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Category Archives: Country scene

Painted Frog Rock

People love finding rock formations that, from a particular angle, look like something else, especially an animal or human. The Internet has many examples of rock formations that look like a fox, rabbit, elephant, dog, penguin, bear, porcupine, fish, horse, camel, dinosaur, rhino, or human face. There are of course many examples of human breasts and buttocks as well as human genitals in rocks. Here is a rock formation that looks somewhat like a frog located in the Western Cape alongside the road between Betty’s Bay and Rooi Els.

733---Bettys-Bay-Frog

The last time someone updated the paint job on this rock was in the early 1990s I’m told. It used to be cool to paint on rock formations if they were small enough, however these days one doesn’t see it often. It’s not cool anymore to paint on a natural feature. Instead people do it virtually in Photoshop; some of the examples I’ve seen in Google look like they might just start walking!

 

Petting the Horses

Who has not stopped on a dirt road to climb a fence and pet the horses? Such a lovely found snapshot with two teenage girls gently connecting with a horse and foal in the mid 1960s.

705---Teens-and-horses

This was a genuine moment on a family holiday, but surely the photographer had seen images of beautiful young women and girls with horses, its a genre in popular art and has been for more than a century. This reminds me how, consciously or unconsciously, we mimic images in popular media, art and advertising when we pick up a camera. This is a well documented phenomenon in vernacular photography. I don’t mean to destroy the charm of the image with this comment, it is a wonderful photograph in every way!

 

Sunday lunch in the veld

Sunday lunch was always done right – no matter where you were in the 1960s. At least it was in privileged white society in Southern Africa. One can feel a little uncomfortable noting this, however the undeniable beauty of the setting offers an alternative, more aesthetic focus for this image! The pastel colors of the veld, all yellows, blues, browns and greens, look perfect with the pastel pink crockery. I love the rich simplicity of the era and the formal traditions, so stuffy at the time, seem quaintly appealing now. No gadgets, branding, or cheap, bright camping paraphernalia – indeed outdoor repasts today have a completely different look and feel.

463---Sunday-lunch-in-the-veld

 

Doggie welcome

Everyone who knows dogs loves the welcome one gets when arriving home, how much better than in this awe inspiring, African mountain and farm setting. Love that fresh 1960s outfit, complete with impractical white shoes.

36---Happy-Dog-after

I applied a clean, painted effect and reworked the color.

Before and after

36---Happy-Dog-cropped

 

 

Posted by on September 15, 2014 in Africa, Country scene, Pets, Woman

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Air France Postcard

Not an old slide this time, but a postcard from Air France. I love it and have pinned the original above my desk. Air France issued many such postcards, all gorgeous designs. However, out of the hundreds on Pintrest, EBay and Google I can’t find this one, so perhaps its quite rare! On the reverse is a reference number 60 279/11/78.

Air-France-Postcard

 

Posted by on November 17, 2013 in Airport, Country scene, Europe, Modes of transport

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Swans

Swans on a tranquil lake. Its a beautiful scene good for a chocolate box or biscuit tin. I colored the original dull, blue image with intense golds, greens and oranges.

Swans-after

Original:

Swans-before

 

 

Posted by on October 6, 2013 in City Park, Country scene, Nature

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Mushroom Hills

These weirdly shaped rock formations remind me of mushrooms and a few other things. I’m guessing they were photographed on a road trip in Iran in the early 1970s.

Mushroom-hills-after

The original was extremely grungy, and although that is an aesthetic I love, this one needed to be cleaner to appreciate the dramatic shapes and late-afternoon light. I applied some effects to simplify it and then brought out stronger colors.

Before and after

Mushroom-hills-cropped

Click for big

 

Posted by on September 24, 2013 in Country scene, Middle East, Mountains, Nature

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Decorated Horse

This horse was photographed on a dusty road in Iran, sometime in the early 1970s. Taking a ride in a 2-person horse-drawn buggy is still a slightly touristy thing to do in bigger centers, but given the age of the slide and the seemingly remote location I’d guess this was used by locals. I’d love to see how those bright red pom poms come alive when the horse is moving. Iran has more than one unique breed of horse but as I’m not an expert, descriptions like ‘ewe necked and slab-sided’ don’t help me to understand what I’m looking at!

Decorated-Horse-Iran-after

I loved the subject matter but the colors were really dull. To bring the pic alive I did some basic restoration work on tone and contrast then had a bit of fun with color and filters.

Before and after:

Decorated-Horse-Iran-cropped

Click for big.

 

English Countryside in Spring

Beautiful scene of an English countryside in spring. It looks cold and many of the branches are still bare, but blossoms have begun to show. A red coat sets of the greens and looks really cozy for a brisk walk.

Note to self: Solitary lady in garden setting = sort of cultural icon. This is one of many. Must investigate.

Lady-in-a-red-coat-in-a-garden-after

The sky was white and I needed to bring back the blue with some clouds behind the branches. After this I deepened the color and sharpened the image overall.

Before and after:

Lady-in-a-red-coat-in-a-garden-cropped

Click for big

 

 

Posted by on June 3, 2013 in Country scene, Europe, Nature, Rural life, Woman

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Kaibab Horse Trail

The Kaibab Plateau borders the Grand Canyon in the South, Arizona USA. This trail, shown in 1962, was either the North or South Kaibab trail into the Canyon. Touring this vast area on horseback is still a popular pastime but it does come with warnings as, once out of the trees (the Kaibab National Forest), the exposed, rocky and very hot conditions of the Canyon are challenging for riders and horses alike. Canyon officials prefer to use mules. Certain images really make me want to go there, and this is one of them.

A dramatic improvement from the original as the blue tone was removed, and light and color was brought into the image.

Before and after. Click for big.

 

Posted by on January 8, 2013 in America, Children, Country scene, Horses, Nature

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The Outside Inn

There is an ‘Outside Inn’ in almost every city in the world, some of them being quite large establishments, so who knows where this is, except that it does look rural. What makes it fun is the quaintness of the cabin and the expressions on the travelers’ faces.

The image needed a slight lens correction to straighten up the doorway. The bright red jersey needed to be toned down a little too. Other than that not much was needed.

Before and after. Click for big.

 

Posted by on November 15, 2012 in Country scene, People

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Man and Child on a Winter Hillside

Proof that ‘smiling for the camera’ is not nearly as interesting as keeping a normal expression. In this image the soft, pensive expressions fit the scene and help to draw us in. The result is a really beautiful portrait.

The original had faded badly to magentas, pinks and purples and no hint of the original colors remained, but the subject lent itself to a black and white conversion. I cleaned up a fair amount of dust and scratches and voila – we see that it is a stunning photograph.

 

Posted by on October 28, 2012 in Children, Country scene, Rural life

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Lady in Red

A curious image. In what era would you expect to see a lady in a red jumpsuit with white shoes and a purple bag walking down a country path? And where was the photographer – up on a hill with a zoom lens?

Although I loved the verdant green field dotted with flowers, I felt she was drowning in it a little so I kept it green in a circle around her and desaturated the color outwards. Not much else needed to be done.

 

 

Posted by on October 28, 2012 in Country scene, Rural life, Woman

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