On Thursday, Sep. 12th dropped into the Last Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles. It's still going strong, but some of the old edgy art pieces are gone - bummer.
It's been a few years since I've attended the downtown ArtWalk - the second Thursday of each month. It seems to be smaller - fewer open galleries and no food trucks. We ended up eating at Grand Central Market.
Other spots on Thursday, walked around the old Los Angeles Times building and Grand Park. Lots of memories.
Recently I added a second Instagram account @harrysonpicsbnw . There I’m posting images from nearly 50 years of black and white photography. Also decided to start posting on my old web site.
March, 1979: Two students negotiate their way home from school in Downey, CA.
For over 30 years, artist Kenny Irwin Jr. has covered his four acre Palm Springs lot with creatures of all sizes. His sculptures have a robot, alien, sci-fi theme. During the holidays, Irwin adds thousands of lights and inflatables.
While open by appointment year round, Irwin has a major holiday hit on his hands. After adding numerous Christmas decorations, about 20,000 visitors annually tour of his display. After a lawsuit, Irwin and the City of Palm Springs reached an agreement to restrict parking in the immediate residential neighborhood.
I visited RoboLights over the Jan. 6-7th, 2018, weekend - avoiding the crush of visitors.
My results are in this flickr album: 2018 RoboLights
Artist Kenny Irwin Jr.
Oct. 21, 2017: Reign of Terror Haunted House at Janss Marketplace in Thousand Oaks. I attended the afternoon Lights on Tour where parents can visit with smaller children. There are no live actors - monsters - during the afternoon tour. But with the lights on, I could easily take images.
The award winning Reign of Terror Haunted House is now in its 18th year. The haunted house is spread out over 23,000 square feet and features 100 different rooms.
I posted some 35 images in this flickr album: 2017 Reign of Terror.
Feb. 12, 1979: Stuntwoman Kitty O'Neil takes a 127-foot plunge from atop the Valley Hilton in Sherman Oaks into an inflatable air bag while filming a scene for the "Wonder Woman" TV show. (R.L. Oliver / Los Angeles Times)
My Los Angeles Times From the Archives post yesterday was on Kitty O'Neal's plunge for the 70's television show "Wonder Woman." Photographer R.L. Oliver was able to shoot a wide angle photo of the start of the jump and switch to - I'm guessing - a 180mm lens on second camera to capture this image.
Link to the post: From the Archives: Stuntwoman Kitty O'Neil takes a plunge off the Valley Hilton.
Volunteers, above, lift off the top of display case during cleaning at the Museum of Fur Trade in Chadron, Nebraska.
It's been over 20 years since I last visited the museum, but with extra time before the Solar Eclipse, I dropped in.
The Museum of Fur Trade is large, with numerous displays on the history of North America. Included are a large collection of antique rifles, other weapons, textiles, tools and clothing.
The museum's brochure states they are, "Dedicated to preserving the history of the first business in North America - the fur trade."
The museum was established in 1949 at the former site of James Bordeaux's trading post. That trading post was established in 1837 by the American Fur Company.
I've posted over 30 images in this flickr album 2017 Museum of Fur Trade.
For the recent Solar Eclipse, I ended up on a ranch south of Hay Springs, Nebraska. No crowds at this location. I was able to enjoy the event with my cousins.
To shoot the eclipse, I used a Canon Powershot SX60 with its long zoom. The 65x zoom lens has has a 35mm equivalence to a 21mm to 1365mm lens. While it's not as sharp as a good long lens, it fit my budget. I added a solar filter and good tripod.
For the two weeks before the eclipse, I practiced shooting the sun. While using the solar filter, my exposures were normally at 1/20th a second at f/8. I used 200 ISO. In Lightroom I was able to keep the yellow color and add some redish glow around the sun.
During the full eclipse, above right, I removed the solar filer and found that the Powershot SX60 zoom lens added nice flare around the sun.
After the eclipse, I started working in Lightroom on the images. In the middle of the sun was this series of four dust spots - image above left. I started cloning them out. Wrong - after checking other images online, they were sun spots.
I posted these images and more on flickr: 2017 Solar Eclipse.
This morning I texturized a photo of a B-17 taken in February, 2017, at the March Air Base Museum in Riverside. This afternoon, it's time share an example of my workflow using iOS applications.
The original, above, was taken with the Hipstamatic camera app using the Jane Lens and Blackeys Supergrain film. While I’m shooting for the hipstamatic black and white, above, right, the app also saves an original color raw file, above, left.
This morning I opened the hipstamatic black and white version and applied the TinType app, above, left. Next I opened the file in Snapseed, right, and lighten the image with shadows 80, contrast 10, brightness 25 and ambiance 20.
Next, I opened the image in PhotoCopier and used Bruegel Bethlehem preset, left, above. Then In Distressed FX, right, I used Pith 60% and Storybook 50%.
As with most of my texturized images, I finished in the Formulas app, top photo of post, with Glazed 65% and hard cover border with 30 width.
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Almost 200 welded metal trees, covered with bottles and recycled items, sit along historic Route 66 south of Barstow, California. The two-acre Bottle Tree Ranch, by artist Elmer Long, dates back to year 2000.
After Long inherited his father’s bottle collection, he began fashioning metal trees to display the collection. Long added various recycled items to create his folk art.
The site is opened daily with Elmer Long usually present. Because of late night human visitors, he’s added security cameras.
I visited back on March 11th and finally posted my images. Over 40 images in this flickr album: 2017 Bottle Tree Ranch.
Bottle Tree Ranch creator Elmer Long.
April 2, 2017: A Confederate soldier fires at advancing Union troops.
The Blue and The Gray Civil War re-enactment returned to Moorpark this last weekend.
The event, normally held in November, was cancelled in 2016. The field at California Lutheran University used for the 2015 event, had been leased to the Los Angeles Rams.
This year, the Rotary Club of Moorpark held the re-enactment at Hitch Ranch, just West of downtown Moorpark. It’s a good site and this year’s cool temperatures really were appreciated.
But personally, the old site at Tierra Rejada Ranch is still my favorite location.
In 1862, following his victory at Manassas in Virginia, General Lee invaded Maryland. On Sep. 17, 1862 the Union troops under the command of General George McClellan attacked Lee’s army at Antietam Creek near Sharpsburg, Maryland. The Union won the bloody fight.
The five battles at this year The Blue and The Gray event recreated the fight at Antietam. Due to a scheduling conflict, I missed the three battles on Saturday, April 1st. But I attended the two Sunday battles. The Union won the first, the Confederates the second.
In the image above, I got lucky and caught a muzzle flash. Below, Union troops react to a pyrotechnic explosion recreating a cannon ball explosion.
I've posted more images in this 2017 The Blue and The Gray flickr album.
April 2, 2017: Retreating Union soldiers react to cannon ball explosion.
April 2, 2017: A Confederate soldier recovers his lost hat.
My thoughts on images past and present.