Bunny Laden  

Afterglow Vista by Bunny Laden

May 2021 - Afterglow Vista

May 2021 - Bunny Laden


About the Image(s)

The McMillin Family Memorial Mausoleum was completed in 1936. The structure is full of Masonic symbolism, from the number and grouping of steps to the broken column which signifies the broken line of life when one dies.

In March, my husband and I drove to Roche Harbor on the San Juan Islands of Washington State, where we sheltered in place for 10 days. We visited the mausoleum on one of our walks. It’s located in the woods, surrounded by trees, and requires a short walk to find it. McMillin was a politician and businessman who started a lime kiln on the island. Today, there are only a few vestiges of the lime business, as the McMillin property is now the Roche Harbor Resort.

Just before the trip, I decided to purchase a portable camera so that I wouldn’t have to carry my gear all the time. I decided that the best camera, with the best low-light performance and ability to take RAW photos, is the iPhone Pro 12 Max. That’s the camera I used on this hike. (The side benefit is that I now have a cell phone!)

Inspired by many of you, I also purchased Nik effects. For this image, I first cropped and straightened it in Lightroom. Then I used Silver Effects Pro 2 and applied the Antique Plate II filter. I thought the old-time look fit the setting and time of construction. I look forward to your comments.

10 comments posted

Oliver Morton   Oliver Morton
Bunny, I love your description/story. It really adds to my understanding of your image and the feelings behind it. Your idea of making it into an antique-like photograph is perfect. (And, Silver Efex Pro 2 is an excellent tool for doing that.)

Since I like the image so much, I decided to play with it a bit. One of the things I tried was to continue the faded tint into the trees behind the columns. I didn't do a great job with the editing, however. What do you think?

  Posted: 05/02/2021 16:31:37
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Oliver Morton   Oliver Morton
Now that I see my image, I notice that my tint doesn't quite match yours. So, it's not what I intended, but perhaps it's close enough to give the idea.
  Posted: 05/02/2021 16:32:59
Bunny Laden   Bunny Laden
Hi Pete,
Thanks for the suggestion. Before I made this image, I made another version quickly (which I deleted) that popped the mausoleum in front, sort of similar to your suggestion. But having lived in the Northwest (many years ago), I decided I liked the way the McMillan family placed the mausoleum so it would blend with the Pacific Northwest forest. HOWEVER, I think I will now try to soften the background by using a blur effect. That might work towards the same end you suggest without making it look like the fog rolled in behind the mausoleum. What do you think?   Posted: 05/02/2021 19:06:05

Leah Konicki   Leah Konicki
I, too, agree with your choices here - and I appreciate the information on the mausoleum and the symbolism there. I think you achieved the effect you were after with the antique sepia tinting. Your edit has also brought out the fine detail in the architecture (especially the columns) and the trees in the foreground, and also make the image somewhat ethereal. I'll be interested in seeing the version with a blurred effect. for the trees, though I am not 100% convinced it is needed. As you said, the trees are part of the setting of this structure. A minor point - I think the crop at the top is a bit close to the structure, I think a little more space or air above the top would help it breathe, if that makes sense. (Could be balanced by taking a bit off the bottom, maybe the lower two steps.) Having said that, kudos, great image.   Posted: 05/08/2021 09:19:10
Bunny Laden   Bunny Laden
Hi Leah, I appreciate your comments. I will revisit the crop at the top. If I crop the bottom, I think I'd remove all three steps, because the number of steps are Masonic symbols. Walking around the structure, steps are in groupings of 3, 5, or 7, deliberately done for the symbolism.   Posted: 05/08/2021 11:27:44

Bob Legg   Bob Legg
Well done Bunny. A great story teller you are and very nice to include with many of your images. The image as shown is beautiful. As a small nit, I also think you should leave a little bit more of space in front of the foremost 3 steps and double the space above the structure. I also would of tried bringing the dehaze filter down below 0 to see if that added some atmosphere to the trees without taking away from the textures in other parts of the image.   Posted: 05/09/2021 11:20:23

Emil Davidzuk   Emil Davidzuk

The iPhone camera are amazing, when people ask what kind of camera to buy for a trip I suggest getting a new iPhone....quality images and no need for LR/PS etc

Thanks so much for sharing the back story on this image. The Antique Filter is perfect for your mausoleum photo. It puts it in the right genre.

I too feel adding a touch more space below the bottom 3 steps and doubling the space above would help your image "breath".

Well done and thanks for sharing insights from your trip.


Emil   Posted: 05/09/2021 13:57:36
Bunny Laden   Bunny Laden
An attempt at incorporating some suggestions.
  Posted: 05/10/2021 15:08:31
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Oliver Morton   Oliver Morton
Bunny, you've done a fantastic job adding a bit of space below the steps at the bottom. Personally, I think you've created a photograph that is a family treasure. It's absolutely wonderful to hold on to family history and you've done it in a memorable way. I suggest that this image should go on your wall or, at a minimum, in a family album. Well done indeed.

Nonetheless, I kept playing with it. I wanted to see if I could make the mausoleum a bit more prominent without corrupting the softness of the background. Your thoughts?

  Posted: 05/10/2021 17:08:30
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Bunny Laden   Bunny Laden
Hi Oliver,
You encountered the same challenge that I did--there are many masking artifacts. I spent quite a bit of time today trying to use masking, but the edges just don't cooperate. Then, to my eye, it looks fake. I think I may give up on this one as a monochrome, as it is much easier to desaturate the background a bit and pop the orange to create more of a separation.   Posted: 05/10/2021 19:10:45


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