A little change up this week from street life to a emphasis on color. This tree stands on Wheeler Avenue in La Verne, California, backed up by the San Gabriel Mountains. The image was captured in the late afternoon at 5:46 P.M. on May 21. I really like how the sun plays on the mountains during this time of day, the mountains are oriented on an east-west axis, and when the sun is getting low the light really delineates the contours of the south facing slopes. This always fascinates me as we parallel the face of the mountains when we drive along I-210 during this time of day.
After conversion from NEF to DNG in Lightroom, I tone mapped in Nik’s HDR Effects Pro working off of a preset furnished by Jason P. O’Dell, selectively dodging in, upping the contrast and structure in various areas of the tree using control points, slightly darkening the foliage to the left and right of the tree; using Nik Color Efex Pro, applied the Kodak Ultra Color 400UC film effect. In Photoshop I removed a distracting palm tree, light standard and electrical utility box that stood adjacent to the tree and attempted to mitigate the slight halo-ing effect by color masking in layers, but to no avail. Back in Lightroom I sharpened and did a little noise reduction, and exported the TIFF file that was created by HDR Efex Pro to a JPG file.
A typical Thursday evening on I-210 in southern California, something that many of us have had to face for decades on end. I am happy to say that I made it through the grinder for about 40 years and now do not have to submit to it, unless I choose. I was in the power chair in the van, positioned just behind the front seats, happily snapping away, while Judy was at the wheel, toughing it out for the trip home.
It was the first time I used my new AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED-VR since I had acquired it. As we were rolling through stop-and-go traffic on the freeway I realized that we were missing the Golden Hour lights and shadows expressed across the San Gabriel Mountain Range which parallels I-210. I pulled the camera out of the bag and mounted the big lens and began snapping away, at the distant mountains, and at the cars on the freeway. The light was fading fast, and the jerky traffic movements were not helping me get my shots, this was the best of the lot.
I have a feeling I am going to enjoy using this lens more.