Pictured is Alumni Board member and Scholarship Committee member Tricia “Urrea” Gradias (FHS class of 78), along with Alvaro Nathan Garnica (FHS class of 2012) who is one of the 2019 Continuing Education Grant awardees.
Pictured is Alumni Board member and Scholarship Committee member Tricia “Urrea” Gradias (FHS class of 78), along with Alvaro Nathan Garnica (FHS class of 2012) who is one of the 2019 Continuing Education Grant awardees.
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Submitted by FHS Alumni President Mark Ortega

In September of 2019, the Fillmore High Alumni Association awarded $18,000 to Fillmore High graduates from our Continuing Education Grant Program. Over 25 Fillmore High graduates were awarded 2019 Continuing Education Grants. Alvaro Nathan Garnica is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and is currently working on his Pharmaceutical Doctorate Degree at University of Southern California. All Graduates of Fillmore High School are eligible to apply for the award. The application can be printed out from the Alumni's website at www.fillmorehighalumni.com (Click on Scholarships). The deadline to hand in applications is June 30th. Congratulations to all the 2019 Continuing Education Grant recipients. If you are a member of the Alumni Association you can see a complete list of the 2019 awardees by logging into the Alumni's website. Do so by clicking on the "Members Only" page link at the top. If you are not a paying member of the Association, you can pay online by clicking on the "Membership" link.

 


 
Photo of the Week "Brush Creek north of Kernville, CA" by Bob Crum. Photo data: Canon 7DMKII camera with Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens @16mm. Exposure: ISO 100, aperture f/16, shutter speed @1/25th second.
Photo of the Week "Brush Creek north of Kernville, CA" by Bob Crum. Photo data: Canon 7DMKII camera with Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens @16mm. Exposure: ISO 100, aperture f/16, shutter speed @1/25th second.
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Happy New Year!
Bob Crum
Bob Crum

This column concludes editing the previous photo of the week. (review online) Recall that I exported the image (from Adobe Lightroom program), in the tiff format, to Photoshop Elements 2020 (PSE), with NIK plug-ins. In the tiff format, it's now a digital photo, not just data.

A few photographers wrote asking why I don't export to Photoshop (PS) instead of Elements (PSE). I could have, but PS compared to PSE is like comparing a Dodge supercharged 6.2L Hemi Hellcat engine producing 797 HP to a Toyota 2.5L 2Arfe 4-banger. Since I'm not creating 50 layer composites, I don't need the power of PS. Editing a Fillmore parade photo with Photoshop would be like driving my 454 HP Maserati GT sport coup three blocks to Vons to fetch a banana!

Photoshop Elements is Photoshop without some bells and whistles. It's like my Maserati V8 running on four cylinders. Most PSE editing functions are similar to PS. However, add NIK plug-ins to PSE and PSE sings like Lady Gaga. Presently, the plug-ins include Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Dfine2, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro, Silver Efex Pro, and Viveza. I use Color Efex Pro 4 and Viveza 2 extensively. The key that makes NIK plug-ins so fantabulous is their U-Point technology. It's awesome sauce!

Let's edit! If the image has excessive digital noise (in low-light photos), I use Imagenomics, a third-party plug-in. On occasion I use both Imagenomics and NIK Dfine because they use different algorithms. Plug-in algorithms are better than boiled beet greens. But I digress.

In the original capture, Spanish moss on the tree limb is the wrong color. Using Viveza, I put a U-Point on the moss, closed down the circle of influence so that only the moss is affected and adjusted hue, saturation and brightness. Ah, much better.

I created another U-Point placed on the tree under the Sunstar. The bright sun washed out the green color, restored it with the 'green' slider and an increase of saturation. I also applied 'structure' to the overall image to enhance the tree's leaves.

Afterward, I applied 'Tonal Contrast' with a Color Efex Pro filter. Satisfied with the photo's enhancements, the last step was to resize the image and resolution. Bidda bing-bidda boom-DONE. And almost as much fun as a bubble bath with a mermaid.

