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Tom Kitten

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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 7,079

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In the spirit of Halloween, how about some creepy... couches?

I noticed a recurring subject in some of the pictures I took of certain...well let's just say forgotten places off the beaten trail...I was all alone when I took these...saw no one...heard nothing but the wind and sometimes the occasional noise of something moving around...up in the rafters...

The Bottle Tree Ranch

One man's folk art. Located out in the Mojave Desert, on Route 66.

a rabbit hopped out to greet me.

A woman from Sweden, enjoying the place immensely...

Elmer, the artist, who's spent the past 14 years building this thing. He lives here, this is his land (2 acres)

I stayed until late afternoon to see the light shine through the colored glass.

There's 25 pictures in all I posted here, if you want to see more.

The sky was acting dramatic today

We had heavy rain showers this morning, then the sun came out. I was out driving, saw this and had to pull over and take these pictures.

Later, at home, I looked out the window and the sky was doing it again! I took the first through the window, then ran outside and took the rest.

Thinking of textures for October, I found these spooky pictures lurking...On my computer

I don't think I'll use any for the contest, though. I'd rather shoot something new, maybe something more light hearted.

I did take this in October, but last year. Anybody see the movie "The Haunting?" (the original) The scene with the face in the wall and the murmuring? This reminds me of that scene. It's just a piece of plywood in a boarded up warehouse window, here in Portland. Just add some murmuring chants! Or some chanting murmurs. Feel free to scare yourself. It's on the house!

This one, too. I took this in San Francisco, at the Sutros Baths ruins. A big bank of soft orange rock carved with, graffiti, I guess you'd call it...

Let's take a closer look, shall we? The shadows seem to dissipate the orange here...

Don't be scared here! He's just a dummy in a rubber mask. One of those animatrons in a booth you feed coins too and tells your fortune. He's in Calico, CA. Sort of a restored "ghost town" or tourist attraction. Beautiful area, though.

From deep in the bowels of Alcatraz. I spent a day there earlier this year. A more oppressively depressing place I've yet to find myself. (No, I haven't been to Washington DC!) They say the place is haunted, too. I can believe it!

A study of some finely crafted brickmaso- wait, whazzat say?
I took this in Bombay Beach, CA, on the shore of the Salton Sea. Pretty much a modern ghost town. A remarkable place. I'm planning on posting some sets from the ghost towns and ruins I visited around Halloween time. If you're into that, stick around! This place was mind-boggling! And I went there...all alone.

From another, different ghost town out in the desert. This was in a (mostly, I think?) deserted motel compound. There was a newer model car parked nearby. Only unit without broken windows. I really wasn't into finding out if anybody lives there, though!

Some spooky stuff, eh?

Apologies in advance

Yesterday's Photo of the Day inspired me SO much that...

October 7, 2014

A Fishy Tale

Photograph by Tom Kitten, Unnatural Geographic My Shot

A sperm whale “waves goodbye” to DU member Tom Kitten, who had traveled to his kitchen hoping to wash some dishes. “While I did have some success with the dishes, it was the sperm whale that stole the show,” I write. I captured this picture toward the end of the six-minute operation. “It was early in the day and the water level was low as I dropped this small whale into the sink, and I did my best to keep quiet so as to not frighten her. This one started to dive as soon as I added soap, trying to get the dishes done. I knew she might be the last whale I'd encounter in the sink, and indeed, she was.”

Mr. Kitten added later that he found himself exhausted by the end of his encounter. "It was draining", he said.

I had an itchy shutter finger today

Weather was so perfect, and I haven't been taking many pictures lately (having issues with my camera - the result of my own abuse - like dropping it! Plus there's some dust specks inside the lens so if I zoom in close I get these infuriating spots)

I went down to the river to see how the new bridge is doing. But on the way there I saw this bicycle and had to get a shot of it...

The bridge- Tilikum (Chinook for People) Crossing- still a year away from completion. When it opens, no cars or trucks will be allowed. Light rail, the trolley, buses, bicycles, pedestrians and emergency vehicles only.

Walked down the river a bit, to OMSI (the science museum).That's the USS Blueback, moored there, in front of the new bridge.

Submariner's Memorial at OMSI (that's the screw from the Blueback)

Reflection in OMSI windows

Primary colors!

Walking back the sun was behind one of the bridge towers. I'm lucky I didn't get any sunspots!

That's all! Just static subjects for now. Tomorrow I'll go looking for October stuff. Maybe I'll see a ghost!

Dance Fire

I've finally gotten around to uploading some pictures I said I would share earlier. I've been hesitant to show these, it was the second day I had used my (then) new camera, and was just learning to use it. A little history, here. I used to have an SLR but it broke when I was standing on a steep riverbank just off the road and the earth gave way, dashing the camera against the pavement. Don't worry about me, though, I'm OK. I did suffer a deep abrasion on my knee and it did take a few weeks to heal. But that was in the 90s, and since then I had used one of those plastic cameras you get at Walgreen's (hey, free film refill when you brought it in for developing!). So I guess you can say I've been learning all over again. And I do mean learn! For one thing, I've learned photography and frustration do indeed go hand in hand.

These pictures were taken one month after what I learned was called the Dance Fire in and adjacent to Orleans, CA. It happened in July 2013 and was deliberately set. 577 acres and one home were burned. The entire town had to be evacuated.

It was just after Labor Day and 100 degrees the time I went there. The air was blue and hazy from several nearby forest fires. I was told about this remarkably colorful area of burned manzanita and madrone trees by my best friend's mother, who was born there. It was just off a road that climbed two hills and there was no way my car could make it up there, so I hiked up. I sure am glad I brought water!

This is what I saw.

Dance Fire seems strangely appropriate. Poor trees look like they danced in agony as they burned.

However, only a month later, there's already signs of new life! Does anybody know what these shrubs are?
Also, I'm sure everyone knows about simulacrum. I see a creepy face in the middle of this picture. Do you? The earth is mad at us and she is letting us know.

Now, this where my newbie naivety shines bright! I definitely learned a lesson here. My camera has a paint function so I switched to that. Make your photo look like a painting! I'm an artist so I was down with that. The pictures on my little viewfinder looked great! However, viewing later full-size on my computer was a different matter...

These two turned out OK, I guess...

However, most turned out like these. I'm posting these two as examples of what not to do! I learned digital photography has this thing called the halo effect, you can see it clearly here! It is practically impossible to fix. Through my former job I have Photoshop experience going back to PSD 2 on Mac OS8 or whatever back in the early 90s and I spent hours trying to "fix" these pictures and I gave up. Not worth the time and effort, and it's futile anyways, so beware fellow neophytes!

That's not haze in them there hills, that's the halo effect! Trees aren't that that blue, anyways. (I think I zoomed in on that one)

This could have been a nice picture, but trees don't have a white glow around them like that. Needless to say, I don't use that function anymore! I do learn quickly. Welcome to the world of digital photography, you amateur! (I'm talking to myself here)

Well there you are. I do think I took some good pictures, and I have gotten better since. And I am ready for an upgrade to a better camera. Sorry for the wordiness, but I enjoy sharing!

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