Dark Clouds over City Hall
29/04/10 11:44 Filed in: Downtown Los Angeles
Photo from last night of Los Angeles City Hall. Of course I got carried away with software — this image processed with Topaz Adjust 4 ghostly preset and some additional saturation was added. The original was just too boring.
28/04/10 01:11 Filed in: Thousand Oaks
This last Saturday and Sunday at California Lutheran University, Ed Lawrence gave a retrospective of his work. Titled "From Ranches to Residences" Lawrence gave the backstory of a series of over 100 images taken from his extensive history of the Thousand Oaks area. Many of the before and after images — before development and after development — were taken years apart from the same location.
Not only did Lawrence shoot what photojournalist call the "overalls,” he covered the everyday life of rural Conejo, its rapid development in the 1960s, and then the slower development since the early 1970s.
Gone are sheep and cattle ranching. Gone is the movie production. Gone is the Conejo Valley Days rodeo and parade. All these come alive in Lawrence's collection of images.
But Lawrence is not gone. He is 86 years old and in excellent health. His three keys to good health are "think positive, eat healthy and exercise."
In 1958 freelance photographer Ed Lawrence moved to the Conejo Valley, a rural community of about 1600.
A big part of his exercise was hiking every local trail and mountain with several cameras. He also owned a VW bus with a photographers' deck built on top. "It was great for those dirt roads — went everywhere."
In 1958 freelance photographer Ed Lawrence moved to the Conejo Valley, a rural community of about 1600. The rapid growth soon followed. In the mid 60s Thousand Oaks was according to Lawrence, "the fastest growing city in 14 (southern) California counties."
In the 1960s, “homes went for $12,000 with a good front and back yard. Today $600,000 gets a Lang Ranch home with no backyard. "Homes now jammed in tighter and tighter."
Lawrence is a big supporter of Stagecoach Inn. He showed images of the "Last Great Stagecoach Race" a fundraiser to help relocate the Inn. He also has good color images of the 1970 fire that destroyed the Stagecoach Inn.
Golfers will never stop playing. One of Lawrence's images of a brush fire near Los Robles has golfers playing through.
The Wildwood area was used in many film productions. The Gunsmoke set was on present day Ave De Los Arbolis and "would have made a great entrance to Wildwood Park. It should have been preserved."
" You would be amazed by the number of films made in the Conejo Valley," says Lawrence as he showed photos of Clint Eastwood and other stars.
Albertson Ranch - site of Westlake Village, was another major movie production spot around 1960. "As many as five moves were being filmed at a time."
Permission to take pictures was very restricted, until Donna Fargo got Lawrence into the ranch. He hiked to the top of "porkchop hill,” so named for a Korean War movie filmed there, and shot a remarkable image of clouds over an empty valley that would become Westlake Village.
Lawrence gave a large print to the ranch owners and soon had unlimited access to the ranch.
Everyone would call Lawrence with photo opportunity tips. Sheep owner Nick Costa always would let Ed know when he was moving a herd through Thousand Oaks from one field to another. To avoid traffic, the moves were usually early on a Sunday morning.
Lawrence said other photographers would have covered the sheep moves — if they knew when and where. Thus he now has the iconic images of sheep on Thousand Oaks Blvd.
Sheep being moved on Thousand Oaks Blvd. 1965. © copyright Ed Lawrence. Used with permission.
Today lives with family in Lake Tahoe. Lawrence lived in the Conejo Valley from 1958 through 2003.
"I feel very fortunate to be able to do this. I love climbing the hllls. I had such a wonderful time taking all these photos. I did it because I loved it."
Before and after the program, audience members were able to purchase copies of many of Lawrence's photographs.
Ed Lawrence's collection of work needs to find a home locally. In addition to preserving the photographs, his two hour presentation also needs to be videotaped. He really brings to images to life.
Photos on display and for sale after Ed Lawrence’s presentation.
The Flight of the Vaux's Swifts
26/04/10 11:00 Filed in: Downtown Los Angeles
A 1/30 second exposure blurs Vaux’s swifts enter a chimney in downtown Los Angeles.
