Creative Lightpainting & Upcoming Photoshop Bootcamp

Creative Lightpainting & Upcoming Photoshop Bootcamp

Hi gang! It’s been a busy couple of weeks and I just wanted to fill you in on what’s going on and what’s coming up. I’ve been spending most of my time preparing for my upcoming Photoshop bootcamp class that will be broadcast on CreativeLive from June 6 – July 1. It’s called “Adobe Photoshop CC: The Complete Guide” and will be a comprehensive, 4-week class, covering everything from the basics of Photoshop to advanced retouching, actions, etc. Each day, a new lesson will be broadcast and it will repeat all day long so that you can watch at your leisure. As with all CreativeLive classes, it’s completely free to watch during the broadcast. If you want anytime, unlimited access to the videos, as well as all of the bonus materials and handbooks that come with the course, you can purchase it for a discounted price during the month it’s being broadcast. This class is also special in that we have a designated Facebook group where you can post your work, ask questions and interact with other students taking the class.  To learn more about the course, view the daily schedule and enroll for free, visit the class page here.

Aside from preparing for the Photoshop bootcamp, I’ve been doing some creative photography using light-painting, a technique I specialize in. When I create an image like this, I start with a completely dark scene and literally “paint” light onto the subject using a flashlight or similar light source. This images below were shot as part of a yoga series that my wife and I collaborate on. I shoot images of her in yoga poses all over the world, and while these particular shots aren’t special due to the location, they’re special due to the technique and creative element. You can follow the yoga series on Instagram @theworldismyyogamat.

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The above image was captured during a single 12-second exposure, half of which was spent fumbling in the dark to re-find the cable release to close the shutter. The white streak in the image is the edge of the light source, which also reveals the path it took when traveling across the scene. I also set the light source on the ground angled up at about a 20° angle to light the lower legs and arms. Karen was positioned atop a black Westcott Masterpiece Sheet Background that was draped over the floor and sofa and table that was in the background. I had to darken the background a bit in Lightroom to make sure the folds were not visible. 

I used a homemade lighting instrument which consisted of a yard stick with a diffused LED linear strip light and battery gaffer-taped together. Here are sources for the critical components used in its construction:
https://www.superbrightleds.com/…/lfd-series-led-line…/1310/
https://www.adafruit.com/products/875

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The same setup was used in the image above. It was captured during a 10-second exposure using a Sony A7Rii and Canon 24-70mm lens. The streak of light above gives you a hint that I started with the 18″ bar-shaped light source almost parallel to the ground, which caused the camera to only see a sliver of it on the left of the frame, then I tilted the light slightly as I moved it toward the right, which allowed the camera to see more of its surface and produced a thicker streak of light.

If you want to give light painting a shot, then download this free PDF that shows you how to get started: http://digitalmastery.com/…/u…/2015/08/LearnToLightpaint.pdf

More to come!

Lightroom Mastery Keyword Set Now Available!

Lightroom Mastery Keyword Set Now Available!

Hi gang! I hope you all had a great weekend! I want to take this opportunity to make an exciting announcement. It’s been a long time in the works, but my Lightroom keyword set is finally complete and available for purchase! If you are familiar with my teaching and my work, you know that I adore Adobe Lightroom and use it every single day. One of Lightroom’s incredibly useful features is the way it allows you to keyword your images so they can be easily searchable in the future. I have over 200,000 images in my Lightroom catalog, and I can find any image that comes to mind in five seconds or less. And no, that’s not an exaggeration. The reason I can do this is that I have a very organized system for applying keywords. I have spent over two years creating and implementing a keyword set that is organized using a hierarchal system and has allowed me to completely streamline the way I tag and search for images. I’ve become a digital neat freak, if you will.

base_keywordsI know that most people don’t want to invest that much time into creating such a system, so I am offering my system up to you. Not only do you get my complete keyword set, but I’ve also written a detailed, 30-page e-book that will teach you about keywords and how to use them. The main focus of the e-book is to make your images searchable by applying keywords. Regardless of whether you have no idea what a keyword is, or if every image you’ve shot has been tagged with a keyword, my approach will change the way you think about this invaluable feature.
In the book, you’ll learn how tagging a single keyword to an image can suddenly make the image findable when searching for over a dozen different keywords. That means tagging an image with “Cathedral” will make it show up in searches for “Church,” “Architecture,” “Religious Structure” and more.

