It’s back; the rain! It’s been raining for most of the week, something we’re not used to here in sunny California. Whatever the inconvenience, it’s wonderful. We are in our sixth drought year, and, hopefully, this will be the last. Of course, now they’re saying that it’s a warm rain and will melt some of the mountain snow pack! Frustrating! Yes, a lot of exclamation points. Now they’re also preparing some of the foothill, river and creek areas for flooding. Oh Mother Nature, are you a tease?
In my last post, I showed you the Museum and we peeked inside the old Ford Assembly Plant. Today we’ll visit Point Richmond, the Memorial (a bit of a disappointment and hard to find), and the SS Red Oak.
What really impressed me was how the shipyard put Richmond on the map, increased it’s population and importance. As soon as the war ended, the shipyard closed, people lost their jobs and Richmond lost its importance. Richmond survived and is proud of its history. Take a look at some of that history.
They say it will rain through the weekend. Maybe some Photoshop tutorials will occupy some of my time.
I loved the doors on this playhouse in Point Richmond.
This statue was in the small square located in the middle of Point Richmond.
This used to be the fire house. It’s now occupied by retail stores.
A historic building for the Historic Association.
Part of a mural in Point Richmond.
The SS Red Oak Victory Ship.
Netting as you walk the plank up to the ship.
The Red Oak is the last surviving ship built at the Kaiser Shipyard.
It’s currently being restored by dedicated volunteers.
It sure gave me plenty of rust to shoot.
Old hoses remain.
A different sort of view of a first responder ship.
Did you ever get the idea that you’ve been some place before? I didn’t just get an idea, I know I’ve been on Michigan Bar Road before–two times. My outing with Laura made the third time.
You can always find something new to shoot: new composition, new things to find and new challenges on what you’ve already shot. Since my other two visits involved HDR, I decided not to bracket my shots. I also looked for small details to shoot. And, believe it or not, I found new things to shoot.
We did get off Michigan Bar Road and onto Latrobe Road, but not the road we know with the same name. The Latrobe Road we know is a curvy, paved highway. This road was dirt, and after a few rainy days it was full of puddles and ruts. Laura did a great job of navigating until we came to a puddle too large to navigate. Back we went. In addition to photography, adventure is part of the fun!
We did try to catch a sunset on Scott Road before heading home, but that was not very satisfying. All in all, it was a fun day of exploring and shooting even though I had the feeling that I’d been there before!
You might recognize this. I’ve shot at this ranch before.
I like the river that separates the pastures.
I didn’t notice this shed before.
Getting a close up of the door.
Some rust and texture.
Further down the road.
There are a lot of farms/ranches in this area.
Some of the dirt road we were on. This one was more or less dry.
Rocky area in the pasture.
More pasture land.
This is where we turned around!
Coming back to the first ranch.
The sun is setting on Scott Road.
The sun is now behind the hill. This is the maximum color of the sunset.
I’ve learned to turn around when shooting a sunset. I did and look at what I saw.
The golden light illuminated this tree remnant beautifully.
Happy New Year. We ended 2015 shooting Christmas Lights, after the holiday but better late than not getting there at all. Going during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, we thought there would be less crowds. Wrong! It was crowded on Dovewood Court. I guess everyone had the same idea. This court is one where all the houses are lit up beautifully. We went there last year also, so you’ll recognize some of the pictures. I tried to shoot differently for variety. And, this year, I felt more comfortable with my ability to shoot correctly.
Also ending is the 365 photography challenge. This being January 1, 2016, I didn’t have to shoot a picture, I could walk the dog without bringing a camera and both husband and dog are breathing easier now that they don’t have to be models. I’ll talk more about the 365 soon. It was an amazing experience.
Beginning is my attempt to learn more photography software. I’m going to do the 52, meaning I’ll post a photo once a week. My twist on it: I’m going to post a before and after image, showing a new editing skill I’ve learned. And, I don’t think I want to be tied to assigned themes. I just want to learn.
This year, I’m even more enthusiastic about shooting and learning new editing techniques to bring my photography to the next level. Does that sound like a resolution? Maybe I’m just looking forward to a new beginning.
Here are some of the Christmas lights. (No captions necessary.)
When it rained in San Jose, it poured. Dedicated photographers never give up, especially when you don’t often get to shoot together. So photo buddy Nicci, of niccicarreraromance.com, and I went to to lobby of the Fairmont Hotel in downtown San Jose.
