Tuesday, July 9, 2019


We revisited Silver City on Father’s Day exactly 5 years to the day from when I photographed this iconic Idaho “ghost town” for the first time.  My goal was to revisit some of my favorite subjects—this time using my Pro-DSLR for larger, higher quality images and to find some new features. But, mostly, I wanted to find the old rusting car that I photographed 5 years ago. 

People and nature conspired to deny my attempts to redo some of my favorite subjects. In the hotel where the neat old telegraph office resides they have blocked access to it with furniture and old equipment in addition to added inappropriate clutter on its counters.

Nature has a nasty habit of making changes; things grow, things die, all just plots to mess up our compositions!  It reminds me of the complaints of today’s photographers wanting to do images from where Ansel Adams photographed his famous image of the Tetons and the Snake River only to find that his view in 1942, with the Snake River’s nice “s” curves clearly seen in the foreground, is all but gone; obstructed by the growth of those pesky trees!

Thus, stymied at a couple outdoors redos, I was even more determined to find my favorite old car that I knew was up in the rocky hills overlooking the town’s Main Street. After 45 minutes of hiking—30 minutes in the wrong direction—I found it! 

So, here’s my new version of its suicide doors….
f11.0 @ 1/400 sec., ISO 400; Lens @ 140mm
I think this old car is the best piece of three dimensional art in Silver City. This view and crop has the anthropomorphic, face-like, effect I was looking for—complete with those sad eyes and the drooping door handles.

Moving on to the other side of the car…
f9.0 @ 1/800 sec., ISO 400; Lens @ 102mm
This is the original, unedited, version. I don’t like the big steel grate (covering the mine pit) on the left hand side of the image, but I really like the rocks above that area the I wanted to maintain the negative space on that side so I did some edits…
After a Lot of Edits
After a lot of Photoshop using the spot healing brush to remove that steel grate (and then touch-up to remove obvious clones!) and remove the piece of chrome sticking out of the rear side window I put the image into NIK’s Color Efex and used the Indian summer preset to create a burnt fall look in the bushes. I think all that greenery was too happy and didn’t match or support the mood I want here!

Speaking of cars in the dirt…
Here's our Jeep...
Here’s our Jeep Cherokee after the long drive up the rutted, bumpy, rocky, “road” to Silver City. I had almost as much fun off-roading to Silver City as I did doing photography there! It’s an interesting contrast to see the old mining town buildings with solar panels on their roofs. If it wasn’t for that technology Silver City would probably be a true ghost town. I did find some new subjects….
f9.0 @ 1/800 sec., ISO 400; Lens @ 200mm
What photographer can resist peeling paint on old wood. What caught my eye though were those colorful power line insulators in the window.  Sometimes even I do pretty pictures….
f10.0 @ 1/500 sec., ISO 400; Lens @ 85mm
Everybody up there has an outhouse…This one is a 5-star accommodation!

What was your “Father’s Day” adventure…’Til next week…

Author: Jerry W. Venz, PPA Master Photographer
Training site: http://www.LightAtTheEdge.com
Client site: http://www.TheStorytellersUsa.com

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