While some profess photo editing is a time-consuming pain-in-the-buttocks, I embrace it as a creative exercise. And it's not rocket science. Learn it and it's like eating ice cream.

It's a new year and time to reassess the direction for this column through 2020. Some have said that I often get too technical. Others look forward to more in-depth technical info. I need your feedback. Please take a moment to email me your preferences. It's important! Also, please tell me your status: photographer, photography enthusiast, wannabe photographer or phonetographer. Include your favorite photographic genre: Landscapes, portraits, pets, wildlife, flowers, street photography etc. and if you are you more interested in photography or post-processing (editing)? Also, might you be interested in participating in a photography club get together once a month? Think fun! Receive a shooting assignment, submit your photos the following month to be reviewed & discussed. Please write now before you forget! I am looking forward to hearing from all of my 2,395, 557 readers! Happy New Year!!!

The photo of the week, Brush Creek, is from my nostalgic archives of photographic haunts. Scenic Brush Creek, north of Kernville, presents a variety of fantabulous photo ops, with or without mermaids.

Send comments, suggestions or questions to: focusonphotography@earthlink.net

 


 
Pictured is La Verne Nursery’s float “Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs” which was one of the top contenders in this year’s parade.
Pictured is La Verne Nursery’s float “Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs” which was one of the top contenders in this year’s parade.
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Anna Ramos (aka “Peter”) was chosen as this year’s Piru Grand Marshal because of her devotion to the Piru community. She gives of herself unconditionally to her family, friends and the community. She defines Piru and what Piru is all about, being one - FAMILY. We were honored to have Peter as our Grand Marshal.
Anna Ramos (aka “Peter”) was chosen as this year’s Piru Grand Marshal because of her devotion to the Piru community. She gives of herself unconditionally to her family, friends and the community. She defines Piru and what Piru is all about, being one - FAMILY. We were honored to have Peter as our Grand Marshal.

Submitted by Piru Neighborhood Council

The 42nd Annual Piru Christmas Parade and Festival, on Saturday, December 14, was a huge success.

Anna Ramos (aka “Peter”) was chosen as this year’s Piru Grand Marshall because of her devotion to the Piru community. We were honored to have Peter as our Grand Marshall.

There were 24 entries with several competing for the “Piru Disney” theme awards. Piru School’s “Let it Snow” and La Verne Nursery’s “Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs” took top honors.

The Fillmore Marching Band and the Mariachi Band were entertaining - as always – followed by music by Juano & Friends – which got the crowd dancing.

Piru’s first Corn Hole Tournament attracted 14 teams and was enjoyed by all.

There were several booths selling toys, blankets, and other miscellaneous Christmas items.

The Carnales MC East County – hosted the Toy Give Away for the 12th year – joined this year by the Nosotros Car Club who also donated toys for the kids in Piru.

We want to thank our sponsors: San Salvador Mission, Piru Pizza, Piru Petroleum Club, Rancho Temescal, and Fillmore Piru Citrus. We also want to thank all the volunteers – as well as the Piru Neighborhood Council for making this event a success.

 


 
Fillmore High Head Football Coach Sean Miller
Fillmore High Head Football Coach Sean Miller

After two years at Fillmore Flashes Head Football Coach Sean Miller has resigned. Miller has a 15 – 5 record over the last two years, making playoffs and breaking several school records, such as passing yards in a game - 311 against Carpinteria on September 27th; most passing yards in a season - 1,875, and 24 touchdown passes in a season.

The team was only able to play eight games in regular season due to cancelations against Santa Clara and long time rival Santa Paula, because of the Maria Fire.

Fillmore finished the 2019 regular season 7-1, which got them into the Citrus Coast League CIF-Southern Section Division 13 playoffs, where they beat South Pasadena in the first round but fell short to Yorba Linda in the 2nd round of playoffs.

