Lights, camera, action: Indoor light painting workshop

Frustrating fun! Do those two words actually go together? They did the night I attended an indoor light painting workshop given by Sacramento Photographers, a local Facebook group here in Sacramento. I love this group because they are willing to share knowledge, sponsor photo outings and will critique photos when asked.

The evening started with a slide show on light painting. They showed us how elaborate it can get and how integral it can be to photo composition. Then they showed us the “toys” or tools. They had bars with LED lights on them, steering wheels with LEDs, LED wands and more.

Our cameras were on their tripods and we were ready to shoot for the practical part of the evening. And, the fun began. The lights were turned off and we began shooting. First was an LED bar that was carried across the room in an up and down motion. Then we captured a rope that was spinning around as the person was walking in a tight circle. Our volunteer model was traced with an LED wand while wearing glow in the dark sun glasses. It continued from there.

The frustration came when they were showing us how to do multiple exposures. My ability to do this was not available in my camera because of its current setting! I couldn’t figure it out and neither could another photographer. He messaged me the next day saying it might be that I had left bracketing on. Sure enough–I had!

But it was an evening of fun learning. Now I have to make some of those “toys!”


Doing the 52: Point Reyes, Part 2

I really need a shove, discipline and hand holding to learn Photoshop. So, I decided to try to post an edited photo once a week. I started to do this last year. Signing up for it was the shove, posting was the discipline, but I had no one to hold my hand. This year, I have an accountability partner. Hopefully, I can get through the year, learn what simple things I need to from Photoshop, and also delve into some other processing programs that are taking up space in my computer.

With this lofty goal in mind, I recently spent more than 4 hours trying to eliminate the transparency from a masked item so I can place it, without a background, in another photo.

I will not stop until I’m successful! It’s frustrating though.

I watch tutorials. Go to my computer. Open up Photoshop and can’t recreate the exact process. I need to bring up my laptop and work the tutorial and Photoshop on my desktop together.

Enough complaining, the pictures in this post are the last from our Point Reyes outing. It was a fun day. I wasn’t out there to take photos, but who could resist. In the last post, you saw some of Richard’s pictures and mine. Today, it’s all mine.

Take time from whatever is frustrating you and relax. I hope you enjoy these images. I don’t need a shove, discipline or hand holding to take the pictures; just to learn new editing techniques.



Couple time: Point Reyes National Seashore

I shoot pictures during the day and Richard shoots pictures at night. You see, my husband, an amateur astronomer images the night sky. His observatory is in the Sierra Mountains, and he finds galaxies and nebulas via a camera attached to his telescope. Viewing is done through his computer.

My advantage is that I can shoot on cloudy, overcast and pretty much any kind of weather. The result may not be pretty, but I can take my camera out more than he can use his scope.

So when we decided to take a day and run away, I did take my camera. We ran, excuse me–drove, to the Point Reyes National Seashore. Once there, he wanted to see the Lighthouse. It was well worth the long drive. I had been there, and I wanted him to have the experience too.

When we got there, I got out my camera and set one up for him. Richard wanted to whale watch, but we didn’t bring binoculars. I hoped that my 55 – 300 mm lens on my D3100 would give him enough reach. Whale watching was a bust, but he did get some great photos that you’ll see in this post.

The Lighthouse was also a bust. It was closed. If it was open, I don’t think we would have made it down to it and back up. There’s 300 steps which they say is equivalent to climbing 30 stories of a building. I’ll put a picture of the Lighthouse stairs in the second part of this post.

Meanwhile, winter is definitely a tough time for astronomers. For photographers, if we can put up with a bit of fog, rain and clouds, we’re good to go. And, we take pictures at night also!


Cabin fever: Sacramento Delta Area

Wednesday was supposed to be partly cloudy and the first day of no rain in two weeks. So, I asked Richard if he wanted to take a ride down to the Delta–just to get out of the house. We were astounded to see rain drops making perfect round circles in our pool Wednesday morning. I checked the weather forecast and it said RAIN!