Keyword Organization You’ll see how organizing your keywords can have many benefits and give you a different way of exploring your image catalog. Instead of viewing your images by folder, collection, or search, you can now browse based on subject matter.

Special Characters You’ll see how using special characters can change the way you approach keywording and how capitalization can shift the way you interpret your keyword list.

Smart Collections Using Smart Collections, you’ll be able to quickly locate images that can be adjusted remotely, determine which images should be keyworded and which images have larger, hard drive-hogging previews than may be unnecessary.

As I said above, I’ve been working on this keyword set and e-book for well over a year. Every time I thought I was finished, I would come up with another way to extend the functionality… and push the completion date further away! So I apologize to those of you who have been inquiring on when this set would be ready, but rest assured that the delay has resulted in a much better final product!

I’m really excited to release this set, not only because it has taken forever to create, but because it has dramatically improved the way I organize, sort and search for images in Lightroom, and I would love if it could help you in the same way!

Click here to learn more or to purchase the keyword set and e-book.

More to come!

KeywordEbook-pages

Example pages from the e-book

 

Coming in June: 4-Week Photoshop Bootcamp! (online event)

Coming in June: 4-Week Photoshop Bootcamp! (online event)

Hi gang! I’d like to give you all an update on current/upcoming classes and what’s going on with me in general. First of all, I’m currently en route to Palm Springs for the annual Palm Springs Photo Festival, which is always an amazing event that’s geared toward serious photographers. I hope I’ll see some of you there!

This month, my 4-week class, “Lightroom CC Photo Editing: The Complete Guide,” has been broadcasting every day on CreativeLive. We’re on week four now, and if you are a Lightroom user (or want to be) I encourage you to check it out. As always with CreativeLive, it’s free to watch while it’s being broadcast. If you’d like anytime access, you can buy the course and get all of the extensive bonus materials (including a 200+ page handbook) that come with purchase. This class is also a special one because we have a Facebook group for students to ask questions, discuss the days’ topics and share their work.  You can access the Facebook group HERE. (Note: It is a closed group, which doesn’t mean you can’t get in! It just means that your Facebook friends won’t see your posts/comments in the group.)

 

June 6 – July 1 • Adobe Photoshop CC: The Complete Guide

With the 4-week Lightroom class wrapping up at the end of the week, I’m excited to announce that we’re going to be following it up with another bootcamp-style class in June. This class is called “Adobe Photoshop CC: The Complete Guide” and will cover all the ins and outs of Photoshop. Whether you’re new to Photoshop or a seasoned user, this course is designed to take your skills to the next level.

Here is the course description on CreativeLive:

Join one of our best software instructors, Ben Willmore, to learn how to work effectively in Photoshop. Ben has made a profession out of teaching Photoshop and has been doing it for over twenty years. In this series, you’ll learn essential topics such as retouching, compositing, masking, layers and troubleshooting. You’ll also learn how Photoshop’s adjustment capabilities are essential and how they go way beyond what is available in Adobe Lightroom. By the end of class, you should feel proficient in the workings of this complex program. If you’ve been paying for Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography plan every month and only use Lightroom, then it’s time to take full advantage of your investment by learning Photoshop.

Each weekday we’ll broadcast a new lesson that will repeat all day long, so you can tune in when it is convenient for your schedule. Then, Ben will give you homework assignments to help you practice and integrate what you’ve learned. During the month, you can pop onto our dedicated Facebook group at any time to connect with other students and share your experiences. Then each week, Ben will do a live question and answer session where you can interact with Ben and the rest of the class.

This class will also have its own Facebook group so you can interact with fellow students and ask questions about what you’re learning. We’ll post the link to the group as the starting date gets a little closer. I’ll also post a list of bonus materials that come with purchase. But remember, the whole class will be free to watch while it’s being broadcast on CreativeLive.

You can learn more and register for free HERE. 

More to come!

Announcing my 4-Week Lightroom CC Photo Editing Workshop! 

Announcing my 4-Week Lightroom CC Photo Editing Workshop! 

