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There Were Sand and Hills and Homes (light painting of abandoned ranch at night)
Lens: 15-30mm f/2.8 Camera: K-1 Mk I Photo Location: Southwestern United States ISO: 200 Shutter Speed: Above 6s Aperture: F8 
Posted By: Ken Lee, 04-12-2022, 05:17 PM

There Were Sand and Hills and Homes

Has your GPS ever led you astray? Most of the time, our GPS is rock solid. However, sometimes it goes awry. In this case, Mike's GPS sent us on a dirt road that morphed from a smooth ride to boulder crawling. We realized that the GPS wasn't tracking properly. Peering at my downloaded satellite maps, we found the correct directions. That took us to this adobe homestead in the hills of the Arizona desert.

There, we encountered five loud, aggressive dogs and later on, a cowboy who had been through the desert with a horse trailer with no name. I took this photo only once, light painting and all. I illuminated this from the inside and outside with a handheld ProtoMachines LED2 during the exposure. We then decided that going elsewhere to create night photographs was a better use of our time.

(Plate 6746) Pentax K-1/28-105mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. 157 seconds f/8 ISO 200. February 2022.

P.S. Considering I only did this photo once, I'm rather happy with how the shadow in the inside room came out as well as the texture on the exterior wall.


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04-12-2022, 05:52 PM   #2
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Didn't sound like the most pleasant trip and then it got worse. Can't blame you for wanting to finish this shoot, post haste. Actually you achieved a very good image in one take. The texture of the wall is very good and the shadows are also. This place actually looks like it has held up pretty well. Good work again.
04-12-2022, 07:41 PM   #3
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Fascinating image, that!
Makes me think of some remote things I've stumbled across in the desert under a full moon and clear sky.
Surely an interesting shot.
Also looks like somebody wanted to make the place look truly authentic "western" with bullet holes in the walls.
Angky.
04-13-2022, 01:00 PM   #4
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Hello Ken, how are you.

in 2014, I was traveling westward on Interstate-10 from New Mexico. After entering Arizona, just before San Simon I saw a road I thought would lead me to Chiricahua National Monument. At first it was paved and all seemed O.K. Then the road narrowed. Then the pavement ended and I was driving on a dirt road. Then it got forested and I reached a very small community named "Paradise". I started seeing deer, rabbits and coyotes (I swear I was not on any drugs). Then the road suddenly disappeared into a precipice. I said to myself "Oh oh, trouble ahead !" I stopped and had to back up for almost a mile. I turned around and found a branch in the road to go to "Portal". I met a mailman in a USPS delivery truck who told me I would reach Route 80 if I continued eastward. Then I found myself back in New Mexico on Indian land. I thought this ordeal would never end.

I travel alone so I have to be extra careful not to fall into a hole or to damage my vehicle (which I call my "survival unit"). If I disappeared far from civilization, someone might find my dried-up remains only two years later. Be always extra careful everywhere you go in the boondocks. After I saw the movie "No country for old men" with Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin, I don't trust strangers too much any longer in remote places of the American Southwest.

Regards

04-15-2022, 01:28 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by RICHARD L. Quote
Hello Ken, how are you.

in 2014, I was traveling westward on Interstate-10 from New Mexico. After entering Arizona, just before San Simon I saw a road I thought would lead me to Chiricahua National Monument. At first it was paved and all seemed O.K. Then the road narrowed. Then the pavement ended and I was driving on a dirt road. Then it got forested and I reached a very small community named "Paradise". I started seeing deer, rabbits and coyotes (I swear I was not on any drugs). Then the road suddenly disappeared into a precipice. I said to myself "Oh oh, trouble ahead !" I stopped and had to back up for almost a mile. I turned around and found a branch in the road to go to "Portal". I met a mailman in a USPS delivery truck who told me I would reach Route 80 if I continued eastward. Then I found myself back in New Mexico on Indian land. I thought this ordeal would never end.

I travel alone so I have to be extra careful not to fall into a hole or to damage my vehicle (which I call my "survival unit"). If I disappeared far from civilization, someone might find my dried-up remains only two years later. Be always extra careful everywhere you go in the boondocks. After I saw the movie "No country for old men" with Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin, I don't trust strangers too much any longer in remote places of the American Southwest.

Regards
This is one helluva story. Wow. You definitely "outdid" us, haha!!

Good call on being extra careful. Out of curiosity, how do you stay extra careful? Not only what do you do, but what do you bring? Do you inform people where you are going, and if so, how?

---------- Post added 04-15-22 at 01:30 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by MikeNArk Quote
Didn't sound like the most pleasant trip and then it got worse. Can't blame you for wanting to finish this shoot, post haste. Actually you achieved a very good image in one take. The texture of the wall is very good and the shadows are also. This place actually looks like it has held up pretty well. Good work again.
I had all my stuff in the car before the guy even rolled up. I really wanted to go. I actually wanted to leave when the dogs began showing up, but my friend kept them at bay. And we had already been through so much, so my desire to get one photo before leaving got the best of me. That last sentence sounds like one of these "famous last words" sorts of stories (although falling short of "Oh yeah? Hold my beer!").

---------- Post added 04-15-22 at 01:31 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by angkymac Quote
Fascinating image, that!
Makes me think of some remote things I've stumbled across in the desert under a full moon and clear sky.
Surely an interesting shot.
Also looks like somebody wanted to make the place look truly authentic "western" with bullet holes in the walls.
Angky.
Haha! Yeah, all about authenticity!

