The desert has amazing powers of preservation!
Joshua Tree National Park wasn’t always a park, there used to be a few ore processing mills here in the 30′s. One of those is the Wall Street Mill which is protected as a historic site because of it’s mechanical uniqueness. The machinery is still intact.
Near the mill you can also find a few abandoned cars – antiques left over from the mining era.
It’s amazing that these cars are probably 85 years old and here they sit with a bit of rust, a few pieces missing, and some very worn out tires!
I decided to try some fun photo processing techniques on this one.
Abandoned car processed with HDR, Topaz Adjust, and Topaz Simplify.
Please click the image to view a larger version.
Here are the steps I used to make this image:
- When I visited this location it was the middle of the afternoon in some pretty bright light, so I decided to make three exposures (one for the highlights, one for the mid-tones, and one for the shadows) and combine them into an HDR image to even out the exposure.
- After I made the HDR image, everything was pretty flat so I wanted to add some colour, contrast and detail to the car to make it pop. I used one of my favourite plugins, Topaz Adjust, to do this. Topaz Adjust has lots of presets you can use to do this kind of thing.
- I didn’t like the way the sky and some of the trees looked in HDR, so I brought one of the original exposures into photoshop and blended it with the HDR image. This way the sky and the trees look more natural because they are not HDR nor do they have the Topaz Adjust effect applied to them. This is how the image looked after this step:
Abandoned car processed with HDR and Topaz Adjust.
- I decided to try something fun and used the Topaz Simplify plugin to make a painterly effect on the image.
Processing is fun and every once in awhile I like to try something new to see what kind of effects I can create.
By the way, Topaz Labs is having a sale on the Topaz Simplify Plugin for the next couple of weeks. You can get it for 50% off bringing the price down to just $20!! They also have a trial version so you can try it out before you buy.
Of course, Topaz Adjust is one of my favourite plugins, and it has some painterly effect presets as well. It just depends on what you want, so I recommend trying them out first.