It took us two days to get to Desert Palms and my cousins two hours! But, I think it was worth it for both of us. We had vacationed in that desert area before, but never had seen so much.
Our first outing was to the Palm Springs Indian Canyons. “Fifteen miles long, Palm Canyon is one of the areas of great beauty in Western North America. Its indigenous flora and fauna, which the Cahuilla people so expertly used and its abundant Washingtonia filifera (California Fan Palm) are breathtaking contrasts to the stark rocky gorges and barren desert lands beyond. A moderately graded, foot path winds down into the canyon for picnicking near the stream, meditating, exploring, hiking or horseback riding. While in Palm Canyon visit the Trading Post for hiking maps, refreshments, Indian art and artifacts, books, jewelry, pottery, baskets, weaving, and conversational cultural lore,” taken from their website.
The images in this post are from Murray and Palm Canyons. These oasis are amazing and beautiful. At Murray Canyon a Ranger gave us a talk on the history and unique features of they canyons. It was fascinating that water was flowing enough in this harsh desert to create these oasis.
Take a look at what we experienced.
This is why I love the Sacramento area–our lake, rivers and creeks. And, from where I live in Antelope, Dry Creek is about 7 minutes away, Folsom lake is about 30 minutes away, and so are the Sacramento and American Rivers. On this particular evening, our Tuesday group went to Negro Bar, which is in Orangevale and is part of the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area.
We wanted to catch the sunset on the river, eat dinner in Historic Folsom and do some night shooting. The shoot was a lot of fun. We didn’t catch a spectacular sunset, but it was pretty. I had not been on this side of Negro Bar before (between two bridges), and I loved the rocky shore line. The food was great. Since we were there on a Tuesday night, Historic Folsom wasn’t bustling like I had hoped.
In the end, it was a fun evening of shooting and friendship. Yes, this is why I love the Sacramento area.
I’m not a fan of event photography, yet, I’m learning it. When people are counting you your photos, there’s a lot of pressure. As Lead Photographer for District 39 Toastmasters this year, it’s my job to facilitate getting photo coverage for Division Contests, Conferences and other District activities. There’s organization involved, and I’m good at that. However, when I’m shooting a contest, conference, etc. I want to be at my best.
I wasn’t last Friday. I wasn’t mostly due to lack of preparation. I knew the venue, the lighting, but I forgot many tools. I had my speedlight, but no new batteries and diffuser. That presented a big challenge. I recently bought a larger camera bag, but didn’t want to tote it with me. In transferring stuff, I left much behind.
It turned out okay. I had two other Toastmasters shooting which helped. I’m going to another contest tonight, and I’ll be on my own. I’ve already packed my gear complete with diffuser and new batteries installed in my speedlight. The venue (Which is an hour away) will be a surprise, and the types of shots wanted has increased. Will I learn another lesson tonight? I hope not and that it goes smoothly.
Meanwhile, back to the type of photography I love–landscape. In this post, I’ll show you the shots of Hope Valley itself. Most, images were shot off the main highway. As I said in my last post, the valley is smaller than I imagined. I so totally enjoyed this shoot. It’s relaxing and challenging. Most of all, no one is dependent on the outcome!
Sometimes you have to give a little to gain a lot. Marlene and I went to Hope Valley last Tuesday, October 18, to catch some fall color. The best of the color is in early October. So some local photographers were telling us we might be too late. Yes, the aspen trees were already dropping their leaves, but the weekend rain brought snow to the surrounding mountains.
It was a beautiful sight. Things do work out. Although we expected to find a larger land mass, Hope Valley was still brilliant with orange and yellow. It’s amazing how pictures will give you an impression of a place. As photographers, we do have the ability to make an area look larger than what it really is. We even found the iconic cabin that all photographers shoot. It even looked different in person. Perspective–that’s what it’s all about.
Today, I’ll show you some images from a lodge called Sorensen’s. It might be the only place in Hope Valley! We had lunch there. Delicious! Afterwards we walked the resort before we went in search of the cabin. The grounds were beautiful and well planned out.
In my next post, I’ll show you the valley. Yes, for us, it was better late than early. We got the snow which you’ll see in the next post.
