near Lewellyn, Nebraska. Ash Hollow was on the Oregon trail, located along the North Platte River. I happened upon it while driving US 26, headed to Oregon.
Friday, September 15, 2017
I am posting this photo for two reasons. First, because I like it, and second, because it is the very first photo I hand colored, although it wasn't done in Photoshop, but in Lightroom. This was the photo that got the ball rolling on my recent obsession with hand coloring. I read an article explaining the technique in Lightroom, and got excited about doing it. However, I quickly discovered that the technique had limitations in Lightroom that could be overcome by working in Photoshop instead. The rest is history. Very minor and unimportant history, but history nonetheless.
This photo was taken on Texas Highway 170, right along the Mexican border between Lajitas and Presidio. The original was shot in infrared and rendered in black and white. It was originally posted here.
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
In my recent obsession with hand coloring photos in Photoshop I have been revisiting my old favorites. This is a classic shot of the Nijo Bashi, or Bridge of State, at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan. This is one of the first photos I tried to hand color in Photoshop, and if you look closely you can see plenty of mistakes. No, I won't tell you what they are.
I have posted this photo before, so you can check out the differences from the original here.
Monday, September 11, 2017
Photography has provided me with a seemingly endless array of creative outlets. The latest is to hand color photos in Photoshop. This is not hand coloring with actual paints and oils, like in the old days. I have none of the artistic skills or talent required for that.
The technique I am using involves rendering a photo in black and white, if it is not already, and then using layers and brushes in Photoshop to add color selectively. It requires hours of work, sometimes at the pixel level, but it is a highly controllable process and fixing mistakes is quick and easy. I really like the results.
The photo above is an infrared photo, rendered in black and white, and then hand colored in Photoshop (obviously). It was taken in a cemetery just south of Buckeye City, Ohio, along US 62. The statue is on the grave of Captain John Body of the 65th Ohio Infantry. It is hard to tell if he lost his left arm in the Civil War, or his statue did later. I suspect the latter.
Friday, September 8, 2017
This is a view of an old temple outbuilding, surrounded by trees and foliage, at Matsushima, Japan. The original photo was on color film, but has been rendered in black and white.
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Shrines and temples in Japan have areas that are covered with the kind of stickers you see above. The stickers, called senjafuda, are printed with the name of the person who affixed it, and act as sort of a combination good luck charm and sanctioned "I was here" grafitti. The senjafuda in the photo above are on an outbuilding of a temple in Matsushima, Japan.
Monday, September 4, 2017
Matsushima is one of the most famous spots in Japan, and I've written about it a number of times, particularly after it was hit by the tsunami in 2011. The photo above is of the Godaido, a small temple on the shore of Matsushima bay. The original photo was on color film, but has been rendered here in black and white.
Friday, September 1, 2017
This is a summer view of the Golfe de Saint-Tropez in Provence, France. I like this photo because it evokes the hazy, lush beauty of that part of France in July. The photo was taken from Gassin, a beautiful hilltop village that I've written about before.
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
La Croix Valmer is a delightful town on the Mediterranean coast, just east of St. Tropez, in Provence, France. This view is of the old town fountain in the center of town.
Monday, August 28, 2017
Summer brings hordes of visitors to the Mediterranean coast in Provence, in the south of France. For good reason, too. The beaches are beautiful, the weather is superb, and the food, especially seafood, delightful.
This is a view of the town of St. Tropez, taken from the grounds of the medieval citadel that sits above the town.
Friday, August 25, 2017
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Monday, August 21, 2017
This is a photo from exactly two years ago. The scene is in the countryside of East Central Illinois, near Urbana. A summer day, viewed in infrared and converted to black and white.
Friday, August 18, 2017
This is another shot from my recent road trip out west. This lonely road is White Pine County Road 16, which runs from US 50, just south of Ely, Nevada, off toward Hamels Peak and Red Butte.
