Mar 172011

ISO 80; f/4; 1/200; 5mm (Canon SX10) (Cropped)

I went to meet author C.J. Box at book signing Tuesday at the Reader’s Oasis in Quartzsite… where you can find the famous “naked bookseller” Paul Winer. Yup!  Unforgettable sums up the experience well.

By the way, C.J. Box writes a pretty good series.  Look for the latest in his Joe Pickett Wyoming Game Warden series, COLD WIND,  next week.

Mar 062011

ISO 80; f/5.7; 1/200; 100mm (Canon SX10 from car)

I spied these two hitchhikers while we were driving around town, crossing over 95S.   When I saw his thumb resting on her leg, I knew I had to get this shot… despite that the light was about to go from red to green.  Don’t worry I wasn’t driving… and Carl didn’t listen to me when I said “wait, don’t go yet!”

Because it was such a long shot, the image is fairly grainy, so I used Topaz deNoise and then Topaz Simplify to stylize the photo a bit.  Actually, I tried quite a number of things, but this effect kept the focus on the thumb.

I touched up the photo a bit in Aperture to bring out the Arizona can and the dog.

I decided to not crop the image because I like the shape of the mountains in the background.

Jan 272011

ISO 80; f/4; 1/1000; 5.2mm (Canon SX10) (Cropped)

I attended the Q.I.A. Pow Wow Rock & Gem Mineral show last week.  Curiosity drew me to this booth.


ISO 80; f/4; 1/160; 5.3mm (Canon SX10)

Turns out, Richard Trusty, a quartzsite resident, packages the sand that one would have to first find and then sift through to garner the gold nuggets.  Note the bag in the front of the table that is labeled “sure thing.”


ISO 80; f/4; 1/400; 5.3mm (Canon SX10)

Richard does a demo. The bag of Gold Sand is in the pink tub and Richard dips the green panning bowl and to shake out a few gold nuggets.


ISO 80; f/4.5; 1/400; 23.8mm (Canon SX10)

See the gold nuggets?

Jan 122011

ISO 80; f/5; 1/640; 39.4mm; 3:48pm (Canon SX10)

When you come to Quartzsite, it is traditional to stop at Silly Al’s for pizza and a beer and maybe even some Karaoke.

I like this photo because we can see that Silly Al’s has only been here since 1987, which may not seem like long enoughfor a tradition to be instilled but since the town of Quartzsite only incorporated until 1989, well there you have it.  It is a long time tradition for here.

I also like that you can see a “new” tradition that the town has been working on for two years… and that is to have local artists paint rocks, set them out in front of local establishments throughout town and at the end of the season auction them off to raise money for local charities and events.

And finally, the traditional symbol of the Sonoran desert (and of Arizona) is the Saguaro Cactus.  This one is probably at least 100, maybe even 150 years old.  That is, far older than the official town of Quartzsite, and most likely older than even the state of Arizona, which joined the union in 1912.

Then behind all this we have the mountains… which really puts in perspective just how short lived this “tradition,” to hang out at Silly Al’s when visiting Quartzsite, is.

Post processing done in Aperture, little bit of everything.

Jan 112011

ISO 80; f/4; 1/1000; 5mm (Canon SX10 in P mode — or “stealth” mode)

Quartzsite is full up with with vendor tents selling everything and anything you can imagine.

There are a lot of things to photograph but I’ve learned that most vendors get nervous when they see me actually using the camera.  Thus, I keep the camera in P mode and get ready to take pictures quickly. It is easier to do this with SD950IS, but yesterday I decided to try the SX10.  This was my first walk through this particular tent and I was impressed with how well organized everything was and I took this shot because I like the way the way the light partially silhouettes the hanging tools against the tarp.

This was processed in Topaz DeJpeg, although it only needed a light touch.  I then used curves in Aperture to partially bring out some of the detail and then painted aspects with definition — I wanted to keep the image as close to how I saw the image when I took it.  Prior to settling on this, I took a look at what Topaz Adjust could do for the photo.  Is it just me, or do you also sometimes find it overwhelming to choose a particular effect?

Oct 262010

ISO 80; f/5.8; 1/60 28.5mm; 4:17pm (Canon Powershot SD950 IS)

Some would say that a room with a view such as this represents true prosperity. This is taken from inside the walls of a miner’s stone cabin.

I used the Polarize paintbrush to improve the view out the window, and then touched up further with some burning and dodging.  I also straighten and cropped.

The following photo shows the Stone Cabin as we approached it on foot.

IS 80; f/5; 1/800; 23.5mm; 4:13pm (Canon Powershot SD950 IS)

I would have preferred to use the Canon SX10… but this was an unplanned excursion.  Glad I always carry the little camera… although, it might have been better if I had also carried the spare battery on this day.  Ugh!

Sep 022010

ISO80; f/5; 1/320; 26.8mm; 8:08am (Canon SX10)

This is the camel that sits atop the Hi Jolly Monument.  I converted to monochrome, then painted the camel with the Tint brush in Aperture.

IS80; f/8; 1/250; 5mm; 8:07am (Canon SX10)

This is our Hi Jolly Monument located in our cemetery of the same name in Quartzsite.J

This pyramid of native stone marks the resting place of Hi Jolly, a Greek born in Syria, also known as Philip Tedro and Hadji Ali. Hi Jolly was hired in 1857 as a camel herder in the U.S. Army’s short-lived historic Camel Corps by Lt. Edward F. Beale in his expedition to chart a wagonroad across New Mexico and Arizona, ending at the Colorado River. In 1861 the Civil War commenced, ending the Camel Corps. Hi Jolly returned to Quartzsite trying his hand at mining, packing, scouting, delivering the “Jackass Mail,” and selling water to travelers. Legend has it that the ashes of Topsy, Hi Jolly’s favorite camel and companion are also placed in the pyramid.

The camel atop the pyramid symbolizes the legend of The Red Ghost that roamed the desert, terrorizing man and beast with what amounted to a corpse tied to his back.

Quartzsite is preparing to celebrate Arizona’s Centennial.  I’ve been told by a couple people that they need photos of Quartzsite.  So, I’m half fooling around with the idea of participating.  The cool thing about the above image is that I can easily change the colors and come up with different looks:

Aug 192010

ISO 80; f/4; 1/1000; 13.7mm; 4:00PM (Canon Powershot SD950IS)

After our excursion out to Rainbow Acres, we stopped here to see how much they want for that park model. Don’t you love this “mix” of stuff they sell?  This “car dealer” is located in Quartzsite, and has some amazing cars from the 50s and 60s.  Promise to go back and try to get some photos without the fence when it cools down here next month.

Usual Aperture post-processing.