Saturday, September 29, 2012

Tubbs Ranch Rd & Oregon Route 11

vicinity of Adams, Oregon

The balloons mark someone's 50th birthday.

vicinity of Adams, Oregon

Friday, September 28, 2012

Strong Wind, Weird Light (two)

vicinity of Lowden, Washington

After photographing the theater and finding a place to stay at Walla Walla, I looked at the files on my MacBook and found that it wasn't readily apparent how to adjust them to get the look and feel of the weird light, so I went on to work on other things. Weeks later, back home, I decided to look at this set of pictures again. This time, working on a much larger screen, one of the captures leaped out of the browser window at me. It wasn't a particularly good picture, but it seemed perfectly to capture the light. So I opened the RAW file into Adobe Camera RAW and saw that the camera had set a really unusual white balance, with high numbers for Temp and even more unusually high for Tint. So I dropped back to Bridge and applied those white balance numbers to all the rest of take. So now the whole set looked much more like the original scene and I could go ahead to edit and further tweak color and tone on the shots I liked the most.

vicinity of Lowden, Washington

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Strong Wind, Weird Light (one)

vicinity of Lowden, Washington

After crossing the passes at Mount Rainier National Park I had the GPS set a course for a drive-in theater in Milton-Freewater, Oregon, a few miles south of Walla Walla, Washington. With half an hour or so to go, I came out on a flat plain with heavily irrigated fields. I could tell there was a lot of wind, and the stormy sky had some of the weirdest color I've ever encountered.


When I got out of the car to try some pictures, the wind was nearly as fierce as back in Kansas, where I'd also encountered light that seemed very different from what I'm used to back east, but not anywhere near as strange as this. I also noticed that the ridge I was heading for was simply covered with big commercial electric generating windmills.

vicinity of Lowden, Washington

I stopped for pictures three or four times in a space of less than a mile, and then took some very careful notes about the look and feel of the place and the light. I suspected—rightly—that the captures at default settings would look dull and drab with none of the strangeness or excitement of the situation.

Monday, September 24, 2012

GREEN! (two)

Mt. Rainier National Park

Mt. Rainier National Park

GREEN! (one)

Mt. Rainier National Park

The forests of Southern New England can be very lush and green in the summer. So can the mountains of West Virginia and the Blue Ridge. But I've never seen green like the forest near Mount Rainier as I drove through heading from Aurora, Washington, to Milton-Freewater, Oregon back on June 22.

Mt. Rainier National Park

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Look! No Irrigation

Elkton, Oregon

After spending weeks in desert areas, it was nice back on June 20 to be moving through this western Oregon farmland.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Hey Mister!

Fort Bragg, California

Bill Pierce has told me he'd like to edit a book titled, "Hey Mister! Take My Picture!"

The content would be drawn from Pierce's vast array of photographer friends. I have far more of these than one contributor could get into the book, like, say, the picture at the bottom of this web page.

Some of the shots I could contribute would be responses to those exact words. In this case I was walking along the beach with two small cameras around my neck, making snaps of beach and ocean and rocks, hoping to clear my head to have fresh eyes for the next drive-in theater, when the young lady seen here ran up to me and asked, "are you a photographer?"


"Well, photograph this!"

So I did. Three frames, then I waved and hightailed it out of there. Because of this. I'd like to link to an actual Paul Stookey performance of the song. I can't find one online. It's a "talkin' blues"—spoken recitation with a pretty simple finger-pickin' guitar backup. On my weird scholarship trip around the world in 1969-70, every time we had a going-away party from the place and people we'd been with for 4-6 weeks, somewhere in the proceedings I'd borrow a guitar and do this piece, to the utter astonishment of hosts whose English was sufficient to follow it. Anyone who couldn't understand the words began pestering their friends in the audience, "what's so funny?" You have to understand that the delivery should be completely deadpan, and the guitar part sounds much harder than it actually is, which you accentuate by emphasizing the walking base.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Thursday, September 13, 2012

This Isn't Even One of the Big Ones!

California Route 20, Fort Bragg/Willits highway

More Irrigation

Yuba City, California

More desert being farmed with open-ditch irrigation. With beautiful mountain views. Yuba City's built-up area was quite small, though I found a rather nice and fairly inexpensive place to stay. But evidently the city limits are expansive. I was sure I was miles outside of town the morning of June 18 when I stopped to shoot this, but when I asked the GPS unit "where am I?" the reply was simply, "Yuba City."

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Carl's Jr.

Kettelman City, California

Looked like the sort of place that wouldn't have a thing on the menu that I'd eat.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

More Golden Hillsides

Cayucos, California

With a bit of the Pacific on the horizon. Back on June 16, moving from the coast (where I couldn't get a room on a mid-June Saturday without reservations) the temperature rapidly went from a little below 70° to a little over 100° in less than an hour traveling straight east to the Central Valley.

Cayucos, California

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Cooperative Seagull

Point Mugu, California

Along the Pacific Coast Highway, a few miles north from the previous posts.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Food Trucks

Point Mugu, California

Another time when turning around revealed multiple pictures. This post and the previous two were shot facing north, east, and west, respectively, from essentially the same spot.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Neptune's NET

Point Mugu, California

The guy in the blue shirt was directing a group of motorcyclists to park in a set of very narrow spaces in front of the diner. Makes me think it must be a regular biker hangout. The road is the Pacific Coast Highway, and the ocean is directly behind the camera position.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Blog Notes: Firehouse Cultural Center

From October 14 to 21, I will be "artist in residence" at The Firehouse Cultural Center in Ruskin, Florida. There will be talks, demonstrations, and two digital photography workshops. More details are available here. Anyone near the Tampa Bay area might find some of the activities interesting.

During the weeks before and after the residence I'll be finding and photographing drive-in theaters on the final leg of The Giant Road Trip. I have a good handle on the surviving theaters in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida and will be working out a route for them. If anyone knows of closed but still standing theaters anywhere in this area, please let me know. They are harder to work with because, while there are lists of closed theaters readily available, only a tiny fraction of them are still standing. Finding those needs sheer luck, or tips from local informants.

Needed a new mug shot for the promo materials, so here's a snap from the session.

Woodbury, Connecticut

The Pacific

Point Mugu, California

Tuesday, September 04, 2012


Homestead Valley, California

Back on June 6, heading from Barstow down to Imperial (though this shot is looking east from the highway). Not yet noon and the temperature was well over 100°. I think the haze in the distance is mostly evaporating irrigation water. Probably some wind-blown dust as well. A little farther south there's the largest wind-farm I've seen anywhere, and the channel through the mountains that the wind followed felt like a bit of transplanted Kansas.