Elmer's Bottle Tree Ranch

If you have ever been along Route 66 then I’m sure that you are familiar with where this shot was taken. This is the Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch. This is conveniently located in the middle of nowhere just Northeast of Los Angeles. My sister and I were on our way up North to visit Yosemite and Sequoia National Park and we figured we would go a little out of the way to take a stop here. Coming here from South Los Angeles, it seemed like there was a bit of driving with not much around. The town that this is actually located in was so small that I would imagine everyone knows everyone. I didn’t see any signs when we were looking for the spot where this was so we had to keep our eyes out. Once you get near it though it is hard to miss. This plot of someone front yard that this historic site is actually located in was larger than I had imagined. There were hundreds of bottles setup on little tree like arrangements that were made of re-bar. There was even an old broken down jeep inside that just added to the vintage effect. It was really bizarre and interesting to see at the same time. There were only two other people there when we first showed up who left soon after and the rest of the time we were on our own. I definitely suggest visiting it if you are in the area or going on a trip across Route 66.

I took this shot mounted on a tripod with a remote shutter release. I shot directly into the sun because I wanted to filter the sunlight through the bottles so I could make them light up and bring out some of the various colors. All post processing on this bracketed group of photos was done using luminosity masks in Photoshop CS6. If you don’t know what luminosity masks are then I highly suggest checking them out. You can click the link for a good reference. They are really one of the most useful techniques I have learned when it has come to keeping my photos more realistic and getting the widest range of light.

Elmer's Bottle Tree Ranch

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