We went anyway. Going south, the rain lessened and by the time we got to Locke, it was just a light mist. We were amazed at how high the Sacramento River was. Everywhere we walked that wasn’t paved was soft so our shoes sank into the soaked earth. You’ll see in some of the pictures that piers were floating well above their normal levels.

We started in Locke’s Historical District, drove through Walnut Grove, went on to Rio Vista for lunch and then home. It rained on and off the entire morning. Of course I brought my camera along–just one camera and lens. But, I didn’t go out of my way to find environments to shoot. I’ve gotten so that I don’t go anywhere without my camera!

This was not primarily a photo outing. We were just two people trying to get out of the house for a short time. We got out and it did put a dent in our cabin fever. Oh, I read in the newspaper that Northern California is out of the drought, but parts of Southern California is still in severe drought. It’s progress.


Going backwards: In search of Sandhill Cranes

We’re back in 2016. November to be exact. Laura and I went in search of Sandhill Cranes. I’ve tried to capture their images a few times before, but was never successful. Even though they are large birds, they stand in the middle of the fields so my 300 mm lens has a difficult time. After a couple of years, I was beginning to think it was personal–they didn’t like me!

The Sandhill Cranes are migratory and are only in the area a few months of each year. They come in November and are usually gone by February.

We went to the Consumnes River Preserve and the Staten Island wildlife area. It was our last stop in the Sacramento Delta at Woodbridge Ecological Reserve Shelter where I saw them standing near the fence. I yelled for Laura to stop. She said there was no place to pull over. I said I didn’t care! So there we were blocking one side of the road. Fortunately, there was no traffic either way, and we were able to shoot the Sandhills.

Victory is so sweet! I’m so glad I went back through my photos and realized I hadn’t posted on the Sandhills because they are worth looking at. Let’s just say, “Give them a backwards glance!”

Will the drought be over? Rosie the Riveter, part 2

It’s back; the rain! It’s been raining for most of the week, something we’re not used to here in sunny California. Whatever the inconvenience, it’s wonderful. We are in our sixth drought year, and, hopefully, this will be the last. Of course, now they’re saying that it’s a warm rain and will melt some of the mountain snow pack! Frustrating! Yes, a lot of exclamation points. Now they’re also preparing some of the foothill, river and creek areas for flooding. Oh Mother Nature, are you a tease?

As photographers, we run out with our cameras on days that are more or less dry. But this post is ending my trip to Richmond, Rosie the Riveter Museum and Monument, Point Richmond and the SS Red Oak Victory Ship.

In my last post, I showed you the Museum and we peeked inside the old Ford Assembly Plant. Today we’ll visit Point Richmond, the Memorial (a bit of a disappointment and hard to find), and the SS Red Oak.

What really impressed me was how the shipyard put Richmond on the map, increased it’s population and importance. As soon as the war ended, the shipyard closed, people lost their jobs and Richmond lost its importance. Richmond survived and is proud of its history. Take a look at some of that history.

They say it will rain through the weekend. Maybe some Photoshop tutorials will occupy some of my time.

An unexpected surprise: Rosie the Riveter Museum, Richmond, California

Did you ever go somewhere expecting not much, but were totally surprised and delighted when you got there? Our visit to the Rosie the Riveter Museum had that effect on me. It was as if this museum was designed with photographers in mind. In the small museum and Visitor Center building, all photos were not behind glass, but on boards. It was easy to shoot them without glare.

Not only did we learn about the history of women during World War II, we learned how the war changed the city of Richmond. Richmond became the Kaiser shipyard home, where ships were built. These vessels would help defeat our World War II enemies.

Located in a National Historic Park, the museum is just the beginning. There were many things to take up our day, but we basically visited three out of the 10 suggested by the Ranger in the visitor center. We visited the museum, looked into the empty Ford Assembly Plant, had lunch in Point Richmond, toured the SS Red Oak Victory ship and found our way back to the Rosie the Riveter Memorial.

I’m sure you guessed that this will be a two-part post. I will be going back to see all we didn’t have time for. This definitely was an unexpected surprise.