We just wanted to go shooting for enjoyment, and not too far. So we found the Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park in Volcano, California. This land preserves a large amount of marbleized limestone with about 1185 mortar holes–the largest collection of bedrock mortars in North America. Women would gather together and visit as they ground their grains in the mortar holes.

There’s also the Chaw’se Regional Indian Museum and a reconstructed Miwok villageĀ on the grounds. The one building I had fun photographing was the Ceremonial Roundhouse which is used for various social gatherings and ceremonial events. Since it is used currently for those purposes, we couldn’t go in.

My challenge during this outing was the brilliant sunshine and the shade. This drove the camera sensor crazy–me too. I tried some handheld HDR (tripod wasn’t with me), and focusing on the shade and then raising the camera which blew out the sunny area. The best I could do was to focus on the sunny area and move the camera. Fortunately Lightroom has a graduated ND filter and a shadow slider. Both came in handy during post processing!

But, it was a perfect outing, and we did enjoy it. Sometimes you just have to get out!


4 thoughts on “Just enjoying it: Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park

  1. Nice photos, Anne!! You did an excellent job with that harsh light!! I’m having the same problem here these days… Clean skies, no clouds and hiking during the day, I have to take almost all my photos in HDR (my new camera is superfast doing HDR!), mostly handheld too, hehehe… Although I’m not a superfan of this technique either, but when I’m hiking or visiting a new place with more people, I can’t spend that much time with tripod, filters and all!!


  2. Thanks Mercedes. Sometimes I can handhold three brackets for HDR. I’m a big fan of the graduated ND filter in LR. I could start playing with the radial filter too. The less I have to carry, the happier I am. HDR doesn’t have to look artificial, and you do a great job with it. Your photos are stunning!


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