Montana ain’t got nothin’ on this.

As part of an ongo­ing project to cap­ture images of local … cap­ti­va­tions, I’ve recently spent some time roughly north of where I am now, but not by much. I think we’ll start with this one.

That vast expanse of blue is what you might call “copy space”. The sky was really coop­er­at­ing that day; it kept things inter­est­ing and tex­tural near the ground in the form of puffy clouds, and yet man­aged to remain clear and turquoise higher up.

Also passed by a loca­tion known as Red Lake. Want to guess how it got that name?

This was a dried out lakebed thirty years ago, and oddly enough, very lit­tle has changed. It’s a bizarre envi­ron­ment, the soil very hard and feel­ing quite a lot like old, crumbly con­crete, and there are dust dev­ils that spi­ral across its sur­face in a line, almost a for­ma­tion march. It’s hot, and absolutely des­ic­cated, and otherworldly.

One of the things pointed out by the pro­duc­tion team of the movie Lawrence of Arabia was that, appar­ently, before that film was done no one had ever actu­ally pho­tographed a mirage. Ain’t no big trick to it, son. Just find your mirage, focus, com­pose and shoot.

This, located near the General Store out­side of Hackberry,* was no mirage, just an inter­est­ing demi-​​restored jalopy inside a garage that seemed to have just the right blend of col­ors and tex­tures to catch my eye. I like the tin roof especially.

All these images are close to what came off the chip, though I had to up the con­trast a lit­tle and do the usual enhance­ments in LAB to strengthen the sub­tler shades.

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* Yes, Hackberry. Not to be con­fused with Mayberry. I believe Hackberry is mostly a gravel-​​quarry site now, but its gen­eral store is … well, it’s actu­ally more famous for being famous, I sup­pose, but if you ever find your­self on that spur of Route 66, it’s worth stop­ping in.

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