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April 2016

Monochrome Madness: MM3-3

My muse, Valley of Fire State Park, has some of the most brilliantly colored sandstone you can find anywhere.  It also has great layering and details which show off distinctly in b&w, if one can see past the bombardment of color.  This location used to be a relatively unknown spot in the park, but in recent years they have made a trail for access, which may now be the most used trail in the park.  The area where this distinct banding shows through is rather small, and I’m not sure how it will hold up to the increasing volume of foot traffic.  There are numerous spectacular features throughout the park, yet people (in particular, photographers) seem to be drawn to the same familiar locations.

This is my contribution to Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness this week.  You can see more b&w images from other photographers on her website’s blog.

WPC: Abstract

The Daily Post Challenge for Abstract might just be my favorite one yet.  I used to consider it the greatest compliment when someone would look at one of my images and say “That’s a photograph?  That doesn’t look real!”  Nowadays that usually means someone didn’t know when to say no to Photoshop.

The top photo is one I call Sandstone Wall Watercolor.  This is straight off the film, no effects added.  It was taken in a canyon where water was working its erosional magic, and the sunlight was just out of frame and bouncing light all around.

I have a few more favorites in the gallery below.  Some are obvious as to what they are, some not so much.  Details are in the captions in the gallery.

Monochrome Madness: MM3-2

Most sunsets look best in color, but this one had so much layering and texture, that I think it looks better as a b&w. I got lucky having the moon come up when it did, too!

This was my contribution to this week’s Monochrome Madness on Leanne Cole’s blog.

Monochrome Madness: MM3-1

If there is one plant that distinguishes the Mojave Desert from other deserts, it would have to be the iconic Joshua Tree.  In many locales, they often appear dehydrated and scraggly, and very much unphotogenic.  The healthier ones tend to appear in large forests as though there is strength in numbers.  Oddly enough, California’s Joshua Tree National Park is not the best place to find these.  Select pockets in Arizona and Nevada have the best ones I’ve come across, and it can be even more memorable if you are lucky enough to catch these plants in bloom.

This one was near the town of Searchlight, Nevada, and the sky was perfect this day for my backdrop to several large healthy Joshua Trees.  Leanne Cole has included this photo with the work of others in this week’s Monochrome Madness.  Check out her WordPress blog for MM, or her blog on her website for more photos.

Monochrome Madness: Close-up

Flower closeup by Steve Bruno at gottatakemorepix

Sometimes I don’t travel very far to take photographs.  That would be the case for this close-up of flowers in a friends’ backyard.  I like this one in color, and when I converted it to b&w, I left a hint of the flower saturation in.  This is my contribution to Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness for this week’s theme of Close-up.  More monochrome images from other bloggers can be viewed on her site.

WPC: Landscape

This week’s challenge of Landscape should have been a no-brainer, with the only dilemma being which one?  A glance through my blog will reveal many shots of the nearby desert, but there are a couple places in the US that I love to photograph which are miles away from here.  The state of South Dakota, in particular the Black Hills and Badlands National Park, would be near the top of that list.

A few years back, my work was in a gallery where the owner was interested in testing out new images.  Unfortunately, this was in a town with many golf courses nearby, and after a couple weeks, he took this one down because people kept commenting, “What a great place that would be to put a golf course”.  Hopefully, the blogging community will appreciate this one more than the golfers!

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