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Monday, August 14, 2017
Friday, August 11, 2017
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Monday, August 7, 2017
This is another shot of the Oregon coast. This is at one of my favorite spots, just north of Newport, at the mouth of Spencer Creek in Beverly Beach State Park. That's the Yaquina Head Light on the horizon.
Friday, August 4, 2017
Wind Farms are very much part of the scenery where I live in east-central Illinois. It was no surprise to see a wind farm in other parts of the country, but this one in eastern Nevada is awfully far from any kind of a population center. I guess it all flows into the national grid, so location isn't crucial. This photo was taken east of Ely. That's Taylor Peak in the background.
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
The Oregon coast never fails to provide wonderful views. This is the view looking south from the Silver Point Interpretive Outlook, just south of Canon Beach, Along US 101.
Monday, July 31, 2017
US 50 in Nevada is advertised as America's Loneliest Road. I'm not sure of that's true; I've been on roads through areas that seem emptier. However the high desert of Nevada is beautiful. On the day I drove the road recently it was cold and at times snowing. This is a photo of Job Peak in Central Nevada from US 50.
Friday, July 28, 2017
I know that I just posted a picture of Dover Furnace a couple of weeks ago, but I got some very good shots of it, so I thought I'd post one more. Unlike the previous post, which combined many shots to blur the water, this is a straight photo of the old dam.
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
The countryside in this country is changing. In the midwest, wind farms and communications infrastructure are becoming as common as wheat and corn. This view is along US 50 in southwest Kansas, just west of Cimarron.
Monday, July 24, 2017
This is a misty morning countryside scene along US 50 in Londonderry, Ohio. Photographers have a rule that you should never shoot into the sun, but I like to break rules like that.
Friday, July 21, 2017
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
It's hard to get a unique photo of the Grand Tetons. They present themselves, postcard-like, to the Snake River Valley, which is where most people see them. They are beautiful, though, in all their postcard glory. This is an infrared photo, converted to black and white, showing storm clouds rising over the mountains, taken at the Elk Ranch Flats Turnout along US 26.
Monday, July 17, 2017
On my recent driving trip to the west coast I drove the length of US 26, which starts in western Nebraska and follows the old Oregon Trail all the way to the coast in Oregon. Along the way it comes right up to the base of Mount Hood, near Portland. This shot was taken at Trillium Lake.
Friday, July 14, 2017
During my recent stay in Connecticut I got to visit the American Museum of Tort Law. As someone who teaches law this was like catnip for me. The Museum was founded by Ralph Nader, who was born and raised in Winsted. As you can see in the picture above, the museum is in a suitably grand old building on the main drag in Winsted.
Nader became famous for his fight against the Chevrolet Corvair, the subject of his bestselling book Unsafe At Any Speed. The museum appropriately has a Corvair on display. While at the museum I was able to buy a flaming Ford Pinto mug, which I will cherish.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
I spent the fourth of July last week in Connecticut. On the fourth my friends took me to Litchfield to watch the firing of the canon on the Litchfield Green. A volunteer group fires their canon 13 times, once for each of the original 13 colonies. It turns out that canon are very loud.
It seems only right that I should add a video of the canon firing. Here it is:
Monday, July 10, 2017
I'm just back from a week-long trip to the east coast. I spent three days in northwest Connecticut visiting a friend, and got to spend some time exploring that beautiful corner of the country. This is a photo of the Dover Furnace, an old dam on the Swamp River just across the New York state line in Dover, New York. It's a beautiful spot. In order to get the blurred water effect I took a series of photos and merged them in Photoshop.
Friday, July 7, 2017
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
On my recent trip to the west coast I arrived in the bay area on an incredibly beautiful afternoon. Driving south on US 101 I was able to get off just before the Golden Gate Bridge and drive to the Marin Headlands Vista Point to get this photo. The photo doesn't really do justice to the immense scale of the bridge and the city of San Francisco behind it.