Images & Observations

Found Objects

Power Plant #64

 

PowerPlant64__20120908-DSC_0064_P__© Wayne E FrostFound hanging around Myrtle Avenue, at the Street Rods Forever car show, Monrovia, California, 08-Sep-2012.

Click on image in blog to view in high resolution or to purchase a print.


Thanksgiving Dinner Served Here

Roadside Americana

Nikon D7000 18-200mm @ 32mm ISO 200 1/50 f/11 Lr4, TpzSim; PsCS6

The Sycamore Inn, providing food and drink to travelers on old Route 66, since before there was a Route 66.  This Rancho Cucamonga, California landmark first opened in 1848.  On the menu for Thanksgiving 2012: A selection of 29 wines by the glass, a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings, or filet mignon, prime rib or salmon.  Served in the main dining room at tables with white tablecloths and ancient wing backed chairs on casters, squint your eye and you might see an old sour dough miner celebrating a gold strike.

Nikon D7000 18-200mm @ 44mm ISO 200 1/320 f/8 Lr4, TpzSim; PsCS6

To view in high resolution or to purchase these or similar prints please click here: http://goo.gl/DDUfc


Wall Detail #130

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 24mm ISO 200 1/125 f/11 Lr4, TpzSim; PsCS6

This is a section of the wall depicted in my last post.  I found the color and textures of the brick and mortar interesting, and the remnants of the painted advertising information.

To view in high resolution or to purchase this or similar prints please click here: http://goo.gl/DDUfc


“Oh, To Fly Again…”

Another salvage jet engine waiting on the tarmac at Planes of Fame Air Museum, Chino, California for another chance to fly.  I am fascinated by the mechanical contrivances that man can devise from inert matter that then have the ability to move matter through time and space.

Prints of this and other aircraft are available here: http://goo.gl/zZohQ .


Wednesday Ritual

Nikon D7000 18-200mm @ 29mm ISO 1600 3-bkts (-2EV, 0, +2EV) Lr4, HEP1, CEP4; PsCS5

This scene is becoming part of our Wednesday ritual.  A double bacon cheeseburger and chocolate Coke for me; a bacon cheeseburger and a Coke or shake for Judy at our usual table inside Johnny Rocket’s.  When we are really energetic we then walk over to the adjacent Wednesday farmers market in The Shoppes in Chino Hills, California where we might score some fresh produce, or a container of goodies from the baklava man.

I used the Glamour Glow and Tonal Contrast filters in Color Efex Pro to tweak this image, which as usual was a hand-held three frames bracketed.


Roofline With Bird

Nikon D7000 18-135mm @ 135mm ISO 1250 1/2500 f/16 Lr4

One of the photographic exercises I task myself with from time to time is to find objects in my own backyard to make images from.  This is the roofline of my next door neighbor’s house, as seen from my backyard.  I like the diagonal lines created by the vents, the wood trim and the roof tiles, as well as the recurring pattern of the tiles, and how it all plays against the deep, blue sky.


Portal To Three Worlds

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 24mm ISO 1250 3-bkts f/16 Lr4, HEP1, TpzSim; PSCS5

A doorway leading to 165, 167 and 169 North Glendora Avenue, Glendora, California.  What worlds lie behind this doorway?  You will have to pass through the portal to find out.


“Doctor Who, your transport is ready.”

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @10mm ISO 800 3-bkts f/20 Lr3, HEP1, TpzSim; PsCS5

Is it really Doctor Who’s time traveling machine or just a classic British telephone box found at a British themed mini-mall in Pasadena, California?

Please click on the image to view in high resolution.


