When it rained in San Jose, it poured. Dedicated photographers never give up, especially when you don’t often get to shoot together. So photo buddy Nicci, of niccicarreraromance.com, and I went to to lobby of the Fairmont Hotel in downtown San Jose.
The lobby was beautifully decorated for Christmas; and, as an added bonus, we were able to photograph Christmas In The Park directly across from the hotel. I had a wonderful time talking with Nicci. This was the first time we went on a photo outing since Leanne Cole’s visit in September.
The only problem was our visit was way too short, and the welcomed rain!
The model village in the lobby.
The spinning Ferris Wheel attached to a gingerbread house.
The lobby has several sculptures placed in front of mirrors.
One of the Christmas Trees.
A zoom abstract of the tree.
Another zoom abstract shot just slightly different.
My red chairs. The simple, inexpensive patio chairs I shot, during a prior visit, as they were positioned in front of a Volcano, California store were moved. And, I was moved. I don’t know why, but when I saw that they were not in the same photographic set up, I was taken aback! Did I want to shoot them again? Did I want to make a good shot even better? Probably not, but I did look at the composition–no, not as good.
I did take a shot from a totally different angle. Of course you’re thinking, “Why didn’t she just move the chairs back?” Good question, I’m going to have to start setting the scene when I can. I’m sorry that I don’t have the original on my laptop here in San Jose. If you want to see it. It’s archived in this blog. Anyway, here’s the shot I took.
This was my second and Marlene’s first trip to this small town. Except for the red chairs it hadn’t changed! It is full of historic buildings that have been re-purposed and still used.
Volcano was a cultural center in this gold fever valley. It was the first to have a lending library and many other civic and private offerings. I love the look of stone on Main Street’s buildings.
We had just come from the Black Chasm Cavern tour and were hungry. We were directed to the General Store and had burgers. We then walked beyond Main Street and saw more of the town.
I may go back to Volcano in the future, and I’ll definitely move some chairs!
We stopped on the way to Volcano. These gates were so inviting. Beyond was a small carnival.
These sculptures were outside the Black Chasm visitor’s center.
They were beautiful and neglected. She’s still smiling even though her chin in damaged.
This one set a dark mood.
Now we’re inside the General Store
There’s a small eating place in the back.
Memorabilia is everywhere.
Our burgers are cooking in the oven.
The cafe portion of the store.
One of the old buildings.
The fire bell.
Gate and entry to a residence.
Another residence prepared for a cold winter.
Why did the chicken cross the yard?
The National Hotel and Old Volcano Phone Company.
An old phone booth. The flyer posted is Superman asking visitors not to damage the booth because he has no other place to change his clothes!
You don’t notice how far down you travel until it’s time to walk back out of the cavern. Black Chasm was so interesting, I didn’t notice how far down we climbed. We joined a group of children for a 45 minute tour at the last minute.
The tour guide was wonderful, placing us in the back of the tour so we could stay back and take as many pictures as we wanted. In fact, the entire group accommodated our picture taking. However, we were listening as the guide explained the dramatic features of the cavern.
The most important feature of the Black Chasm Cavern are the rare and delicate helictite crystals that adorn the cavern walls along with the traditional stalactites and stalagmites. I’ve been in other caves and caverns, but have never seen helictite crystals.
The cavern has three main chambers. Although we thought the last one at the bottom was the largest, it wasn’t. At the end of our tour, we climbed the same stairs, but this time going up, and up and up! I said to Marlene, “Did we go down this far?”
Here are some images from this amazing cavern. No captions this time.
Wow, I am so grateful for all the feedback I received from my last post. Most of it was on Facebook. It really helped me shape the next part of my journey.
I began this blog as a way to talk about my new hobby and document my chosen paths. I chose not to take classes, but study tutorials, practice and join Meetup groups. And, it’s worked. It took about 3 years, but I am confident now and ready for the next step–learning more about processing and putting my work out there. I’m not looking to sell anything, but to get more feedback. Most of all, I’m having fun and have met new friends and wonderful, helpful people.
In the meantime, I promised you the images from Jackson and here they are. I will always be open to feedback, and I’m willing to listen and try new things.
The streets in Jackson are decorated for the Christmas holiday.
This is one way to store a bike!
I love texture and found it at a yarn store.
Marlene went in to shop.
I went in to shoot!
I liked this doorway. I’m glad I was able to lighten it up so the doors and plants were visible.
The rest of the pictures are in the National Hotel.
They were very gracious about letting us shoot in their lobby.
I used flash.
Greg and Marlene used slow shutter speeds.
I liked the reflections in this grand piano.
These windows were beautiful. I caught the colors outside on the street.
I’ve been thinking about my photography. I know I’m getting better, but why am I processing more images than before? Do I have to be more discerning? Am I truly picking good images?
