Lens Artist Challenge #182: Interesting Objects

Of course what is interesting is in the eye of the beholder. What I find interesting are landscapes, macros, architecture but seldom objects. However, sometimes things catch my eye and I can’t resist. This week, Patti encourages to photograph or go through our archives for those objects that we absolutely needed to photograph.

For instance this old bellows camera I spotted at the Antique Trove. The flash has been made into a light source of a different kind.

When taken in context, this sign at the Folsom Prison Museum had me thinking, “Duh!” These old handcuffs must have been totally uncomfortable.

This sign as you enter the small town of Mokelumne Hill will certainly have you slow down!

A restaurant in Napa had a sense of humor when it came to identifying their restrooms.

When we visit farms during the summer months, there’s usually a pile of discarded equipment left to the elements. I love rust and all the colors it gives objects. I think these may have been some sort of stakes.

One of my favorite places to visit is Old Sacramento. On one outing I noticed this gate.

Finally, while these are not unusual; for my photographic eye, they were positioned just right. I’ve posted them in this blog before. So, some of you may know what they are. If you don’t, can you guess?

Thanks Patti for this fun exercise! I had a great time seeing all your double dipping posts last week and look forward to seeing what Ann-Christine has in store for us next week. Please be sure to link your posts this week to Patti’s post and use the Lens-Artist tag. Until next week!

Catching up, part 2: Christmas Lights

Yes, I’m still back in December 2021. On the 27th to be exact! Donna and I went out locally to photograph some Christmas lights. The conditions that night were perfect: not too cold and clear.

Last year I had some trouble with my Fujifilm camera. It was the first time using it for this function and I couldn’t get the lighting right. This year I knew it was okay to pump up the ISO. What a difference! This camera handles a high ISO so much better than my Nikon 7100 did.

Here are some of the results. Now pay attention to some of the snow men!

Did you see the great robbery in progress? And the robber’s weapon? If not, look again! As you can see, I also had fun with some slow shutter speed and zooming the lens. Thanks for visiting!

Catching Up: Swans at Mather Lake

Things happen and sometimes get us off track. I realized that I haven’t been keeping up with my personal posts that I do on Wednesdays. So….I’ll make up for lost time.

Mather Lake is a small lake, and part of the Sacramento Regional Parks System, at the southern end of Sacramento. It’s a great place to photograph swans and other small wildlife like beavers, etc. So I said I’d go and crossed my fingers, hoping there would be swans more in the middle of the lake so I could capture them with my 300 mm lens.

Again, I will thank my friend Ray who made me a short monopod for my heavy lens. Wow, what a difference! We walked around the lake and I was happy. There were many Mute Swans, and some were by the shore! Here’s some of what I captured.

We didn’t see any other critters, but I was happy with these swans. I think they are so graceful in the water. On our way back to our cars, I spotted a juvenile swan. I looked it up and it was a juvenile. It was by itself so maybe it was mature enough to be on its own.

This is not my “Swan Song.” There will be more catching up posts, in addition to my regular LAPC weekly post, soon.

Lens Artists Challenge #180: Favorite Images of 2021

Happy New Year everyone! Tina is asking us to post our favorites from 2021. It’s nice to have that in the past! Hopefully this year, we will move on to a more normal situation. What has gotten me through the last 2 years is photography. I’ve enjoyed going on photo outings with my friends, who have remained healthy and COVID free. Our small photo pod goes out once a week. I’m thinking lunch after our shoot is probably what we look forward to also.

And each week I would anxiously wait for our challenge each Saturday. Not only is posting here fun, I’ve learned so much from comments and seeing all your posts. This year, I’m honored and delighted to become part of the Lens-Artists team along with Sofia Alves of Photographias, and John Steiner of Journeys with Johnbo. We are joining Tina, Amy, Patti and Ann-Christine who have brought us fun challenges in past years. Thank you all for your dedication and hard work.

So, back to my favorites. The first two are lotus. Each year the William Land Park in Sacramento brings forth these beauties. I decided to take the chance and do a black & white of one of them. The other is in color.

I entered the McKinley Park Rose Garden contest last year. The roses were turning brown, and I just didn’t think my images would win against other images taken a week before. This rose won first prize.

While at the Mother Lode Fair in Sonora, this clown stuck his face right at my lens. Of course I didn’t send him away. This will be entered in this year’s photo contest at the fair.

