I always try to keep my promises. The operative word there is “try!” In my last post, I said that I would be going out to shoot Christmas lights when my friend Jean got her new camera, and I kept that promise. I was really dragging that night, and I’m so glad that my promise got me up and out. We had a lot of fun in the short time we were taking photos.
Our adventure took us to the Fab 40 area of Sacramento–an area of old beautiful homes. This neighborhood’s holiday effort didn’t compare to the residents of Dove Court in Orangevale; but with my fatigue and Jean’s knee, it was perfect. We walked the two blocks, shooting and talking with some residents. I saw two displays I liked and had fun zooming my lens.
Oh, Jean’s new camera is a tiny Panasonic mirrorless that does a lot. It made my Nikon D7100 look huge and feel heavy! I hope she finds a great deal of joy in using it.
Happy 2018 everyone. My wish if for you to have good health, prosperity and fun!
I liked this display because of its simplicity.
This one is simple too.
This seemed to welcome you.
I think I like this side shot even better.
This I shot in three parts.
On the side lawn the display continued.
And the final piece of the display.
This was a wreath that was hanging from a wire going across the street. Below it, was a string of lights. The following zooms are of this wreath.
I tried different angles.
Different shutter speeds.
And different focal lengths.
This zoom was of lights on top of a small tree.
This zoom was of lights on a small tree covered in lights.
Somehow I’m procrastinating and haven’t gone out to shoot Christmas Lights. It’s been cold here and that’s why I haven’t propelled my body out of the house. But, we did got to the California State Capitol building to shoot the Christmas tree, and since it was during Chanukah, the Menorah on the Capitol steps by Chabad. I was a bit disappointed that the Menorah wasn’t lit that night.
We got there early enough to go inside the Capitol and take indoor photos. I’ll show you some. The rotunda is beautiful. Next we went outside to set up. Here’s where I learned another lesson! Don’t go on an outing with a preconceived idea of what you’re going to shoot, and just shoot that. Look around, there may be something behind you!
When I finally looked around, I was able to grab a shot of Capitol Ave leading to the Tower Bridge with light trails. Most of my group walked a ways down that street.
My friend Jean will be getting her new camera a couple of days after Christmas, and the houses will still be colorful. No more procrastinating! Merry Christmas everyone.
Wall insets are decorated.
The entire inset.
Lights are decorated.
Looking down the hallway.
The sculpture in the middle of the great hall.
Sculpture side view.
View from upstairs.
Outside, reflections in the tree decorations.
More colorful reflections.
Reflecting the Capitol.
The sun is beginning to set.
The tree is lit.
I couldn’t resist a zoom effect.
I always prefer to look forward rather than back. If you don’t, the “what if” will get you. What if I did this differently, what if I went there, what if I carried a monopod and heavy long lens! That was today’s dilemma. We went back to Mather Lake and I took two lenses, one fixed and heavy and the other a zoom that needs sunlight to perform well.
We started out in sunshine and quickly ended up with cloud cover. It was, again, a difficult shoot. But, no what if’s. I made a choice and did my best with it. Of course, you’ll have to wait to see the images since I haven’t edited them.
Today you’ll see images of the Barn and the River Walk in West Sacramento. Again, what if I had known that the landscaping wasn’t finished and they would be working there the day we went out. The Barn, an event venue, has been open for a year and has had events there. But, we had a great time shooting this unusual building. It’s an outdoor venue–again, how could they have events there without landscaping?? There will be a place to buy food and beverages during spring and summer months.
After taking pictures of the Barn, we walked over to the River Walk, along the Sacramento River which was quiet in the waning days of Autumn. What if I had called to find out if the building was totally ready for a camera group to come and explore? What if! (The first eight photos are of the Barn and the rest are of the River Walk. No captions.)
I have never seen such determination. The Chinook Salmon have returned to spawn, but with most of their natural spawning areas lost by the creation of Folsom and Nimbus Dams, the California Department of Fish and Game created the Nimbus Fish Hatchery to mitigate the problem.
