It’s not easy to find places to shoot when it’s triple digits outside. We’ve taken our Tuesday group to the ocean, stores, and, now to a museum–the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. The fact that I’d always wanted to go there was a bonus. Yes, we could bring our cameras in, but no flash or tripod. This, of course, added another challenge, but we were up to it.
Just a little background: The original historic building was the home of Edwin B. Crocker who built on a home addition to display his art collection. Eventually the home and gallery became the Crocker Art Museum. In 2010 an addition was built to expand the museum. For me, the new, modern addition is a stark contrast to the existing historic home/gallery. You can feel the difference as you pass from one to the other. I liked the use of ambient light in the new building, but totally enjoyed the architecture and richness of the old.
I didn’t have much trouble shooting in the new Teel Family Pavilion since light was abundant, and I knew what to do to shoot in the old section. And, to our delight, the cafe food was delicious. Our outings are always about food too!
Here’s a sample of what we found while escaping the heat.
Outside the historic building.
Inside the new Pavilion.
Looking down on the dining area.
Sculpture at the other end of large Pavilion hall.
Mother and child.
African art display.
More African art.
The African Art collection was large.
Part of a Chihuly chandelier.
More Chihuly art.
This porcelain art was in a room of it’s own.
I loved the colors in this painting.
A whimsical sculpture.
The ballroom in the historic building.
Beautifully arched hallway.
Pattern of a bowl in the gift shop.
Is it okay to use a preset, from a processing program, on your image and call it your own? I had never thought about this until I took a sunflower bud I shot and brought it into Smart Photo Editor, used their presets and found one I liked. I posted it on Facebook and it got a great deal of attention. One photographer said that it was a great edit. I quickly replied that it was a preset. And, that’s when I began to question whether I could post this as my own. Here is the image as posted.
The composition is mine, the fact that it was a sharp image is my doing, but the ultimate look is not mine. The reality is that I, with my lack of artistic ability, could not complete it this way.
So, what do you think? Is it okay to use a preset and call it your photo?
Now, back to the pictures in this post. We are in San Francisco and are headed to the California Academy of Sciences when they open. I got up early and went down to Fisherman’s Wharf to see what I could shoot along the way. It was fun and got my energy flowing. I have some of those shots to show you. What was amazing were the swimmers out for their morning exercise in freezing cold water. There were also walkers, runners and bikers using the old pier as their exercise ground.
The Academy was amazing, but the parking wasn’t. The only place to park was in their very expensive structure–it cost us about $30 for the day. We had coupons for the Academy admission so that helped with the cost. We did opt for an additional tour, but it was worth it, especially since we were the only ones who went on it. We had a guided tour behind locked doors and were able to walk the roof.
A lot will be explained in captions. It was an all day experience. We left about 4 p.m., stopped to take pictures of house boats to take up the time before dinner. We were trying to avoid traffic. It all worked out, and our drive home was easy. Enjoy the academy through my camera lens! I apologize for the many images, but I didn’t want to make this a three part post.
This tree was trying to grow on the hillside along the path to Fisherman’s Wharf.
This is the old decaying pier. Much of it is closed.
One of the early morning swimmers.
Some men, fishing I think, on the old pier.
Another look at the historic pier.
Ghirardelli Square in the distance.
Now at the Academy, fossils under glass.
This was a first for me. As we entered the Rain Forest, my lens fogged up.
The view looking up the three stories of the enclosure.
Eventually my lens acclimated to the humidity.
My body didn’t though. We stayed long enough to capture some butterfly images.
The roof of the Academy is alive with plants. These plants help with research projects and help cool the building.
These are whale bones. It will take approximately three years of roof sitting to dry these. Chemicals are not used.
This is the brush from the whales mouth. Animal remains used in research or display are from those that died naturally.
Notice the round windows. They are used to light and act as the HVAC system for the Academy. Again –fog!
Our tour guide takes us into storage rooms where things are held for various researchers to use.
A great deal of research is done behind the scenes.
Gem stones are stored here also.
This lab is used for in-house needs and outside organizations.
The inside wall and roof.
Now at the aquarium, manatees swim at the base of the Rain Forest.