Each year Sacramento hosts “Chalk It Up.” This is my favorite from that morning. It seems like the child is actually in the water. The artist is still working on it. The second photo is a slow shutter shot at a small fair in a Citrus Heights Mall parking lot.

Next we have the back view of the Bourn Cottage in the Empire Mine State Historic Park in Nevada City. And also the ceiling in a restaurant that burned down a few weeks after my photo pod and I ate lunch there! I can’t go back for another shot!

Coming into the Holiday season last year, Donna and I, at the last minute, because it wasn’t raining, to photograph Christmas light displays. I do like to have fun zooming. The photos are handheld.

Last are photos from my trip to the Sacramento Zoo on December 30. I’m still in the processing stage, but I thought these were worth posting now. The flamingo is sleeping, but opens its eye. Maybe it felt the camera’s presence?

Thank you Tina for prompting me to look through last year’s outings.

Again it’s a pleasure to be a part of the LAPC team along with Tina, Patti, Amy, Ann-Christine and new members Sofia and John. I’m looking forward to seeing all your favorites. Next week Tina will be presenting the challenge. Be sure to tag Lens Artists when you post.

A Colorful Trip: Empire Mine State Historic Park, Part 2

Here we are back in Nevada City at the Empire Mine State Historic Park. Last week’s post showed the Bourn Cottage and grounds. Now we take a brief walk to the mine area. Here there are buildings including a glimpse of the mine and the blacksmith shop. I’m sorry I didn’t get a very good shot of the mine. It was totally photographer error and lack of tripod. I just don’t like to carry them, but needed to this time.

On the way to the mine from the Cottage I saw this building I hadn’t photographed before.

Here are some photographs of the mine area.

A docent and his dog were sitting near the mine entrance.

There were two blacksmiths in the shop one was using fire. The other was demonstrating how the large bellows was used to forge tools.

We had a great visit and were glad to be there while the ginkgo trees were turning color. Next visit, I’ll tote the tripod.

A colorful trip: Empire Mine State Historic Park

Why do we go back to sites that we’ve been to before? The answer is simple: There’s always something different to see and photograph. This time we went to the Empire Mine State Historic Park in Nevada City to capture some Fall color. We weren’t disappointed! The Ginkgo trees were in their splendor.

All the images in this post were taken near the and of the Bourn Cottage. To read the history of this home follow the link. Here are some images taken this trip.

Now for the colorful grounds.

Oh, I have many more images but how much color can you handle! My next post will show more of the grounds going to the mine and the mine grounds.

Lens Artists Challenge #176: One Story

Can one picture really tell a story? It can, but it depends on the person whose memories it jiggles. This week Ann-Christine asks us to post one picture that tells one story. We can post more than one image along with its story. While going through my archives, I found I typically relate stories with people. Here are three from my past photographic adventures.

In this story, meet Greg Morris. We met when I began photography. We were both of advancing age and could easily keep up with each other. We began going on photo outings once a week. He would drive and I would buy lunch. I’d never knew where we would end up, but we took the day to get there and back. This was taken during a trip to the historical town of Locke in 2015. Always posting selfies (Set up in his home studio.) in our local camera group, it was logical that he would pose as the Mona Lisa for me.

Soon after that trip, Marlene joined us for the remainder of our adventures until Greg passed away from brain cancer.

This next story takes place in Palm Desert in 2016. We joined my cousins at their time share. They went there every year to relax, I went to be with them and take photos and Richard (husband) came for no other reason than to be with us. We were at the Coachella Valley Preserve in Thousand Palms near sunset. The desert can be beautiful. This image shows my cousins walking hand in hand. I could feel the love between them. It was so beautiful.

My last image is a shadowed shot of three amigos, me, Marlene and Laura, commemorating our photography vacation in Kauai. It’s Marlene’s practice to take a shadow picture when we go on a shoot. We had a great time taking our photos and eating shave ice. I learned it’s not necessary to carry every piece of camera equipment through the airports. Laura decided it was good to keep a Snicker bar handy just in case I got hungry. Marlene discovered it’s not good to fall and hurt your foot the first day out. I was also introduced to Fujifilm, Marlene’s new camera, and knew I had to have one.

Three trips down memory lane. Thank you Ann-Christine!