Coach Miller, who still teaches at Fillmore High, is focusing on obtaining his Masters Degree, and has recommended Flashes Defensive Coach Tony Tafoya for the job.

 


 
Sharrow symbols with a bicycle painted underneath have been painted onto Pasadena Avenue, Bardsdale, with more on Sespe Avenue, along with the addition of a new bicycle path. The sharrow (share) symbol with a bicycle symbol underneath means that bicycles share the same road space as bicycles. If a car comes up behind a bicycle they must follow at a safe distance behind.
Sharrow symbols with a bicycle painted underneath have been painted onto Pasadena Avenue, Bardsdale, with more on Sespe Avenue, along with the addition of a new bicycle path. The sharrow (share) symbol with a bicycle symbol underneath means that bicycles share the same road space as bicycles. If a car comes up behind a bicycle they must follow at a safe distance behind.
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(l-r) Fillmore Lions Club’s 2019 Peace Poster Contest winners Erik Sell, Ella Ochoa, Joseph Castellon and Anika Ibarra. Photo courtesy Jan Lee.
(l-r) Fillmore Lions Club’s 2019 Peace Poster Contest winners Erik Sell, Ella Ochoa, Joseph Castellon and Anika Ibarra. Photo courtesy Jan Lee.
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The Fillmore Lions’ Club recently conducted their annual Peace Poster Contest. The contest not only promotes artistic endeavor but helps the students think about the possibilities of world peace. The competition was open to students 11 to 13 years old. The theme for the poster this year was: “Journey of Peace”. The local Lions’ Club selects a winner from among the entries in Fillmore. The winner is sent to their Lions’ District. Each district chooses a winner which is then submitted to Lions International. The winner at the international level wins $5000. Even though a Fillmore student was not selected as the Lions International champion in 2019, maybe next year……

There were four finalists from Fillmore this year, Anika Ibarra, Ella Ochoa, Joseph Castellon and Erik Sell. All the posters entered were creative and well drawn, but in a competition, there are winners. We are grateful to Ms. Doris Nichols, art teacher at Fillmore Middle School, for encouraging her students to participate. A big thank you to all the students who took the time to design and draw a poster. There are many skilled artists at the middle school.

Because the posters were so good, the Peace Poster committee chose two finalists this year, Joseph Castellon and Eric Sell. Congratulations!

 


 
Pictured is the Fillmore Condors Cross Country team in Madison, Wisconsin at the USA Track and Field Junior Olympics on Saturday, December 14th. Left to right, Top row: Diego Rodriguez, Leah Barragan, Noah Flores, Lindsey Ramirez and Diego Felix. Bottom row: Ayden Barajas, Carolina Garcia, Lucy Zuniga, Destina Guzman and Abel Arana. Not pictured: The Theobald sisters. Photos courtesy Margarita Felix.
Pictured is the Fillmore Condors Cross Country team in Madison, Wisconsin at the USA Track and Field Junior Olympics on Saturday, December 14th. Left to right, Top row: Diego Rodriguez, Leah Barragan, Noah Flores, Lindsey Ramirez and Diego Felix. Bottom row: Ayden Barajas, Carolina Garcia, Lucy Zuniga, Destina Guzman and Abel Arana. Not pictured: The Theobald sisters. Photos courtesy Margarita Felix.
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Pictured is the team showing off their awards in front of Fillmore City Hall. Congratulations Condors! Left to right - back row: Coaches Phil Ramirez, Ben Garcia, Gerardo Flores and Felix Zuniga, runners Noah Flores, Diego Rodriguez, Leah Barragan, Diego Felix, Abel Arana and Ayden Barajas. Bottom row: Carolina Lucy Zuniga, Destina Guzman and Coach Connie Guillen. Not pictured: Lindsey Ramirez and the Theobald sisters.
Pictured is the team showing off their awards in front of Fillmore City Hall. Congratulations Condors! Left to right - back row: Coaches Phil Ramirez, Ben Garcia, Gerardo Flores and Felix Zuniga, runners Noah Flores, Diego Rodriguez, Leah Barragan, Diego Felix, Abel Arana and Ayden Barajas. Bottom row: Carolina Lucy Zuniga, Destina Guzman and Coach Connie Guillen. Not pictured: Lindsey Ramirez and the Theobald sisters.
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Submitted by Ericka Arena

