Wild but gentle: Searching for wild horses

You know, one person photographs something, then everyone is after the same thing. And, of course, I’m no different. A few photographers recently went on a tour to photograph wild horses in Nevada. Their photos were great and spurred Me, Laura and Marlene on to find a herd.

We did, just outside Reno, Nevada. The other photographers found their group near Minden, Nevada. Laura knew of a herd near Reno and had their approximate position. When we got there, civilization had encroached on their territory, but they were still there. We drove through a housing complex, found the gate, drove beyond the gate and there they were! That easy!!

I couldn’t believe how used to people these Mustangs were. One came up to me straight on. I had to tell him I didn’t have anything for them. I did see someone feed them some carrots before he left the area.

It was amazing. These horses live just outside a residential area with a small stream as their water supply. They were grazing on whatever they could find on the ground. At one point, I saw a bunch galloping down the hillside. I yelled galloping and ran to the spot. Laura turned around and got some excellent shots. Mine are not so good, just a little soft, but I’ll show you one anyway. I was having a difficult time handholding the heavy F/4 300mm lens. Next time I’ll bring a monopod like Marlene did!

I want to find more wild herds. And, maybe my post will spur other photographers on to find herds to photograph.

Never forget: 9/11 Flag Tribute, West Sacramento

Growing up, I heard those words, “Never Forget,” but they were talking about the Holocaust where 8 million Jews were slaughtered. We are still remembering today as most of our survivors are dying.

Now in the United States, we have another reason to “Never Forget.” On September 11, 2001 we were attacked by terrorists using commercial airplanes as weapons. I remember listening to my radio as I drove to a networking meeting that morning; It was unreal. During the meeting, we were all stunned. Later, millions watched videos on TV as the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center came crashing down. Another plane would crash into the western side of the Pentagon. Then came the word about the brave souls of Flight 93, crashing their plane in a Pennyslvania field before it could hit another building.

On September 11, 2018, my photo buddies and I, went to the West Sacramento Memorial Flag Tribute. This is put up each year to pay tribute to the lives lost through the attacks and the first-responders who tried to find survivors. We went specifically to capture the scene during the golden hour, and it didn’t disappoint. The sun lighting up the flags made the memorial more significant. The tribute was set up beautifully.

I remember that day in 2001, and the days after, when the world mourned with the U.S. and patriotism rose. We came together as a nation. No, we will Never Forget.

Zoo at 140 mm: The Sacramento Zoo

For the past year, or more, I’ve used my F4/300 lens when going to the Sacramento Zoo. While it’s great for getting through cages and shooting the big cats, etc. up close, I’d have to stand a block away to get a whole giraffe in the shot. So, when Marlene, Linda and I went to the zoo recently, I decided to use my 18 – 140 mm lens. No close ups for me that day!

It was a great experience. I concentrated on the ducks, ducklings, and othe small animals that were not caged (just behind enclosures). It was a totally different zoo experience. My gear was lighter to carry, and I didn’t get as tired.

I’m not giving up on that great heavy F4/300 lens. It does a wonderful job at getting through the cages and showing the detail on the animals. Maybe when I get back to the gym, I’ll have the upper body strength to carry two cameras.

I hope you enjoy this zoo experience!

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Somehow I got this Jaguar. I’ve had a difficult time getting him with the long lens! Opportunity and timing!

An annoying cold in the summer: Catching up

I thought I was over the 2-week cold, but I guess I wasn’t. I’m in my fourth week of it and not feeling really well. Can I continue to complain a bit? The worse part of it is the fog brain that keeps me from posting, etc. I didn’t even realize that I haven’t posted in a long while. Okay, that’s enough complaining.

I’ve been on a few shoots since my trip to San Francisco, and I’ll try to post about two of them here. My Tuesday group visited The Fountains Shopping Center again. It’s always a challenge to come up with something different at a place you’ve photographed many times. So here’s what I came up with:

Another visit was to downtown Sacramento and the third year of the Wide Open Walls Festival. This time we shot on the second and last days of the week’s artistry. On the second day, we found only one artist at work. On the last day, we were treated to two amazing murals: Johnny Cash and Monkeys (which was three-dimensional with metal parts and paint). Here’s some of what we saw:

While shooting our first set of murals, we stopped by William Land Park in Sacramento to photograph the lotus pond:

And, of course, I do enjoy shooting buildings:

That’s it for now. Have to rest. I do hope this cold is over before my next post!

I didn’t do that well Tuesday night at the Sierra Camera Club, in Sacramento, competition, but then I expected I wouldn’t. Sometimes pictures look great on the monitor, but not so great when they are printed. That was my predicament.

When I looked at the prints, I was dismayed. I decided to enter them anyway. After all I’m there to learn, and I did. The scores range from 8 to 12. I got two 10s and two 11s. I’ll confess that the judge didn’t give a score under 10! Print is just one of several categories, and for me, the most difficult. I’m not the only one printing out 8 x 12 images, but we are in the minority. However, I don’t think I’m ready to invest the money in larger prints.

In the digital categories, I have been awarded 12s, but never made it to the golden “13.” But, I’m happy. I joined this group to learn, and I have. I’ve also learned how to look at images. It’s amazing what details the judges see that I haven’t trained my eye to look for.

