The next two days look busy, but that’s nothing new for a retired lifestyle. Ask any retiree! They’ll probably say they are busier now than before. That’s because active people need to fill their time. I’m no different. So, what better use of my free time right now than to show you the pictures from the Mare Island Museum in Vallejo as promised in yesterday’s post.
Even though I’d been to Mare Island a few times before, I never visited the museum. I guess I was too busy taking photos. But since I’ve gained experience taking photos indoors without flash and tripod, this seemed like a good time to investigate what was in this large building.
What a surprise! Not only does the museum house Mare Island’s history, it also serves as a meeting place and banquet hall. Here are some images:
It’s been a few years, and I wondered how much this former naval shipyard may have changed. Mare Island, in Vallejo,was America’s first such military post on the West Coast. Established in 1854, it was closed in 1996.
When I first visited, the transformation to a multi-use of commercial, residential and other uses had begun. During one visit, we caught the sunset as it gleamed through broken windows. The old buildings were already decaying. I also visited the island to view Osprey as they nested. (Of course, I can’t find those pictures. I did notice from the pictures I did find that my shooting and editing abilities have progressed!)
So, at our recent visit, I wasn’t surprised to find small changes. Some of the buildings that were behind chain-link fencing were re-opened and turned into businesses. Some older buildings remained as was.
Window reflections told stories:
We toured the USS LCS (L) (3) 102: “A Mighty Midget.” This Landing Craft Support ship was a shallow craft vessel designed to provide close-in fire support for our troops going ashore in the amphibious landings in the Pacific during WWII. Dedicated volunteers are restoring the ship and giving tours:
We also toured the Mare Island Museum, and I’ll show you those images in my next post. Stay tuned for part two!
When the going gets tough, the tough plow through it! Marlene and I walked between four and five miles the day we walked the length of the Embarcadero in San Francisco. Now that may be nothing to younger folks, but to seniors with feet and leg issues, it’s success!
Yes, we got some good images that day. In my previous post (part 1), I showed you some of people I photographed and told my interpretation of their stories in the captions. Some, I didn’t need to interpret like the old dog being helped into her stroller. I talked to her owners who were intent on making her last years as easy as possible.
However, I couldn’t resist taking pictures of buildings, structures and crowds. It’s amazing how many people can move along a street without problems. I also took some pictures from the ferry we picked up in Vallejo. So, to finish off our trip to San Francisco, I have some more to show you.
Skyline taken from the ferry.
Beginning our walk.
Sometimes you just have to get those lines.
Can you imagine people buying gifts to commerate their prison visit!
A tour boat leaving the harbor.
Coming down the stairs to the bottom level.
Getting close to Pier 39.
Fortunately we didn’t have to pay the big bucks to park.
Looking over the street.
This was beautiful finding a boat within a structure that framed it.
Many people have asked me what type of photography I enjoy doing. I always answer, “Everything but portriat!” Of course that leaves landscape, buildings, macro and more. One is street photography, and I don’t feel as comfortable with this as I do macro, etc.
Part of the problem is that I’m not fast enough to catch the moment. I also fail to see the opportunity. I think I can do better with some training and experience. So, I jumped on the chance to walk along the Embarcarado in San Francisco. This fun day was sponsored by the Exploring Photography Meetup group. We started at 8:30 a.m., taking the ferry from Vallejo to San Francisco. We were to walk and take photos along the way and meet back to catch the ferryferry at 4 p.m.
We were told to take small sized gear so we wouldn’t be conspicuous. So I took my D3100, my 50 mm lens and shot on aperture priority. But, how can you be conspicuous with a bunch of tourists snapping pictures! At least the D3100 was lighter than the D7100.
It was also good experience using the 50 mm prime lens. I stopped trying to twist the barrel after a while! It was a fun day as I looked for people their stories. I took so many pictures that this will be a two-part post.
So get your walking shoes on and follow along!
This couple were caring for an old dog that could barely walk.
On a smoke and talk break.