The lobby was beautifully decorated for Christmas; and, as an added bonus, we were able to photograph Christmas In The Park directly across from the hotel. I had a wonderful time talking with Nicci. This was the first time we went on a photo outing since Leanne Cole’s visit in September.
The only problem was our visit was way too short, and the welcomed rain!
The model village in the lobby.
The spinning Ferris Wheel attached to a gingerbread house.
The lobby has several sculptures placed in front of mirrors.
One of the Christmas Trees.
A zoom abstract of the tree.
Another zoom abstract shot just slightly different.
Wow, I am so grateful for all the feedback I received from my last post. Most of it was on Facebook. It really helped me shape the next part of my journey.
I began this blog as a way to talk about my new hobby and document my chosen paths. I chose not to take classes, but study tutorials, practice and join Meetup groups. And, it’s worked. It took about 3 years, but I am confident now and ready for the next step–learning more about processing and putting my work out there. I’m not looking to sell anything, but to get more feedback. Most of all, I’m having fun and have met new friends and wonderful, helpful people.
In the meantime, I promised you the images from Jackson and here they are. I will always be open to feedback, and I’m willing to listen and try new things.
The streets in Jackson are decorated for the Christmas holiday.
This is one way to store a bike!
I love texture and found it at a yarn store.
Marlene went in to shop.
I went in to shoot!
I liked this doorway. I’m glad I was able to lighten it up so the doors and plants were visible.
The rest of the pictures are in the National Hotel.
They were very gracious about letting us shoot in their lobby.
I used flash.
Greg and Marlene used slow shutter speeds.
I liked the reflections in this grand piano.
These windows were beautiful. I caught the colors outside on the street.
I’ve been thinking about my photography. I know I’m getting better, but why am I processing more images than before? Do I have to be more discerning? Am I truly picking good images?
Today, Marlene said I was posting very good pictures. So, then how do I become more critical of my work? How do I process the best of the best? I think, right now, I’m processing what I like. This is okay, but in 2016, my focus is going to be on processing. So, this is what’s going on in my head!
Last week we did go back to Jackson. I was hoping eating hot dogs at Fat Freddy’s would cheer up Greg. He’s been ill and, as of this writing, is back in the hospital. We hope he’s back with us soon.
As usual, we stopped on the way there and home, taking advantage of beautiful scenery. In this post, I’ll show you the before and after stops.
As I follow my own path on my photographic journey, I’m feeling positive I’m taking the correct turn, but I keep thinking about how I can do it better.
The rain is helping the grass turn from golden to green.
The cows seem to prefer the green grass.
Trees on top of a hill.
I call this “Texture and Rust.”
I still like the remaining yellow/orange grasses.
This is a ranch off a side road.
We think they are going to replace the bridge you see in the background.
This horse is not only beautiful, but sweet.
He posed for us.
And, apparently gave us his best side!
This is what I mean by processing something I like. It may not be the best in the bunch of images, but I like it.
I also like the texture created by the various colors in the grass.
And, you know I love old, rusted equipment.
Some more expressive trees still holding on to some color.
It’s finally wet out there, and Mother Nature is being very kind. It’s raining in the evening and through the night. At least it did last night. But, what’s that got to do with my Toastmaster photography club? Nothing! California is just happy that it is raining.
And, I’m happy with this Toastmaster club that is like no other. Wanting to combine my two passions, I started All About Photography almost a year ago. It’s been fun finding our way, keeping the Toastmaster structure and making the meeting all about photography. Now you see how we got our name.
We are the same as any other Toastmaster club except all our speeches are on photography and our table topics are basically critiques of images. Last Monday I was the Table Topics Master. I selected some images I wanted feedback on and presented them to the club. Before I selected the member participant, I gave a brief background on the picture. The selected member then gave a 1 – 2 minute critique. We do vote on who did the best job and present them with a ribbon.
I’m going to try something new and insert the pictures in the blog individually, not in a gallery.
So there you have it–a glimpse of what we do during an All About Photography meeting. And, to top off the meeting, the former District 39 Photographer told me how much he enjoyed my pictures and thought I had a great eye for composition.
It’s going to possibly rain again tomorrow, so I’ll be busy processing this week’s Tuesday With Seniors photo outing.
I don’t know why I went with expectations, but I did. I heard that the Folsom Zoo Sanctuary was more of a rescue venue than a real zoo, but I had to check it out with Marlene and Greg.
