Monday, December 31, 2012


P 51 Mustang at ACV, c. 1994 (4" by 5" color slide converted to black and white).

Happy New Year! May it be a really good one for you.

Saturday, December 29, 2012


North Domes, Domeland Wilderness, CA c. 1977

I finally am able to scan my collection of negatives. I am learning the process, and have a long way to go before I think I will have it mastered. Meanwhile, this is one of my first scans with the Epson V750. The amount of detail is remarkable. I can magnify right into the film grain, and ultimately I will be able to make more adjustments than I did on this 155MB jpeg.

Domeland, is to me, a very special and sacred place. I was fortunate enough to visit the area many times over the course of two years or so back in the mid 1970s. There was still a road right up to where I took this photograph, and so I was able to bring in my old Korona view camera and a heavy-duty tripod. Nowadays, the entire area is designated as a wilderness area, and the road is returning to its natural state. I think the only way I would be able to get back in there would be on foot.

I could not print these back then because I did not have a four by five enlarger. I did work with some images after I set up my darkroom in this house, but mostly I had moved on. 

Friday, December 28, 2012


What My Mind Thinks it Saw, 2012

The version of this image that I posted yesterday, most accurately portrays what the sunset looked like (reality). This interpretation represents what my imagination thinks I could see. I know that there are photographers that think that the actual scene needs to be represented as done in National Geographic, but I like the freedom to "light up" my images as my imagination sees fit. I would like to know what others think.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Reflective Waters Kissing the Surf, 2012

I took this about two hours ago near Manila. Lisa was there horseback riding, and she called me to let me know that it was very nice there. I went, and I am pleased with with I found. It is likely that I will do more work to this image before I print it,  but this is my first version. I just love the reflected colors of the sky.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Toadstool Rock, Dry Lagoon, 2012

I oftentimes create an image, and then I sort of shove it aside, coming back to it after allowing my initial vision time to develop. This is a good example of that issue. This photograph was taken back in March.

Earlier this morning I was contemplating and reviewing this year's production of photographs. I looked at a number of images before getting to this one. I actually had rated this only two stars, but now that I spent some time with it I will bump it up several notches on the zero to five scale.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


On The Beach, Christmas Eve with Lisa, Amigo and Jazz  

This is why I love having a pocket camera that I can take everywhere and every time. Merry Christmas to all.

Sunday, December 23, 2012


The View From the Fireman's Seat in the Cab of a Helper Locomotive, c.1975

I always liked this photograph for several reasons. I have very few images of me that were taken while I was working on the railroad. So, I rely on images like this one which I consider to be of a "first-person" or autobiographical nature. This image represents the hundreds of occasions where I was in a locomotive either as a brakeman, fireman, or as the engineer.

This view is a representation of what our view was from the locomotive that was placed somewhere in the rear third of a train. Often we were coupled to a car like this reefer, and our view was restricted accordingly.

Helper duty had its benefits. Primarily  we just had to pay attention to what the head-end engineer told us over the radio. Our main functions were to shove the train that was ahead of us while pulling along what ever was behind our units. We had no control over the air brakes (we always had the option of "pulling the air" in an emergency), but that was it. We did provide dynamic braking on some occasions, but that was primary only when we were on through helpers. Occasionally  after we were cut out of our train, and were heading back to Bakersfield, we would be directed to couple onto a west-bound train. Sometimes when we did so we would give that train our power and then we became passengers. Other times we would run the train from the helper on the point and we would be the actual engine crew. Most often the senior engineer would pull rank and then be able to claim all the locomotives on his pay slip (the rate of pay for a shift was based in part on the weight of the locomotives and so most engineers would opt for the extra pay that more locomotives provided).

Saturday, December 22, 2012


A Southern Pacific Special Railfan Train at Caliente, CA, c. 1971

Some years back, I scanned this from a slide. I did a lot of work on it in Photoshop and in Lightroom. The sky was full of fungal spots and runs. I find that photographs such as this one are meaningful to me, but I do not know they may apply to anyone else.