Tired and homeless.
Managing to get his belongings into the men’s room.
Just another adorable face I couldn’t resist. I had permission for this one.
He’s smiling because he just received a tip.
Imagine this: waiting in line to go to prison!
Bungee jumping delight.
This juggler had just started packing up, but put on a small show for us. Give a guy an audience!
This street artist was painting two boys while mom waited.
Okay, how many cell phones are needed to take a picture?
One of the many busses taking tourists on a sight-seeing tour.
Another street artist preparing his canvasas for caricatures.
Another street artist whose medium is spray paint.
One of the things I love about photography is the exercise you get both physically and mentally. Last week’s outing in Midtown Sacramento offered a major amount of both.
This was my third time out to capture the murals, and I tried to get a different slant on the paintings I shot before. Most of these were painted as part of “Wide Open Walls,” a festival held all over Sacramento in the summer of 2017. Some of the paint is fading already, while some colors are bright.
I also tried to capture some other sights like lines, patterns and textures. It was a fun morning with the Sactown Photogs. And of course, a lot of exercise!
I should say this visit was the second start of the new year. The actual first outing was to capture the super moon on January 1. It didn’t go well. First my fixed F/4, 300 mm was way to long to capture anything but the moon, and I didn’t bring another lens! Then the moon came up between two trees. I got the moon sharp, but the tree branches were soft.
So, we’ll begin my year at the Bok Kai Temple in Marysville and the Sikh Temple in Yuba City. We started with the Bok Kai Temple. Our docent Ric Lim gave our group of about 6 photographers an amazing tour. The Chinese history in Marysville is rich and still continues today. The Temple is small, but we managed to take photos anyway. He also took us to the former school house which is now a museum.
Gold is what brought the Chinese to this area many generations ago and loyalty keeps some of the older Chinese in the community. Carrying on the legacy is important. Parades are still celebrated, the Temple is open for worship and occasionally the community is called upon to pray that Marysville does not flood.
After lunch, three of us wandered into Yuba City and found the Sikh Temple of Yuba City. I found a worker and asked if we could go in. “Sure,” he said. He helped us cover our heads after we took off our shoes. I also asked if we could shoot inside. “Sure, no problem,” he said. We did eventually get asked to leave. I think it was because we were getting too close to the alter. I’m sorry we didn’t arrange for a tour which would have given us a better understanding of what we were experiencing.
Be prepared–there’s a lot to look at! This may not have been my first outing of the new year, but it was great!
This was a labor union building that is across the street from the Temple.
A cabinet full of herbs in the labor union building.
One man is recreating this mural out of concrete on the adjacent lot.
He created the pattern by dowsing.
This is a foot of the dragon.
We are going into the schoolhouse.
This dragon has led many parades. The original dragon, Mulan, was retired and now resides in a closet.
This is a sample of some of the tapestries.
These doors are inside the museum.
A closer look at one door.
The Temple entrance.
The Temple doors.
This incense cone helps prayers to up to heaven.
Inside – the back alter.
Another part of the alter.
Oil lamps outside also help prayers on their way.
A gazebo near the entrance.
We’re now at the Sikh Temple.
The outside is painted blue and white.
The front door.
Inside the building.
I moved closer.
This was as close as I dared to go. I would love to know what all this means.
I’ve said it before–I’m not an artist. But, I’m in awe of anyone who can visualize and create art. Recently, in August 2017, the city of Sacramento held a festival, Wide Open Walls, that enabled artistic visions to become reality, as murals, on various walls in the city. I wasn’t able to shoot during the festival since we were away, but was eager to see the results.
Murals are not new to Sacramento’s Midtown. Greg Morris (RIP) took me there a few times to view them in the alleys. He would tell me that the best time to shoot the murals was on Sunday because there was less traffic. But this time, murals were more predominate on the walls of businesses and out of the alleys.
