HarshawJ Posted by HarshawJ in Photo Journeys
on Wednesday, June 28, 2006 03:43:27 PM
in a "No particular mood" mood.
Series Four

Well, I got to do the day trip that I have been wanting to do for a very long time. Call me a bit of a UFO fanatic, I have always wanted to do Nevada’s Extraterrestrial Highway and see those simple sites for myself. That meant grabbing a shot of the infamous “Drop-box” and of course having breakfast at the Lil A’le Inn (BTW, great spuds.) Along with that were other sites and adventures. Some of the shots worked out and others did not, and I found a great disappointment with my pictures. So, here is Series Four, Highlights of the ET Highway trip.

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This shot demonstrates my one big disappointment of the day. I have this really cool (an expensive) 17mm - 35mm zoom lens and it has a flaw. Aside from some dust there it should not be, there is a smudge or flaw in the glass. I discovered this as I was processing these pictures, there is a distinct color shift near the center of the lens. The dust I can deal with, the smudge (if it is a smudge and not a problem with the lens coatings) is a deal breaker. I do not know what I am going to do about it yet.



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Most people know that prostitution is legal in most of Nevada, but what they may not know is that the brothels can not have advertising and signage to promote the brothel. This is one reason the brothels are in out of the way places. Can you read the above green graffiti? This way to “Horney’s” brothel, just up the road.



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Ah, the first stop, the famous “Drop-box”. This is a spot for people to leave information for Area 51 folks. It has become somewhat a legend in the UFO community, and this is not the original. The original was up a road a ways just an ordinary mailbox with a lock. This one replace the old one a few years ago and of course has lead to all sort of rumors that secret stuff still happens in Area 51. Hey, the lock is brand spanking new. Oh, and BTW, who the hell is Steve Medlin? Anyone know? Maybe he is just a rancher in Tikaboo Valley or something, but why the lock?



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Yep on the boarder of Nellis AFB and Area 51 is a ton of open range for cattle grazing. Now someone tell me, if it hits 120 degrees is that really an ok place to graze cattle? Personally I think that the cattle are their for the aliens to have lunch on. After all, there are so many cattle mutilations, maybe the aliens are not very good that making burgers. Just watch where you step.



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The “hotbed” of UFO experiences and sitings used to be Rachel Nevada. Here there is a little cafe called the Little A’le InnTalk about a slice of Americana, this is it. A small greasy spoon, it has been featured in Movies and on Television because of its proximity to Area 51. The cafe has all sorts of kitch items all referencing aliens and such. If you get a chance to go there, it’s worth the stop.

The Two shots above: Well, I guess we know what the MIB are up to these days, towing can be lucritive when you have the only truck in 100 miles. The sign of course if like none other and worth the shoot, begging everyone to watch the skys. Hmm, nope no fortunate sitings this time.



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The rest of the shots move us further away from Rachel and Area 51 so there is not the “Intrigue” as these, but nice none the less. Being a city boy, you have to be impressed how clear the air is up there. This leads to some nice cloud shots. These are taken as personal stock and I suspect you will see them in other picture I composite. BTW, the pictures you are seeing are much lower res then the ones I have. I think that you would not want to wait 10 minutes to see the Hi res stuff.



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Another abandoned mine, not too far from Rachel. There is one thing you can count on in Nevada is plenty of abandoned mines. Fortunately for me they do provide interesting subject matter. You all know me by now, I love the textures and mechanical feel of these sites. That last frame was a lucky thing, the fox was obviously denning in the mine and came out to see what was up. I wish I had my longer lens, but I made due. Would you believe she stayed there while I set up a tripod and took her picture. Nice fox.



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Who says there is no water in Nevada. Here is a holding pond that I just happened on. With the clear day and incredible light, this was a nice shot in my opinion. In fact, this may be my favorite of the series.



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Water in action. For such a dry state, Nevada does pretty well. While it does not have the immense growing capacity of its California neighbor, there are certainly enough farmers and ranches to pay for some the economy.



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During this excursion there were a few “slight” detours. This was one through “Cave Valley”, a very little looked at area in Nevada. Not a paved road for miles. But how about having that as you backyard? Bet you could get that land if you liked being about 100 miles from nowhere. Hell, it was 27 miles mack to the highway and then nothing for miles.



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Finally, a place that I will have to re-visit some day early in the morning. Cathedral Gore is really a beautiful place but the high light did not make for good photography. I could have stayed there for a couple of hours more to really catch the evening light, but the way this area is carved, it would be better to come in the early morning. Still, not back for a crop job.



I took about 400 shots (mostly bracketed +/- .5f) and these are what I think are good enough to print. Hope you enjoyed them, more later.

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HarshawJ Posted by HarshawJ in Photo Journeys
on Tuesday, June 20, 2006 07:37:34 PM
in a "adventurous" mood.
Series Three

This series of photos was shot mainly in Death Valley, California. I started out very early in the morning and shot till about 3 pm, putting about 300 miles on the car in doing so. Like a lot of my pictures, these also feature a very stark light and hopefully a graphic element. In the last picture I have done a little work following in a favored photographers footsteps. So, here it is, Series Three - Death Valley.




