Getting lost: Folsom Lake

We weren’t lost, we found the exact parking lot, went down to the trail head, but couldn’t find the Old Salmon Falls Trail. This trail was supposed to be flat and a 2 mile loop. Yes, I could do that. However, we ended up walking about ½ mile up and came back down. But, what landscapes there were to be shot!

We think the trail was under water now that Folsom Lake is full. One photographer suggested that we didn’t drive far enough to find the correct trail. It all comes down to the fact that we were lost, didn’t find the right trail, but had a great time roaming around Folsom Lake.

After our lake shoot we did our usual out to lunch routine and then on to walk Old Folsom. This part will be in the next post.

What did I learn? I dabbled a little in the Nik software I downloaded (Silver Efex and Color Efex). I am now a Nik fan. What fun! I’m also getting better results in Lightroom.  Remember, this is the year for learning to use the software programs I have.  I’ll admit that due to personal stuff, I haven’t been as diligent as I want, but that’s life. However, my commitment is still there.

The moral to today’s story is never give up. I’ll learn the software; and when we get lost, we find wonderful landscapes to shoot and have lots of fun.

More Tuesday fun: Rutherford, California

I asked fellow photographers in the car, “Who knows where we’re going?” None knew, except that we were meeting at Karen’s and were taking off in two cars with Karen in the lead. This was sort of a first for us. We’d never had two cars, and we were reasonably sure of where we were going. Fortunately Karen knew exactly where we were going and the cars were able to stay together.

So, you’re asking, where did we go? To Rutherford! Where? It’s a small Napa County town that caters to wine tasting and  delicious but high priced lunches. We ate, but did not wine taste. Of course we stopped at various places there and back to shoot, and we shot in Rutherford. We also re-visited the city of Napa. And, now that Tom is shooting with us, we stopped for ice cream! Ben and Jerry’s to be specific. Yum!

What did I learn? I learned that with good friends you don’t have to know exactly where you’re going–trust and your friend will get you there. Oh, I also started using some Nik software. Google is giving it away free right now. It’s probably being discontinued.


On a mission to find one: The Santa Clara Mission, Santa Clara, California

Imagine living in a place for 12 years and not knowing one of California’s Missions was nearby! I’m no longer unaware, but the Santa Clara Mission was difficult to find. It is hidden within the campus of Santa Clara University. Well, not really hidden. It’s the centerpiece of the campus. However there is no sign saying, “Hey, Anne, look here for the mission!”

Fortunately, students were at the Starbucks where I stopped and told me how to find the Mission. It’s location and lack of signage got me wondering: I know the mission came first, but how did Santa Clara University manage to build around it?

Here’s the answer from the University website.

Historic Mission Santa Clara is a beautiful icon that sits at the center of our campus.  First established in 1777, the Franciscan Order handed the Mission over to the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) in 1851, who then started Santa Clara College, the first institution of higher education in California.  Today, the Mission serves as the student chapel for Santa Clara University.

If you’re not familiar with the California Missions, they are a series of 21 missions founded by Catholic priests of the Franciscan order between 1769 and 1833, in an effort to expand Christianity among the Native Americans along the California coast. I’ve visited many, but not all, of the Missions. This one blends so well with the College architecture.

I did get inside the chapel, but wasn’t prepared with my tripod. I did the best I could with a high ISO and Lightroom. The images are little grainy, but you can still see the simple beauty.

The surrounding campus is also beautiful. It must be nice to be a student there. Enjoy your Mission and campus tour. I did, once I found it!

It’s all happening at the: Sacramento Zoo!

Getting to know you–at least getting to know the animals at the Sacramento Zoo. I and others from the Camera Totin’ Tuesday group bought zoo memberships. That means I’ll be practicing more and having more zoo fun throughout the year. And, you’ll be coming along with me.

We got there when they opened during this trip and the large animals were active. The lions and their three cubs (teenagers now) were going in and out of their enclosure. I didn’t get to see the leopard, but got a shot of the jaguar.

The giraffes are always a favorite. I need to spend more time there during my next visit. We tend to go to shoot the big cats and spend more time in front of their enclosures. I also had fun watching the orangutans and gorillas.

The birds were tough to shoot in their enclosures because my 300 mm wasn’t enough to make the cages disappear. And, always, the flamingos are so beautiful.

Enough talk, here’s the first session of zoo animals from my year’s membership. I’ll be getting to know them better–by name!


I lost what? Martinez Regional Shoreline and Large Metal Prints

Now, you’re curious and really want to know what I lost: not a camera or lens–my photos! I knew I had an outing to show you, but it didn’t show up on my hard drive. I found it in Lightroom, my photo processing program. The only thing I can conceive that happened is that I accidentally deleted them after I processed the batch. It’s either that or there’s a little gremlin living in my computer and playing jokes on me!

