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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Our team has been on fire lately—publishing sweeping, one-of-a-kind investigations, ambitious, groundbreaking projects, and even releasing “the holy shit documentary of the year.” And that’s on top of protecting free and fair elections and standing up to bullies and BS when others in the media don’t.

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2) If you’re not ready to donate but you’re interested enough in our work to be reading this, please consider signing up for our free Mother Jones Daily newsletter to get to know us and our reporting better. Maybe once you do, you’ll see it’s something worth supporting.

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