It seems that with each season Sacramento photographers rush to photograph the Milky Way, wildlife including the Sandhill Crane, snow and Fall colors. I’m no exception which is why my Camera Totin Tuesday group treked up to Markleeville, Alpine County, to capture delightful images.
There were five of us, and we squeezed into one car. Fortunately Marlene drove and her Suby Blue accomodated us easily. It’s a 2-hour ride up to the colorful aspens. Thank you Marlene for driving us. We stopped along the way to photograph the changing colors and had lunch in Markleeville. After lunch and taking pictures of the small town, population of 210 in the last census, we continued looking for color.
While editing the pictures of this outing, I tried to get out of my comfort zone with some creative help from Nik software. I’ve been liking the soft look lately and wanted to do some of my own. So, here’s the California colors of Fall.
A softened Aspen image.
Color in all its brilliance.
Another softened image.
We stopped on the way up.
You’ve got to love sunbursts.
Along the highway.
Around the area.
This guy holds down the bench!
A Markleeville building framed by color.
Two fences and a structure.
Photo buddy Richard showed me this shot.
I’m not sure what flower this was, but it’s still beautiful.
A book worm topiary in the back of the town’s library.
We stopped on the way home.
The tree glow is reflected in the water. Also tried handheld slow shutter.
Rocks and trees, what more could you want!
I liked this leaf’s reflection in the water.
e’re pretty much settled in, and hanging pictures. How many pictures can one small house hold? There’s still more stuff to find places for, and the sunroom to fix up, but that will just have to take time. It’s good to be back to normal–my going on photo outings and Richard running up to the observatory. Each day, we take time to hang two pictures or curtains, etc.
And, summer has arrived, so we try to plan our outings for early morning, local venue or inside. I have two outings to show you today. Linda and I went to the Indian Festival, hoping to get pictures of traditional dress and dance of our Native Americans. However when the dances were to begin, we were told we couldn’t take pictures, and the few dances that we were allowed to take pictures of, we couldn’t post anywhere. Oh, what a letdown for a couple of photographers. So, I’ll show you some shots I took of the festival and vendors before the dance started. This was held outside the State Indian Museum.
I finally got to shoot some poppies.
Nice lighting on this fountain.
I liked the natural framing on this window.
A shopper and vendor.
A smudging kit that I wish I had bought.
Vendor with colorful jackets to sell.
Opening ceremonies. This woman was singing a traditional song.
The announcement of rules and the type of dancing, etc.
Now we move on to the small town of Fair Oaks and its chickens. Yes,
Mural on the outside of the Fair Oaks outdoor playhouse.
Didn’t I say there were chickens.
Some with attitudes!
I’m still shooting doors.
The American River from the Fair Oaks bridge.
Getting some exercise on an unusual bike.
A Metro Fire training on the bridge.
Another view of the bridge
A store in town.
it’s known for being inhabited by wild chickens. They are protected, so no roasted chicken for us!
Now, which pictures should I pick to hang today?
Very early into our visit to Sutter Creek, I found a wallet on a bench. My first instinct was to just leave it, but I thought maybe the owners ID would be in it. So, I looked inside. I found a driver’s license with a PO box for an address, no other identification and a wad of $20s. With that much cash, I couldn’t leave it. So, began the adventure to find her or the Police Station!
And, yes, it was an adventure. Our photographing stopped, we asked in several stores to see if they knew this person and to ask where the Police Station was. After walking past the end of town, we finally were told that the Police were located in a small white house! Sutter Creek is a small town in Amador County. But it wasn’t open. We had to press a button and wait for the dispatcher to come and take the call. Then we waited for the officer to come and take the wallet.
I don’t know which was more fun, shooting or finding the Police Station! Having been to Sutter Creek before, I concentrated on shooting doors. Of course there were other things that I couldn’t pass up.
We bumped into the wallet’s owner coming out of a coffee shop–literally bumped into. She was rushing over to the bench to retrieve her wallet. We calmed her down and told her we found it and it was at the Police Station. Being grateful, she told us to go into her sister’s coffee shop and order what we wanted and she would pay for it. The coffee shop, Choc-O-Latte, ended up being a photographer’s wonderland. See, do good deeds and you’ll be rewarded. If you find a wallet or purse, try to find the owner. You’ll have fun!
One of the many colorful doors.
Accented in red.
Daring to do black.
Another busy but welcoming entrance.
Inside the coffee shop.
Taking a break from reading.
An old-fashioned look.
You never know what will turn up in a yard.
Proud owner of a cute pup.
I couldn’t resist this window.
Challenges, I love them–most of the time. Visiting Nevada City in the Sierra foothills, was like that. If you’ve been following this blog, you have seen images of this quaint town and its neighbor, Grass Valley. We stopped there on our way to Downieville, walked and took photos and then went on to the city of no pizza!
I didn’t mind because it’s challenging to find something different to shoot, or maybe to shoot from a different angle which can give you different results. Exercises like these help improve your compositions and photographic abilities.
So here I am in Nevada City finding inspiration, seeing new opportunities and learning.
I was drawn to this flower pot attached to a window.
This picture belongs with the cover photo. Next time I’ll go inside.
This crystal was in a store. It was totally white; I worked with the color a bit.
Benches are occupied!
This tented crepe shop was opening for business.
Flower pots with character.
I can’t resist a flower macro.
A very photo-graphical home.
The church on the top of the hill.
A home rental hiding from on-lookers.
A better view.
If I remember correctly, the end building is an entertainment venue.
I also can’t resist something old and rusty!
A cannon located in a small park.
I woke up at 3:30 a.m in spite of my trying to stay up until 9 p.m. last night–jet lag wins. I’m happy to be home, but brought back sad, happy and exciting memories from my trip to Peachtree City, Georgia and to family.