Fortunately, I hadn’t taken them off the SD card yet. The trick, after I downloaded them again, was to transfer my Lightroom edited images back onto the hard drive. You have to fool Lightroom a bit, but I did it. Now, all is well.  Take that gremlin!

I put the effort into this because I wanted to show you how they make metal prints. The tour of this print shop, Large Metal Prints, was fun and educational. As a bonus, they gave us each a free 6 x 9 inch print of one of our images. The next week, I had two more 8 x 12 prints done. You don’t need to put these in a frame, and they come out beautiful. These were the first of my pictures I’ve had printed to put on the walls.

And, before we went to the print shop, we stopped and shot photos at the Martinez Regional Shoreline. It’s a pretty little park with walking paths and bridges. We had just enough time to do a brief walk around and grab lunch.

In the future, I’ll be more careful with my images. If I lose a batch, I might not be so lucky to still have them on my SD card.

After a rain, shoot, shoot, shoot; part 2

Right now in Northern California no one is shooting pictures. We’re experiencing a series of storms. I’m not complaining! My go-to-practice place, Dry Creek, has water past its shore line, and there are flood warnings in place for the rivers and other creeks.

Being stuck inside has its advantages, I’m catching up on a few things, completing this post and giving you exciting news.

For the exciting news: I’m being featured on, Australian photographer, Leanne Cole’s Blog, Introductions post this week. I’ve known Leanne since I started shooting and had the privilege of shooting with her when she visited the U.S. last September. She’s given me advice and watched my progress these 4 years. The post will appear in the States on Monday and Tuesday across the ocean. You can find the post at

I’ve also submitted an article for the upcoming Dynamic Range digital photography magazine for women in the coming issue. This is a great magazine full of information and beautiful photography. And, you don’t have to be a woman to enjoy it. Check it out!

Now, back to this post’s continuation. Today I have pictures from Schweitzer Grove and McKinley Park. Schweitzer Grove is a 17-acre park tucked into suburbia, and McKinley park is known for its rose garden.  Fortunately, there are people and other flowers at the park. Take a look while I continue to catch up on things.





After a rain, shoot, shoot, shoot: Effie Yeaw,Schweitzer Grove, McKinley Park

It’s sometimes called cabin fever, but for photographers it’s more intense. Since you can’t shoot, you edit, read tutorials or discover new processing programs. So, when, on a recent Tuesday, Marlene and I were the only photographers to partake in Camera Totin’ Tuesday, we took full advantage of the partly cloudy weather.

Our first stop was Effie Yeaw Nature Center in Carmichael. This wonderful preserve houses all sorts of animals, provides educational programs and welcomes photographers. Located on the American River, there is a lot to shoot. On this day, I was looking for deer; but, I was amazed by the area’s beauty after winter rains. And, yes, I did find deer. I couldn’t believe how they let us get so close to them. They know they are protected from human harm, but natural predators are still around. You’ll see more from Effie Yeaw because Marlene and I bought a season pass.

Next we found Schweitzer Grove Nature Area. This is a 17-acre park also in Carmichael that allows dogs to be off leash. It’s quiet and green–a great place to walk babies, dogs or just yourself.

After walking Schweitzer Grove, we drove over to McKinley Park in Sacramento. We were hoping to still see some roses, but there were none. Still, we weren’t disappointed for there were other flowers and people that caught our attention. If you remember, I did a post on this park before and the roses were beautiful. We’ll be back.

What did I learn? My passion for photography grows along with my experience. We have so many beautiful preserves, parks and rivers here in the Sacramento area so you don’t have to drive a great distance to shoot. And, finally, I’m so enjoying the friendships I’ve made with other photographers. Marlene has been my  sidekick for more than a year now, and I do appreciate her willingness to go out with her camera.

It’s raining right now, but it’s supposed to be partly cloudy for our next Tuesday adventure. I know we’re all anxious to get out there and shoot–with our cameras!

This will be a two-part post. There are too many pictures for me to put in one.

You never know what you’ll find: The Sutter Buttes

Tuesdays may be a designated day, but you never know where we’ll end up. We decided to drive around the Sutter Buttes. Formerly known as the Marysville Buttes, this small mountain range is a small circular complex of eroded volcanic lava domes that reside in the flat plains of Sutter County. And, you never know what you’ll come across when you journey around them.

The first stop was Mary’s Chapel. This is a sweet, small chapel and cemetery in Yolo County. It was interesting to walk through and read the head stones. The chapel was closed, but is still used sometimes.

I did this drive a couple of years ago with Laura and we found a farm with unique animals. That farm is still there. This time two other women were amazed. The most curious animal was one that looked like a donkey/zebra! We didn’t know what to call it!

More driving. We found the almond trees had almost lost their blooms and color. The hillsides were deep green and the sky partly cloudy. We took a tour of Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, but didn’t open a window. The mosquitoes were so thick; but, fortunately, Karen’s car window on the passenger side was fairly clean. We did end up catching a sunset near an almond orchard–the perfect end to a fun, adventurous day.