Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cadiz, CA (or Route 66, continued!)

Just southeast of Chambless, CA, on old Route 66, you see signs for Cadiz. The map also shows the town of Cadiz, but when you get there and check it out, you realize someone pulled a fast one! No town, not even remnants of a town, but lots of train activity. Desert trains make for good photos, so it was well worth stopping and exploring.
Here's the original photo... 3 exposure HDR shot
Here's the B&W version...
Added a texture to give it that gritty, desert feel...
So, which version do you prefer??
I like the sky in this photo, so linking to Skywatch Friday
Have a great weekend!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Macro Monday!

Been a long time since I've posted to Macro Monday. My wife has milkweed planted in the yard to attract monarch butterflies and it worked like a charm this year. We have monarch caterpillars all over the place, and they've chewed down the milkweed to sticks. Happy Macro Monday, and enjoy your week!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Chambless, CA

We seem to be in a rut (but a good rut)... we get out to the desert every other weekend, and we've been exploring some of the old forgotten towns on Route 66 for the past few trips (check out my Ludlow post). For those of you unfamiliar with Route 66, here's the bottom line:  When the freeways were built, families stopped using Route 66 as a main thoroughfare, and the towns eventually died off. It's an interesting (and sad) piece of Americana, and for whatever reason I'm intrigued by these locations. So today's post:  Chambless, CA. Chambless had a restaurant (The Roadrunner, long ago closed) and a gas station (also long ago closed). Virtually nothing left of the town now other than a few hardy desert dwellers.
Shot full of holes!!
You find some crazy old abandoned vehicles along Route 66!
Route 66 roadside retread. As the sun starts to set, the mountains turn purple.
"Official Garage":  No gas pumped here in many years, but got to love the architecture!
The highlight for me was the Road Runner Retreat Restaurant.  It's fenced off, but much of the fence is conveniently knocked down. I think everyone who passes by this place gets out of their car to take a photo! There was a guy waiting for me to finish up so he could photograph the place! Oh, and got to give credit to John over at Sinbad and I on the Loose for the heads up on this place. Thanks, John!
Linking with 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Original Desert Shoe Tree (or what's left of it!)

The "shoe tree" on old Route 66 about one mile east of Amboy is, I think, the original desert shoe tree. There are others, but they aren't as well known or as heavily decorated with shoes. People driving along Route 66 see the shoe tree and some decide to make their own contribution. Here's what the tree looked like in January, 2005.
Photo credit: It's a good read if you have a few minutes. The author of this blog noted in 2005 that the tree "looks nearly dead". Last weekend, Gayle and I drove out to Route 66 and headed east through Amboy to the little towns of Chambless and Cadiz. We got some really great photos which I'll share on future posts. But here's what's left of the Route 66 shoe tree.
The tree appears to be a victim of it's own success, toppled under the weight of too many "contributions". People do funny things in the desert. The Amboy shoe tree is no more, but if you're traveling in the area, keep an eye out for the dead tree on the south side of Route 66 covered with shoes.
Linking with: 
  and Your Sunday Best.
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Skywatch Friday: Joshua Tree Edition!

I've just returned from a week in New Brunswick, NJ, for a business meeting so no photography since last weekend. Although I didn't get out of my hotel much, the little bit of New Jersey I did see appears to be cleaning up nicely. Lots of evidence of downed trees, but looks like most people (although not all) have power restored and gasoline available. But virtually all the locals had stories about sustained power outages, ridiculously long wait times in gas lines, and extended periods of time without a hot shower. The most common topic of conversation was about generators... have you installed one yet? Gasoline powered vs. natural gas vs. propane? Free standing vs. hard-wired into the house? Sounds like it won't be long before back-up generators become a standard feature on homes in hurricane country. What's this got to do with my Skywatch post?  Absolutely nothing, so without further rambling, here's a photo I took last month in Joshua Tree National Park. The sun was just setting and there was a beautiful pinkish light glow from behind the rocky hills. One of my favorites!
Click the Skywatch link to check out great looking skies from around the world. Have a great weekend! 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

SkyWatching: Huntington Beach Pier

I went down to the Huntington Beach pier earlier this week to take some photos of my son and my nephew surfing. It was a great day... unseasonably warm, light Santa Ana winds, and so clear it looked like you could take a short swim out to Catalina Island!  The boys said they would be surfing in front of lifeguard tower #5. Unfortunately, a side current pushed them down the beach, so I never did get any photos of them. But no worries... you can always find stuff to photograph at the beach!
Ruby's restaurant at the end of the pier.
Ruby's version 2:  Added a layer that included the big moon. Not very realistic but kind of fun!
Lone surfer watching the sun set.
Sunset Surfer with Catalina Island clear as a bell in the background!
Linking to Skywatch Friday. Click on the link to check out great skies from around the world!  Have a great weekend!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Vintage Argus Camera and Tripod

My wife has this amazing ability to be able to hunt out things at thrift stores... give her a list, and chances are excellent she will find it! She says she prefers the messier stores, and it takes a good eye to separate the gems from the junk. When I started getting more serious about photography, I asked her to keep any eye out for old vintage cameras. Here's a beauty she found... it's an old Argus, and she also found this vintage "Empire Standard" tripod which is really solid and sturdy and very functional! I like the look of them together... kind of an authentic feel, and makes me think back to my first film camera!
Hope you had a great weekend! Linking with