The Fillmore Condors concluded their 2019 cross country season by participating in the USA Track and Field National Cross-Country Junior Olympic Championships on Saturday, December 14th. Over four-thousand elite athletes competed at the Yahara Hills Golf Course in Madison, Wisconsin. The Fillmore Condors Cross Country is a non-profit organization under Heritage Valley Blazers Inc. Thirteen athletes ranging from ages 7-13 traveled to Madison, Wisconsin where they began race day with 21-degree temperatures and by noon, it had dropped to an unbearable 18-degrees. The 400 acres of the rolling hillside golf course had patches of solid ice throughout overlooking a frozen pond.

USATF is the highest level of competition with athletes from all over the U.S. Yearly, the top eight athletes in each division from Valley Youth Conference come together to create an all-star national team, The Valley United Striders. The Fillmore Condors athletes who qualified were, Abel Arana, Ayden Barajas, Leah Barragan, Diego Felix, Noah Flores, Carolina Garcia, Destina Guzman, Lindsey Ramirez, Diego Rodriguez, Kailey Theobald, Kistern Theobald, Kristen Theobald, and Lucy Zuniga.

The first race of the day began with the 7 and 8-year-old girls competing in the 2,000-meter (1.24 mile) race with 157 runners on the starting line. Condor runners were, Destina Guzman, Kirsten Theobald, Kristen Theobald and Lucy Zuniga. Top runner for this Striders team was Kristen Theobald with a time of 8:35.0 finishing 11th; On her feet right behind was first time cross country teammate, Destina Guzman in 14th place with a time of 8:36.4; Not far behind was Lucy Zuniga in 19th place with a solid 8:43.8; Kirsten Theobald who fought and raced with the stomach flu finished 125th, in 10:32.2. This Strider team was a powerhouse! Five of the girls earned an individual All-American award, which is only given to the top 25 finishers and three of those girls were Condor athletes. They also came home with a 1st place gold team title, to become the back to back Jr Olympic Champions.

In the 9 and 10-year-old girls’ race of 241 runners, Condor athlete Kaylie Theobald finished in 36th place, 12:26.4. Abel Arana and Ayden Barajas were the fourth group to race in the 9 and 10-year-old boys division. They managed to race within sight of their teammates in a field of 306 runners. Ayden finished in 12:01.6 for 88th place, and Abel Arana 6 seconds behind him in 96th place, running a 12:07.99. All 3 ran the 3,000-meter (1.86 mile) race and the boys team missed the podium spot by 10 points, to finish in fourth place overall.

Following, was the 11 and 12-year-old girls race with 317 runners. Condor runner Leah Barragan finished strong in 12:28.6, to place 160th. The boys 11 and 12-year-old race was made up of 364 runners, with two of our Fillmore Condors; Noah Flores who finished 93rd with a time of 11:12.4, and Diego Felix crossing the line in 11:27.3, for 148th place. This division also ran a 3,000-meter (1.86 mile) race.

316 runners were in the girls 13 and 14-year-old race. Lindsey Ramirez finished in 94th place with a time of 15:42.9 and teammate Carolina Garcia in 166th place, 16:19.5. Together with their Strider team, they earned a 2nd place national title. Diego Rodriguez ran the loaded field of 380 runners in the 13 and 14-year-old boys’ race. Diego was able to finish his race in 14:49.1 earning 199th place. All 3 Fillmore Condor athletes ran the 4,000-meter (2.48 mile) race.

