Get wild! That’s the challenge given this week by Dianne Milliard of Rambling Ranger. She gave us parameters: no ” groomed gardens or animals in the zoo. No people or signs of people.” So that left out some of the parties we have in our senior community!
I gave it some thought and focused on an event that was a one time opportunity for me. Something I had never done before. But something wild and caused by nature. The total solar eclipse in August 2017. The event was seen in many places, but we chose Weiser Idaho. We got there a couple of days early so we could get a good spot for our RV. Richard checked out his sun scope and I was trying to get my Nikon d3100 ready. I shot with the 3100 just in case something happened. I didn’t want to ruin my d7100.
I was so nervous and truly beyond my photographic level. I read tutorials, etc. I wanted a trial run, but nature doesn’t do that!
The filter Richard (My husband is an astronomer.) made for me wasn’t the best. So I walked around and talked to other photographers (with more knowledge) and one of them gave me one of his filters. I am always amazed at how generous photographers are!
Eclipse day arrived. I perched the 3100 on the tripod while Richard had his sun scope ready to go. The moon was about to cover the sun, but I couldn’t find it while the camera was on the tripod. I wasn’t going to miss this. Off came the camera and I shot the eclipse hand held.
Here are some of the pictures I got that day.
The last crescent, diamond ring and Totality
The reversal begins as the moon moves away from the sun.
So this was my wild adventure of mother nature at it’s wildest.
Another outcome from this was Richard meeting a former science teacher who talked to him about becoming a NASA Ambassador. Now he gives astronomy talks at libraries and via zoom.
Maybe we didn’t go far enough last time we went in search of a poppy field. So we drove further south on Highway 49 to Jackson. No poppy field. It was then I decided that there would be no golden orange field for me this year. Little clusters of poppies were along the road. We even went further than Jackson to Mokelumne Hill, a quaint little town that Marlene and I had been to before. No poppy field!
So here are some pictures from Mokelumne Hill.
Now on to Jackson and lunch.
Next year will be the year for me to find a poppy field! In the meantime I did have fun taking photos with my photo buddies.
I am moved by color. I am absolutely drawn to warm colors naturally, but can appreciate the cool colors when nature gives us beautiful green grass and blue skies. This week Tina asks us to feature blues and greens in our posts. It worked out for me since I was in San Jose this weekend, and my dear friend Alyse and I drove down to Pacific Grove. She sketched while I photographed.
Pacific Grove is on the ocean near Monterey. It’s also the site of the well known Pebble Beach Golf Course and Tournament. So, I found a lot of blues and greens to photograph. I’ve got four images to show you today because that’s all I’ve been able to process.
Let’s start with our first stop. This area is known for its wind blown Monterey Cypress trees.
Alyse was sketching this sculpture and the surrounding area. I’m guessing that the exposure to harsh weather and salt helped make it look blue.
A little further down the road, a group of cormorants were sunbathing on a huge rock. Some more blues and a spot of green.
Finally, we have an array of color with flowers along this rocky coast.
I hope to process the rest of the pictures this week. They will be featured in a blog post soon. Thank you Tina for setting us off on a cool color search.
I love suburbia with all its conveniences, but I also like to visit the forests, beaches and country sides. The Yolo Arts & Ag program allows me to take my camera onto ranches, orchards and farms that open their facilities to artists and photographers for two half days a month. It’s a great opportunity for us to wander in and out of barns, see old machinery and have a glimpse of a life we don’t live.
The Hungry Hallow Ranch in Capay was a large facility that gave us access to the entire property. But when we entered, we mostly saw machinery in barns, old vehicles, young olive trees and hay bales. Marlene, Ray and I said that there was nothing new here. Richard was excited saying that this is what he loved to photograph.
I think Richard was right. I did find a lot to photograph and learned a lesson. Don’t judge a photography shoot by first glance. I made the most of our morning. I took close ups of machinery.
Then there was an artist painting.. There were many, but I liked this shot the most.
And the olive orchard. You can see that the trees were young.
And the barns.
I also found a grape vine or two, a wood pile large enough to cover the side of a barn and an awesome tree.
Spots and dots? This challenge from Ann Christine put my lack of creativity to a test. Fortunately, I got some ideas from members who posted before me. They do say that imitation is the best form of flattery!
Animals were shown in a few posts; at least those having spots. So off I went to my Sacramento Zoo archives.
I also found a dog with spots. Not a dog called spot. I spotted him in one of my tours of a small town. Sorry, I couldn’t resist having some word fun.
And you’ll never know what you’ll find at IKEA. With a Photoshop filter, I turned a dotted pillow into a swirl with a center dot.
Every year there are Christmas lights that you can shoot normally or zoom. But they all start out as brightly lit dots.
Finally, you know how much I love photographing flowers. Whether it’s a macro, showing the stamens or a field dotted with golden poppies, I totally enjoy it.
This was a fun exercise. Thank you Ann Christine for the challenge!
About an hour south of Sacramento is a municipal park that houses a Japanese Garden and a small zoo. Of course we, Ray, Richard and I, had to go visit Lodi and Micke Grove Park. This park is part of the San Joaquin County park system and home to a Fun Town for children, zoo, Japanese Garden, small lake, golf course, softball fields, water play features, horseshoe pits, museum and children’s playgrounds. We walked the garden and zoo.
The garden was small but beautiful. However, it was either in super sunshine or dark shade. In retrospect, bracketing would have been what to do, but I didn’t take my tripod. Here are some images. I liked the water reflections.
Next we went about a block to the zoo. It was a lot smaller than our Sacramento Zoo, the enclosures were thicker so we couldn’t have the fencing disappear, but it was interesting.
Some of the birds.
They did have a snow leopard.
After leaving the park, we had lunch and then went to visit the Deshmesh Sikh Temple which we happen to spot on our way to the park. They were very courteous and let us inside with our cameras.
It was a fun day in Lodi. There is more to Micke Grove Park to see though. We just might be back!
I hate to work them, but I love to look at and photograph them. The “them” are gardens. And when I do photograph them, I tend to do macro or close up work. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a formal garden. So, for Amy’s challenge of gardens, I looked back about 3 years and this is what I found.
Maple Rock Gardens is a private residence that is open to the public for special events. Linda and I visited during one of those events.
Each year in June I love taking pictures of sunflowers in and around Woodland. Usually on the way out we, my photo buddies, go to Mezger Zinnia Patch. They ask people to come and pick the flowers for their own use and to give away to others who can’t get out. The zinnias always attract butterflies.
Given this week’s challenge by Patti to focus on details, my mind went back to a Toastmaster Photo Club I tried to start and a speech given by a professional photographer in the group. He talked and demonstrated about a different way to focus on details: finding the picture within the picture.
He showed us how to focus on the details of an image to find more images by cropping sections. His example was of a construction site. First he showed us the entire landscape of the site. Then he focused in on a worker, continued with more sections and ended with a pair of shoes. It was an amazing lesson.
Today I’m going to try the same with a landscape taken yesterday at Scotts Flat Reservoir in Nevada City. I was hiking with my daughter-in-law Jess and granddaughter Olivia. Here’s my picture within a picture.
First the landscape.
Next I isolated Jess, Olivia and their dog Hana.
My final capture from this landscape is of a log on the beach.
Although the official Toastmaster group disbanded, a few of us kept meeting until 14 months ago when the pandemic shut us down. We continued to share information, but I will never forget this lesson on details and finding the picture within the picture.