No Barrier to Imagination

No Barrier to Imagination

Can you figure out what this is from the Google map? No fair looking ahead, use your excellent deductive powers to make a guess.

Google map of South Loop 610 near Wayside

Google map of South Loop 610 near Wayside

Well... this is a huge yard full of Jersey Barriers.

From the elevated freeway I had seen these concrete barriers stacked up in neat squares when we were on the way to Galveston. I was absolutely thrilled to find a giant yard full of them near the spool place I told you about earlier.

The things it takes to make me happy...

You know what they are, but maybe not from that label. I didn't know that was what they are called until during the Iraq war I heard news reporters refer to them at security and military installations. The design allows for easy lifting and they can be bolted together for added stability. They are widely used to re-route traffic during road and freeway work here. You see them all the time since our freeways are under permanent expansion and construction.

Technically, these are not all Jersey Barriers as some are block shaped, others lack the curved base to deflect a vehicle collision. Some showed missing chunks and the battered appearance meant they were obviously used. But, they are all portable modular concrete barriers. 

Neatly stacked Jersey Barriers Sony A77 II with 16-50mm DT 1/250 sec. f/7.1 ISO 400

Neatly stacked Jersey Barriers

Sony A77 II with 16-50mm DT 1/250 sec. f/7.1 ISO 400

The site was fenced but the gates were wide open. I doubt they have much pilferage. In fact, it was a bit creepy wandering around in there. There was a pile of junk behind one of the stacks and a mattress, lots of signs of campfires, a burned Christmas tree on a stand and of course...

Wild kittehs Sony A77 II with 16-50mm DT 1/250 sec. f/7.1 ISO 400

Wild kittehs

Sony A77 II with 16-50mm DT 1/250 sec. f/7.1 ISO 400

This is a zoom shot that has been cropped. I didn't think these guys would be too friendly and truthfully, I was afraid seeing them close up would be disturbing. Kittehs that live in the wild don't look near as nice as fat house cats.

Weeds take hold among the stacks Sony A77 II with 16-50mm DT 1/250 sec. f/7.1 ISO 400

Weeds take hold among the stacks

Sony A77 II with 16-50mm DT 1/250 sec. f/7.1 ISO 400

But then, I noticed how the vines and weeds were taking over the edges. The shapes started to look like Mayan ruins deep in the jungle.

The jungle encroaches the ruins.... with a bit of help Sony A77 II with 16-50 DT  f/7.1 ISO 400 post-processed  NIK Collection  HDR Efex Pro 4, Topaz Simplify and Fractalius

The jungle encroaches the ruins.... with a bit of help

Sony A77 II with 16-50 DT  f/7.1 ISO 400 post-processed  NIK Collection  HDR Efex Pro 4, Topaz Simplify and Fractalius

Sometimes you just have to experiment with the different imaging tools. It is mostly trial and error and moving those sliders until you get something wonderful. Did know there is a huge discussion in photography between the supposed purists who disdain post-processing and others who enjoy the final step? Some boast of photos SOOC or Straight Out Of the Camera. To each his own. Photography has many challenges; if getting the photo perfect when you press the shutter is your goal, then go for it!

Me, I love making my photographs look better and especially making art from the images. Often, the photograph is just a starting place. Can you imagine what this scene might look like by moonlight?

Super Moon shining on the Mayan ruins....I mean Jersey Barriers... Sony A77 II with 16-50 DT  f/7.1 ISO 400 - post-processed  NIK Collection  HDR and Silver Efex Pro 4

Super Moon shining on the Mayan ruins....I mean Jersey Barriers...

Sony A77 II with 16-50 DT  f/7.1 ISO 400 - post-processed  NIK Collection  HDR and Silver Efex Pro 4

How about that?  Surely you didn't think I would really go back out there at night? Of course not; we have Mad Photoshop Skillz to indulge our imagination.

Photo overlays from many locations processed with Topaz Simplify and Fractalius

Photo overlays from many locations processed with Topaz Simplify and Fractalius

Or maybe... it looks like this in my dreams.

Do you work near the industrial parts of your town? Do you ever go to those areas? And most importantly, do you dream in black and white or color?

Let me know in the comments.

Dancing White Morphs

Dancing White Morphs

Summer Day at Surfside

Summer Day at Surfside