Extra 6454 Meeting a Santa Fe Freight at Sandcut, CA, c. 1971

The same train meeting a Santa Fe at Sandcut, CA. This was a noteworthy train if for no other reason , than to see so many F units together. 

Friday, December 21, 2012


The Day the Sun Went Out, 2012

I have a whole series of these, but I have not shared them here because the people in most of them are easily identifiable. I am not comfortable posting photos of people without their permission. I think this one is all right. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Humboldt Bay and Samoa Bridge, December 2012

This is another photograph that I took with the Canon S100. Again, this was hand-held, and was saved in the raw format. The ability to save images in the raw provides the digital negative with all the available data from the twelve megapixel sensor. Most other small point and shoot cameras use jpeg compression, and the resulting digital negative contains just a fraction of the original data to work with. The raw files, have more latitude for editing/manipulating, and for me, are the preferred format.

Monday, December 17, 2012


Under the Samoa Bridge at Woodley Island, December 2012  

My friend Pam Cone took a photograph underneath the Mad River Hammond Trail Bridge, and thus I was inspired. This image is a composite of three digital negatives that were processed as HDR in Photoshop. Otherwise, I only performed a few adjustments.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


The Fisherman at Woodley Island, December 2012

I took this photograph yesterday while Marc and I were exploring the island after camera club. I think it is fun and challenging to photograph some of the local icons such as this statue, and the Carson Mansion.

I took this with my pocket camera, the Canon S100, handheld and at ASA 400. I cropped this down from the rectangle, and applied some noise reduction. Overall, I think it works.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Corrugated, December 2012

I took this photograph this afternoon down on Woodley Island. Marc and I went there after camera club to see if we could get some "king" tide shots. I photographed this structure Thursday, and realized that I had more work to do on what it was that I felt. I think this image is much closer to fulfilling that goal.

Friday, December 14, 2012


The Carson Mansion, December 2012

I took this shot this afternoon with the pocket camera. I am still very pleased in that I almost always now have a camera with me wherever I am. I started carrying my mono-pod  and it seems to help. I am finding that in this type of light that I need it (although I did not have it for this photo).

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Prairie Creek State Park, November 2012

I love going through my "contact sheets" in Lightroom. I rediscover images, and often I feel the essence of what it was that drew me to sit with the subject. This photograph is right on the road. I must have driven past it a thousand times (no exaggeration) while driving to and from Klamath and Crescent City.

I saw these scenes, but I never could figure out how to capture them until I was able to stop and sit within the forest. Driving past just did not allow the time for me to feel the spirit of the forest. 

Monday, December 10, 2012


Reworking and Manipulating Marsh Photographs, 2012

If you frequent this blog you have seen this image before. In one of my recent posts, I placed a B&W copy of this. After receiving some feedback on the B&W print, I decided to take another look at the color version. In the B&W print, the band of sunset light comes through as white, and it overpowers the viewer. Here I think that the light as shown in color does not have the same effect.

I did print this back in the spring, but this is considerably different. I swear that these images sometime must ferment for awhile.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


More Mornings at the Marsh, 2012

This is another candidate for printing. I think it complements the other black and white images that I made of the marsh in recent months. I think it conveys the mood that I feel while I am photographing there.

I have not printed anything for almost two weeks. I am trying to be frugal with my paper and ink, but, as I said before, the only way to actually judge the photograph is by viewing it on paper. I think I will assemble about six or eight images to print soon.