I did go to midtown with photo buddies Karen B and Ray on a recent Sunday and thoroughly enjoyed the morning. We did a great deal of walking, shooting and resting. It left me in awe of the various artists’ talent. And, Midtown is not the only location. They are all over the city. Next time, we might walk downtown to see these amazing works of art.
Here are some of the murals I took pictures of. In some instances, I’ll show you the entire wall and then a portion of it. They were too large to do justice in one shot. No captions necessary.
This evening about 3 hours ago, I wore a pair of tennis shoes for the first time in 10 1/2 weeks! And, just in time for the rain!! I was beginning to wonder if I would ever be able to wear a shoe other than Birkenstocks again. Foot surgery has certainly been a bummer and has had an effect on my photography.
First, I found a difference in my energy level. Second, I had to choose places to shoot that were flat and not rocky. And, third, squatting down was difficult. Now I’m hopeful.
With my problems and Greg’s new physical difficulties, we decided to take the River Walk path in West Sacramento. This is located directly across the Sacramento River from Old Sacramento, and I have wanted to shoot from that side for a long time. While the trail goes for a long way, the River Walk is short and easy to walk, even on the grass areas.
Our bonus for the day was Tuesday’s farmer’s market. It’s so much fun to shoot produce! We were also on hand to capture lunch time as the workers came to enjoy food from the catering truck and some of the food booths.
Next Tuesday, I’ll be wearing my shoes, but I’ll bring along Birkenstocks just in case. Hopefully the shoe will keep fitting and keep my feet in comfort.
A view of the I Street Bridge.
This goose was willing to pose for me.
This is the paddle wheel on the Delta King boat.
I just liked the shape of this tree.
The middle of the Tower Bridge seen through
A restaurant and buildings in Sacramento.
The Tower Bridge.
This building belongs to CalSTRS (The teachers union). You can also see the vendors in the Farmer’s Market.
Close up of a chain.
A light pole.
Want to buy some dried fruit?
This weird looking thing is a citrus plant. Sorry, I can’t remember its name.
How about some lettuce? I liked the light shinning on it.
I’ve learned a lot this year. More than I did in my first two years of shooting. Why did it take me so long? I know the answer. I psyched myself into believing that learning was too difficult. Why did I do that?
I had just closed down my business of writing marketing text and articles, and coaching business owners who wanted to sell their business by speaking engagements. That I knew well and had expertise in. But photography?
When I bought my D3100 and read the manual (I always read manuals!), I was amazed at how complicated digital photography seemed to be. And, that’s how I started out. From there I took baby steps with urging from photographers I met on meetups. Some even challenged me. I took on Jayne’s HDR challenge and was amazed at how easy the software was to use. Why did I wait so long. Shooting RAW instead of JPEG–that took 1 1/2 years! Mary pushed me towards the manual setting. I’ve been shooting manual since January 1st. I procrastinated because of fear. It’s easy and gives you the most control.
Taking on the 365 challenge has helped propel me forward. I now help new photographers on occasion and have started a photography club within Toastmasters International, District 39. Next year, I want to tackle processing. I do minimal editing in Lightroom, and want to do more.
I love photography, and it won’t take me as long to move forward. Here are some reasons I love it so much.
I’ve decided that anytime I shoot, it’s practice! I just returned from a trip to the ghost town in Bodie, California, and it will take several more days before all the images are processed. That’s even practice. The more I shoot and practice, the more I learn. In May Greg, Marlene and I went to Folsom for some practice with our Neutral Density filters.
However, Greg, our guide and chauffeur, took us on a wonderful detour to the Old Folsom Historic District’s museum. Small and easily accessible, it was fun to walk through. After lunch, we went to the American River to practice with our filters.
I’m finding that nothing is easy and takes time to learn; but when you do, the results are amazing. I haven’t practiced with my filter since that day. I’ve posted several outings since then, but I’m now realizing that photo shoots like this one are important. They are helping me become a photographer rather than someone who just points and shoots.
And the 365 challenge also propels me forward. Yes, every time I press down the shutter, I’m practicing.