For Richard, it was back surgery; for me it was a dreaded cold. We were stuck inside and not even wanting to go anywhere. Richard is progressing well after back surgery, and I’m finally over my cold. So, he’s driving short distances now. For him that’s freedom! If’s tough on a Californian when you take the car away!
My first outing after my role as caregiver and receiver of a cold was to the Action Camera Swap Meet. They host this event twice a year. It’s a great way to get filters, camera bags and old equipment. One gal was selling off all her Dad’s old film cameras and gear. I bought a camera bag. I needed something that would hold enough, but not be heavy.
After that, Marlene and I went into Downtown (Old) Roseville. I was there a couple of weeks ago with friends from Los Angeles, so I tried to find other things to shoot. It was quiet. There was no farmers’ market or kids jumping through the fountains of water. There was just Marlene and I with our cameras. I’m hoping the only duplicate you’ll see here is the sculpture bench which is in need of repair. I call this area Old Roseville because the office buildings, new restaurants, etc. are located in East Roseville. If there’s an East, then there must be a West Roseville too. And there is–it’s mostly houses.
Soon hunger got the best of me and off we went to Historic Roseville. I think it’s historic because of the history of some of its buildings. I’ll tell you a bit of the history in the picture caption. This area certainly has a different look and feel from Downtown Roseville. After lunch we took our time to discover and shoot. We did find Dr. Bob’s Donuts and DoYos...”The World’s Most Delicious and Nutritious Donuts!” You just cannot walk in to see what it was all about–and we did.
After that, I went home. I was tired and happy with just one regret: I was too full from lunch to try a Dr. Bob’s Donut! It was great to get out with my camera again.
I’m either shooting better or not being discriminatory enough. I’ll go with shooting better! It’s my personality to not toot my own horn. But, here I am with a lot of Apple Hill images to show you. Thus, we continue from my last post.
Every year people make a pilgrimage to Apple Hill in El Dorado County (just above Placerville) for their holiday pies–apple of course. Since I don’t like pie, that’s not the reason I go. I like to photograph the people, the landscape, the old equipment and sometimes flowers.
So, let’s look at the images that remain from that day’s outing. Was I correct in thinking I’m shooting better? I can handle constructive criticism.
You know that feeling you get when you set your expectations to a certain thing and that thing turns out not to be what you visualized? I don’t know what we expected when our Tuesday group decided to go to the Independence Trail near Nevada City in Nevada County. One of us envisioned a parking lot rather than pull off the road parking. I thought since it was billed as wheel-chair accessible, it would be a wide and nicely kept trail. We were both disappointed.
Of course, we visited in late summer when everything is dry and there’s very little green to be seen. Our fault for not planning better. There was brush everywhere and the beautiful Manzanita trees couldn’t stand out. So, most of us shot close up. We also had some lessons from senior photographers in our group. Jim showed me how changing from spot to matrix metering can change your photo. Tom was giving Karen and Kelley other gems of wisdom.
When you shoot with wonderful people, disappointment is minimal. We ate lunch in Nevada City and did some additional shooting. The venue may not have been what was expected, but we had fun and gained some additional knowledge.
Every time Greg (who is now deceased) and I passed The Old Sugar Mill in Clarksburg, we drove on. Neither of us drank wine and weren’t interested in visiting the wineries represented there. So here I was shooting at the venue with my Toastmasters Photography Club–All About Photography.
I started this Toastmasters Club a couple of years ago to combine my two passions. Both have changed and added to my life. When this venue was chosen for our quarterly outing I thought, “Well you’re going to have to shoot whatever is there.” For all my trepidation, I had a great time. I do believe you need to challenge yourself to grow as a photographer.
While it now houses 11 wineries, the factory, built in 1934, was an operating beet sugar refinery. You’ll see pictures of the old buildings with broken windows, etc. Most of them were locked up for safety reasons. Oh, I would have loved to been able to shoot in them. I was told renovations are in the future.
Now, it’s also available for weddings and other events. They do have a nice lawn area and one building, which you will see, is quite usable for a themed wedding.
What did I learn? Never say never. Challenge yourself. You might be surprised at the outcome. Have you found yourself shooting in a place you thought you’d never go into?
