Stepping Backwards

All of the images below are old film shots, and none have been shown before. I have however shown pictures of most of the subjects before.

The Quarie (or Quarai) Ruins are my favorite historic ruins of the southwest. I spent a wonderful winter’s morning at this New Mexico location many years ago.

This is the historic mid 1800s Rader Brothers Ranch in north Texas. These were made on the same trip as Quarie.  I spent an hour alone at this old horse and cattle ranch.  I absolutely love roaming with the ghosts of days gone by.  I can (barely) imagine just how difficult life was for them.  Most of us would not last a single day.

I have shown silhouettes of this rock form in Utah’s Valley of The Gods State Park before.  Those that I have shown previously were made prior to the sun reaching the horizon.  I prefer the other picture but I must admit, the mood changes with the sun in the image.  This picture is a little livelier.

This sunset was made in Smoky Mountain N. P. Tennessee, sometime in the 1990s.

This rock form is at El Morro National Monument in New Mexico.  Sometimes difficult light conditions make for interesting photos.  When you look at the front of the peak of the rock, you can see that this image was made with extreme sidelight. I balanced this old film image as best I could by using a separate hand-held 1% spot meter. I took readings from the highlights and the shadows, and computed a compromise exposure.  I like the unusual lighting conditions in this photo. I could probably “fix” this digital copy in the editing process, but in real life with our real eyes there are sometimes unusual lighting conditions and it is fun to share them

I have written about the benefits and drawbacks of using a polarizing filter in previous posts.   The biggest drawback is uneven polarization with wide-angle lenses.  When you are using a polarizer to arrange those scattered rays of sunlight and deepen the sky, a wide-angle lens shows so much sky and/or horizon, that it cannot evenly cover the whole scene.  I have seen questions on photographers blogs, as to why they have that phenomenon in some of their pictures, even when they don’t use a filter.  An uneven sky is natural and accepted when the sun actually shows in a photo.  Clearly it is brighter near the sun than at the other end of the picture.  The same is true of sunrise/sunset shots where the sun is below the horizon.  It is also brighter just above the sun.  On blue sky pictures that are made early or late in the day, especially if you are at a steep angle to that sun, it will be brightest nearest the sun.  We just forget that because the sun is not in the photo. The sunrise/sunset images in today’s post, are quite naturally brightest close to the sun. The first image of the Quarie Ruins is made fairly early on a February morning, and is brighter near the right and bottom. I am quite sure I did not use a filter for this shot. Of course at northern latitudes during winter months, the sun is fairly close to the southern horizon all day, making this a likely happening in many of your landscape photos.

Please Vote:  The election season in the U.S. is in full force.  If you live in Wisconsin like I do, it seems like it never stops, and for the past four years it hasn’t.

If like me, you dread every commercial break on TV or radio, the truth is that surveys show that this is how we decide elections. That is sad and I am sure that you would say (as I do) “those ads mean nothing to me“.  Focus groups by political campaigns prove that they mean far more than we would admit. Getting past political ads is possible because the truth is out there, but admittedly you need to be retired to have enough time to sort through the mud.  It can be done.

I do believe which candidate reaches office matters.  Your vote does count. Having said that the  “worship” I see for each candidate is the stuff that childhood is made of.  Adults know that all candidates for any major office are burdened with an ego that is beyond the imagination of simple folks like us.  We all know that maybe 20% of their campaign promises will be kept. It would be impossible to keep them all.  Even a king or queen with a magic wand could not accomplish that much.  I just look for who best represents what I believe in, or these days I often look for who represents everything I don’t believe in, and vote the other way.   I make sure that what I believe in makes common sense for my country.  Idolizing political candidates is truly the stuff of children‘s fairy tales.  Just my opinion.

I have tried hard to not miss voting since I  first  reached the legal age.  I have never missed a presidential election despite residing in at least six different voting districts (and two states) over the years.  I have made most mid-term elections and dozens of small elections.  Judges, Sheriffs, District Attorneys, county boards and so on. There have been times in the 1970s and 80s when like many of you, I had to stand in line for hours. It has gotten much simpler over the years.  In fact due to some physical issues I cast an absentee ballot, and I do so early.  I voted a couple of weeks ago.  Most of you can early vote. Through all of those years, with all of my complaints about candidates (often both candidates) and both major and a few minor political parties, I would not have changed any of it. I often bitch and I have a right to.  I participate in the process. No matter what your political beliefs are, please vote.  If you are 100 years old it is not too late to start.  Please vote honestly and vote once. Your vote is important, and so is mine.

Have a great day

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