Roaring 20’s Excursion

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 24mm ISO 1600 3-bkts f/8 Lr3; HEP1

A typical baggage cart loaded with hand luggage and mail bags is on display at the San Bernardino Railroad & History Museum.  The era represented could be the Roaring 20’s, the advertising card is for a rail excursion in 1923 from Venice, California to the 13th National Orange show in San Bernardino.  The excursion was operated by the Pacific Electric Railway Company, which during its heyday had electric trolleys, popularly termed “red cars” criss crossing the greater Los Angeles area.  The excursion from the beach at Venice inland to San Bernardino would have been roughly 100 miles if travelling by automobile, Pacific Electric offered a special excursion fare on Washington’s Birthday, February 18, 1928 for $3.25, round trip, via their electric trolleys

Pacific Electric’s operations began declining after the second world war, and most of the rail lines were eliminated throughout the 1950’s.  The scandale that arose in the 1960’s was that it was widely thought that oil company and automotive manufacturing interests were responsible for the decision to replace the interurban rail transit system with freeways, cars and buses.

Ironically, local government and transportation authorities began championing interurban rail transit again in the 1980’s and the first Metro Blue Line rail transit (subway) line began operations in 1990 and later the Red, Green and Gold Lines were added, as was the Metrolink heavy rail system linking more distant exurbs.  All of this work completed or still under construction in 2012, at considerable more cost to the taxpayers and environmental impact than would have accrued if the Pacific Electric Railway would never have been abandoned.

Please click on the image to view in high resolution.


Cold War Relic

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 24mm ISO 1600 3-bkts f/10, Lr3, PsCS5

If you know what the phrase “Duck and cover” means, and probably practiced it, you know what this object is.  Living in the Los Angeles area during the Cold War era I also know what an air raid siren sounds like.  The Civil Defense authorities would test all of the sirens at 10:00 A.M. on one Friday a month, and if we were in school we were taught to duck under our school desks, crouch down in and curl our bodies in on themselves, and cover our heads with our hands.  We were curled in to almost a fetal position waiting for our doom from the blast and tremendous heat of an exploding atomic bomb over our heads.

We were fortunate that we never had a bomb explode over us, and are fortunate that humanity has moved past the immediate threat of atomic annihilation, but others have not been as fortunate as us, either those who lived through the German V-1 bombing in Great Britain before our generation, or those who have lived through the “Shock And Awe” bombing in  contemporary Bagdad.  The sound the sirens make is all too real for these people, as is the impact of the devastation created by warring nations.

Please click on the image to view in high resolution.


Ready To Peal Again

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 24mm ISO 1600 3-bkts f/8 Lr3, HEP1; PsCS5

Among the artifacts on display at the San Bernardino Railroad & History Museum is this old locomotive bell.  A nice jog of the memory of times past actually lived (by some of us) or as reproduced on the motion picture or television screen.  I can hear that distinct sound of a locomotive bell  pealing as it is rocked back and forth on its cradle in my mind.


Hose #1; An Exercise In Post Processing

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 12mm ISO 1600 1/20 +2EV -2EV f/8 Lr3, HEP1, CEP3; PsCS5

We are still at the San Bernardino Railroad & History Museum this week, and as we started last week off with a vintage piece of fire fighting apparatus, this week starts with a view of SAN B’DINO HOSE No. 1, a horse drawn truck for transporting the fire hose to the fire.

As with the majority of my images, the three frames that make up this image were shot hand-held.  The camera raw images were converted to DNG in Lightroom and then processed with Nik Software’s HDR Efrex Pro using a custom preset that I had previously devised.  This composited the three images together and tone mapped the result.  I used a custom preset in HDR Exfex Pro that I had previously devised, and the composite image only required very minimal “tweaking”.  The image was then moved in to Photo Shop and a duplicate background layer was created which then had a Gaussian blur applied.  I then masked out the fire truck, removing the blur from the truck.  A duplicate layer was created and then processed in Nik’s Color Efex Pro 3, the entire image, except the masked out truck, was modified by applying Color Efex Pro’s Midnight-Bright Sepia filter.  There was minor fine tuning along the way, and I spent some time magnifying the image and cleaning up edges of masking that overlapped, or underlapped.

I thoroughly enjoyed post processing this image and I think it has a nice, vintage feel to it, yet retains great clarity and detail on the truck.

Please click on the image to view it in high resolution.


Ultra Economy Class

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 18mm ISO 1600 1/15 -2EV +2EV f/13 Lr3, HEP1, CEP3; PsCS5

While those One Percenter’s are getting their shoes shined on the tarmac in front of their private jet they never forget the rest of us, and kindly arrange for alternative transportation for the wage earners.