I’ve given you many links to read about this amazing fish hatchery, and I do hope you read more. To summarize, the salmon eggs are gathered at the hatchery, hatched and let loose down river when the fish are old enough. The cycle comes full circle when the mature salmon come to complete their life cycle, trying to find their spawning spot. They operate on such instinct that they are persistent as they jump the ladders.
It is an amazing site to see. Take a look!
This is one of several tries for this fish to jump through the hole.
Although he was facing the water coming at him, he finally made it.
This salmon looks at a possible place to jump over the ladder.
This is a good effort.
This is better.
Got to jump a little higher.
Totally out of the water, but not quite high enough.
This is where the young salmon are kept before they are released into the river.
Can you see the photographer?
Water is pumped in at a certain temperature to simulate the river.
A young girl feeds the fish.
This is how the fish are actually fed.
A blue heron is fishing along the American River.
Looks like he got something.
Remember that cold I was complaining about? I still have it! But, at least I’m still standing when so many of my friends have succumbed to the flu. This isn’t a complaint, okay it is! When I’m sick, I can’t regain enough energy to not be tired. And, this affects my ability to do photography.
Before this cold/flu hit the Sacramento area, my Tuesday group was given a special tour of the Historic Folsom Powerhouse in Folsom. This small power source once lit up all of Sacramento. The following from Wikipedia illustrates the significance of the powerhouse.
“Before the Folsom powerhouse was built nearly all electric power houses were using direct current (DC) generators powered by steam engines located within a very few miles of where the power was needed. The use of rushing water to generate hydroelectric power and then transmitting it long distances to where it could be used was not initially economically feasible as long as the electricity generated was low-voltage direct current. Once it was invented, AC power made it feasible to convert the electrical power to high voltage by using the newly invented transformers and to then economically transmit the power long distances to where it was needed. Lower voltage electrical power, which is much easier and safer to use, could be easily gotten by using transformers to convert the high voltage power to lower voltages near where it was being used. DC power cannot use a transformer to change its voltage. The Folsom Powerhouse, using part of the American River‘s rushing water to power its turbines connected to newly invented AC generators, generated three phase 60 cycle AC electricity (the same that’s used today in the United States) that was boosted by newly invented transformers from 800 volts as generated to 11,000 volts and transmitted to Sacramento over a 22 mi (35 km)-long distribution line, one of the longest electrical distribution lines in the United States at the time.”
The tour was great, especially since it was led by a photographer who has since joined our Tuesday group. While our guide explained the history and how the Powerhouse operated, I listened and continued shooting. Unfortunately, I should have been taking notes!
But since I didn’t, follow the link for more information on the Powerhouse.
We have since been on other outings, and you’ll see those in future posts. Maybe by then the cold will just be a memory and I’ll be out there clicking away.
Close up of the machinery.
This old phone booth was their only way of communication.
The next few are more close ups.
The main room.
Another room was behind the main part of the Powerhouse.
An old water container?
Going back into the main part of the building.
An old can used to capture oil.
It’s a yearly expedition–shooting the Sandhill Cranes. They are found in and around the Sacramento Delta. This trip, Laura and I started out at Consumnes River Preserve. Right away, I learned another valuable lesson: have your camera ready before you leave home! I was going to put the big F/4, 300 mm lens on the D7100 once we got to Consumnes, but as soon as we got off the freeway we saw a flock of Sandhills near the fence. They usually like to be deep in the fields. By the time I got my camera ready–they were deep in the field.
I’m always learning lessons! For me, experience is the best teacher. I’m not crying over not having my camera ready for the best shot of the day. I did manage to get some good images as we went from preserve to preserve.
I was amazed at how many Sandhills there were this year. They were everywhere. In past years they were scarce. The drought may have contributed to that.
It was a fun day, chasing the big birds, finding other wildlife and shooting landscapes. Here are the results.
They stick together.
In the middle of the field.
Not facing his friends.
This Great Blue Heron was walking along.
Here he sort of blends into the background.
I did some landscapes.
I liked the sky in this one.
This plowed field has a nice design.
Small bird helping advertise the Preserve.
Another small bird.