Hi everyone! I have an exciting announcement for anyone out there who uses Lightroom or is thinking about getting started with Lightroom. Starting April 4th, I’ll be teaching a 4-week, online workshop with CreativeLive called “Lightroom CC Photo Editing: The Complete Guide.” This class is going to be different than the others I’ve taught with CreativeLive in the past. Each weekday we’ll broadcast a new 60-90 minute class, which will loop all day long, so you can tune in and watch each episode at your convenience. Most days will include homework assignments that help you integrate what you’ve learned. Then there’s a Facebook group where you can ask questions, connect with fellow students, etc. and we’ll even have occasional live Q&A sessions.

Gang, I am putting LOADS of time in to prepare for this workshop and have a huge amount of content to cover next month. If you’ve watched my training in the past, you know that I absolutely love Lightroom and I am so excited to be able to give you in-depth training on the program over the course of four weeks. Whether you’ve never worked with Lightroom before or you are a seasoned user, I’m sure that by the end of the four weeks, you will not only be able to organize and optimize your images in the best way possible, but you will love Lightroom just as much as I do!

If you’re not familiar with how CreativeLive works, all of the classes are completely free to watch while they are being broadcast. If you would like access to the video files to watch and re-watch at your leisure as well as all of the bonus material and handbooks that come with the course, you can purchase the class (at a discounted rate while the broadcast is happening).

Here is the complete course description from CreativeLive:

Automate Your Editing. Streamline Your Workflow. Save More Time.

Welcome to CreativeLive’s comprehensive, 4-week Lightroom workshop! Join one of our best software instructors, Ben Willmore, to learn how to process and organize your images more efficiently – and have more time to spend doing the stuff that matters. In this series of lessons, you’ll learn how to import and organize your images; optimize your photos, using all levels of adjustments; make your images searchable within the program; and optimize your workflow, including exporting, printing, and troubleshooting.

Enroll in this course, and you’ll gain access to both an enduring resource to build your skills and a community with which to share the fruits of your work. Ben will provide a workbook that acts as a reference guide, and he’ll be holding Facebook group meetings with students.

Join us on Facebook!

As I mentioned above, we have created a Facebook group for the workshop so that everyone can participate, ask questions and stay connected. Keep in mind that, with a couple weeks to go before the course starts, you can still influence what I cover by posting what’s important to you and what you want to learn. I’m going to take everyone’s suggestions very seriously and make sure I cover exactly what you want to learn!

You can join the group here

Join me in the San Francisco Studio!

Finally, why not join me in the San Francisco studio’s audience while we record the workshop? CreativeLive is looking for 10 students to join us from March 31-April 5 (except Sunday 4/3), from 8 am to 4 pm every day. Click here for more information and to sign up. I hope to see you there!

 

Photoshop Week 2016

Photoshop Week 2016

Hi gang! I just wanted to remind everyone that Photoshop Week kicks off in just a few hours at CreativeLive.com! Photoshop Week is an online conference taught by some of the best Photoshop and Lightroom experts in the industry. It’s free to watch while it’s live and you can also purchase the classes to watch whenever you want and as often as you want. Here’s the complete description from CreativeLive:

Discover the tools you need to remake the world in your image. Learn from some of the world’s most inspiring photographers and retouchers. Unlock the power of Photoshop and Lightroom to transform the images you have into the images you want.

On February 22nd-27th watch the free live stream of the industry’s biggest week. Learn exciting new ways to enhance your work and remake your post-production workflow. Create images that stand out and inspire. No matter how many years you’ve been in the game, find the tools, techniques and shortcuts you need to bring your unique creative vision to life.

This year, you can chose from 4 unique course tracks to find the skills you need. We now have a Beginner’s track and an Advanced track, so you can master the essentials and then graduate to more complex techniques. Get in the habit of shooting with post-production ideas in mind with our Shoot to Edit classes. After you get your skills locked down, keep up to date on the latest Photoshop techniques and designs with the Trends series.

Make the most out of what you learn this week! Our partners at Adobe are offering 20% off the Creative Cloud Photography plan to new subscribers if you join us for Photoshop Week – get access to Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, and Adobe’s versatile mobile apps to craft amazing images anytime. RSVP now, and we’ll email you a link to this exclusive offer.