Toastmasters has trained me not to take critiquing as an assualt on my abilities. So, I understand that judging is subjective. There have been a few times when I dissagreed with the judge; but, after a few weeks, I saw that the judge was so right! Sometimes we get attached to our product and what we see in it that we don’t view it with a critical eye.

I thank the fantastic members of the Club. They are most eager to help, and just seeing their work gives me something to shoot for. Most of all, I feel great when my images are competitive with theirs.

If you are a new photographer, I urge you to join this type of club. There’s always something new to learn. You’ll find some of my entries below.

 

 

Street Photography: San Francisco, part 2

When the going gets tough, the tough plow through it! Marlene and I walked between four and five miles the day we walked the length of the Embarcadero in San Francisco. Now that may be nothing to younger folks, but to seniors with feet and leg issues, it’s success!

Yes, we got some good images that day. In my previous post (part 1), I showed you some of people I photographed and told my interpretation of their stories in the captions. Some, I didn’t need to interpret like the old dog being helped into her stroller. I talked to her owners who were intent on making her last years as easy as possible.

However, I couldn’t resist taking pictures of buildings, structures and crowds. It’s amazing how many people can move along a street without problems. I also took some pictures from the ferry we picked up in Vallejo. So, to finish off our trip to San Francisco, I have some more to show you.

Walking and shooting: San Francisco

Many people have asked me what type of photography I enjoy doing. I always answer, “Everything but portriat!” Of course that leaves landscape, buildings, macro and more. One is street photography, and I don’t feel as comfortable with this as I do macro, etc.

Part of the problem is that I’m not fast enough to catch the moment. I also fail to see the opportunity. I think I can do better with some training and experience. So, I jumped on the chance to walk along the Embarcarado in San Francisco. This fun day was sponsored by the Exploring Photography Meetup group. We started at 8:30 a.m., taking the ferry from Vallejo to San Francisco. We were to walk and take photos along the way and meet back to catch the ferryferry at 4 p.m.

We were told to take small sized gear so we wouldn’t be conspicuous. So I took my D3100, my 50 mm lens and shot on aperture priority. But, how can you be conspicuous with a bunch of tourists snapping pictures! At least the D3100 was lighter than the D7100.

It was also good experience using the 50 mm prime lens. I stopped trying to twist the barrel after a while! It was a fun day as I looked for people their stories. I took so many pictures that this will be a two-part post.

So get your walking shoes on and follow along!

Country life: Yolo Art and Ag

I’m not a country gal, but I do enjoy the opportunity to experience it. And, fortunately, I do get the chance. During the summer months, Yolo Arts brings together artists, photographers and farm owners in an effort to  raise awareness about the importance of preserving farmlands. This is accomplished through the Arts and Ag Project in Yolo County.

It’s amazing how close urban and suburban Sacramento is to farms and orchards. Drive one hour and you’re in a different world. A world I often get lost in! This month we visited Meeks and Sons, Inc. farm. A large farm that grows crops. This was a much different experience than in the past when we visited small farms–maybe two or three at a time. Karen B. and I got lost driving up and down the dirt roads. We did manage to find almond pods on the trees and some old and new farm equipment to take picture of.

Afterwards, Karen B. and I drove about 30 miles north to scout out a venue for our Tuesday group–a resting place for old busses and trucks in Williams. This is a photographers dream shoot, but not in the summer. It’s way too hot with more triple digits days than ever before. We ate lunch in the town and took some pictures.

Take a peek at what this city gal found on the farm.

 

Trying to beat the heat: Bushnell Gardens, Granite Bay

It seems that every Tuesday is triple digit day! You have to plan to have an outing early in the morning so it’s over by 10 a.m. because even shooting early in the evening, it’s still hot. So, to beat the heat on a recent Tuesday the group chose to invade Bushnell Gardens, a nursery in nearby Granite Bay. We had already visited Green Acres and wanted a different type of nursery.

We got there when it opened, and by 10 a.m., I was feeling the heat. It seems the older you get the less you can handle heat. I’ve started carrying one lens because I want to practice and don’t want to carry anything extra in the heat. I ended bringing my Nikon 18 – 140 mm into the nursery, and I think it did well with close ups, etc. I find that limiting myself to one lens is a great way to enhance my composition knowledge.

So here are some of the images I shot on that very hot morning.

 

 

 

Just enjoying it: Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park

We just wanted to go shooting for enjoyment, and not too far. So we found the Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park in Volcano, California. This land preserves a large amount of marbleized limestone with about 1185 mortar holes–the largest collection of bedrock mortars in North America. Women would gather together and visit as they ground their grains in the mortar holes.

There’s also the Chaw’se Regional Indian Museum and a reconstructed Miwok village on the grounds. The one building I had fun photographing was the Ceremonial Roundhouse which is used for various social gatherings and ceremonial events. Since it is used currently for those purposes, we couldn’t go in.

My challenge during this outing was the brilliant sunshine and the shade. This drove the camera sensor crazy–me too. I tried some handheld HDR (tripod wasn’t with me), and focusing on the shade and then raising the camera which blew out the sunny area. The best I could do was to focus on the sunny area and move the camera. Fortunately Lightroom has a graduated ND filter and a shadow slider. Both came in handy during post processing!

But, it was a perfect outing, and we did enjoy it. Sometimes you just have to get out!