RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life


Monday Magical Memories – #1 – Lake Waterton in the Smoke 2018

After spending over an hour to get back to WordPress Classic here I am! I hope I can remember how to do this next time. I’m told WP will support this version until at least 2022 or “as needed.” I will require that “as needed!” I was about to build my own website from scratch as creating one with HTML and CSS and doing all the layout and graphic design would be easier for me than figuring out this Gutenberg block content manager mess. But that’s just me!

Anyway, as I won’t be doing any traveling for a while I thought it would be a good idea to start a weekly (or whenever I can get to it) post with some photos from previous travels. I’ve been having fun re-processing some of my older photos as I gain more experience with Lightroom, Photoshop and Topaz. Although I adore going places and taking photos, my bigger pleasure is in the post processing.

In my twenties I set up shop in the bathroom at night with a makeshift darkroom with all the stinky chemicals… I fancied myself as the female Ansel Adams! My long-suffering partner at the time had to make an appointment to get access to take a pee. But hey, I had to put up with his stuff too… so it was more than an even exchange as far as I was concerned! Probably not from his perspective… 

In 2018 some friends and I took a trip to the Canadian Rockies with wild fires raging all around us. There were times we weren’t sure if we could access certain areas. After spending a night in Calgary in Alberta, Canada, we left the next morning for Waterton Lakes National Park.

When we got out of the bus and stood on the shores of Lake Waterton I was so disappointed. The smoke blocked our views. But I just kept clicking to see what I could redeem in Adobe Lightroom when I got home. Chances were I wasn’t coming back.

I shoot in RAW and JPG. The top photo is the interpretation my Canon DSLR camera served up as a JPEG. The next photo is what I managed to salvage in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. Not too bad.

But as I am now using Topaz Labs (an amazing program in so many creative ways) as a third step after Lightroom and Photoshop, I wanted to push the image a little further.

And I’m happy with this dramatic version. When I took the photo my eye was attracted to the snowy ridge behind the lower ranges of mountains and that’s what I wanted to focus on. The camera can only do so much. It’s up to me as the artist/photographer to present what I saw in my mind’s eye! 





Out of the garage: Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

antelope valley poppy reserve

On Sunday my friend B and I ventured out to the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve. Because this rain season in Southern California has brought us more of the wet stuff than we have seen in years, ending our seven-year drought, we assumed the poppy fields would be spectacular. There was a nice display but nothing like the blankets of orange we had experienced the last time we visited… back in 2003.

I painted the tile above from photos of that trip and it is still one of my favorites. It greets me when I come in my front door. Of course my late cat, Friday, wasn’t really there but I painted him anyway as my signature!

antelope valley poppies

Nevertheless, we enjoyed the trip. I had Cinnamon Girl, my fifteen-year-old Subaru Outback, tuned up in February and she was raring to take on the 180-mile round trip. I felt a slight hesitancy on the uphill on the way there. But coming back she took those hills at 75 MPH (120 km) without blinking. I know she was happy to get out of the garage and feel the wind whipping around her. I hope she lasts at least another fifteen years!

antelope valley poppies

B and I were also happy to be out of the city and in the open spaces with the wind attempting to blow our hats off.

antelope valley poppies

B mentioned the difference a week makes as last Sunday we were in downtown Los Angeles visiting Little Tokyo. I need to upload that blog post!

antelope valley poppies

The poppy fields were crowded with people. The last half mile was stop and go… worse than traffic on a Friday evening on the 405 freeway! But I was expecting it so I didn’t mind.

antelope valley poppies

Just being able to see for miles with no buildings or cars was worth the trip!

antelope valley poppies

Windmills in the distance providing alternative power sources.

Unfortunately, despite warnings to stay on the paths, we saw too many people trampling the wildflowers to obtain those important selfies. Aaargh…. PEOPLE!!! Evidently the rules don’t apply to everybody. Way to go, parents, training your kids to selfishly satisfy your own desires and spoil the experience for everybody else…

antelope valley poppies

We were glad we made the effort. We rewarded ourselves with dinner at our favorite Thai restaurant back in Culver City!

A great day!

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