This is a Hudson Bay Railroad hand car on display at the San Bernardino Railroad & History Museum.


The Original Hook & Ladder Truck

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 14mm ISO 1600 3-bkts f/16 Lr3; HEP1

One of the artifacts on display at the San Bernardino Railroad & History Museum, San Bernardino, California is this hook and ladder “truck” that dates back to the 1900’s.  If you look closely you can see the hook protruding from the red ring hanger that is attached to the rear of the truck chasis.

The Los Angeles County Fire Museum also displays an early hook and ladder and had this to say about it on their web site:

The fact that it is hand drawn, and not horse drawn, does not mean that it is older than horse drawn equipment. Small towns that did not require large firefighting equipment did not invest in the expense of having horses. So this vehicle may have served a small town or village, and they elected to stay with hand drawn equipment because they did not need the more capable, more expensive steam fire engines or horse drawn equipment…

It carried ground ladders and a roof ladder. A roof ladder is a ladder that has hooks that are spring loaded on the tip of the ladder that could turn perpendicular to the ladder so that the ladder could lay flat on the peak of the roof. The hooks would grab the ridge and hold the ladder in place so that the firefighters could work off the ladders. This is particularly helpful when there is a steep pitched roof. Especially when it is wet, it can be very hard for a firefighter to keep his footing. So, the roof ladder is used to provide better footing and safety.

It also carried axes and picks, and also the famed “hook”, giving it the name “Hook and Ladder”. The hook was used to pull down damaged buildings or chimneys to stop the spread of fire by creating a fire break. Sometimes, in early chimneys, the fire would get going in them and they could not put it out. So, they would just pull the chimneys down with the hook. The hook and a chain and a rope, and they used a long stick to get the hook up to the height to whatever they needed to grab, whatever piece of the building they needed to grab onto. They would use the chain and the rope hooked to the building, and a bunch of men would grab that to pull the wall down, or pull the chimney down.

Please click on either image to view in full resolution.

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 24mm ISO 1600 3-bkts f/13 Lr3; HEP1


Running Gear

Interpretive Digital Imaging

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 24mm ISO 200 3-bkts f/16 Lr3, HEP1, CEP3, TpzSim; PsCS5

This is the forward truck assembly on one of Metrolink’s EMD F59PH locomotives.  There is a wheel here and what I believe is brake equipment.  I really enjoy capturing images of mechanical devices, I believe they are great examples of sculptural art.  As with the other images I am sharing this week I practiced rendering the final image in a painterly style.  I played with overall contrast, adjusted highlights and shadows, modified color tones and reduced details.

I’d appreciate feedback from viewers of these images, what do you think of the painterly effects I am using, and would you like to see more images of mechanical or industrial equipment handled this way.


UP 6051

Another Time

Nikon D7000 28-300mm @ 38mm ISO 640 3-bkts f/9.0 Lr3, HEP1, PsC5; ASSA3

Today’s image was captured  at the intersection of Fairmount Boulevard and Locust Street, at one of the entrances to Fairmount Park, in Riverside, California.  UP 6051 was manufactured by the Baldwin Locomotive Works, in Pennsylvania in 1907.  Locomotive 6051 has a Whyte designation of 2-10-0, thus it has two wheels on the leading axel, ten wheels on the five drive axels and no trailing axel.  The engine weighs 220,500 pounds and was oil fueled.  The locomotive was built for the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad as number 642.  It was renumber 6051 in 1921 and in 1936 it was leased to the Union Pacific Railroad.  6051 was donated to the city of Riverside in 1943.  It appears that sometime after retirement someone made off with 6051’s bell which would have been mounted on the U-shaped bracket topside.

While Monday’s image of the street tree had characteristics of an impasto painting style, for today’s image I used a colored chalk filter from the Alien Skin Snap Art 3 palette.  I believe this rendition works well displaying the details of the locomotive and also imparting a sense of time past.