Jelly fish put on a neon show.
High ISO and fast shutter was needed here.
This fish blends in well.
I think we found Dory!
The California Academy of Sciences, in Golden Gate Park, is more than a museum. It’s a planetarium, a rain forest, and aquarium and natural history museum. Yes, it is a museum, and Linda and I wanted to visit. But we knew it would take us all day to get through it, so we decided to stay overnight at the Ft. Mason Hostel (Once again in a private bedroom.).
Our plan for this adventure was to leave early in the morning, visit some sights, get to the Hostel in the evening and go to the Academy the next morning. That first day our road trip took us to Tiburon, where we had lunch and enjoyed the small town; Sausalito where we shot the Golden Gate Bridge; and to the Sutro Baths in San Francisco.
Given that itinerary, I think this will be a two part post. Remembering that we are seniors, me more than Linda, we packed a lot in. However, we were tired at night and didn’t venture out for night photography.
I had a great time. I was more at ease with my photography than I was during our previous trip. Again, we found fog in San Francisco. I’m still amazed at how fast it moves across the vistas. In less than 5 minutes, you can be shooting in fog, mild fog and no fog.
Let’s begin with Tiburon and end with the Sutro Baths. The next post will have images from the California Academy of Sciences.
This fountain turns slowly, changing shadows and reflections.
The Bay Bridge and Alcatraz Island.
Looking across the bay at San Francisco.
The hillside homes.
A visitor wades in the surf.
I loved the stairs and flowers at this house.
Sausalito and the Golden Gate in fog.
Less fog from this angle.
The remnants of the Sutro Baths.
We didn’t walk down into the cave. Maybe next time.
The water crashing the rocks.
The shoreline at the Sutro Baths.
Trees in fog on the way down.
Wildflowers were everywhere on the trail.
This week we are enduring triple digits every day. Relief may come on Saturday, and it’s only Tuesday. So here I sit, editing photos in my air conditioned office, trying to catch up. I’ve almost finished the San Francisco trip, I took with Linda, at the beginning of the month.
In the meantime, I’m hoping to opt in on some online courses. Yes, I’ve decided the next path on my photographic journey will be education–at least more than the free tutorials offer. When I realized that I knew most of what those tutorials offer, I felt accomplished. So now I’m moving on.
Triple digits are more normal in the Redding area than here in Sacramento. These photos were taken in May when the temperatures were lower and the weather beautiful. I’m posting some afternoon images of the McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens in the Turtle Bay Exploration Park. This is a relatively new addition to this park which also is home to the Sundial Bridge.
When we came back to shoot the bridge at sundown, we were slightly disappointed. I called it a wimpy sunset. Furthermore, they didn’t have the bridge lit up. I was told by a staff member that it would be. Oh well, I did practice some slow shutter , smoothing out the water. I don’t think captions are necessary here.
No matter what happens, a new day always dawns. That’s what friends and relatives of Jim VanWinkle are living through right now. Jim and Shellie have been friends of ours for about 37 years. Even though we moved away from Los Angeles, we kept in touch.
In retrospect, we should have kept in touch more frequently, but life always interferes. We went down for every life cycle event; they came up for ours. When our family’s needs brought us to L.A., they always made time to see us. In fact, some times they invited us to stay with them. And they were always welcome to stay with us.
They visited us last September with Ron and Lois. But, we didn’t expect to be going to L.A. for Jim’s funeral this past weekend. He died suddenly from a blood clot. I have so many memories of when we lived in the San Fernando Valley. Two stand outs:
When personal computers came on the scene, Jim decided that the ladies should learn how to program and use them. So he taught or tried to teach us Basic Language. We were fairly successful and Jim managed to keep his sanity.
We also went on many camping trips with the VanWinkles when our kids were young. We introduced the pie iron to Jim who immediately saw beyond its use for apple or cherry pie, in the campfire, and started making s’more pies. We enjoyed several before the handle came out and the pie maker stayed in the fire.
There’s so much I could tell you about Jim, but the fact that people were standing in the back of the chapel, no seats available, at his funeral is a testament as to how well he was liked and loved. He will especially be missed by his four children and nine grandchildren.
