Today was one of those days. Having posted a few shots of the cave paintings, I've been nostalgic for the Green Tortoise trip of 2001. I worked on several images, but none of them seemed to be quite good enough to merit your attention and to convey my yearning for these memories.
But I came back to them later and this one reminded me of some advice that is often given to travelers heading into Baja: "Set your clocks back sixty years." In many ways, that sums up the culture, the infrastructure, and the economy of this wondrous, beautiful, difficult, but friendly peninsula. The bus is a 1954 model -- not quite 50 years old at the time of this foot, but close to 60 now! My nostalgia and the ancient bus naturally suggested that I present a sepia monochrome version of this scene.
This is the 40-mile road from San Ignacio to the Laguna San Ignacio. I understand it has now been paved, but in 2001, it took the bus 4 hours -- an average of 10 miles an hour. On our return trip, I saw the road being dragged (to smooth it out and scatter the rocks) with a heavy old truck chassis frame.
Here, we have stopped just after passing through an arroyo, to gather wood for the night's campfire on the laguna. The rains come rarely but often very heavy, so arroyos are good places to find deadwood that has been washed downstream.
Although it was mid-winter, the sun was hot; you can see folks huddled in the shade of the bus and the trees.
Originally shot on Fuji Velvia.
Critiques | Translate
mesutilgim (72828) 2013-08-30 12:59
Only 12 years old but has the taste of a monochrome print from the early times of the photography !
TFS and have a nice weekend
pixelblaster (47) 2013-08-30 13:01
An old styled foto with the warmer tones of sepia effects.
Looks like a scene from black and white old Hindi movies of 1950.
No houses and no pucca road, only the Bus and a few passengers.
marabu61 (5863) 2013-08-30 13:25
Hasn't photography come a long way since 2001.
This is such a timeless piece of work, it could easily have been taken in the 50ties or 60ties. The grainy black and white suits the subject perfectly.
The desert landscape of the baja Sur looks quite forlorn here.
have a great weekend
limielski (2571) 2013-08-30 15:12
I can say only 'charmful photo' with a specific but amazing nostalgic atmosphere.
Very impressive. TFS
Have a nice weekend!
aleXundar (533) 2013-08-30 22:47
Great selection from your archive and a sensible choice of the tone.
If you had taken the shot from the same spot now...I wonder how you would present it.
Missing John Wayne!
emka (64100) 2013-08-30 22:56
hello Russ, You made excellent pp work to achieve this nostalgic photo. It looks as made 60 years ago. Amazing bumpy road and this old bus. In Guatematela there are still in use such old buses. I loved to travel by them with the local people and chickens. Unfortunately I have no photos.
I like the big cactus on the left (saguaro?). Excellent sepia picture.
williewhistler (9787) 2013-08-31 1:32
like you I was a keen user of Velvia,enjoying very much it`s punchy colours.
Your conversion to sepia has worked very well here giving the shot a nice timeless look,especially with the 50`s bus.
The original is well composed with the cactus a good stop and the bus well placed on the curving track and I also like the mood created by the FG rocks and the overcast sky. Great stuff,I`m off to turn out some slides...
Have a good week end,
Noel_Byrne (13182) 2013-08-31 4:33
That is a very cool bus, and a type I never get to see in real life, so double cool for me. The landscape is portrayed perfectly here, I love the scatter of the rocks across the ground making this look like a desolate almost lunar landscape. The Sepia tone does convey the sense of age really well. And its cool that you post this after the cave paintings too, a slightly more modern, but as impressive piece of history. Nice one!
All the best
saxo042 (33854) 2013-08-31 6:37
My initial impression was that this photo was at least 50 years old. Reading your note, I see that I was right about the bus, but the picture is more recent. Still, a very good photo with a strong nostalgic feeing. I hope that the passengers look out for those snakes, with or without rattles!
kabel (1251) 2013-08-31 8:51
Hello, a very nostalgic feel to your .I appreciate your notes that explain the process used. The tones and graininess add to the old time feel to this photo. It is like stepping back in time. It has a special feel to it...
ktanska (22638) 2013-09-01 2:17
I think you are right, B&W fits with this old bus and timeless landscape. I wonder how likely a 50's shot would have been sepia toned.
Good deep perspective. I like different tones on the foreground pebbless. The cactus is well placed on the left.
jcpix (6456) 2013-09-03 18:48
What a fantastic, antiquated look and feel this shot carries...a nostalgic rendering for sure! This is certainly the last place you'd ever want to break down!? I can just hear the rumble over the rough terrain as the bus makes its way through the deserted and dry landscape, passengers gently bouncing in their seats, and the cries for more air conditioning!:) Although, with a vehicle this age, you might be better served pulling down the windows and driving as fast as possible to create an air flow....you know, the 'ol 2-55 a/c.....2 windows down, 55 mph! lol
The sepia works wonders here, and from what I can make out, it looks like a soft vignetting too?? Great work amigo! Have a good one. Take care.
eldancer1 (20674) 2013-09-04 9:40
Almost 50 years ago (Sept. 11, 1963) I came to this beautiful country from the Philippines, I still remember the day as if it was only yesterday. Your image reminds me of the travel back then and driving the old Route 66 from Albuquerque to Long Beach. Thanks for the memory and thanks for sharing.
(There are air shows in Texas in October--4th to 6th in McKinney and 26th & 27th in Houston. Might be worth looking into.)
PiotrF (2380) 2013-09-04 10:51
I like archival, nostalgic images
Your conversion to sepia is very well. Good work.
jhm (127843) 2013-09-05 4:56
Thank you very much for your interesting notes.
Back to the fifties when I was young, also as navy at the navy for one year.
I remember this type picture out of the movies with Elvis and other American singers, this as movie, clips was than not present.
Also your picture is nice taken with a lot details.
Sharpness and presentation are very nice.
Very well done, TFS.
Have a nice weekend,
serp2000 (33043) 2013-09-05 11:16
Everyone of us has got something personal and private in our memories. Times gonna fly... And I have often turn back too. I like your nostalgic message and this sepia photo. It reminds me my family album.
ourania (18490) 2013-10-26 13:12
the bus reminds me of old greek films, comedies, mostly. I'm not sure if this is the reason but I think that this photo has a cinematographic quality. The landscape has some interesting features but, in my opinion, is not so attractive or comfortable as to justify a stop in the ruthless sunshine. So, there must be a reason that makes part of a story... I read the real reason in your note but the first impression persists:) There's great depth and the sepia treatment is very good and atmospheric. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a great weekend,
elenimavrandoni (9965) 2013-10-28 12:40
Russ, I personally love to do that and I love your picture...Baja is still beautiful as then and even more now..yes, I enjoyed very much my stay there. I didn´t stay in Todos Santos but I ate there and it was great!!
Baja is favorite by far and always a joy visiting...thank you very much!!
photoray (6622) 2013-11-01 18:15
Looks like a classical monochrome from the early 1950s for the vintage bus, rock highway and surrounding desert landscape.
I would like to try the Green Tortoise to Baja. I would also recommend www.caravan.com. They have a great and reasonable priced trip to Costa Rica.
Have an excellent weekend,
PS: The Gondola photo was actually taken in Vegas.
And the camera was a 35 mm film camera, using slide film which I scanned and converted to monochrome later.
- Copyright: Russ Ham (EstudioChispa) (1694)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Black & White
- Date Taken: 2001-02-00
- Categories: Transportation
- Camera: Nikkormat FT, Nikkor 50mm f/1.4, Fuji Velvia
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2013-08-30 12:53
- Favorites: 1 [view]