The Beast

Nikon D7000 18-135mm @ 48mm ISO 1250 3-bkts f/16 Lr3, HEP1; CEP3

This was a brand new motor in front of the fire engine red backdrop at the Edelbrock booth at the Vette Set show.  The varios parts had more color tones and more details in the original capture and you could make out all of the belts interconnecting components, but rather than produce  a purely documentary image I wanted to produce something more stylized.  My intent was to convey an idea of a mechanical device, but to let your mind decide what specific object(s) the image represents, sort of like a Rorschach ink blot.


The Fountain At Library Park

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 17mm ISO 800 3-bkts f/14 Lr3, HEP1; PsCS5

Continuing our visit to Myrtle Avenue in Monrovia, California on a recent evening I discovered a gem of a park that I had really never noticed in all the years when I used to drive and would drive by without really noticing it.  You see and appreciate so much more when you are on foot, or in a power chair that won’t get up to more than five miles an hour.

This was shot hand-held, the three brackets at 1/50, 1/10 and 1/3.  Very minimal tweaking in Lightrooom and Nik’s HDR Efex Pro.

Please follow me on Google+ and I will add you to my Photo Friends circle.  If you have not checked out Google+ I recommend you do, the Circles function gives you great control over managing your social networking contacts, the Hangout feature for instant voice and video conferencing is awesome; Trey Ratcliff has been hosting Hangouts for photographers almost daily, and quite a community of photographers is growing over there. If you are a photographer do not get scared off by the TOS if you wish to load photos up there, there seems to be a lot of misinformed fear mongering going on about this.  I am hosting some of my galleries there and like the presentation, if you load images there and you have EXIF data in your image files it will be displayed in the photo album, together with the histogram, which should be a great tool if you want to study other photographers’ work.


Box Jewelers Street Clock

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 14mm ISO 200 3-bkts f/16 Lr3; HEP1

Sometime between 1913 and 1914 Dr. William G. Barks opened a combined optometry and jewelry business at 507 South Myrtle Avenue in Monrovia, California and erected the street clock manufactured by the Brown Street Clock Company.  The clock was originally powered by a spring-wound clock mechanism that was subsequently converted to an electrical powered mechanism.  In 1921 Glen L. Box (FKA Glen L. DeBoxx) bought the jewelry business and the street clock from Dr. Barks.  In 1931 Box moved the business and the clock across the street to 518 South Myrtle Avenue; Glen L. Box died in 1951 and his widow, Ivah Box sold the store and clock to Shields Krutzsch, who then sold the store to Sam and Jeaneane Silverman in 1969.   In 2002 the clock was declared Monrovia Landmark #32 and in 2003 the Silvermans transferred ownership of the clock to the Monrovia Historic Preservation Group.

The clock and various businesses on Myrtle Avenue have been a location of television and motion picture filming at various times due to it’s proximity to Hollywood and the overall small town period look of the businesses on the street.  The city of Monrovia has done a great job rejuvenating the street-scape of its original town center which has attracted viable businesses such as merchandisers, service providers, and the food and beverage sector; attracting residents of the extended local area as a pleasant place to spend their time.

We had a great time capturing this image and the others to come in the blog this week while doing our photo walk on Myrtle Avenue in Monrovia on an early June evening.

A hat tip to the Monrovia Patch which was one of my sources for this post.


Big Boy With Grit

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 15mm ISO 800 3-bkts f/16 Lr3; HEP1

The original Bob’s Big Boy restaurant opened in Glendale, California in 1939 and was named Bob’s Pantry by it’s owner Bob Wian.  The story continues (from the franchisor’s bigboy.com web site):

One night in 1937, a regular customer requested something different for a change. Bob went to work and the first double-decker hamburger was born.

Customers couldn’t get enough of Bob’s new creation. One fan in particular was a chubby six-year-old boy in droopy overalls.

He would often help Bob sweep up in exchange for a free burger. In honor of his young friend, Wian decided to name the better burger the Big Boy®. Another regular customer, a movie studio animator, sketched the now famous character on a napkin.