Friday, December 7, 2012


Earth Meets Sky Revised, November 2012

I am acting on some feedback that I received about the earlier version of this image that I posted a few days ago. I think I like it this way. This is an example of why I prefer to give images some time to develop within my head. What I mean is, that I found that as often as my first impression is the best one of a series on a subject, that sometimes I need to study the possibilities for the print. I am glad that I did not print the first version of this the other day. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Earth Meets Sky, November, 2012

I worked on another copy of this image several weeks ago. I started again from scratch without looking at the earlier version. Both came out close, but this one offers a fuller range of light and mood. I think it will look much better on paper.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


A Splash of Color, 2012

All right, I know that total manipulation is completely taboo, but this was just downright fun to do. Therefore I will not apologize for pushing the limits. For what ever reason, I like this image.


Funky Cabins, December 2012

I took this shot today at a model train layout. I made attempts at this before, but those attempts never even got close. Mostly, they failed because I was using my full-frame DSLR. That camera has an inherent shallow depth of field, and so my photos looked like tilt-shift photos (which many actually were). I know that this photo is not all the way there, but it is very close. I am using this as a "sketch pad" drawing to help me to come up with some interesting compositions in the near future.

By the way, the small camera I used for this and other shots has a very small sensor. Therefore, the lens is a much shorter focal length, and that is why I get a greater depth of field. The camera is very small, and it is much easier to get it down into the scenery. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


The A&MR RR 101, December 2012

This is the locomotive that I have operated from time to time over the past two years. It was stored at the flake board plant in Arcata. The plant closed about a year ago, and is being demolished for scrap. We only had a short section of track to run it on, but because of the lack of power to keep the batteries charged, it was not operated very often. This photograph shows it after it was loaded onto a flatbed trailer. It was transported yesterday to Samoa where the Timber Heritage Society is keeping it for future use.

Monday, December 3, 2012


The Last of Autumn's Leaves, December 2012

Yesterday I took Sadie for a walk in the forest behind our house. I left my new pocket camera turned  on so I could find out if the "geo-tagging" would work better. What I discovered is that it takes the camera awhile to acquire the satellites, and by leaving the camera on that it recorded fairly accurate coordinates of all my shots. This information linked with the map and I could see through the forest canopy and onto where I hike. I think that this feature is pretty cool.

One of the things I like about the small camera is that it encourages me to shoot. I have it in my pocket, and it is no hassle to get it out and to make imagery. I think of it as a sketch pad. When I got home, I still was in the mood to photograph. I came up with a series of these images of the maple leaves on the hood of the old Toyota.

TA, December, 2012

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Sunday Morning in Eureka After the Big Rains, December 2012

I took this about an hour ago with my new companion camera a Canon S100. It is wonderful having a pocket camera that I can carry anywhere. I took this image with the  camera set to a high image quality setting. It was hand-held, and I used ISO 400. While I was working on it in Light Room, I could see that the actual image quality is much lower than with my Canon 5dMII, and that is to be expected. Nonetheless, this little camera will provide me with a tool that will come in handy whenever and wherever I may be.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


Alco Road Switcher, Portola, 2012

I just love this image, and I know it will print out gorgeous. I will not tell another railroad story today. I am getting ready for Arts Alive. I have numerous photographs on the wall and in a print bin. They are all for sale and discounted at least 25%.

Well, I was wrong. I do have a story about Alcos like this one. When I was in school at Sierra Junior High in Bakersfield, I would often see a Southern Pacific train that had three of these engines on the head-end. The almost daily, train ran on the SP main line. My school was near the line. Whenever I heard the train I always stopped whatever I was doing, either in the classroom or out side, and imagined that I was in the cab and running that train.

I observed that the train consisted of, what to me appeared to be, many cement hoppers, and I deducted that the train took the cars to the Monolith Cement plant near Tehachapi. I was familiar enough with the route that I could day-dream for a long while. That is where I wished to be - not at school. I eventually manifested a version of those day dreams. I did not run Alcos up and down the hill, but I did run SP diesels past that school many times within about a dozen years of making those wishes.

To me, the railroad experience was the most idyllic when I was in the seventh and eighth grades, and now that I am in my sixties. My experiences in my twenties and early thirties did include some wonderful times, but the reality of working shifts, and often working short-rested was not the same as the dream.