Leanne Cole’s theme this week for her Monochrome Madness Challenge is Road. I have decided that my entry this week should be a monochrome version of a photo I took way back in late October of 2007 during a week-end visit to Virginia City, Nevada. I came across this scene while driving along the back road from Virginia City to Dayton through an area called Six Mile Canyon.
Virginia City just happens to be one of my favorite spots on this earth and we have visited often over the years. My mother was born there and her mother before her.
Click on any photo to see a larger version of that photo.
On this particular trip we decided to take a different route for the way home. Usually we drive down Highways 342 and 341 through Silver City and Gold Hill to Carson City where we catch Highway 50 that will take us back to Sacramento and from there we take either I-80 or I-5 back to the Bay Area. But on this trip we decided to take the Six Mile Canyon Road (state route 79) that eventually hits Highway 50 several miles east of Carson City near the town of Dayton. There were two reasons for this alternate route: (1) we wanted to view some of the canyon’s magnificent cottonwood trees that turn a brilliant orange this time of year, and (2) I wanted to take a picture of an old tombstone in the pioneer Dayton cemetery.
Here’s my original photo of the back road with the cottonwoods in all of their glory. That’s Flowery Peak in the background, the highest mountain in the canyon area. I took this shot with my first DSLR, a Canon XTI Rebel, and my newly-purchased 24-105mm zoom lens. For the monochrome version I processed the photo in Lightroom and Nik Silver Efex Pro, using the High Key preset in Silver Efex Pro to transform those orange leaves to silver.
Back in the 1850s a prospector named Henry Comstock and some of his cronies went prospecting for gold one day in Six Mile Canyon. And they found silver. Lots of it. In fact, it was the mother lode and it was eventually called the Comstock Lode. And pretty soon thousands of people from all over the world flocked to Virginia City.
One of those thousands of people was a girl from County Roscommon in Ireland named Bessie Gallagher. And another was a Scotch-Irish guy from County Down named Tom Muckle. They met and married in Virginia City and became my mother’s maternal grandparents. Still another one of those thousands was a girl from County Tyrone named Elizabeth McDevitt whose family migrated to Philadelphia during the Famine and relocated to San Francisco a few years later. She met an Irish lad in Philadelphia named Joe Kenny (I’m still searching for the county he came from) who followed her to San Francisco where they married but then decided to settle in Virginia City where he had found work in the mines. They became my mother’s paternal grandparents.
Would you like to know more about that tombstone in the Dayton cemetery? I will finish the story in tomorrow’s posting.
In the meanwhile, why don’t you visit Leanne’s website to see how other photographers have interpreted her Roads theme?