Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Topanga Canyon Sunset - February 1971

Click on photo to enlarge

While going through my old slides, to find the spider image I posted a few days ago, I came across this sunset photo taken in February of 1971, just off Topanga Canyon Boulevard, near the Top O' Topanga overlook.

I would've been driving my cherry fifteen dollar 1946 Studebaker that day, just weeks before I began what turned out to be a 30 year career as a Postman. This is one of the very first photos I ever took with a halfway decent camera, however, it wouldn't be long afterwards that I could afford a Nikon and become hopelessly addicted to photography.

I remember driving past that tree many times, noticing how the sun would set between the divided trunk, and wishing I had a camera to capture the moment.

Looking at the picture I realize that tree was probably the initial inspiration which has led to my now having 35 years worth (and counting) of photographic memories, images which recall in me the people, times, and places of those years, and I'm wondering if the old tree is still around to frame todays sunsets for some other longing eye?

Copying the scratchy 35 year-old slide was done with the Digital Duplicator slide copier I purchased for our Canon S2IS digital camera. The image was then rendered slightly, with some brush effects in Photoshop, to cover blemishes in the aged transparency, but the color remains pretty much true to the original.

As I find the time, most likely in winter, I'll be copying and carefully restoring hundreds of the old slides, removing the dust specks, scratches, and blemishes so rendering with brush tools won't be neccesary. And I'm sure I'll be sharing many of them here. After all, what use are they if no one sees them?


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Blogger dragonfly183 said...

I'm first, I'm first!!!!! Thats beautiful JIm

9:10 AM  
Blogger Jim said...


You were so first that I hadn't even posted the title or text yet!
And thanks, I'm glad you like the image, it was one of the first I ever made, and it inspired me to buy a good camera and take several photography courses over those next few years.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Tabor said...

So, my question now is do you have a good organizing and archiving system. I have thousands of photos, slides and CDs...!!

2:21 PM  
Blogger donna said...

it is such a treat to visit here...

3:05 PM  
Blogger Sandy Hatcher-Wallace said...

That was indeed a beautiful sunset. I've tried photographing sunsets, but I have yet to produce one as beautiful as your's. I'm glad the tree was there as your inspiration.

4:48 PM  
Blogger Jim said...


Our Cds are just organized alphabetically on shelves, by genre, similar to our books.

But most of the 2,000+ CDs are now downloaded into iTunes, cover art included.

I don't yet have any system for organizing my slides and photos in the computer. Have you found a program you like?


thank you...


With sunsets I've found that it doesn't work to let the camera select the exposure settings.

You need a camera with manual settings so you can bracket the exposures several stops under what the camera says is the ideal exposure.

8:04 AM  
Blogger Tabor said...

Corel Photo album has a keyword indexing feature and grouping abilty and works with PaintShop Pro which I use. I have used it was a few albums I have created. I am not sure that any proprietary software is going to be a solution in the long term, though. Most of my photos are now on CDs and I have been told they should be converted to DVDs since shelf life on CDs is no longer considered long! I think it is a little scary for me.

11:44 AM  
Blogger robin andrea said...

That's a beautiful image, and I see why it inspired you. I watched the sunset from that spot in that era, as well.

7:13 PM  
Blogger LenĂ© Gary said...

I'd love to see them, Jim--especially if you include stories like this one.

8:14 PM  

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