The Condors are coached by Phillip Ramirez, Felix Zuniga, Gerardo Flores, Victor Rodriguez and Connie Guillen from Oxnard. “We strive to teach our athletes how to love the sport that tests their limits, time after time. Every set back is a journey and this 4-month long season, was exactly that. We found ourselves with no support from FUSD on track usage. Therefore, our athletes had to travel outside of our city just to train. Despite the struggle, it was worth it. We are proud of our athletes. The pain, grit and heart they trained and raced with day in and day out, will help mold who they will be in the future.” Condors President Erika Arana and board members would like to thank the following for sponsoring our athletes this cross-country season: Fillmore Lions Club, Fillmore Rotary Club, Central Station, Estrella Market, El Hair Studio, Inkfactuation, Innocenti Construction, Cliton Simonson, California Well Services, Metering Services Inc, American Water, Jamba Juice and Heritage Valley Blazers Inc. FOREVER CONDORS!

 
Thank you Fillmore Boys & Girls Club for coming to Christmas carol to us all at City Hall on Friday, December 20th. You all truly warmed our hearts! Courtesy City of Fillmore Facebook page.
Thank you Fillmore Boys & Girls Club for coming to Christmas carol to us all at City Hall on Friday, December 20th. You all truly warmed our hearts! Courtesy City of Fillmore Facebook page.
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(l-r) Amber Montoya, Alexz Chessani, Sonia Chessani, NLHOF founders Darryl & Wanda Dixon.
(l-r) Amber Montoya, Alexz Chessani, Sonia Chessani, NLHOF founders Darryl & Wanda Dixon.
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(left) Sonia Chessani with Good Times Car Club Founder Paul Sanchez at the National Lowrider Hall of Fame induction
ceremony.
(left) Sonia Chessani with Good Times Car Club Founder Paul Sanchez at the National Lowrider Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

On November 16, 2019 in Los Angeles, California, Fillmore resident Sonia Chessani was inducted into the National Lowrider Hall of Fame (NLHOF) Class of 2019 along with 27 others worldwide. They came from as far as Japan, with three of the recipients being awarded the “Ford Dog”, top honor. Sonia was awarded a plaque and ring for her accomplishments.

She gives special thanks to all who have faithfully supported her throughout the years, and to all of her guests who traveled from various counties throughout California to attend the black & white formal dinner/dance ceremony.

To be considered an inductee Sonia had to first be nominated. To her surprise that nomination was submitted through Mr. Steve Morales aka “Duke” of Viejitos Car Club, a Palmdale, California resident who was inducted into the NLHOF Class of 2016.

To be selected for the NLHOF Class of 2019 Sonia had to submit her application along with hundreds of others to be chosen from. She was selected and inducted due to her contributions to the Lowrider Community over the past 32 years.

Sonia has been involved with car club showings throughout California, Nevada and Arizona. She has also been involved in the production and working car shows in California.

She has placed in numerous shows and been awarded various honors over the years. In 2007 she was presented with an award at Long Beach Veterans Stadium by Mr. Art Patino for “Ladies of Lowriding”. In 2014 Nite Life Ventura Co. Car Club presented her with an award for Dedication & Commitment in Ventura, Ca. In 2017 she was presented with an award of recognition by Pachuco Car Club in Oxnard, California at a show dedicated to “Women in Lowriding” for her involvement over the years; and for her 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass being featured in 2017 in Lowrider Magazine and Lowrider Scene Magazine, both published worldwide. In 2017 at an awards banquet in Las Vegas, Nevada, Good Times Car Club Founder Paul Sanchez also presented her with an “Excellence” award for magazine coverage, where she has been a member of Good Times Car Club since 2011.

She says her passion and dedicated lifestyle to the car culture came from her father, John M. Chessani Jr., who was also a lifelong resident, born and raised in the Piru/Fillmore area.

