Weekly Photo Challenge – State of Mind


Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.
Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.

San Diego, California

This week, Ben Huberman asks us to share a photo that reflects our state of mind at the time the photo was taken. From his challenge post, “You can often tell my mood state just by looking at an image I took during that period of time.” You can read the entire challenge post here I didn’t post this challenge response yesterday because I am working on a volunteer project in Washington DC. As it happens, my day started with a trip to Arlington National Cemetery where I took many pictures, no doubt many reflecting the reverent and somber mood I was feeling at the time. Due to my assignment here, I haven’t had time to look at many of the images I took at Arlington yesterday. However, when I read the challenge, thinking about yesterday’s visit, I remembered a recent visit to another national cemetery on the opposite coast. Fort Rosecrans at Point Loma in San Diego where my brother and his wife are interred.

The day was somewhat cloudy but with enough sun and blue sky to remind us we were in sunny Southern California. Standing at the top of a hill, I captured a view of the cemetery, but as I looked at it in Lightroom, the original image was a bit too “upbeat” to reflect the nature of the subject. I processed the image, darkening it just a small amount, and then I did something I almost never do in photos. I added just a touch of black vignette at the edges. When I was finished, I felt the image more reflected my feelings at the time. In a future post, I will share with you some of the images I captured at Arlington.

John Steiner


  1. A beautiful scene, John, and you have processed it beautifully too. Based on an excellent tutorial I recently downloaded, I have started to add a little black vignette to many of my photos in Lightroom. I understand that it helps to draw the eye to the center of the picture or whatever focal point you choose. I will look forward to your Arlington post.

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