Discovery: Christmas at the Capitol Building, Sacramento

I have discovered Color Efex Pro, and I love it. I love it just as much as I do Silver Efex Pro which I use all the time when editing for black and white. I don’t edit my photos that much because I still have not gotten into Photoshop or other programs. So, these presets are a great way for me to give my images a fresh look and a start at creativity. I do work on them after I apply the preset.

I’ve been using Color Efex on my outdoor landscapes. You’ll see some of it when I start posting my Kauai pictures (I still have the last day to edit.). I can see the opportunity. I can compose the image. I can do the basic editing. But, when it comes to giving the image that creative touch, I’m unable to do it on my own. I can’t see the final image in my mind, let alone know how to get it there! In comes the preset or profile. They give me ideas to jump off on. Then, away I go. Maybe with practice, I can do it on my own in Photoshop with layers, filters and more.

Every year, I promise myself that I’ll get into Photoshop, but it never happens. Life takes up the time I’ve set aside. I remember when I ran my home-based business, and I actually blocked off office time. I’ll have to do that for studying processing. It’s not only Photoshop, I’ve got other programs that I haven’t learned.

In the meantime, I’m so happy with the Nik collection. Take a look at a recent outing to the Capitol Building in Sacramento and the beautiful tree on the front lawn.

Trying to beat the heat: Bushnell Gardens, Granite Bay

It seems that every Tuesday is triple digit day! You have to plan to have an outing early in the morning so it’s over by 10 a.m. because even shooting early in the evening, it’s still hot. So, to beat the heat on a recent Tuesday the group chose to invade Bushnell Gardens, a nursery in nearby Granite Bay. We had already visited Green Acres and wanted a different type of nursery.

We got there when it opened, and by 10 a.m., I was feeling the heat. It seems the older you get the less you can handle heat. I’ve started carrying one lens because I want to practice and don’t want to carry anything extra in the heat. I ended bringing my Nikon 18 – 140 mm into the nursery, and I think it did well with close ups, etc. I find that limiting myself to one lens is a great way to enhance my composition knowledge.

So here are some of the images I shot on that very hot morning.

 

 

 

Circling life: The Clydesdales, Fairfield, California

Both Alyse and I decided in a recent phone conversation that we were going around in circles–not literally but in the sense of getting nowhere with our lives. Returned from our 2-week road trip, neither of us felt that we were getting much done or advancing toward a goal.

I had wanted to take a course from Leanne Cole, a friend and fine-art photographer in Australia,  but have yet to start it. I just don’t have the time. I’m still moving boxes around, unpacking the ones I can, shopping for new things for the house and beginning to get into a normal routine, including photography. Maybe, I’m wanting too much too soon. I want to have my house done, want to begin to meet people in my new community and want to advance in my photography ability–ALL AT ONCE!

Fortunately, I’m prioritizing photo outings with my regular Tuesday group. We recently visited the Anheuser-Busch plant in Fairfield to photograph the famous Clydesdale horses. We began with a plant tour (I’ll show the images in this post.) and then watched the hitching of the horses to the cart and the small parade. This was all done in their parking lot.

So, here are some pictures from the plant tour that lasted about 1 hour. I so enjoyed the outing, and had the feeling that I was accomplishing something. In the next post you’ll meet the horses and April, the dalmatian.

Oh, on a side note, when I met one of my new neighbors, I kept talking about going out to shoot this and that. I saw a puzzled look on her face, and realized she thought I was talking about guns! “I shoot with a camera,” I said!