The conference begins today (Monday) at 9 am PST. My classes begin on Wednesday and here is a preview of what I’ll be teaching:

Beginner Photoshop Troubleshooting | Wed, Feb. 24, 9:00 am PST

Discover solutions for your everyday Photoshop troubleshooting. You will learn how the misapplication of Photoshop’s workhorse functions – selections, layers, masks, color mode and more – can create problems that cascade throughout the rest of your project. Develop a mental workflow that will help you quickly diagnose and fix these issues in the future.

 

Advanced Color Correction in Photoshop | Wed, Feb 24, 1:15 pm PST

Master the art of color correction, and learn how to edit images with challenging lighting issues. Make use of the wide variety of features that Photoshop has available for images with mixed light sources, complex highlight and shadow situations, or underwater lighting. Gain the ability to bring images that you believe to be terrible back from the brink of the trashcan, and shoot with greater confidence that you can correct your images in post.

 

Advanced Photoshop Tops & Tricks | Wed, Feb 24, 3:00 pm PST

Who better to learn advanced editing tips than from Photoshop Hall of Fame inductee Ben Willmore? Ben will help you unlock Photoshop’s hidden features, and draw on his 25 years of advanced editing experience to show you the power of common Photoshop features to produce extraordinary results.

 

Creating Different Photoshop Filter Looks | Thurs, Feb 25, 1:15 pm PST

Make the most of Photoshop’s diverse color filter menu! In this session, you’ll learn to combine filters with blending modes, smart objects, and blending sliders to produce unique results. Create a workflow for your complex effects, and apply them to your images without having to repeat the many steps needed to duplicate them.

 

Stupid Moves in Photoshop | Thurs, Feb 25, 3:00 pm PST

Avoid the everyday actions that make your post-production work difficult. Ben will clue you in on common functions and actions that can unknowingly degrade the quality of your images, bloat file sizes, or cause serious problems with your edits when you attempt to print your images. You’ll also learn how to fix or replace these actions with more efficient, effective, and safe methods to make your life easier.

 

Click here to check out the full schedule and learn more about the online event. I hope you’re able to tune in!

Patagonia & Antarctica: Part 1

Patagonia & Antarctica: Part 1

Greetings from the Drake Passage! We are currently en route from the Antarctic peninsula to Ushuaia, Argentina, and since I haven’t posted in a while, I thought I’d use this latest adventure as an opportunity to reconnect with everyone and let you know what I’m up to.

With my vintage bus project STILL in the works, we’ve been spending most of our time on the Gulf Coast of Florida, and that’s where we’ll be until the bus is finally ready to be lived in. I always get asked when it will be finished, but I really don’t know. It’s getting close, but so many unanticipated complications have delayed the project.

As I mentioned above, however, we are not currently in Florida. We’re in the middle of the most treacherous waters in the world, on board the beautiful Crystal Symphony cruise ship. I teach the Digital Filmmaking class on board, so we’ve been spending an average of two months per year at sea. It’s a great way to see the world!

We started this international journey in Buenos Aires, and have since traveled down the coast of South America, stopping in Montevideo (Uruguay), Puerto Madryn (Argentina) and the Falkland Islands (UK). From the Falklands, we sailed south to Antarctica, spending a little over two days doing scenic cruising. I checked off my seventh continent in the process!

This latest journey has been an incredible ride so far. In Montevideo, we wandered the picturesque old city, enjoyed some of the local barbecue and tasted local wines from Uruguay. From Puerto Madryn, we traveled to  Punta Tombo, home of one of the largest Magellan penguin colonies in the world. In the Falkland Islands, we visited yet another penguin colony at Bluff Cove, home to Gentoo and King penguins. (Karen’s all about the penguins this trip and jumps at every opportunity to see more of them!

Most recently, we spent a few days enjoying some scenic cruising around the Antarctic peninsula. And scenic it was! It was hard to stay inside the ship because we were constantly drawn outside to see and photograph the stunning scenery and ample wildlife.

After crossing the Drake Passage, the first stop will be Ushuaia, Argentina: The southernmost city in the world! More to come! For now, here are some images from the journey:

I’ll talk about this more in a future post, but we created an Instagram account for our yoga image series. You can find it at TheWorldIsMyYogaMat.

Finished Image: Before & After

Finished Image: Before & After

Hi gang! I’ve been bouncing around between different events and projects lately, but I have also been trying to create time for working on some images. A couple months ago, I took a little road trip to photograph a bunch of service stations in the mid-west. I have a huge list of stations that I’ve researched and want to shoot, and I’ve slowly been checking them off over the years.