What are some of the more interesting things you've stumbled across in the desert (and also under a full moon and clear sky)?
04-15-2022, 01:58 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ken Lee Quote
Do you inform people where you are going, and if so, how?
I call my brother back home twice a week on my cell phone. I purchase a special travel plan, something like 100 minutes for 20 CDN$ before I leave Canada. In 2018, I fell on a Mexican cell phone network called "" (while I was visiting "Organ Pipe National Monument" in Southern Arizona) that charged me 17 US$ for a one minute call to Canada. In 2019, my brother spent 10 days in Great Britain, I could reach his cell phone overseas from Willcox, Arizona but if anything had happened, we were 8000 miles apart, so ... My phone has a built-in GPS that follows my itinerary. I always carry a detailed Road Atlas, like "Delorme's" or "Benchmark's" for example.

In my Grand Caravan van, I carry plenty of water, canned foods (never forget a can opener, lol !), tools, a shovel, pails, metallic "Traction aids" in case I get stuck in soft sand, battery cables, plenty of warm blankets, a 39 inch mattress, etc. My van has over 125 cubic feet of space behind the front seats and it is pretty well full when I drive on the road. I have Michelin low-rolling resistance "indestructible" radial tires, use Mobil 1 synthetic oil and only buy 89-grade gasoline from Top-tier reputed dealers like Mobil, Arco and the like. I have coolant reserves, motor oil and a replacement oil filter, you know, "the works" ... I keep away from big cities and never mess with anybody (everybody has a gun in the U.S.). I obey speed limits and keep quietly to myself most of the time.

Hope this helps !

Last edited by RICHARD L.; 04-15-2022 at 03:55 PM.
04-15-2022, 02:40 PM   #7
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QuoteQuote:
What are some of the more interesting things you've stumbled across in the desert (and also under a full moon and clear sky)?
Several (many) years back in the Anza-Borrego State Park (CA) I stood awed by the sheer cliffs under the moon. And then there were huge boulders that look so different at night--a whole hillside of the monstrous things with long shadows coming down the hill from the moon shining above them. These were not human left-over artifacts from previous eras, but they surely were memorable desert under the bright moon artifacts. I'd like to go back and get some of them recorded in my camera now that I know more about the practice.
Another thing that will never leave my mind was an ocotillo bush in the extremely early morning (no moon) barely outlined against the slightly red sunrise just beginning. For some reason, that was seen in radical 3-D and was quite beautiful.
Your desert shots remind me of those places.
Angky.

04-15-2022, 03:14 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by RICHARD L. Quote
I call my brother back home twice a week on my cell phone. I purchase a special travel plan, something like 100 minutes for 20 CDN$ before I leave Canada. In 2018, I fell on a Mexican cell phone network called "" (while I was visiting "Organ Pipe National Monument" in Southern Arizona) that charged me 17 US$ for a one minute call to Canada. In 2019, my brother spent 10 days in Great Britain, I could reach his cell phone overseas from Willcox, Arizona but if anything had happened, we were 8000 miles apart, so ... My phone has a built-in GPS that follows my itinerary. I always carry a detailed Road Atlas, like "Delorme's" or "Benchmark's" for example.

In my Grand Caravan van, I carry plenty of water, canned foods (never forget a can opener, lol !), tools, a shovel, pails, metallic "Traction aids" in case I get stuck in soft sand, battery cables, plenty of warm blankets, a 39 inch mattress, etc. My van has over 125 cubic feet of space behind the front seats and it is pretty well full when I drive on the road. I have Michelin low-rolling resistance "indestructible" radial tires, use Mobil 1 synthetic oil and only buy 89-grade gasoline from Top-tier reputed dealers like Mobil, Arco and the like. I have coolant reserves, motor oil and a replacement oil filter, you know, "the works" ... I keep away from big cities and never mess with anybody (everybody has a gun in the U.S.). I obey speed limits and keep quietly to myself most of the time.

Hope this helps !
Sounds good.

I have my wife tracking me via my phone and tell her where I am going, giving coordinates when it's out in the boonies.

I have a lot of similar things to you in the car except for the mattress. I also have a lot of emergency equipment for flat tires.
04-15-2022, 03:58 PM   #9
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My older 2012 "Grand" Caravan in the "Grand" Canyon, AZ ... lol !

I was camping at Desert View campground near the Eastern entrance of Grand Canyon Nat'l Park.
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04-15-2022, 04:09 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by RICHARD L. Quote
I was camping at Desert View campground near the Eastern entrance of Grand Canyon Nat'l Park.
Alright!

For a very brief second, looking at the trees in your photo, I thought that might be Grandview Campground near Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in the White Mountains in CA. I don't really know my trees very well, but it reminded me a little of that.
04-15-2022, 05:06 PM   #11
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Juniper and Pinyon trees, typical of the High Plateau Desert. They have a heavenly smell at sundown. These are Spanish names (remember Father Junipero Serra who founded the California Missions ?).

Regards
04-15-2022, 05:19 PM   #12
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Wonderful "American Old West" image. Well done sir and many thanks for sharing.

Tony
04-19-2022, 12:37 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by RICHARD L. Quote
Juniper and Pinyon trees, typical of the High Plateau Desert. They have a heavenly smell at sundown. These are Spanish names (remember Father Junipero Serra who founded the California Missions ?).

Regards
Yes, I do, and yes, those trees smell pretty great sundown or with a slight breeze.....

---------- Post added 04-19-22 at 12:38 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Tonytee Quote
Wonderful "American Old West" image. Well done sir and many thanks for sharing.

Tony
Thank you very much!!
04-19-2022, 08:12 AM   #14
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Occasional desert trips have made a lot of fond memories for us with many photo opportunities .
04-19-2022, 10:28 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by pichaser Quote
Occasional desert trips have made a lot of fond memories for us with many photo opportunities .
There's so many things to see and do out there. I still feel like I've barely scratched the surface. I keep discovering new things and have this giant list of things to photograph. But yes, it's all about creating fantastic experiences and memories. And photos.
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