March 2012 Archives

Carlsbad Caverns - Toning

Traditional wet-chemistry photo processing sometimes used toning to achieve particular effects. Two of the most common were sepia and selenium toning. In the photo gallery at Carlsbad Caverns, many of the photos were sepia-toned, giving a sort of old-fashioned effect. Here's one that I digitally processed in Lightroom with sepia toning.

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At the other end of the spectrum, selenium toning gives a cold, almost icy effect that works well with certain images.

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Carlsbad Caverns - Color

After driving through the Texas hill country we continued through the barren west of Texas and the equally barren southeast of New Mexico to Carlsbad. The next morning we went early to Carlsbad Caverns. For much of our hour and a half below the surface in the Big Room, we were alone - a wonderful enhancement of an already amazing experience.

The Big Room is mainly dark, with strategically placed lights - tungsten, fluorescent, and mercury vapor - to emphasize the colors as well as the shapes and textures of the formations. The effect on color of the different lights is subtle to the eye, but the camera captures the differences in an exaggerated way, as illustrated in the photo below.

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For some formations, black and white seemed a more suitable rendition.

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Over the next few days I'll be showing some other experiments with false color renditions.


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Texas Wildflowers

The wildflowers - especially blue bonnets - were at their peak as we drove through the hill country of Texas. These photos were all taken on the grounds of the LBJ National Historic Park.

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Fences

Crude but elaborate and effective fences and gates confine the longhorns at the Johnson settlement in Johnson City, Texas.

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Johnson City, Texas

On our way west from Austin, we drove through the Texas Hill Country, which was lovely this time of year. We stopped near Johnson City, the site of one part of the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park. This is the land which LBJ's grandparents settled, and on which he spent his boyhood. Some of the old settlement buildings and fences are nicely preserved here. The LBJ Ranch, home of the "Western White House", is part of the same park, about 15 miles further west.

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Austin, Texas

We spent some time in Austin during our drive from the Twin Cities to Albuquerque. We visited the LBJ Presidential Library on the U Texas campus, where we came upon this life-sized, moving, talking mannequin of Johnson telling stories in his inimitable fashion.

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On a morning walk around the city, I was intrigued by the juxtaposition of these two buildings, particularly the earth tones of the one on the right against the deep blue sky and the silvery building on the left.

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Rust

The restaurant in Ardmore, Oklahoma that I mentioned yesterday is located in back of the Amtrak station, in a rather disheveled warehouse district. One of the sheds had some unusual rust patterns and intriguing geometries.

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Luminosity

On our drive down to Albuquerque, we stopped one night in Ardmore, Oklahoma, just above the Texas line. We ate dinner at a good - but very hard to find - informal restaurant called Cafe Alley. While waiting for our table to be called, I took some photos of interesting lights in the waiting area.

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Portrait

Yesterday we ate dinner at the Fonda San Miguel in Austin, Texas: an excellent restaurant, with imaginative Mexican food, fine service, and interesting paintings on all the walls. This large portrait held my attention all evening, so when we rose to leave I took a photo, contrasting the man with the table of seemingly small diners underneath.

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Ghosts

Two rather ghostly reflections on a wall in an alley off Water Street in Santa Fe.

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Contemporary Native Arts

As a counterpoint to yesterday's serene images, here are two of a roomful-sized installation of rattles(!) by Richard Glazer Danay, also in the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts. These appeal to that part of my esthetic sense that likes Jackson Pollock and Robert Rauschenberg.

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Contemporary Native Arts

A few weeks ago we were in Santa Fe, where we visited the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts. Among several good exhibitions, two particularly struck me. Today I'll show a couple of pieces by Peter B. Jones, which convey a feeling of deep thoughtfulness and contemplation. Tomorrow, a couple of pieces with a very different flavor.

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Curves and Shadows

Explora, Albuquerque

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Geometries

Exterior details of the Explora children's museum in Albuquerque.

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Reflections

The exterior of Explora, the science, technology, and art museum for children in Albuquerque.

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Tunnel

In the Forest Products complex on the Saint Paul campus of the University of Minnesota: tunnel connecting Kaufert Labs with Skok Hall.

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Interior Decoration

Hodson Hall, home of Horticultural Science at the University of Minnesota, has some attractive horticultural posters to liven up labs and offices

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Warm and Cold

Alderman Hall on the Saint Paul campus of the University of Minnesota houses the Horticultural Sciences department. There's an interesting contrast between the warm and inviting exterior landscaping and the cold (in both senses) interior lab facilities.

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Entomology

Hodson Hall, on the Saint Paul Campus of the University of Minnesota, is the home of the Entomology Department. The building also has attractive exterior landscaping and an interesting curving bridge to the adjoining building.

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Soil Science

From my series of Saint Paul campus buildings at the University of Minnesota.

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LEDs

Electricians switching out fluorescents for LEDs (tubular) in the Nanofabrication Lab in Keller Hall at the University of Minnesota. This is a clean room facility, so everyone (including the photographer) had to be gowned. The third photo is three floors above, where the ballast is being replaced and rewired.

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Meeting

I've decided that my "Behind the Scenes" project at the University of Minnesota should include white collar as well as blue collar work. And what could be more white collar than a meeting? This one is of the senior staff in the office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education.

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Backs of Trucks

The backs of semi-trailers are full of interesting patterns, part functional, part random wear. They remind me of works by artists like Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, somewhere along the abstract expressionism - pop art continuum.

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Trucking Details

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(Click to enlarge) At the warehouse/trucking complex in Albuquerque, the doors, walls, bumpers, and lanes make pleasant geometric compositions.

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(Click to enlarge) The signs are written in reverse, so drivers can read them in their rear-view mirrors.

Scribbles

Many of Cy Twombly's paintings seem like scribbles on a background. I don't usually like Twombly's work, but sometimes I like to photograph scenes that aren't so different.

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Alphabetic Variations

Big, colorful letters make photogenic subjects. From the trucking/warehouse center in Albuquerque.

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Albuquerque Abstracts

We've been down in Albuquerque for a few days. Today was bright and sunny and reasonably warm, so a friend and I went out photographing. We went to a trucking/warehouse complex, and photographed geometrical abstracts formed by the building details and shadows from the bright sun.

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Saint Paul Campus Labs

More pictures from my "Places of Learning and Discovery" series, on the Saint Paul campus of the University of Minnesota.

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Hayes Hall - Agronomy

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Christensen Lab - Plant Pathology

More Green in Black and White

Photos from the day before yesterday's blog, converted to black and white. Looks classic, no?

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Greenery in Black and White

The bushes are vivid shades of green, but this is really a monochrome photo. I wanted to see what it would look like in gray scale, as converted in Lightroom. I like it both ways.

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This page is an archive of entries from March 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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