Here are two different takes on the abandoned gas station in Halloran Springs that’s a familiar sight to anyone traveling on Interstate 15 near the border with Nevada. This pair of photos drove home how much more difficult black-and-white is compared to color. With color photographs, there aren’t a lot of choices to be made in Photoshop. You can fiddle a bit with exposure and saturation and so forth, but just a little bit. Basically, the picture is what it is.

But black-and-white, especially in the Photoshop era, offers a huge choice of looks. In this one, I chose a very high contrast conversion, as if I’d been using a deep red filter, but if I’d chosen one of the other conversions it would have looked very different. Plus there’s generally more flexibility in “dodging” and “burning” of specific bits of the photograph. In this one, my recollection is that I applied even more contrast specifically to the Lo-Gas sign.

Were these the right choices? Another photographer might have chosen completely differently and produced a picture that was just as good or better. That’s all part of the fun.

January 25, 2020 — Halloran Springs, California

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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