Yes, there’s always a new day and a sunrise. This post and images of the Sundial Bridge in Redding, California at sunrise is dedicated in Jim’s memory.
Although a wimpy sunrise, you can see the sun casting a glow on the bridge.
The bridge is almost in full sun now.
It was a long walk across this amazing bridge. I took so many pictures.
The sun was lighting up spider webs.
I tried to get the bridge from many angles.
This was fun.
The bridge was beautifully designed.
The bridge from a different view.
I decided to follow the path leading underneath the bridge.
This almost looks like a sculpture.
I am excited! I just joined another photography group and signed up for one of their workshops. The group is Viewpoint Photographic and Art Center in Sacramento. Viewpoint is a gallery, store and educational center, catering to the photography community.
I went there a few years ago and was so overwhelmed–never went back. But, since joining the Sierra Camera Club (SCC), my confidence level has increased. Many of the members also belong to Viewpoint. I’ve learned so much in the two months I’ve belonged to SCC; can I learn even more at Viewpoint? Viewpoint also allows members to show their work and receive feedback.
In addition, Viewpoint gives workshops. I’m finally reaching the realization that I need more education than free online tutorials can give me. I know all that stuff. Now is the time for me to expand and leap forward. You’ll have to wait for my report on my first workshop which is on July 23rd. This is a big step for me; and, yes, I’m excited!
The images in this post are of Shasta Dam, the second tallest in the United States after Hoover Dam in Nevada. Construction began in 1937 and it was completed in 1945. Jill and I visited the Dam before attending the District 39 Toastmaster Conference in Anderson, California.
Our tour guide was wonderful and put up with our taking a lot of pictures during the tour. Fortunately, we were a tour of two! Take a look at what we saw.
Snow covered Mt. Shasta as seen from the Dam.
Outside the Dam.
Scotch Broom blooms on the hills.
I tried to get close ups.
And various angles.
Here I wish I had my ultra lens with me.
A hole in the wall with Scotch Broom peeking through.
I don’t remember what this was used for, but I do love old, rusted equipment.
Another view from an overlook.
The visitor’s center
The surrounding hills.
Now inside and walking down the hallway.
One of the turbines.
The row of turbines.
Now used as storage, this tunnel was integral in the building of the Dam.
I needed to challenge myself because we were going back to Locke on a recent Tuesday, and I’ve photographed the small town many times. So, I decided to dedicate the shoot to using two lenses I seldom take out: my 50 mm (Nikon) and 10 – 20 mm (Sigma). With the 50 mm, I wanted to see just what difference the 1.8 would make. And, it did make a big difference in getting a smooth bokeh. I enjoyed working with it even though I did try to get it to zoom!
Zooming is the only problem with that lens. I couldn’t walk back far enough to get more in the picture, so I concentrated on close ups. I switched to the ultra wide lens to see what distortions I could get. I was a little disappointed. It worked great with little distortion.
When we took a side trip to Rio Vista, I put on my walk around lens. I love that 18 – 140 mm. When it’s windy, it will catch a close up of a flower. It was dark, cloudy and dreary there. The last time I posted pictures from Rio Vista, the water was high and flooded part of the shore line. This time the waters had receded.
So my self-challenge taught me that the nifty fifty is a great lens, especially for portraits and close ups, that the ultra wide is great for landscape and buildings and my all-purpose go to lens is just that.
Here are the results.
Capturing color and texture with this door.
I liked that I was able to have the chairs in focus and the fencing soft.
Look at how smooth that bokeh is.
I liked the color and texture of this hoe.
An old ornate bench.
I think this might be an old outdoor water system.
When newly painted, these were probably beautiful.
Two animals at the beginning of Main Street were willing to take your money.
I’m hoping that someday this old swing will be restored.
A whimsical trash can.
Captured from a cactus bed. Again the smooth bokeh from the 50 mm.
Colorful shop selling Chinese medicine.
This was shot with the ultra wide and cropped.
These were also shot with the ultra wide and cropped.
We’re in Rio Vista now. The sky was dark and cloudy.
One of the piers.
Looking up into one of the bridge towers.