Ghostly Shape Shifter B&W

With the most recent many down pours in our state and water storage’s beginning to rise it’s almost hard to conceive how bad our drought years have been throughout the entire state of California.
Years ago even our desert areas saw decent rainfall supplies. JTNP for example had plenty of rain during the earlier years when the area was used for range cattle. I’ve actually hiked to most all of the many “Tanks” as they’re called which were locations the ranchers would dam up in major runoff washes.
This solo Joshua tree has seen better days and the lack of rain and long drought periods has added to it’s drastic decline overall.

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Technical Details

Wista DXIII 4x5 - Schneider APO 120mm - Velvia 50 - B&W conversion in PS with NIK .

So lonely. And oh the tonalities are so great - separate, but somehow harmonious and this looks like it could have been done on B&W film. Clearly I need to get to JTNP.


Outstanding image! Not only is the story telling spot on, but your execution and processing are excellent too. No nits or suggestions. Love this!

Glad to see you work a little b&w here too. This came out beautifully!


@Kris_Smith @Lon_Overacker …As always I appreciate the reviews and comments.
Kris, if you ever have the chance to visit J-tree NP the name sake is the draw and there are many of those in the park. However, for me it has most always been about the unending unique & odd rock formations. I have many Joshua tree images but I’m sure I have a lot more rock formations from the park. So, if you’re into that type of imagery you would not ever be disappointed.

Lon, I did part of the B&W treatment in the old NIK software. I find a lot of uses off and on for that old stuff and I know you were looking for that second version free release awhile back. Hopefully you’ve been able to acquire that item once again.

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Very forlorn and impactful. A really strong desert image and the B&W treatment works very well. :+1:

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Paul, the forlorn nature of the J-tree is enhanced by your comp. The overall greyness works well also.

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@Harley_Goldman @Mark_Seaver …Thank you both for the comments… :+1:
The original color version back in 2018 was published in the Inland Empire Magazine here in So Cal. I’ve been very lucky to have 3 images over the years published by their group. They only publish things from the Inland Empire area covering Riverside and San Bernardino counties… :nerd_face:

Great photo illustrating the drought. Very well executed.

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Very drought-y, indeed! The b&w tones are perfect, and the subtle variations in the sky are wonderful. I’m wondering if you could have put all the branches of the tree into the sky, so those bottom ones don’t touch the hills. But maybe you wanted that connection between the tree and the hills.


@Chris_Baird @Bonnie_Lampley I sincerely appreciate your input on this scene from JTNP.
Bonnie, your point was an excellent one and good observation. As I recall there was restrictions on positioning things preventing too much of a change here & there. However, I visit this area often and will need to double check on my angle of view… :sunglasses:

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You demonstrate how ghosts can be telling harbingers of our present and future. I shutter at the story this image communicates. The light across the middle of the sky is so effective in zeroing in on the telling sad Joshua tree. This image speaks! Wonderful.

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