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The Guard Shack - There is this outcropping between
Parhump and Ashford Mine in Death valley. It looked
interesting in the low light, so thought I would take a
few shots. I liked this one, no real reason other than
it may work with other shots in the future.

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Riddle me this Batman… If Osama bin Laden were
hiding in one of these, you think they could find him?



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Sometimes things grow in the strangest places. The
green against the red rock was an immediate eye
opener, and with the framing it is even more dramatic.



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For me the texture is everything. I love the feel of
the old rust on the bolt. The faded wood helps the
whole thing as well making a simple composition pop.



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Does this remind you of a comic book rendition of
a bolt driven into concrete? Does to me.



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Old structures and isolation draw me in. This door
is a door to nowhere and just about as isolated as it
can get. I wonder what happened here a hundred
years ago. Could people have thought Ashford Mine
was the next mother-lode? Did they expect to survive
long? Guess not, no one is there now.



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The lowest point in the USA is Bad Water Basin in
Death Valley. This shot was taken about 6 inches
above the lowest point. I love th colors and reflections
and the salt crystals.



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If you were in hell and had to play Satan a round of
Links, he would treat you the round on the
Devils Golf Course in Death Valley. I think
I found the last green.



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The salt at the Devils Golf Course forms into
lumpy masses and as the water (yeah, it does
rain there) runs over it, it makes cuts into the
masses like the landscape all around. Odd to
see a mini hillside you can step on.



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There is a one-way drive just off the main road
through Death Valley called the “The Artists Drive”.
If you get a chance to do the run, I highly suggest
it. Even though I am a descent photographer,
there is no way to describe the grandeur. You
drive though the canyon and every few hundred
yards is a whole new natural wonder.



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OK, I have a 17mm wide angle lens for my rig,
and even with the DSLR lens factor it still means
that the lens is 24mm wide and still it cannot
capture it all. So, I took several shots in series
and stitched two together to get this shot. I did a
little work on the sky, but mostly it is unretouched.
Gotta love the colors.



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This is the last of the shots for this series. When we were at Devils Golf Course I saw this rock peeking out of the salt and thought to myself that a face should be there. I shot the rock and when I got it into Photo Paint I superimposed a face on it from my vast library of beauties. In the style of Jerry Uelsmann I put the two together and creep out city followed. I like this photograph and plan to print it when I get the chance.


Technical Note: I have reduced the compression level on these photo so as to get better color and detail. I am still not happy with some of the results and will from this point forward use the RAW format for captures. Hopefully this will give me even better and cleaner results. 

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HarshawJ Posted by HarshawJ in Photo Journeys
on Monday, June 19, 2006 09:41:49 PM
in a "calm" mood.
Series Two

These Images were captured on June 7, 2006 on Nevada Highway 93 between Boulder and Searchlight. These were spur of the moment type photos with a little more consideration of the capture file format. These photos have very little original compression.

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Ever seen “ID4” with Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum?
Remember when the aliens were coming down and
settling in over the cities? Looks like I caught one
coming in.


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Sometimes we come across a location that tells a
story in and of itself. I will let you paint your own
picture with this one.


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With an eye on locations, here could be the
Mordor set for “Lord of the Rings"



More to come.

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HarshawJ Posted by HarshawJ in Photo Journeys
on Friday, June 02, 2006 11:06:16 AM
in a "No particular mood" mood.
Series One

Well, it was a fun afternoon of photography with the new camera, and I think a few of the pictures are worth sharing. Here are a few and some narative on each:


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We all face fears, and sometimes they take the form
of going to places we do not know or understand...


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For me a recurrent theme is a graphical element to
the image I am seeing. If I can combine this with a
strong texture, all the better...


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If the Tin Woodsman had a case of rust this bad,
Dorothy would have been in a lot of trouble.



These first three shots were taken in by an abandoned silver mine near Searchlight Nevada.




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Sometimes people have too much time on their hands...


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Sometimes WAY TOO MUCH time on their hands...


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What do you see in this rock formation? I have named
this shot Easter Island Misfit… You be the judge.



The previous three were taken on the road between Sandy Valley Nevada and Kingston California.




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This was once a place of activity,
but that had to be long ago...


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They used to raise cattle in this parched desert?
That is hard to believe, but it must have been true...


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Reminds me of the Three Bears… wierd...


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The desert is not completely dead, but during the
day you would be hard pressed to find anything
other than sunbathing crickets out and about in
the 105 degree heat.


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Again, back to the graphical theme for me. There
is something about the harsh demeanor that
draws my attention.


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Finally, one last example of graphical content and
texture. I love this shot for unknown reasons other
than there is a lot more going on in the shot than
just a nozzle and pipe. For me the depth of the
colors and grain work well.



These last six shots were taken along Route 164 between Nipton California and Interstate 15. I noticed it to the side of the road in the middle of literally nowhere and had to make my way in to take a few shots. This site was definately the best stop of the day for me.



For those technically minded, the EXIF information is preserved in the larger images. If you wish to view the information right click on the image and check the properties and there should be an EXIF tab there with the details form the original.

More images later…

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