In order for a station to make it onto my list, it has to have the building, the pumps and the sign. After shooting, I do a lot of work on each image in order to give it a timeless feel. I just wanted to share the most recent image with you, and you’ll see that there is a little slider over the image that will allow you to view the before and after versions.

 






Two new training courses

On a different note, I’ve got two new training courses up in the CreativeLive library. The classes went live a few weeks ago, and if you missed the live broadcasts, you can snag them now to download or stream at your convenience. Click on the links to learn more and purchase the classes:

Ben_Willmore_Photoshop_and_Lightroom_TEXT_1600x900Photoshop & Lightroom Creative Cloud Additions for 2015

RetouchRestorePhotoshop Mastery: Retouch & Restore

Recent & Future Events

Recent & Future Events

Hi gang! I just wanted to post a mini update on where I’ve been, and what’s coming up. The annual Photoshop World Conference & Expo just wrapped up in Las Vegas. As usual, it was a great event, loaded with lectures, workshops, demos and other fun stuff related to photography, Photoshop and other photo-related software. I was really excited to be able to teach two classes on Adobe Lightroom this time around. I just love Lightroom! It’s so powerful and is where I spend most of my photo-processing time, by far. The classes I taught were “Up to Speed with Lightroom 6/CC” and “Organizing Photos with Lightroom.”

If you love photography and have never been to Photoshop World, I highly recommend it. It’s not only full of educational events but the KelbyOne team really puts together a fun learning environment, hosting parties and other after-hours shenanigans.

psw2015The entrance to the conference & expo at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

PSW-Epson1My image, featured in the Epson booth at the trade show.

Upcoming training events

I’ve got two classes coming up at the end of the month, and the great news is that they are both online classes, and they are free to watch during the live broadcast! As with all CreativeLive classes, they are free to watch during the live event, and then you can purchase the course to download or stream at your leisure and get access to the class handbooks and other bonus materials. The two classes are one-day each and cover photo restoration and the latest Creative Cloud updates to Photoshop and Lightroom.

Here are the details:

Photoshop Mastery: Retouch & Restore | Aug. 27, 9 am-4pm PST

RetouchRestore

Class Description:

Photographs are among our most treasured possessions, but not every photo was shot under optimal conditions or preserved in an ideal way – making photo restoration a big business opportunity for skilled photographers and retouchers.

If you want to answer every, “can you fix it?” with a resounding “yes,”  Photoshop Mastery: Retouch and Restore with Ben Willmore is the class for you. You’ll learn:

  • Advanced color correction and enhancement techniques
  • Retouching and scratch removal strategies
  • Detail enhancements
  • Folds, scratch, mildew, ink and water stain repairs
  • Reconstruction of missing pieces such as torn corners and rips
  • How to make fix faded images and make skin tones more lifelike
You’ll learn what actions to take, the optimal order to perform them, and which tools are right for the job. Ben will share time-saving tips and offer insights on the corrections that create the biggest impact.
***

Photoshop & Lightroom Creative Cloud Additions in 2015 | Aug. 28, 9 am – 4 pm PST

Ben_Willmore_Photoshop_and_Lightroom_TEXT_1600x900
Class Description:

Technology is always evolving – make sure you keep pace with it. Join Ben Willmore for Photoshop and Lightroom Creative Cloud Additions and get up to speed on 2015 updates from Adobe.

In this comprehensive class, you’ll learn about all of the changes Adobe made in 2015 and how to integrate them into your daily workflow. You’ll learn about:
  • Raw high dynamic range
  • HDR + raw panoramas
  • Dehaze Adjustments
  • Retouching tool changes
  • Face Detection and Recognition
  • Blur Gallery changes
  • Rendering trees and flames
  • Local adjustment additions
  • Radial and gradient brushes
  • Hidden and hard to find additions
If you’ve watched any of Ben’s previous courses, this will be a great way to update your knowledge and ensure you know about all the latest features.
***
More to come!
Road trip between speaking events

Road trip between speaking events

Hi gang! I’ve been zipping all over between different events lately, and I even managed to get some shooting in. As you may know, I have an ongoing photography project that involves shooting a bunch of vintage service stations all over the United States. When we’re living in the bus (our RV), this is a lot easier because we’re constantly on the road. Lately, since we’ve been temporarily staying in one place, the project hasn’t seen much progress. However, I had a few speaking events in the midwest this month, and instead of flying between them, I decided to rent a car and check off some of the service stations that were on my list. In just a few days, I shot nearly a dozen stations and put about 1,000 miles on my rental car!

