Friday, June 3, 2011

The rocks of Vasquez

If you drive about an hour north of Los Angeles, you'll come to a park which may seem a little familiar, even if you've never been there before.  

The reason?

Vasquez Rocks Park has been used as a filming backdrop in many movies and tv shows including the Lone Ranger, Star Trek, Planet of the Apes, Blazing Saddles and The Flintstones.  It has some very unique stone formations and it's no wonder why Hollywood has decided to film there to make a scene look like anything from a distant planet to prehistoric times.  

Once you get out there, it's hard to even believe that you're so close to a big city.  It's a great place to get away and hike and enjoy the smog-free air.  Bring some hiking shoes if you want to climb up the big rock formations--my beat-up running shoes just didn't cut it.  

Here are some of the photos I took.  But I'm giving you a heads-up.  I recently purchased Photoshop cs5 at GREAT EXPENSE.  It's an awesome program, of course, but damnit I want to get my money's worth so I'm gonna photoshop every damn picture that I take from now on.  For better or for worse.  

And I'm learning.  So most of these are "for worse".  

This is a photo of the main rock formation that has a poster effect applied to it. Kinda cool.  I like it.  

Another view.  I think I just played around with the sharpening tools in this one.  

Doesn't the lens flare look awesome?  Okay, I'll give photoshop the credit.  

This one is completely untouched.  I just waited a really long time for the sky to turn a groovy type of purple.  I truly suffer for my art.  

For this one, I wanted to give the illusion that a large head was invading Vasquez Rocks.  I think I succeeded beautifully.  

This photo has a texture filter applied to it.  The best thing about digital photos is that you can take some incredibly crappy pictures and they don't cost you a thing.    

I'm learning more about duotones and I really like the effect.  Not necessarily for this photo but  for the right photo, I'm sure they're great.  

And finally, I'm experimenting with frames.  Hmmm, I think I need a lot more experimenting ... 

Vasquez Rocks Park is a beautiful place to visit which you can hopefully appreciate despite the photoshopcraptacular presentation.  Check it out if you're ever in the area.  

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