Lens Artists Challenge #176: One Story

Can one picture really tell a story? It can, but it depends on the person whose memories it jiggles. This week Ann-Christine asks us to post one picture that tells one story. We can post more than one image along with its story. While going through my archives, I found I typically relate stories with people. Here are three from my past photographic adventures.

In this story, meet Greg Morris. We met when I began photography. We were both of advancing age and could easily keep up with each other. We began going on photo outings once a week. He would drive and I would buy lunch. I’d never knew where we would end up, but we took the day to get there and back. This was taken during a trip to the historical town of Locke in 2015. Always posting selfies (Set up in his home studio.) in our local camera group, it was logical that he would pose as the Mona Lisa for me.

Soon after that trip, Marlene joined us for the remainder of our adventures until Greg passed away from brain cancer.

This next story takes place in Palm Desert in 2016. We joined my cousins at their time share. They went there every year to relax, I went to be with them and take photos and Richard (husband) came for no other reason than to be with us. We were at the Coachella Valley Preserve in Thousand Palms near sunset. The desert can be beautiful. This image shows my cousins walking hand in hand. I could feel the love between them. It was so beautiful.

My last image is a shadowed shot of three amigos, me, Marlene and Laura, commemorating our photography vacation in Kauai. It’s Marlene’s practice to take a shadow picture when we go on a shoot. We had a great time taking our photos and eating shave ice. I learned it’s not necessary to carry every piece of camera equipment through the airports. Laura decided it was good to keep a Snicker bar handy just in case I got hungry. Marlene discovered it’s not good to fall and hurt your foot the first day out. I was also introduced to Fujifilm, Marlene’s new camera, and knew I had to have one.

Three trips down memory lane. Thank you Ann-Christine!

Macro and more: Bushnell Gardens

Just let me put my macro lens on my camera and I’m happy. Add to that a nice windless morning and newly watered plants and I’m euphoric. That’s what we found one morning at Bushnell Gardens, Granite Bay, one morning.

I began slowly, being a bit dismayed when all I saw were trees, but then I found the plants. This nursery is simply beautiful in its landscaping. It’s a relaxing place to photograph. Here are some macros I shot that morning.

In addition to plants and trees, they have many other beautiful things that you could fall in love with, or photograph!

Inside the store, Christmas had already arrived.

Our morning continued on Douglas Blvd. in Roseville with a building that caught our attention, but you’ll have to wait for my next regular post to see it!

Lens Artists Challenge #175: Follow Your Bliss

Bliss is what we all chase. It’s that something that relaxes, yet drives us to accomplish. It’s what we enjoy as a participant or spectator. This week, Lindy Low LeCoq encourages us to “show us your sense of wonder and excitement. Whether it be one activity that is your passion, or many different interests you follow, this is a wide-open opportunity to showcase how you “follow your bliss.”

One thing that comes to mind for me is music. I can’t sing, follow the beat or play an instrument. But music sooths my soul. I listen to both words and melody. One place I used to totally enjoy was the Sacrament Music Festival. Richard and I would work it every year, and the music was fantastic. Our favorites were Tom Rigney and Flambeau, who would play anything from zydeco to rock and roll, and Dave Bennett, whose clarinet rivaled Benny Goodman’s and his piano playing was as close to Jerry Lee Lewis as you could get. I’m sad that they discontinued it.

Even as I was enjoying music, I was also following my bliss for photography. When the pandemic and lockdown hit, photography was my outlet. Richard and I went for rides for the first few months of lockdown, going in search of snow and the California Poppy.

Soon my photo buddies formed a photo pod and went out once a week. One outing was to the WPA Rock Garden in William Land Park.

Another was to the California State World Peace Capitol Rose Garden in Sacramento.

And of course there are my friends who share in my love for photography. I’m dedicating this post to my friend Jean Armstrong who passed away this month after a short fight with brain cancer. She and I enjoyed going on day outings and, because she drove, we’d end up finding some sort of water. She loved the lakes and ocean. Here are two from our last outing together in January this year. We went to Port Costa (near the bay of course).

Thank you Lindy for reminding me to continue to follow my bliss. It’s so important especially now.

Decorated for Halloween: The Gibson House, Woodland

October 28! We had to get to the Gibson House in Woodland before Halloween. Why? We raced against time because the historic home was decorated for the holiday and on November 1, the decorations would be taken down.

I had never heard of the Gibson House and wanted to see it decorated. So, Marlene, Diane and I went off to photograph it. The house is on the National Registry of Historic Places, is a Yolo County Park and is operated by the Yolo County Historical Museum. The house and grounds were restored by the county and is now a hub for regional art displays, programs and more.

The outside of the house.

The inside was furnished to represent what it might have looked like when the Gibson family owned it. Of course there were a few visitors on display too. We were not allowed to go upstairs.

The blacksmith shop was closed, but the barn had been turned into an art gallery. The museum reaches out to area students for participation. They painted this mural.

We also found a beautiful old, rusty tractor.

This ended our trip to the Gibson House which is a treasure in Woodland. Maybe they will decorate it again for Halloween!

Lens Artists Challenge #174: Shapes and Designs

Just look around you. Wherever you are, open your mind and see the shapes and designs of the objects around you. In this week’s challenge, Patti encourages us to see the shapes and designs around us. Truthfully, I didn’t truly see the possibilities until I started photography. Now I see them everywhere!