In total, I’ve found over 200 service stations that I want to photograph. My criteria is that they have to be vintage and that they must still have the building, pumps and sign. Many people ask me whether the stations are ever still in service and 99% of the time, the answer is no. Some of them have been preserved, some have been restored and converted into something else (office, pizza parlor, etc.) and some are in various stages of deterioration.

When I photograph the stations, I always take an iPhone shot first and then spend more time creating an image with my “big boy camera.” It’s nice to have the iPhone shots so that I can share them immediately, whereas it takes me a very long time to edit all of the raw files.

Here is a visual recap of my road trip and the service stations I photographed. These are all iPhone shots. More to come!

2015_08-Vintage-Service-Station-Route

This is the route I drove to capture the stations between events.

The first station was in Madison, Kansas.

The first station was in Madison, Kansas.

 

Second service station in Kansas.

Second service station in Kansas.

 

This was a bonus station right around the corner from another one I shot in Wetmore, Kansas. I didn't have this one in my database.

This was a bonus station right around the corner from another one I shot in Wetmore, Kansas. I didn’t have this one in my database.

 

I captured this one, in Wetmore, Kansas, in the evening and then returned for the morning light, which is what you're seeing here.

I captured this one, in Wetmore, Kansas, in the evening and then returned for the morning light, which is what you’re seeing here.

 

Captured this little beauty, which is hidden on private land that you have to hike to, in New Cambria, Missouri.

Captured this little beauty, which is hidden on private land that you have to hike to, in New Cambria, Missouri.

 

This one, in Macon, Missouri, had too new of pumps and wasn't in the best shape, so I disguised it with a heavy texture treatment here.

This one, in Macon, Missouri, had too new of pumps and wasn’t in the best shape, so I disguised it with a heavy texture treatment here.

 

This one, in Centerville, Iowa, took a while to capture since there was a pick up truck parked out front and it took almost an hour to find the owner and get them to move it.

This one, in Centerville, Iowa, took a while to capture since there was a pick up truck parked out front and it took almost an hour to find the owner and get them to move it.

 

This one has too much junk covering up the essence of the station so it also gets a heavy texture treatment. This one is a barbecue joint these days, in Lees Summit, Missouri.

This one has too much junk covering up the essence of the station so it also gets a heavy texture treatment. This one is a barbecue joint these days, in Lees Summit, Missouri.

 

After presenting a seminar all day in Kansas City, I hit the road to capture more stations. Here's the first capture, in Clinton, Missouri.

After presenting a seminar all day in Kansas City, I hit the road to capture more stations. Here’s the first capture, in Clinton, Missouri.

 

Got to this location after dark and had to wait until morning to capture it. It's a cute little station, but it felt odd spending an entire night in a town where my cell phone indicated "no signal". (Stover, Missouri)

Got to this location after dark and had to wait until morning to capture it. It’s a cute little station, but it felt odd spending an entire night in a town where my cell phone indicated “no signal”. (Stover, Missouri)

 

I was happy to get to this nice little Texaco station right before the rain hit. I was able to get my shot and the moment I started to drive away the rain started to fall! This is in De Soto, Missouri.

I was happy to get to this nice little Texaco station right before the rain hit. I was able to get my shot and the moment I started to drive away the rain started to fall! This is in De Soto, Missouri.

 

I was big-time bummed that the sign was missing here! It's located inside the building, but is not currently hung. I've shot this station before, but didn't have an ideal shot. I returned with my tilt/shift lens hoping to get something better, but that will have to happen another day. This one is on RT66, in Mount Olive, Illinois.

I was big-time bummed that the sign was missing here! It’s located inside the building, but is not currently hung. I’ve shot this station before, but didn’t have an ideal shot. I returned with my tilt/shift lens hoping to get something better, but that will have to happen another day. This one is on RT66, in Mount Olive, Illinois.

 

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