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Remains of Harmony Borax Works

Posted by
Denny Jump (Bellevue, WA, United States) on 14 March 2011 in Landscape & Rural.

OOPS - My wife will be seen tomorrow!! Sorry...

This Boiler and processing point - and a team of wagons which i wil show you tomorrow - are all that remains of a lucrative operation from the late 1800's. The Harmony Borax works was built by San Francisco businessman William T Coleman to refine the "cottonall" salt from the nearby salt flats at Badlwater into usable Borax. Borax actually comes from borates which are salt minerals. The operation at Harmony continued from 1883 to 1888, processing Borax which was, and still is, used for everything from handsoap to welding. Borax was referred to as "White Gold"in the day and was the most profitable commodity in the region during that time. The high cost of transportation made it necessary to refine the borax here rather than transport it to the railroad many miles away. Teams of 20 mules would pull the wagons of salt from the flats to the works. As time passed, more modern techniques and more accessible locations were found and Harmony went out of business.

To give you some perspective, a 6 foot man's head would be at about the point where you see the oval shaped inlet at the boiler. The stack of this boiler was originally about 3 times higher than it is now.

PENTAX Optio 60 1/442 second F/6.7 ISO 64 8 mm

** Staples Singers - "Respect Yourself"

- " We do not move forward from a middle opinion, which is undemocratic but mediocratic.
We advance from a creative passion "- (Edgar Morin)

- "To photograph is to hold one's breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It's at
that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy."
- Henri Cartier-Bresson.

::Words from Denny:
- My beliefs, and values, have always been strongly tied-to music, especially Jazz, and Blues.
- The following artists and lyrics seem to "sum-up" where my spirit resides:
; Earth Wind and Fire

Kenny from Eastsound, United States

Really nice series, I love the tones in this one.

14 Mar 2011 5:52am

@Kenny: Hi Kenny - Thank you so much! I really appreciate your comments. I enjoyed looking at your images - really nice work sir! Take care of the eastsound - I hope you don't mind if I check into your blog more regularly - really cool and unique ideas and compositions, Kenny. All the best -DJ

Richard from Duns, United Kingdom

Nice processing Denny. Nice info too, never knew this stuff.

14 Mar 2011 7:02am

@Richard: Hi Richard. Thank you very much. I processed this with my standard iPhoto basic effects...Thanks again!

PD from Kansas, United States

Nice processing!

14 Mar 2011 8:08am

@PD: Hi Paul - Thank you very seemed to go well with this unit ;-)

guillaume from Paris, France

Nice processing !!

14 Mar 2011 11:39am

@guillaume: Hi Guillaume! Thank you very much - I love your image today!!

Eric Cousineau from Sherwood Park, Canada

Love the processing on this shot Denny! I remember the TV and magazine ads for the product! ;-)

14 Mar 2011 11:58am

@Eric Cousineau: Thanks Eric - I did this right in my Mac iPhoto "standard" effects...iPhoto and Aperture (for Mac) really have some pretty nice editing and organization tools...especially Aperture...many actually prefer it to lightroom for organizarion - I certainly do. As for pure editing, Photoshop is still the vastly- preferred but again, Apertre has some really nice tools that I wind up using most all the time. Have a great week!

k@ from Paris, France

I love the timeless feel here, like in a Western movie, ghost city under a super light.
Aha for your alert about Mrs Jump ;))

14 Mar 2011 12:33pm

@k@: Hi Karine - Thanks very much. These photos - and the one you will see tomorrow - are all 4 years old...but Mrs J's beauty is timeless you shall see ;-)

BBM from Sussex, United Kingdom

Wow a classic shot!

14 Mar 2011 2:08pm

@BBM: Hi BBM - Thank you so much;-)

Scene by Sharon Photography from Kingston, Ontario, Canada

this is lovely, Denny - I love the sepia tones. K@ is right - it looks right out of an old gun-sllinger movie ... well done!

14 Mar 2011 4:46pm

@Scene by Sharon Photography: Thanks Sharon ;-) I thought the tone wold go well too. The Aperture and iPhoto tools have really nice sepia an antique tone varieties that go really nicely..Just a click of the button and voila! Chers!

Franz from Baden, Austria

love the processing here, denny! the "antique" touch perfectly fits the topic - ruins! could be part of the setting of an old wester movie! ;-))

14 Mar 2011 5:14pm

@Franz: Hi Franz - Thanks very much...I appreciate your comments so much - you are too kind ;-)

Phil David Morris from Saskatoon, Canada

I remember all the different soaps that used Borax in its name, memories of the 1960's.
Wonderful tonal sepia in the photo works beautifully with the old boiler.

14 Mar 2011 5:41pm

@Phil David Morris: One can still find the boraxo style handsoap (the granular handsoap) in boxes at some janitorial supply is great stuff! I used to have a dispenser in our garage when we lived in San Dieg...after an afternoon of working in the dirt and the garder, I would wash with that and my hands would be (almost) smooth as a baby's butt! Thanks Phil ;-)

john4jack from Corvallis, Oregon, United States

wonderful tones

14 Mar 2011 6:28pm

@john4jack: Thank you so much, Jack...home today from the cataract surgery and our daughter is here to help out - all is going well on day one...drops, drops, drops ;-)

Steven from Chicagoland, United States

A great composition with a good choice to go with the sepia processing which helps give this the vintage look. And Phil David reminded me of the Fab detergent days. :-)

14 Mar 2011 6:37pm

@Steven: Thank you STeven - I appreciate it....The soap is (or was) the best!

Nigel from Avening, United Kingdom

Fabulous compo - well done

14 Mar 2011 7:08pm

@Nigel: Thanks very much, Nigel. I really appreciate your support and kind remarks!

B. Thomas from Arlington, Texas, United States

I am enjoying this tour, Denny.

14 Mar 2011 9:21pm

@B. Thomas: Thanks Barbara! A bit "touristy," perhaps, but hey we had fun...all of this was in 2006-7 before I got transferred east!

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

Such a cool place. Nice one!

15 Mar 2011 4:34am

Julie from Easton, United States

The processing on this shot works so well!

16 Mar 2011 6:14am

Becky from los angeles, United States

I really love the tones here - I can feel and smell the dust - very cool shot!

18 Mar 2011 3:53am

Bettina from Los Angeles, United States

Excellent shot and tones. This is wonderfully composed.

18 Mar 2011 3:30pm

PENTAX Optio 60
1/442 second
ISO 64
8 mm