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.
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A fixture on Foothill Boulevard (Route 66) in Rancho Cucamonga since 1955, with live music in the lounge four nights a week, and menu items like jumbo crab cocktail, Caesar salad tossed table side and Chateaubriand for two carved table side with both Bordelaise and Bernaise sauce, the Magic Lamp Inn is a throwback to an earlier time.
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This is a wider view from the position where I was when I captured most of the Street Life images that I am displaying this week and next. The view is looking across part of the open air pedestrian mall that the city of Riverside, California created out of three blocks of Main Street. This scene is actually bisected by Mission Inn Avenue, where you can see the columnar traffic barriers in the lower left corner of this image. In the same area as the traffic barriers is the “bridal party” that I captured and displayed earlier this week in my current Street Life series. This is a great area to stake out or roam around, capturing the people passing through or hanging out and capturing some of the interesting period architecture.
In terms of capturing people, whether people connected to local business activity, tourists, young people before or after school, people attending local events, inter-generational groups, just every day street life, if you are patient and persistent, you will find it all here. The Mission Inn is the defining structure in this area with its mixture of architectural styles (as I previously noted here) and in this image I wanted to capture some of the sense of time and place that the structure expresses. Another aspect of this image that resonates with me is the shape of many of the inn’s windows, with the curve on their tops and the bell curve on top of the pediments, which is replicated in the bell shaped light standards and the bell street ornament in the right middle ground. This structure in Riverside, California stands in a semi-arid area of California that is very near to the low Sonoran desert and I tried to convey that feeling by de-saturating most of the colors in the image and using a tool to suggest a water color rendition. I finished it off with the addition of dried parchment like texture, but I am a little ambivalent about that, I worry that it is too pronounced.
I welcome any constructive critiques.
Exploring Painterly Effects
Exploring more painterly effects this week I began with this tree that is living at the intersection of Main Street and Mission Inn Avenue in Riverside, California. The image is a combination of three exposures initially processed in Lightroom and then merged and tone mapped with Nik Software HDR Efex Pro. Then working with Photoshop the Alien Skin Snap Art filter was applied and slightly tweaked.
Across Sixth Street from the back side of the hotel, sits the Mission Inn Annex in Riverside, California. As reported in the Riverside Press Enterprise:
The crumbling brick structure behind Riverside’s historic Mission Inn has housed staff and servants, a series of shops, and finally storage, but it has been largely unused for years.
Built in two sections in 1913 and 1926, the annex began as living quarters for first female [which may explain the foot bridge over the street connecting the annex to the hotel and keeping female staff isolated from the street] and then male inn workers. The upper floors were used by the private staff — butlers and maids — of inn guests, said Kevin Hallaran, an archivist for the Riverside Metropolitan Museum.
Now the Mission Inn annex is being considered for a makeover. Riverside city officials are interested in turning the annex into conference space to complement the planned expansion of the nearby convention center.
The building facade is beautiful, however it seems the interior is crumbling and is far from being up to code. The city of Riverside seems to be well attuned to its architectural heritage and I hope they can rehabilitate this structure. Worth noting are the rounded arches creating a colonnade along the front of the building’s perimeter, mimicking the arches in the Spanish/Mission Revival architecture of the Mission Inn across the street. You will find this arch motif in other period structures throughout downtown Riverside.
After initial processing of this image I spent some time working with the color version and tweaking it using Nik’s Color Efex Pro, but in the end decided that it might work better without the full color spectrum and converted it with Nik’s Silver Efex Pro. I darkened the automobiles and brought their clarity down, while simultaneously pushing up the detail in the building facade, applied a sepia tone, added vignetting and added the burned edges of the border, all to bring the image back to its period in time.
Sharing the corner of Sixth and Main (foreground) Streets in Riverside, California are two icons of Riverside history, the Mission Inn and a navel orange tree with a bountiful crop of fruit. The Mission Inn’s origin was an adobe boarding house built by Christopher Columbus Miller in 1876, in 1903 his son, Frank Miller took control of the property and began a decades long building spree that eventually eliminated the original structure and replaced it, piece-meal with a much more ambitious structure that is commonly known as the largest Mission Revival Style building in the United States.
This image only hints at the panoply of architectural components that comprise the entire site, with various components designed by architects Arthur B. Benton, Myron Hunt and G. Stanley Wilson and which reflect Spanish Gothic, Moorish Revival, Spanish Colonial, Spanish Colonial Revival, Renaissance Revival, and Mediterranean Revival Style architecture.
The orange tree is very significant to Riverside residents as the national commercial production and marketing of the navel orange began with the first two trees trees planted by Eliza Tibbets (from specimens collected in Brazil by the U.S. Department of Agriculture) in 1873. In the early 20th century Southern California became the center of the citrus fruit industry in the United States.
Using layers and masking in Photoshop I desaturated most of the image, and then brought out the color saturation in the tree. I also removed some distracting elements. I am still having focus issues and am not satisfied with the sharpness of this image.
Author’s note: Can you find my cloning error in the original image rendition?