It was great seeing family again. It’s been 2 1/2 years since we were last there. But, it was sad knowing my brother is gravely ill, with Louie Body Dementia, and visiting him for what may be the last time. The exciting memory came when my great nephew took me for a ride in their small plane. I’ll show you those images in my next post.
My goals this trip were to see my brother and take my sister-in-law to places she had not visited since moving to Georgia from California 3 years ago. I’m so glad I brought my GPS along! We were busy! My niece took us to Serenbe one afternoon. This is a fairly new community and well planned. We stopped for coffee on the way back at an antique shop that served delicious coffees.
It was a great getaway, and I enjoyed spending time with my niece. This type of visit is difficult, but I found that having my camera, got us out and away from the sadness for a while.
Meanwhile, I guess I’m going to try again to get my body clock back on Pacific coast time today.
Corner buildings seem to be the thing in this town.
I loved the way the streets and buildings curved.
Another corner building.
We went into one open attached home. It was 3 stories and cost about $725,000.
The town fountain.
Everything was well planned from the street lights,
To the matching trash can enclosures,
And traffic signs.
Roberta and Brenda sit on a matching designed bench.
There were beautiful homes in town also.
This is a park where they hold festivals.
I took this inside the antique shop.
Another from the antique shop
This pillow spoke to me in its simplicity.
The country side.
My trip to San Jose, for my yearly vision board session, with Marlene was going according to plan. We stopped in Livermore to shoot the sights and eat lunch.
While Livermore is nationally known as the home for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, it’s a small, lovely town nestled in rolling hills. We walked around Historic Downtown, and I thoroughly enjoyed the way it was designed.
Next we stopped at the Sunol Regional Wilderness Park. I always wanted to get off the freeway to see what was hidden in the hills as I would go to San Jose, but never took the time. This was the time! It’s a beautiful area and now green because of our recent rains. There are many parks, lakes, etc. for residents to enjoy. Our stop was at the Sunol Regional Wilderness. Located in Alameda County and near the town of Sunol. It was primarily ranch land, and today cattle still graze in some areas. We enjoyed shooting in this beautiful park; however, our adventure went awry when we left.
I have no idea what got into me. Maybe it was the Greg Morris influence, but I saw that Calaveras Road continued on into Milpitas. I had my trusty GPS with me. And Marlene didn’t say “No, I don’t think it’s a good idea to go that way!” So off we went on a joy ride that would include mostly hairpin turns on an extremely narrow road. Not knowing the road, I was going around 18 to 25 miles per hour and the drivers coming the other way were cruising at about 40 miles per hour! Worse, remember those hairpin turns? They came around so fast and had to break when they saw me. Moving over wasn’t so much of an option with a shear drop on one side and a mountain on the other. At one point, Marlene suggested that the car came with a horn to use as a warning device.
We made it. But we weren’t able to pull over and take pictures of the beautiful scenery that included the Calaveras Reservoir. So, we made mental pictures, and I can’t show them to you. You can click on the link to see someone else’s images!
Going off plan proved adventurous, somewhat nerve racking at times, but gave me something to write about.
One of two fountains that were across the street from each other.
Looking down the street.
The second fountain.
A woman relaxes at the fountain.
Marlene is taking pictures.
Ready for a bath!
A fun way to give the daily specials.
A tiled mural.
A close up of the mural.
At Sunol Regional Wilderness
The cloud cover was beautiful.
Cows grazing on hillside.
I liked the way the sun flowed over the hills.
Beautiful color drenches the hillside.
This reminds me of Yosemite’s Half Dome.
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.
It’s me reflected in the ornament.
Christmas in the park display.
One of the rides.
Another display of cute teddy bears.
A gingerbread house display.
The locomotive of a train ride.
A dragon on the carousel.
A horse on the carousel.
My red chairs. The simple, inexpensive patio chairs I shot, during a prior visit, as they were positioned in front of a Volcano, California store were moved. And, I was moved. I don’t know why, but when I saw that they were not in the same photographic set up, I was taken aback! Did I want to shoot them again? Did I want to make a good shot even better? Probably not, but I did look at the composition–no, not as good.
I did take a shot from a totally different angle. Of course you’re thinking, “Why didn’t she just move the chairs back?” Good question, I’m going to have to start setting the scene when I can. I’m sorry that I don’t have the original on my laptop here in San Jose. If you want to see it. It’s archived in this blog. Anyway, here’s the shot I took.
This was my second and Marlene’s first trip to this small town. Except for the red chairs it hadn’t changed! It is full of historic buildings that have been re-purposed and still used.
Volcano was a cultural center in this gold fever valley. It was the first to have a lending library and many other civic and private offerings. I love the look of stone on Main Street’s buildings.
We had just come from the Black Chasm Cavern tour and were hungry. We were directed to the General Store and had burgers. We then walked beyond Main Street and saw more of the town.
I may go back to Volcano in the future, and I’ll definitely move some chairs!
We stopped on the way to Volcano. These gates were so inviting. Beyond was a small carnival.
These sculptures were outside the Black Chasm visitor’s center.
They were beautiful and neglected. She’s still smiling even though her chin in damaged.
This one set a dark mood.
Now we’re inside the General Store
There’s a small eating place in the back.
Memorabilia is everywhere.
Our burgers are cooking in the oven.
The cafe portion of the store.
One of the old buildings.
The fire bell.
Gate and entry to a residence.
Another residence prepared for a cold winter.
Why did the chicken cross the yard?
The National Hotel and Old Volcano Phone Company.
An old phone booth. The flyer posted is Superman asking visitors not to damage the booth because he has no other place to change his clothes!
Full view of the National Hotel.
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.
Different window and view.
Santa in his sleigh.
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.
Another one I liked.
What are these trees saying?