Days of Gold

Days of Gold

This project consists of a combination of my photos and photos taken by Al Pounian in 1962, 1963, and 1964. The Pounians spent the summer months at the John Moulton homestead. While the Moultons were busy making a living off the land, Al spent his days drawing, sketching, and painting—and more importantly, taking photos with his Nikon camera. Al’s two daughters and son had many of his slides scanned. Sue, his youngest daughter, gave me a thumb drive that simply explodes with the valley’s rich history. (Click the image to see it larger! This one has a lot of small details.)

Not long after receiving the image files from Sue, I created a page on my blog, Best of the Tetons, featuring many of Al’s beautiful photos. The Moulton Barns: 1963-1965 soon followed by The “Missing” GTNP Farming and Ranching Photos:

John and Bartha Moulton homesteaded the area and built the barns, corrals, and other structures. I prominently included them in the composition. The Pounian family members can be seen in other areas of the image.

Area History and Cultural Events:

Jackson Hole has a rich heritage and history. The links below might be if interest to anyone that loves the West, Jackson Hole, and Grand Teton National Park.

About This Project

I spent a lot of time creating this one! Even so, there weren’t a lot of “tricks” involved—just a bunch of layers and layer masks. The individual images were exported from Lightroom into a folder dedicated to this project. Throughout the process, I copied a new image into the working image. I knew it would work best as a vertical or portrait layout, so I established a size of 10″ x 20″ at 300 DPI. Many of the images, like the haying section had to be be extracted before importing…meaning I deleted the sky, mountains, and unnecessary background portions. Technically, I could create layer masks while on the layer, but the main file can get huge in file size, so parsing out some of the work in separate files can save time.

Layers Screen Grab

This screen grab might give you an idea of how a Layer Mask works. Without the Layer Mask, the Bokeh lights on the top layer would cover the entire image. While the top layer is active, clicking the New Layer Mask icon (in the red circle) creates a white Layer Mask in that layer. In this example, I created a graduated blend from white to black diagonally across the Layer Mask. If you need a crutch, just remember, “White reveals and black conceals”. Gray values in the mask reveal proportional amounts of visibility. I created the Layer Mask with a graduated blend tool in Photoshop, but the masks can be a result of combinations of brush strokes and shapes. If the small chain icon is turned on, the mask will scale with the image.

The Opacity on a top layer can be adjusted to let some of the underlying layer to show through, and the top layer’s “Blending Mode” can be changed (this example was still set to Normal) to something like Soft Light, Multiply, or Screen to change how that layer is blended with the one below it. Lightroom is great for working with a single image, but currently, you’ll need a program like Photoshop to pull off blending multiple images.

For reference, the Days of Gold image had about 75 layers, some of which were Adjustment Layers. At one point, the file ballooned to close to 4 gigs.

Please SHARE this page, but do not copy and use the image anywhere else! It is Copyrighted with the US Copyright Office.

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