Sep 5, 2008

Ojito Passion

Ojito Passion Cabezon Peak New Mexico

Cabezon Peak from the Ojito
©2008, Chopawamsic LC
The Ojito wilderness is about an hour northwest of Albuquerque.  Rocky mesas and clay bottoms stretch before the eye.  One might not realize dinosaurs once roamed this very ancient Jurassic land.  The longest dinosaur on the planet, Sam the Seismosaurus, was found in the Ojito.  Cabezon Peak is a volcanic neck northwest of the Ojito – a regional landmark for the southeastern San Juan Basin.  A thousand years ago, the Anasazi also roamed the Ojito.  We present a rainy day passion play of Cabezon from Ojito…

Time's passion play strikes different chords in each of us...
Once upon a time, Sam, the Seismosaurus, the longest dinosaur ever found on our planet, wandered around the Ojito during the Jurassic 140 million years ago when dinosaur's reigned supreme and our continent was in another position.  The dinosaur quarry, out on a lonely point with some marvelous petroglyphs, is all that's left of Sam's ancient remnants; he is on display at New Mexico’s Museum of Natural History on the second floor.  From head to tip of tail, Sam's bones literally fill the exhibition room at the Museum.
Day before yesterday, several mere mortals in four-wheel-drive vehicles went to the Ojito in a seemingly chilling, yet slight rain.  Two of those brave souls crept out, sliding around on gumbo clay, like their vehicles just before, taking Ojito shots in the mist.
While the clay was just beginning to moisten and stick to my shoes, I shielded the camera in a rain jacket - except for an occasional handheld snapshot.  Wandering around, I kept cloud shrouded Cabezon Peak in the background.  In the foreground, partially obscured by a misty rain, a ridge of rock dipped toward me.  Capped by juniper shrubs, clay on top captured rock shards between two beckoning red ridges. 
As blah as our day was, there was still potential for passion.  Dave Cross, on July 16, 2008, wrote a guest blog for Scott Kelby; basically, Dave said, "When you're out shooting, bear in mind what you can do with Photoshop..."! I thought, "What happens if I apply the same philosophy - shooting for Lightroom?"
After a little work in Lightroom 2, Ojito Passion began to cast its light in digital land.  Beginning with each raw file, metadata and copyright information were encapsulated during the import phase. 
Two fascinating new tools, graduated filter and adjustment brush, literally changed the face of my Ojito experience.  I tilted a graduated filter to both add passion and help emphasize the ridge and red clay lines.  Switching to the adjustment brush, I applied both clarity and sharpening as separate, localized brush steps.  Then, I cropped the image at the base for balance.
Oops, almost forgot; I felt like Cabezon could speak for itself – walk softly, yet carry a big stick!  Was this how an ancient land looked back in Anasazi time?
The image above provides you a final interpretation. 
Lightroom 2 functions very much like Adobe Camera Raw and Bridge.  It's simply got those delicious new tools, adjustment brush and graduated filter.  Just choose the right tool, apply it, and 'twiddle' the sliders until you have the image you want.  After learning the initial workflow, LR 2 is a fast, very intuitive image processor.  Local sharpening enhancement with new brushes in Lightroom doesn't seem to require as much time or effort as former work in Pixel Genius Photokit Sharpener. These changes are nondestructive. 
LR2 also has a Before and After button which quickly shows you progress as you compare steps to see development.  The width of this blog would make a before and after shot rather small, so click here to pull up an independent B&A JPEG.
And, LR2's faster than the old Bridge - ACR combo... part of Adobe’s intuitive GUI.

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