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Category Archives: Mysterious

Beautiful Walls

In this post I’ve collected together four images of walls, each from different eras, cultures and places.
Each building is beautiful in its own way. I also like how people feature in relation to the architecture.

Plain and imposing, with art – Built 1970s*

346---Arty-after
Solid and homely, with carriage lights – Built 1930s*

327---Brick-house-after

Intricate and lovely, with arches – Built 1890s*

325---Tiled-walls---after

Ancient and crumbling, with pillar – Built 100 BC*

250---Ruin-doorways-after

* Okay, I admit it, I have completely guessed when they were built!

Before and afters

346---Arty-cropped

325---Tiled-palace-or-mosque-cropped

327---Brick-house-cropped

250---Ruin-doorways-cropped

 

Posted by on October 12, 2014 in Mysterious, Traditional architecture

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Deeply Inviting Door

There is a delicious tension between this ancient, deep, black doorway and the group of people hanging back, almost clinging to a side wall. Ceremony has been replaced with sightseeing, and yet the door still exerts its pull. I can’t help comparing the hill to the body of a woman, the walls are her thighs and the door is an entrance to her earthy punani – literally her cave of love. Did the ancients intend that?

234---Dark-doorway-after

Before and after

I removed some people to increase the dramatic effect. The stone is much better in a pale chocolate-tinted black and white.

234---Dark-doorway-cropped

 

Posted by on October 9, 2014 in Mysterious, Ruins

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Ripley’s Transparent Woman

On the boardwalk (note wooden planks) in Atlantic City, New Jersey, May 1961. Believe it or not Mr. Ripley’s strange empire is still going strong and this Atlantic City ‘Odditorium’ can still be visited today here.

249---Transparent-woman-after

Before and after

249---Transparent-woman-cropped

 

Spooky house

Unknown location, USA. This ornate, spooky guesthouse plays easily with my childlike imagination. I can almost hear the deep echoing laughter of an evil-minded host!

46---Spook-house-after

Before and after

The ruined color of the original suggested a black and white conversion which, with added misty effects, enhanced the creepy atmosphere.

46---Spook-house-cropped

 

Posted by on September 8, 2014 in America, Mysterious, Suburban home

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Postcard Oddity

We have here a man in a net being raised (or lowered but I prefer to think he’s going up) to a balcony off a cliff in a postcard on a wall in Iran (its a feast of prepositions). From a rich collection of holiday pics taken in the early 1970’s, this traveler was in Iran and spotted the postcard on a wall at their hotel. The region contains several traditional villages built right on the edge of a cliff such as this one.

Man-in-a-net-postcard-after

I made the background black and white and worked on the postcard to bring out color and details.

 

 

Chrome reflections

I do know where this was taken, and when – Congo 1963 – but prefer to make up my own story. In this scene – according to my imagination – a person is hunching down next to their 1950’s coupe and further down the bridge a group of zombies is gathering. Yes! Its a stand-off! But not the war of Congo Independence, its the war of humans against Zombies. Aghhrrrrr!

Car-reflections-after

Taking this surreal image in a grungy, desaturated direction turned out to be the right thing. With added atmosphere, a new sense of intrigue emerged. Hence Zombies!

Before and after

Car-reflections-cropped

Click for big.

 

Posted by on September 24, 2013 in Africa, Mysterious, Old cars, Road trip

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Mountain Top Village

I have no clues as to where and when this awesome scene was captured. Its from a collection of slides circa 1970s, but feels timeless. The landscape and village are dramatically connected to each other – of course the location must have been chosen for a strategic reason but one can’t help admiring the large, creative vision that gave rise to this choice. I do hope this village is still there today.

Mountain-top-village-after

This was a real challenge to restore and took 2 attempts to get the right color and depth. The photographer was probably using a zoom lens and this resulted in a flattened perspective. It was also grainy, overexposed and faded. The sky was completely whited-out and had to be recreated.

Before and after

Mountain-top-village-cropped-as-Smart-Object-1

Click for big

 

Spray Me!

Possibly one of the sexiest images in my collection so far. The well-dressed people – suited men hugging in a group, woman walking tossing her luscious hair – pointed shoes all round, and the context of the park with its deep shadows and old walls. It’s Italy – Europe at its most exotic – in the 1950s. Of course the most exciting element is the exuberant spray of water.

 Florence---Fountains-of-awesomeness-after

I did all the usual restoration tricks but was then looking for some real drama, and so used an artistic filter to punch it out even more.

Florence---Fountains-of-awesomeness-cropped

Before and after. Click for big.

 

Posted by on April 15, 2013 in City Park, Europe, Fountain, Mysterious

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A Lavish Facade Somewhere in Italy

I came across a little stash of slides taken on a trip to Italy in the late 1950s. Here is the first of many treasures. The traveler was in Rome and Florence but I have been unable to confirm the location of this building. Somewhere in a small, rustic courtyard stands this lavish, almost silly facade. The moldings look like cake icing or candle wax but I think they represent grapes or leaves. If we could identify the mythical figures I’m sure it would help. Please do get in touch if you know where this is.

Straightening immediately gave the building more weight. I then reworked the color a little and sharpened it.

Before and after. Click for big.

 

Temple of the Sun

Photographed in 1971, in Mexico, this is the famous Pyramid of the Sun – the largest building at the Teotihuacan complex on the Avenue of the Dead. A sacrificial altar and temple are thought to have once existed on the top. It was constructed in about 100AD and is the third largest pyramid in the world, although not nearly one of the tallest. Much of the outer plaster as well as artifacts did not survive to be studied by Archeologists as they either weathered away or were looted. I have a liking for very blurred photographs because of the way they emphasize form, light and pattern. This person’s camera focused on a row of stones at the very bottom, leaving the impressive slope of stairs as a bright and tantalizing blur.

 

Posted by on December 16, 2012 in Meso America, Mysterious, Ruins

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