For instance at an outing to Ironstone Vineyards a few years ago, we were down in their cellar that they call the Cavern. The round wine barrels stacked and angled down a cavern hallway offers many shapes and designs.

Water lends itself to shapes and designs too. The fountain at the Fountains shopping center offers many shapes and designs. A single burst of water takes its own shape while the entire fountain lets your imagination free. A crystal ball turns our design upside down.

Fairs and carnivals also offer us photographic opportunities for shapes and design. The Ferris wheel was photographed at the Nevada County Fair. Just sitting still we can recognize many shapes like triangles, rectangles and, of course, round. But at night during a carnival, light play turns it into a design bursting with color.

Sunflowers give us various shapes too.

I’ll end with trees. They are beautiful in design with their branches gracefully stretching out. Add some fog and you have a more dramatic scene.

Thank you Patti for helping us find adventure in our archives!

Lens Artist Challenge #173: Interesting Architecture

Architecture surrounds us whether it’s a historical building, a small store, a different sort of home or an iconic skyscraper. In this week’s challenge, Tina encourages us to share our images of interesting architecture, opening the field to what is fascinating to us.

While California is known for cities like Hollywood and San Francisco, it is primarily an agricultural state. In Sacramento we are so close to a countryside of farms, ranches and orchards. Here are two country houses, very different in architecture, that I’ve visited through the Yolo Arts & Ag Project.

Close to Sacramento is Donner Lake, a busy place for summer and winter recreation. Some people live there full time and some have homes to enjoy as a get away. Here is a winter scene.

We also have buildings of historical value. One is the Gibson House, It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, in Woodland and another, bulging in the front for years, is located in Locke which is a historic district. I think it’s amazing that it is still standing.

And, of course there’s Folsom State Prison. Its architecture gives us a hint as to its age–141 years. Built in 1880, it’s a minimum to medium security prison and houses only men.

Next is Sacramento’s very own Tower Bridge. Spanning the Sacramento River, it connects Sacramento to West Sacramento, and is used as a branding image for many ad campaigns.

And finally, my favorite building, the CALSTRS building. In the picture above, it’s located just after another amazing architectural wonder, the Pyramid (The Ziggurat) Office Building. Here you can see it up close.

This ends my tour of interesting architecture in and around Sacramento. Thank you Tina for this fun challenge!

Color and light: Night time carnival

I like to photograph at slow shutter speeds and zoom my lens in and out. So when I learned there was a small carnival at a the Sunrise Mall shopping center, in Citrus Heights, parking lot, my photo buddies and I got down there. We did the same visitation in 2018 and the carnival was much better: more rides, more people and a working Ferris wheel. I think the almost rainy weather may have had something to do with it.

But, I had fun anyway. Here’s some of what I captured that evening.

I’ve got my camera ready for next year. Hopefully there will be a working Ferris wheel and more rides.

Lens Artists Challenge #172: A Day of My Week

Busy, is the way I describe most of my weeks. They may start out with a blank calendar, but end up full. When I sometimes have a few days blank, I enjoy relaxing and catching up with stuff at home. But the one constant is my weekly photo outing with friends.

Amy is asking us to post about one day of our week. Here’s mine.

Early this month, Marlene, Laura and I went in search of Fall color in an area called Hope Valley. It’s a day outing since the drive is about 2 hours long. This day did not disappoint us. Colors of orange, yellow and rust were waiting for us on the aspen and other trees.

Here are some of the images gathered that October day.

October 9 was a fun day outing during our week. Thank you Amy!

Lens Artists Challenge #171: Weird and Wonderful

If you think about it, life itself is weird and wonderful. Ann-Christine asks us, in this week’s challenge, to find images in our archives or take our cameras out to find things that fit the weird and wonderful description. I’ve chosen to delve into my archives.

Buildings. I’ve found a few that are both weird and wonderful. There’s Drake’s Barn that serves food and drinks and hosts events. I took this photo shortly after it was built and the grounds were not ready for events. The The Ziggurat (the Pyramid Building) is an office building.

The the Manetti Shrem Museum in Davis is a beautiful and different building. I think the architecture is a work of art. Inside art exhibits are ongoing and outside are sculptures.

Hatcheries The Nimbus Fish Hatchery was a new experience for me. Yearly the Chinook salmon and steelhead swim upstream in the American River to lay eggs. The salmon that make it then die. Not that many make it. The hatchery catches and kills the salmon, removing their eggs and hatches them for release back into the river. This way more salmon are reproduced.

Fungi. I’ll close with mushrooms. They take many shapes and have many colors. These wild fungi are definitely weird and wonderful to photograph.

I’m not sure these images fit Ann-Christine’s challenge, but it was fun, weird and wonderful!

Art, art everywhere: Wide Open Walls, part 3

One more time we ventured down to Sacramento to find more murals. We began at Sac State (California State University, Sacramento) because we heard they had mural on and around the campus. We found none! So we headed back to the city. Photographing murals requires a lot of driving and patience. Sometimes we find other gems too.

Here’s what we found this recent Sunday morning. I didn’t photograph murals I had found in previous years except for the Johnny Cash mural. It’s so impressive. So was the reflection of the mural on a building across the street.

Another building had its walls dedicated to the women of the suffragette movement.

This wall was colorful and full of dragonflies.

And what a great “Reserved Parking” sign.

Here’s some of the other things that caught my eye.

I hope you enjoyed this series.