Black and White Bristlecones

Because I fancy myself as a photographer that prefers black and white, I am going to share some of the bristlecone photos that I used filters on in Photoshop.   I’m not big on too many adjustments so don’t get all ‘straight out of camera’ on me.   If I was just a touch better at manual settings, I would seriously just go back to film and do this old school.

Do you think some photos are better in monochrome tones than color?    Sometimes, I wonder if I’m a little bit colorblind and that’s why I like the contrast of black and white better.    Let me know what you think in the comments.

And, if you want to see some more in color, please check out my previous post HERE.   That one will tell you a little bit of history on the bristlecone pines and Great Basin National Park, Nevada, too.

Vivid in Black and White

Tahoe is known at the “lake of the sky” because it reflects the vivid, deep blue skies of the Sierras.   On this day, we had some interesting clouds happening.   I think this black and white treatment does the trick in showing just how dramatic this part of the world can be.   Enjoy.

z bw homewood clouds

American Flat, Nevada

American Flat is an old cyanide mill just outside of Virginia City, Nevada.    Technically, is it between Gold Hill and Silver City but both of those places are near ghost towns now, too.    According to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), “The United Comstock Merger Mill site is located on public lands at American Flat, Storey County, Nevada. The mill was built in 1922 to process local gold and silver ore utilizing cyanide vat leaching in what was then described as the largest concrete mill in the United States, which makes it historically significant. Since abandonment in 1924, this seven acre mill site has traditionally been used by high school students and other locals as a meeting place to hold parties, post graffiti, conduct paintball wars, etc., despite physical safety hazards from falling concrete, underground mill sumps filled with water, and holes in the concrete flooring.  The BLM issued a Federal Register Notice and closed the historic mill buildings to public entry in 1997 in response to a fatality at the site. Regardless of the closure and repeated efforts by the BLM to fence, gate and post the site with warning signs, the property still receives visitors in trespass. According to the Storey County Sheriff’s Department, emergency vehicles respond to at least six serious injuries on the property every year, mostly from visitors climbing on and falling from the mill buildings which are as much as eighty feet in height.

Needless to say, this is a creepy, old place yet worthy of the time photographing it.   There are warning signs everywhere to be careful.

This huge mill was built in 1922. Imagine how big of an undertaking that was in those days.   It was only used for TWO years.
All of the buildings are covered in graffiti, inside and out.
If these walls could talk … oh, the stories they would tell.
The Bar … enter if you dare …
A closer look at the largest building.
A look inside the largest building, there are holes in the floor and chunks of cement dangling from the ceilings.
Anyone can tell which areas are marked as “closed” but you can see that no one heeds the warnings.
Clearly, the EPA didn’t exist in the days of this mill. The cyanide barrels lay in waste all over the area.
The ghosts of the Comstock are alive and well here at American Flat.

Bodie, California

The other day, my friend over at FilmCamera999, shared some images from Bodie, California.   Bodie was once a booming mining town and is now preserved by the California State Parks.    It’s not easy to get to but it is well worth seeking out for the adventure.

I decided to share some of my photos, too.   These are scanned from 35 mm prints and were originally taken on my favorite Nikon FM2.