A busy Saturday

Children and grandchildren bring with them a lot of activity. I’m talking about play dates, sports and other important stuff. Saturday was Olivia’s third birthday. When we came to the door, she was jumping up and down as she said, “It’s my birthday today!” I answered, jumping up and down, “It’s your birthday today!” Last year she was just beginning to understand the meaning of birthday. This year she has it down! I’m positing some images of her little party.

Right after the party we rushed to Ryan’s soccer game. He’s a good player until he gets tired. At age 5, it’s just understanding the rules and the game and having fun. Ryan is a lot smaller than other players so he has to push to keep up. But any sport at this age is fun to watch. I’m posting some images. I do need to figure out how to blur out the other kids’ faces. Any hints???

Run, run, run

That’s the way I felt all week–running everywhere. Friday, while driving around, I stopped to scope out the Dry Creek trail near my neighborhood and take a few pictures. I will go back, but I will wear tennis shoes and not Birkenstocks! I’m posting some images in this post. It’s nice to have this lovely spot close. Then I was able to catch a sunset while at a friends house in the evening.

Yesterday, it was my younger granddaughter’s 3rd birthday and her brother’s soccer game. Those images will be posted soon. Then I ran to San Jose for some R&R–well deserved! So here I sit in my friends’ home just blogging and relaxing. How nice!

Here are images of the creek and sunset.

Old town Auburn

It’s great when you can combine three things you love. In this case, it was friendship, food and photography. Four of us met in the old section of Auburn for lunch; and afterward, my friend Jean and I did a little photography.

Friendship: we’ve been meeting for about 10 years now as a group. We’ve changed our purpose several times, but with two of us sort of retired, we decided to just meet without a purpose.

Food: The many small restaurants in town are all wicked good. It’s difficult to be a Weight Watcher and eat out in Auburn. This small town is at the base of the Foothills and the I-80 gateway to Truckee and Lake Tahoe, CA, and Reno, NV. It’s a typical small downtown area with boutiques, etc.

Photography: Jean and I didn’t have much time to walk around and shoot, but I think we did well with the time we had. And, of course, shooting after lunch meant dealing with the sun. One of these days, I’m going to do what a real photographer would do–go out early or late.

Here are some of the images I captured.


Walking the dog

You remember Gem my little schnoodle. We spent the summer walking campgrounds. We still walk, but we go around the neighborhood. My neighbor has a plant that has water droplets on it most mornings, and I keep thinking that I should bring the camera for a close up image. Well, yesterday morning the droplets were so big that I had to go back home and get my camera. Once I started shooting, I realized that I would do better with my long lens because when I stepped into the plant, it shook. Also, stepping into the plant was getting me wet and off balance. But, I’m going to show you a couple of images and some more from our morning walk.

Soccer and Toastmasters

I know, it’s an odd combination, but that is what my day was yesterday.

First was Ryan’s soccer game. We arrived in the second half, but I was able to get some images of our grandson playing. I’m trying to crop the other kids out or messing up their faces so they can’t be recognized. I know to publish a minor, you have to have permission and I think this is a form of publishing. So there’s  the difficulty. Ryan is a serious player as you can see by the expression on his face. Maybe, next time, we’ll get there in time for more and better images.

Now for Toastmasters. It is my club’s, Skillbuilders Toastmasters, 25th Anniversary, and we had a party. I tried to get mostly candid shots, but the sun was not cooperating at around 5 p.m. Does it ever? Some of the images were edited with “Auto Smart Fix.” I’m reluctant to mess with skin tones etc. On others, I got into the lighting. I’ve got to learn how to tame the sun. All advice is welcome.

Afternoon sun

Sometimes you choose correctly; sometimes you don’t! I was scrap-booking at a friend’s home today and didn’t get into her garden in the morning. I seem to get single minded when it comes to doing things. It was late afternoon, about 4 p.m., when I remembered I wanted to take some photos. Of course, the sun was still out in full force just blaring down in her back yard. But, I’m determined to try to shoot images at least every other day, so I took some shots. Actually, when I got two of them into PE9, they weren’t too bad, even with the sun doing damage. At least I had the knowledge to understand what the sun was doing. This was one time I chose incorrectly, but made the best of it. I welcome all suggestions!

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Beauty may be subjective, but I don’t see any beauty in the plant I shot tonight. In fact, I think it’s down right ugly, but someone thought it beautiful because they put it in their front yard. So, in the spirit of taking on challenges, I took some photographs of the plant, trying to find its beauty. This is new for me because I usually shoot scenes that appeal to me. I shot the whole plant and then sections of it. I think the parts look better than the whole. If anyone knows the name of this plant, let me know. I didn’t take the tripod because I was trying to be inconspicuous. You might agree that the parts, if given a different setting, would be sort of beautiful. I shot these on aperture priority around f 5.6. I was getting in close.



Yesterday I stopped by a park on my way to visit a friend. Remember my goal to shoot something at least every other day? So, why not the park. The playground equipment is full of leading lines. What I didn’t do, was remember to look at what settings my camera was on, decide what settings I wanted to shoot on and plan the shoot. I just went there and got caught up in the excitement of finding those leading lines. Will I ever stop being a point and shoot photographer???

Anyway, here are the images–the before editing and after editing. It was about 11 a.m., and the sun was almost overhead. Not the best time for taking photos. Tomorrow, while I’m out and about, I’ll have my camera with me and look for another opportunity. This time I will try to plan and not just point and shoot!


Last week, my friend and photographer/professional speaker, gave me an assignment to shoot door knobs in Sutter Creek, CA. Well, life interfered (funny how it didn’t interfere when we were on vacation) and I didn’t have time to go that far. So, I drove down to Old Sacramento to find some aging door knobs. I had fun which all came to a halt when I discovered a parking ticket on my windshield. I had 13 minutes left on the meter, but my money was in the wrong meter. It’s very confusing down there especially when there are no other cars parked on the street. I contested the ticket and was advised it would take about six months to process my complaint!

Anyway, Jim worked on some of the door knobs and has given me permission to post his work. I thought what he did was amazing. And, he said he would help me! Here are the images. I’ll post my unedited shots first and then his edited versions second.

By the way, you can find him at http://be.net/JamesRMorrison. He’s a wicked super/excellent photographer!


Discipline continues

Surprise! I did use my camera yesterday, but hubby was working on my computer so I couldn’t do this blog. I’m continuing my understanding exposure quest. Yesterday I manipulated the light via the ISO. I’ve used ISO to subdue bright light before but not frequently. This time, the F Stop was consistent at F 5.6; the exposure was consistent at 0 Steps; it was sunny, but not too bright; again the camera was hand-held; same rose bush, different blossom. I do think yellow roses are wicked! Here are the results.