Appearing nightly for a limited run is the melodrama “The Flight of the Vaux’s Swifts.”
Thousands of migratory Vaux’s swifts are currently using the empty Chester Building in Downtown Los Angeles as a pit stop on their trip to Canada. The entrance is a chimney.
After reading this Los Angeles Times story, I attended last Saturday’s fly in.
The performance went like this: About twenty minutes before sunset a single raven — the villain — camped out on top of the chimney. Soon a Vaux was a fast food dinner. A second raven soon joined in. Loud boos and hisses rose from the audience — about 40 onlookers.
Both Ravens soon grabbed a swift and flew away to jeers from the audience.
Once unguarded, the Vaux's swifts entered the chimney by the hundreds. But after about ten minutes, a loud chorus of boos greeted a returning raven.
The melodrama repeated itself.
One of the villains, a raven, sits on chimney waiting for dinner.
Another Locked Door
23/04/10 11:20 Filed in: Downtown Los Angeles
Image of another painted locked door taken last night in downtown Los Angeles. Of course I bumped up the colors in Lightroom and with Topaz Detail 2.
Quick Look - Edwin Little
19/04/10 17:30 Filed in: iPhone iPad
Edwin Little is a frames and filters app. The workflow is very simple. First shoot or pick an image to work on. Then pick from frames. Then pick a filter to apply. Last step is save or email result.
The app uses the center square portion of an image, slicing off ends. There is no crop function. Output is small, about 425 x 425 pixels. The Edwin Little manual says output depends upon model iPhone. Well, other apps give a larger output on my iPhone 3G.
Edwin comes with the following filters: default, old time, lomo style, holga style, random, sepia, portrait, HDR or none. The frames are: photo, none, instant, classic, brushed, emulsion, white, metal and grand.
After playing on and off for over a month, today I gave Edwin Little its last chance. With no cropping option, I went through several images until this Angels Flight crop was to my liking. This version of the photo has the Lomo filter and brushed frame. Final output was 412 by 437 pixels — including a lot of white space.
With no levels or other controls, I had to run the image through Lightroom to lighten. The original was too dark.
I have a one star thumbs down on Edwin Little. It has good filters and frames, but nothing else. Again, stick with the free version, the paid version is overpriced.
USS Massachusetts 1977
14/04/10 12:41 Filed in: New England
Aerial photo of the USS Massachusetts at Battleship Cove, Fall River, Massachusetts taken in 1977.
Only Four Matches
13/04/10 08:45 Filed in: Soccer Images
Naples, Florida, 1981
08/04/10 11:06 Filed in: Naples, Florida
I was working on some old photos this morning. Here is another from Naples, Florida in 1981.
Playing with the Triforium
07/04/10 00:50 Filed in: Topaz Plugins
Tonight I got carried away - again - playing with the Triforium in Downtown Los Angeles. I used the QuadCamera app on my iPhone to shoot the image. Then two copies opened in photoshop and Topaz Simplify 2 applied. One image got Buz Sim preset, the other the woodcarving preset. Then the two copies were placed together on different layers and blend-if sliders used to combine into final image. Just having too much fun.
Air Raid Siren
04/04/10 23:43 Filed in: Downtown Los Angeles
On Saturday I shot this image of a World War 2/cold war air-raid siren outside of Los Angeles City Hall. Of course I have to say it:
It’s a blast from the past!
Antenna Ball Jack
04/04/10 00:47 Filed in: Jack in the Box
A photo of Jack in the Box antenna ball after using Topaz Adjust 4 sketch color preset.
Look Up, Look Down
02/04/10 00:52 Filed in: Downtown Los Angeles
Composite of two photos taken Wednesday, March 31, 2010, in downtown Los Angeles. The bottom is reflection of scene on a polished stone. Top is straight shot of same tree looking up. Images converted to grayscale, contrast increased and images combined in Photoshop. © 2010 Scott Harrison