This wine barrel and sign welcomes you inside.
Close up of an old wagon carrying a wine barrel.
I loved how the red light cast on these barrels inside a winery room.
We got there early and the wineries were setting up.
I’m wondering if these barrels are full?
The old buildings and their windows drew my attention.
A green door?
You could see through these yellow framed windows. Yes, color attracts my eye.
Reflections and visions of the building’s interior.
I caught my reflection plus.
Looking up again!
An alley between buildings. They must use this for parties. There are lights strung high.
This building is usable for events. There were some wineries in it.
It is a great place for wine lovers to visit.
A door in one of the older buildings.
Tools leaning against an old building. Notice the cobwebs on the window sill.
At the back of the main building, a place to sit and enjoy your wine.
I’m not that familiar with farming, but I do enjoy taking pictures of them. That’s why I jumped at the chance to participate in the August Arts and Ag Project sponsored by the Yolo Arts. Every month there is a farm open to artists and photographers. The artists paint, draw or create in whatever their medium is and we photographers shoot. The owners give us access to most of the farm and we have the morning to enjoy their life style.
I can’t say that I enjoyed the mosquitoes at the Voelz farm in Yolo County. They had just put down manure and it seemed to be attractive to the little buggers! We were also invited to shoot at a neighbor’s property which has two barns and an old abandoned farm house. It’s this property, that most of us ended up at and the artists were sketching and painting.
I totally enjoyed speaking with the artists who came with chairs, tablets, paints, etc. One even set up in the back of his pick up. We all had one thing in common–the same perspective on what we were capturing. Though, as photographers, we can capture the scene in many different ways, each with a different focal point.
The more agriculture I shoot, the more I learn about farming. In my captions, I’ll let you know which farm is pictured. I’m looking forward to the September outing which is Thursday. I hope they don’t put manure down before we come!
What farm picture would be complete without silos. Taken on the Voelz farm.
This farm vehicle looks like it’s wearing a happy face!
There was also a garden on the Voelz farm.
This hummer was waiting patiently for us to leave.
Just one of the flowers I shot.
Now we’re at the other farm.
The side of one of the old barns.
The other barn.
Making use of half a truck!
Old farming equipment.
An artist sits in his pickup.
A woman sits and paints.
Here’s the old abandoned farm house. I chose to process this in black and whit.
The other old barn.
We came upon a cattle ranch as we went back into town.
The ranch house!
This piano sits outside a Woodland store and was donated to the town so people could play whenever they wanted.
You know I wasn’t entirely happy with my last set of zoo pictures. They were okay, but I wanted improvement. The first step to the happy dance came from Leanne Cole, amazing photographer and friend. She told me to focus my lens manually. Great idea, but I didn’t know how! This F/4 300 mm lens is old, and is not like any I’ve owned. Worse, it didn’t come with a manual.
When I bought it, I showed it to veteran photographer Tom. He checked it out and said it was a good lens and great buy. (It was still within the 90 warranty.) When I realized I couldn’t figure out how to work the lens properly, I asked Tom to join me at the Sacramento Zoo for some instruction. It was a great morning of shooting and fun.
I now know how to focus manually, what the limiter is and more. And the result was amazing. Thank you Tom and Leanne.
I’m now doing the happy dance. See for yourself.
It was bone day at the zoo.
All the big cats were given bones to chew on.
The lens got me very close.
A 300 mm on a crop sensor camera is like 450 mm.
This is the first time I’ve seen the tiger.
This is little (not so little) Rocket. So cute.
There are also pretty flowers at the Sacramento Zoo.
Pardon me, I’m climbing over!
He was finished with his bone. The female then picked it up.
Getting close and personal with a Wolf’s Guenon.
Getting further back with another Wolf’s Guenon.
This Ciquerel’s Sifaka climbed to the top of the enclosure.
This one is looking up.
I couldn’t ID this bird in the pond. But, I guess it’s easier to drink from the water bowl.
This might be a Mongoose Lemur that’s wondering what his hands are for!
The pacing Jaguar. This guy just kept pacing in the back of his enclosure, not stopping. I was lucky to get this, but I’m not sure it’s tack sharp.