I had my first Big Boy sometime in the 1950’s at their drive-in restaurant on Van Nuys Boulevard, in Van Nuys, California, which was a major cruising destination.  We would order a Big Boy Combo which was the Big Boy double cheeseburger, fries and a salad which consisted of a wedge of iceberg lettuce and their Thousand Island or Blue Cheese dressing.  That would be accompanied by one of their thick chocolate shakes that came in a silver goblet and which were so thick, you could turn the goblet upside down and the milkshake would almost stay in the goblet.  Instead of a straw we would use a spoon.

Of course those were the “good old days”, and often times things are never the same.  When we visited a Bob’s Big Boy franchise a few years ago at a store stamped out by the franchisor the original atmosphere was lost and the food tasted nothing like the memories and was quite disappointing.  And this leads to my rendering of their mascot, “Big Boy With Grit”, his face is dirty, or maybe that is a five o’clock shadow he is developing, and the building facade itself is a little dirty because the Big Boy of today does not live up to the ideal from days gone by.


Heritage Boxcar

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 15mm ISO 400 3-bkts f/22 Lr3, HEP1, CEP3; PsCS5

This old boxcar is resting on the western edge of Heritage Square, hard by the Pasadena Freeway (the nation’s first freeway) in Los Angeles.  As an example of great minds thinking alike I captured this image at about the same time that Van Sutherland captured a similar image, two time zones away.  Van titled his image “Character” and you will find it on his blog Exile Imaging.  Van’s version is more realistic than my interpretation, my excuse is that he had a better weathered subject than I did, covered with some great peeling paint, so I had to rely more upon slight of hand to make my surfaces more interesting.


Savory Pie

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 10mm ISO1250 0.40 sec f/6.3 Lr3

Every once in a while we make the 30 mile trek from our home to Monrovia, California for the sole reason to acquire, and devour, a “very, very thin, double pepperoni & sausage” pie at Domenico’s.  This image was captured when this beauty was just out of the oven, the pie is glistening because of the pork fat and olive oil that is the signature of this pie (evident by subsequent yellow stains on napkins and shirts).  The only thing comparable at Domenico’s or any other pizza parlor within a 15 mile radius is this pie with meatballs subbed for the sausage, or with fresh mushrooms added.


Colorado Street Bridge

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 24mm ISO 200 3-bkts f/18 Lr3; HEP1

Also known as “Suicide Bridge”, the Colorado Street Bridge crosses the Arroyo Seco in Pasadena, California.  Designed and built in 1913 by the firm of J.A.L. Waddell, It spans 1,486 feet (453 m) and is notable for its distinctive Beaux Arts arches, light standards, and railings.

This view is from the parking lot at La Casita Del Arroyo.  The structure  behind the bridge, which appears dwarfed by the Colorado Street Bridge is actually the Ventura Freeway (CA-134), and it is actually more massive than the Colorado Street Bridge, which is only two lanes, as opposed to eight lanes, and the freeway bridge is actually taller. This is a good example of how perspective can be deceiving depending upon your viewpoint.  I think this image conveys the notion of “Suicide Bridge” fairly well with its dark tones and foreboding clouds and the stonewall, which I made darker than it was in real life.


Steel Rails

Nikon D7000 18-135mm @ 50mm ISO 200 3-bkts f5.6 Lr3, HEP1; CEP3

Strong and enduring, picture a freight train comprised of steel and other materials and weighing anywhere from 5,000,000 pounds to 40,000,000 pounds traveling on these rails at 80 miles per hour.  Judy and I were on the concrete platform somewhere between 48 and 72 inches from the rails as a fast freight train came up on us much quicker than we anticipated .  The sound was deafening, and we were being whipped by winds caused by the steel behemoth crashing through the air next to us; the vibrations coming up to my butt in the wheel chair.  It was a long train, it seemed like a frightening eternity as that train barreled past us.  We will be giving trains and tracks a wide berth in the future.

After initial raw processing and HDR conversion with Lightroom and HDR Efex Pro I used both Color Efex Pro and Lightroom to adjust color and contrast and selectively lighten and darken various areas of the image.  Final sharpening, noise reduction and vignetting in Lightroom.