Yolo Arts and Ag: Capay Canyon Ranch

Sometimes you just feel like a winner! That’s the way I felt when we (Marlene, Ray, Richard and I) went to the monthly Yolo Arts and Ag Project in Esparto. The flyer said that at Capay Canyon Ranch we would be able to see the almond orchard and processing of the almonds. Usually we go when the trees are blossoming and that’s all we get to see. And you feel more like a winner when you find a wonderful photo opportunity on the way there and back. Here’s what our morning was like.

On our way to Capay Canyon Ranch.

At Capay Canyon Ranch.

I managed to get some of the warehouse and machinery before I was asked to leave for safety reasons. I truly thought we had the ability to photograph anywhere we wanted.

I walked around and found some almond trees and grapes being dried for raisins.

Then I found where the almonds were getting ready for shipping. There were large mounds of almonds everywhere with bags to mark where each were to be delivered. It was a treat to catch the large machine as it dumped almonds on the mound.

Then on our way home, we came upon this old house. Now who can resist photographing something old and falling down?

A great big thank you to Capay Canyon Ranch for giving us access to an amazing photography and learning opportunity! I hope you enjoyed seeing my pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them.

Lens Artists Challenge #166: Artificial Light

In Sacramento California, the weather forces us indoors during a triple digit heat wave or lots of rain (We could sure use some of that now!). When we can’t take photos outside, my photo group wanders inside. Most commercial retailers don’t mind if we come in with our cameras just as long as we don’t use tripods and a flash. These activities are perfect for Ann-Christine’s challenge this week.

One rainy season had us float into Ameigh’s Hardware Store. They were great about hosting us. I found a few treasures in their garden section to focus close up on. They were fun to photograph, and helped me create some abstracts too. The ambient lighting in this store was ample.

The Antique Trove is another of our favorites. I tend to shoot close up at these venues. I get distracted by all the enticing things around me and can’t separate them from each other. There have been a few times when I’ve moved something, but I put it back the way I found it. Price tags also get in the way and the lighting is not super bright–up goes the ISO!

We also go to museums which have recently opened up again. One favorite is the Crocker Art Museum. The Crocker has an old wing (building) that was cleverly attached to a new section (building). I love the architecture and warmth in the old wing. This wing houses the ballroom and lovely staircases and ceilings. The lighting is not as bright here as it is in the new wing.

And, we always have IKEA. I can’t create a still-life, but when I see the opportunity, I use it. The ambient lighting is brighter here.

Last we sometimes shoot in the dark, especially at our State Capitol building during the Holidays. I love the way the rotunda is bright with the tree showing its lights. And, of course, I have to zoom a bit!

I mostly choose to photograph in ambient light rather than use a flash and enjoy the challenge of doing this indoors. Thank you Ann-Christine for this fun challenge.

A Favorite Place: Sacramento Zoo

I enjoy going to the Sacramento Zoo. I’ve gotten to know the animals and their habits. There are new animals, and I’ll introduce them later. There are successes and trials when photographing zoo animals.

I know I’ll not be able to capture a meercat with my camera because they just keep running, at a good speed, along the perimeter of their enclosure. Well all except the lookout who stands still and just keeps turning its head looking for danger. Plus it’s a glass enclosure and you need to photograph through children’s hand prints.

The flamingos are a favorite because they are beautiful and have fun personalities. Sometimes they fight and sometimes they show affection.

While we’re in the pond, there is one white pelican–another favorite of mine. This was the first time I saw him eating.

One of the new arrivals is the largest rodent in the world (says a docent)–a capybara.

The orangutan was not being cooperative, but I got a decent picture anyway. The zebras were doing their usual eating. The red river hog and kangaroo were also reluctant to have their pictures taken.

The lioness was posing beautifully while her mate was peaking out from under a bush.

The red panda was grooming itself before napping and I was able to catch it with eyes open before it rested it’s head. The mongoose lemur got back from it’s cage far enough for me to photograph through the wires.

The cheetahs were being exceptionally difficult. They did not want to sit still, turn and face the camera and stay the proper distance from the enclosure fence. I asked the keeper to talk to them, but I don’t think she did!

Sharing an enclosure is the Okapi and the Black Crowned Crane.

I’ve left the best for last–the giraffes. It was feed the giraffe time where guests could feed a patient giraffe some leaves.

The other giraffes had to fend for themselves.

I hope you enjoyed this zoo visit as much as I did. I’ve linked each animal with the area where their fact sheet is located for your reading pleasure!