Here’s what their website has to say about the zoo: “Since 1963, this small unique California zoo has been providing sanctuary to some very special animals. All are non-releasable. Many were raised, and rejected, as wild pets. Others were injured or orphaned in the wild. Most are native to North America. All have names and personalities, and their individual stories are posted at the exhibits, along with factual, up-to-date information about their species.The distinctive educational focus of the zoo promotes responsible and appropriate behavior toward all animals. The zoo teaches about common and uncommon animals, both wild and domestic, and includes those in between, like feral pigs and wolf-dog hybrids. Zoo programs stress that wild animals don’t make good pets.”
After reading this, I had expected a small zoo, limited animals, but not the inability to photograph them well. This is not a zoo for photographers. I’m not sure whether it was the way the cages were designed or the type of enclosures, but we had a difficult time focusing through the wires. So, I decided I’d shoot through the squares in the fencing and do whatever closeups I could when I couldn’t make the cage disappear.
Did I mention that it was also cold and damp. Yes, we’re getting a little rain here in California, but when I found sun, I stood in it! I remember living back east and experiencing summer sun showers. Couldn’t it happen here in winter?
Again, too many expectations!
The parrot’s eye as I shot through the small square in the cage enclosure.
Here you can see the faint markings of the cage.
A wolf/dog blend.
He looks like any other dog–NOT!
The mountain lion.
This is the only shot I could get of one of the bears. Again, shot through an enclosure square. We couldn’t get directly on to the enclosure because outer fencing prevented it.
Okay, that was a sneaky way to get you to read this blog, but it’s true. Recently Marlene and I went to Negro Bar another popular spot along the American River.
This bar was quite different from Sailor Bar. You couldn’t walk along the shore line, but it had a small beach and a boat launch. Most noticed were the absence of birds. We knew our sunset would be wimpy and there would be no birds to dress it up.
And, there was much more activity at Negro Bar. Kayaks, paddle boards and small fishing boats came and went while we were waiting for the sun to set. I’m still trying to capture distance with an 18 – 140 mm lens. I think now that I’m more sure footed, I might go back to carrying two cameras so I could put a longer lens on my D3100. Also different was my using my new monopod and wearing tennis shoes. Both worked out fine!
I’m also feeling a shift in my photography. I’m seeing the picture better before I shoot. This could also be stated as, I’m seeing the possibilities and taking the opportunity to finish it in Lightroom. My framing and composition is also getting better.
I still have a way to go in processing. Working only with Lightroom is limiting, and once I learn Photoshop and other programs, I’ll be able to see more opportunities. I’m looking forward to doing that next year.
In the meantime, take a look at the second bar I’ve visited…along the American River!
The golden hour adds a beautiful color to everything.
Even a goose.
Looking out from the beach area.
The stairs up to the parking lot.
A paddle board ready for its rider.
The rider paddles out into the river.
A guy in a kayak is nearby, having just launched.
The paddle board is like a surf board. I’m sure his feet are cold.
A bridge eye’s view. Two in one.
A couple is coming back into the dock.
This woman came in on the blue kayak. I’m not sure who owns the yellow one.
I liked the way the bark is just falling off this log. Some logs had already lost their bark.
We walked away from the shore and along the path.
Two fishermen talking.
Here’s the paddle boarder again.
The setting sun. This was as spectacular as it got.
Sometimes you just have to ask. Let me explain. Greg, Linda and I were at Sailor Bar, a popular boat launch area on the American River in Sacramento County. We arrived late afternoon to shoot and catch the sunset. Greg, who enjoys meeting and talking with people, was talking with a man who offered Greg a free monopod. Not liking monopods, Greg graciously declined.
I thought, “That’s what I get for not being outgoing and striking up conversations!” They talked some more and again the question about the monopod came up. I then decided to act upon my need for one.
I walked over and said to the gentleman, “Did I hear you offer a free monopod? I could use one.” The guy was happy to go back to his house and bring it back to me. All it needed was a ball head and it was a Manfrotto. Great, I have a Manfrotto ball head on my extra tripod. This monopod, without ball head, is worth $200. What a gift! The sunset wasn’t much, but getting that monopod was something, and all I had to do was ask!
The river scene from the boat ramp.
More from the boat ramp.
Walking along the rocky shoreline.
This goose was thirsty.
He didn’t mind being photographed.
Grasses along the shoreline.
The river as seen from the shore.
It slowly goes behind the horizon.
Not a big display of color, but interesting clouds.