“I will always have my heart in the Lowrider Community as long as I can.”

 
Photo of the Week: "An oak, some lichen, Spanish moss and a sunstar. Ah!" by Bob Crum. Photo data: Canon 7DMKII camera with Tamron 16-300mm lens @16mm, no filters. Exposure; ISO 1,000, aperture f/22, shutter speed 1/100 second.
Photo of the Week: "An oak, some lichen, Spanish moss and a sunstar. Ah!" by Bob Crum. Photo data: Canon 7DMKII camera with Tamron 16-300mm lens @16mm, no filters. Exposure; ISO 1,000, aperture f/22, shutter speed 1/100 second.
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It's all legal
Bob Crum
Bob Crum

I concluded my previous column with this question: Did I post-process the photo of the week? Silly question, right? Of course I did. I'm resubmitting the photo again as a reference for the following discussion. (See the photo in color at fillmoregazette.com) Even though the camera's histogram revealed proper exposure, the camera did not correctly capture all of the elements of the photo. Here's why and the corrections I applied to improve it.

A camera/lens combo cannot see as our human eyes see. A filter on the sensor generates RGB pixels. But seldom does the filter/sensor combination capture the Kelvin of the light (color) accurately. The sensor sends image data to the recording medium. Unless the camera is ultra-high-tech, the dynamic range of the light will exceed the camera's ability to record it entirely. The camera's picture-style algorithms also affect the image produced — multiple reasons why no photo straight out of the camera is as good as it could be.

I like to evaluate a scene before making a photo. Taking a moment to study the scene also helps the mental recall during post-processing. The camera settings for the reference photo were: 'Auto' ISO and shutter speed 1/100 second. I closed aperture to f/22 to create the Sunstar effect. I know that closing the aperture f/22 means underexposing the image. (Remember the exposure triangle?) To compensate, I could slow the shutter speed further or manually increase the ISO. However, shooting hand-held, I prefer not to go slower than 1/100th second to minimize handshake (blur). The camera automatically raised the ISO to 1,000, somewhat high but passable. Nevertheless, the photo lacks the dynamic range of light at the scene. Capturing in RAW mode will permit me to make appropriate adjustments during post-processing.

I made several photos in portrait and landscape mode. On the monitor back home, I was not surprised to see some anticipated issues. Landscape orientation the obvious choice because I wanted to include the Spanish moss on the horizontal branches on the left. (See the hanging moss?)

In the original RAW file, the moss color is wrong. Also, the bright sun flummoxed the camera's exposure meter, discombobulating the overall exposure. Ugh! And the lichen on the tree lacked the texture that I saw in real-time. Adobe Lightroom (LR) to the rescue! First, quaffed a strawberry margarita, you know, to finesse creativity.

Recall that a RAW file is not yet a photo, just data LR (or any other RAW converter) interprets and forms an image. I exposed the photo for the bright sun, which I knew would underexpose the lower half of the image. Had I exposed for the shadows, the top half of the image would be overexposed. I easily brought back details in the shadows with the LR gradient filter which allows for adjustments of exposure, contrast, highlights, clarity, & saturation in the defined area.

I next tweaked clarity and texture. In the color panel, I decreased blue luminosity slightly to restore sky color. I increased overall contrast slightly. Now the photo is beginning to look as I saw the scene in real time. The last LR step was to apply lens correction. Depending on lens quality and the settings, lenses are notorious for producing various kinds of distortion, chromatic aberration, and perspective issues. LR usually fixes most lens issues, if they exist. This creative process took about three minutes and, yes, I'm legally allowed to have such fun! But I was not yet done! I exported the image, in the tiff format, to Photoshop Elements 2020 (PSE), with NIK plugins. In the tiff format, it's now a digital photo, not just data. To be continued...

Wishing you the Merriest Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year!

Send questions, suggestions or comments to: focusonphotography@earthlink.net