During our winter wanderings through Arizona we discovered Cool Springs, Arizona along Route 66. From a photographic standpoint, this was a must-shoot location. It is now a vintage museum of memorabilia from the bygone era of Route 66 and interstate travel in general.

It is out in the desert and on the slopes of the Black Mountains and while we enjoyed a 85 degree day, this location is no doubt a harsh environment during hotter times of the years. Built in the mid-1920’s, the road was designated Route 66 in 1926 and as you head west from Cool Springs the road gets steep and windy.

You cant help but wonder what it must have been like to travel from Los Angeles to Chicago in August. Cars slogging up the hill in intenseĀ  heat and travelers thirsty and dehydrated. Cool Springs would have been a wonderful site.

I thought this was a perfect location for a light grunge HDR image. I did not like the distortion I got with my super wide, so I shot this with a 35mm, vertically, and in sections. I then did the HDR processing in Photomatix and finished by stitching the 6 image

I was teaching a workshop last weekend: The Business of Outdoor Photography at the Cascade Center of Photography and then had a chance to run up to Sparks Lake in Oregon and do some shooting. There is a beautiful mountain there hidden by the clouds and as you can see, and the light is horrible.

So I bracketed for HDR which once processed makes the white clouds have lots of detail. Since the color was poor as well, then a B&W made for a more interesting image.

In Photoshop I punched up the blacks a little more and then lightened the center of the image a little bit more to draw the eye.