Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Any landing...

...you walk away from is a good landing. Don't think they walked away from this one.

Actually this is the remnants of the plane that they blew up in the movie "3000 Miles To Graceland", shot in Eldorado Canyon, Nevada.

Color overload

I've been fascinated with old machinery and blue glass since I was a child. I can still clearly remember a crate of glass bottles similar to this that sparkled in the sun, forgotten amongst carcasses of old machinery and stacks of junk behind my dad's shop in central British Columbia. It was a treasure trove for a young boy.

Gold mine.

Hamm's Beer

Eldorado Canyon, Nelson, Nevada, using the "vintage" action courtesy Pioneer Woman Photography.

In case you're wondering...

Eldorado Canyon, Nelson, Nevada.

Free Photoshop Action #3

I've recorded a small action that gives a 2-in-1 for what i think gives kind of a cool, dramatic effect. The action loads three layers. Layer 1 is a white-to-black gradient map, reversed and set to "Darken". Layer 2 is another white-to-black reversed gradient map, set to "Hard Light". The third layer is simply a curves adjustment layer.

Each layer needs to be adjusted to make the image look best. The gradient map layers each have a layer mask which can (and should) be painted on, to lighten areas which end up to dark. I use a black brush set at about 25% opacity, painting on the mask to lighten up areas which have lost detail. Additionally, you can simply delete the Layer 2 grad map to go with the 1st version of the image. Again, paint in black/grey on the layer mask to lighten areas. Finally, tweak the curves layer to how you like it.

Original Image:

With gradient layer 1:

With gradient layer 1 and gradient layer 2:

Another image, with the full action and touched-up layer masks to lighten blocked-up shadow detail:
Disclaimer: my images are optimized for my monitors, which I color-calibrate with a Spyder3Pro colorimeter, so i can't promise how they'll look on yours! Go buy one!

The action can be downloaded here.

Eldorado Canyon (Nelson, Nevada)

This is a fantastic find, out in the middle of a desert canyon near Nelson, Nevada (population: 56). The family who owns the canyon doesn't advertise, other than a basic website here. The mountain here has an old gold mine which you can (and should) tour. Back in the day, it was mined by civil war deserters (north AND south) who then bunked in the campsite. The old bunkhouses are still here, and the mining store is still in use today though rebuilt after a fire. The area quickly gained notoriety as one of the most violent and lawless in Nevada, where the nearest sheriff wouldn't even bother to come after a murder. The mine, over 600 feet deep and including over 3 miles of shafts, is reputed to be haunted, but we unfortunately never saw any ghosties.

This jewel in the desert has been used as a set for filming a number of movies (including 3000 Miles To Graceland), and has professional photo shoots 3-4 times a week. The day we were there they said Nikon was coming out to shoot with a new camera they were testing. It's truly a photographer's wonderland, and if you like antiques or history, you're up to your neck. I'll be posting more shots from here shortly.

Some Nevada repeats in color.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Old mine (B&W)

Just off the road near Searchlight, Nevada. This area is riddled with mineshafts hundreds of feet deep, nearly straight down, some large enough to swallow whole 4x4 vehicles (it's happened). If anything they may have a few strings of wire around them as a "warning". Or not.

Light wasn't the greatest, but you do what you can with whatcha got.

The spooky version. Creeps me out.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Family Day Candids

Uploaded these to Facebook which promptly screwed them all up... so I'm putting them up here as well in all their glory :)

More Nevada pix to come as well - i shot about a thousand images and it takes a little time just to figure out which ones i want to play with!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Las Vegas, and environs

Eldorado Canyon, Nevada - a photographer's dream. A number of Hollywood movies have shot scenes here (including "3000 Miles to Graceland"). They also average 3-4 professional shoots per week (magazines, fashion, music videos, etc). I could literally spend days here.

Searchlight, Nevada. Middle of the desert, deserted mines every which way, absolutely fascinating (photographically!).

First 2 pix. More to come as i get time.