Today, Marlene said I was posting very good pictures. So, then how do I become more critical of my work? How do I process the best of the best? I think, right now, I’m processing what I like. This is okay, but in 2016, my focus is going to be on processing. So, this is what’s going on in my head!
Last week we did go back to Jackson. I was hoping eating hot dogs at Fat Freddy’s would cheer up Greg. He’s been ill and, as of this writing, is back in the hospital. We hope he’s back with us soon.
As usual, we stopped on the way there and home, taking advantage of beautiful scenery. In this post, I’ll show you the before and after stops.
As I follow my own path on my photographic journey, I’m feeling positive I’m taking the correct turn, but I keep thinking about how I can do it better.
The rain is helping the grass turn from golden to green.
The cows seem to prefer the green grass.
Trees on top of a hill.
I call this “Texture and Rust.”
I still like the remaining yellow/orange grasses.
This is a ranch off a side road.
We think they are going to replace the bridge you see in the background.
This horse is not only beautiful, but sweet.
He posed for us.
And, apparently gave us his best side!
This is what I mean by processing something I like. It may not be the best in the bunch of images, but I like it.
I also like the texture created by the various colors in the grass.
And, you know I love old, rusted equipment.
Some more expressive trees still holding on to some color.
It’s finally wet out there, and Mother Nature is being very kind. It’s raining in the evening and through the night. At least it did last night. But, what’s that got to do with my Toastmaster photography club? Nothing! California is just happy that it is raining.
And, I’m happy with this Toastmaster club that is like no other. Wanting to combine my two passions, I started All About Photography almost a year ago. It’s been fun finding our way, keeping the Toastmaster structure and making the meeting all about photography. Now you see how we got our name.
We are the same as any other Toastmaster club except all our speeches are on photography and our table topics are basically critiques of images. Last Monday I was the Table Topics Master. I selected some images I wanted feedback on and presented them to the club. Before I selected the member participant, I gave a brief background on the picture. The selected member then gave a 1 – 2 minute critique. We do vote on who did the best job and present them with a ribbon.
I’m going to try something new and insert the pictures in the blog individually, not in a gallery.
So there you have it–a glimpse of what we do during an All About Photography meeting. And, to top off the meeting, the former District 39 Photographer told me how much he enjoyed my pictures and thought I had a great eye for composition.
It’s going to possibly rain again tomorrow, so I’ll be busy processing this week’s Tuesday With Seniors photo outing.
I don’t know why I went with expectations, but I did. I heard that the Folsom Zoo Sanctuary was more of a rescue venue than a real zoo, but I had to check it out with Marlene and Greg.
Here’s what their website has to say about the zoo: “Since 1963, this small unique California zoo has been providing sanctuary to some very special animals. All are non-releasable. Many were raised, and rejected, as wild pets. Others were injured or orphaned in the wild. Most are native to North America. All have names and personalities, and their individual stories are posted at the exhibits, along with factual, up-to-date information about their species.The distinctive educational focus of the zoo promotes responsible and appropriate behavior toward all animals. The zoo teaches about common and uncommon animals, both wild and domestic, and includes those in between, like feral pigs and wolf-dog hybrids. Zoo programs stress that wild animals don’t make good pets.”
After reading this, I had expected a small zoo, limited animals, but not the inability to photograph them well. This is not a zoo for photographers. I’m not sure whether it was the way the cages were designed or the type of enclosures, but we had a difficult time focusing through the wires. So, I decided I’d shoot through the squares in the fencing and do whatever closeups I could when I couldn’t make the cage disappear.
Did I mention that it was also cold and damp. Yes, we’re getting a little rain here in California, but when I found sun, I stood in it! I remember living back east and experiencing summer sun showers. Couldn’t it happen here in winter?
Again, too many expectations!
The parrot’s eye as I shot through the small square in the cage enclosure.
Here you can see the faint markings of the cage.
A wolf/dog blend.
He looks like any other dog–NOT!
The mountain lion.
This is the only shot I could get of one of the bears. Again, shot through an enclosure square. We couldn’t get directly on to the enclosure because outer fencing prevented it.
I’ve been there several times and have posted images. But, there’s always something new to be found whether it’s wildlife or plants. We go there to walk and shoot, but there’s more going on. From their website, here is what they have and offer to the general public:
“100 acres of beautiful gardens for active recreation or peaceful contemplation
The loop is 3.5 miles, and you’ll find people walking and riding bikes. Families enjoy the scenery, bring picnic lunches and you can find students studying during school. And, it changes with each season.
This trip, we caught the last of the Fall colors, a few birds and the crisp cool air. Take a look.
I’m just wondering if they teach the Great Egrets to pose.
Ready for take off.
A Blue Heron up close.
He’s watching for a fish. Laura has the picture of him catching one.
Canna blooming by the stream. The sun was so bright that the background is so dark. I like it that way.
Twisted tree bark yielding to the wind.
A family on the walking path.
The wind was blowing and the green muck collected at the end of the stream.