This challenge is having me feel melancholy. It’s been two Aprils since we were able to visit Ananda Village and photograph their beautiful tulips planted on the terrace. But Amy’s challenge of Colorful April didn’t say which year so I’m going deep into my archives for this one.
The year 2019 was the last visit we made to Ananda Village’sCrystal Hermitage Garden and their April display of tulips. The garden is currently closed because of the pandemic. I miss seeing the beautiful flowers in a calming and spiritual setting. Here are images from my 2019 visit.
It’s nice to have these visual memories. Hopefully we will be back to Ananda Village in 2022.
I love the letter “A” not only because it is the first letter of my name, but it’s also for Apple Hill in Placerville. That’s the first thing that came to my mind when I read Patti’s post that gave us this challenge.
Of course in Apple Hill they grow apples. Imagine that! Each year the Apple Hill Growers Association organizes this event. Growers in the area open their orchards/farms, a certain amount, to the public. They sell pies, cupcakes, jelly or caramel apples, anything apple. I don’t care for pie, but the cupcakes and donuts are delicious. I do bring home a large slice of apple pie for Richard.
We spend the day driving from place to place, exploring the grounds and buying fruit from the fruit stands. It’s a wonderful photo day. Because of the pandemic, we didn’t go this year. However, I do have images to show you from previous years.
People of all ages come to enjoy the grounds, pony rides and food.
The grounds at some of the orchards are simply beautiful.
There are also a few old trucks, museum sets, and flowers.
I’m hoping that the pandemic will be over next year. I did miss visiting Apple Hill this year, but didn’t want to risk the crowds. Take care and stay safe everyone!
Heat! That’s the challenge summer brings to the Sacramento area. Due to climate change, our infrequent triple digit weather has become the norm. Add to that, we need to stay away from our rivers and lakes because of social distancing. It’s not my favorite season. But the flowers are blooming and I love macro and close up photography.
So here are some macro/close up floral images for Amy’s summer challenge:
As I’m posting this, they are predicting a high of 98 degrees and right now it’s 92 degrees. My garden will be pruned tomorrow morning! There might be a photography tutorial in my future this afternoon.
It’s time again to wander, or should I say get lost, down those country roads in Yolo County. Each year Yolo Art & Ag sponsors monthly visits for artists and photographers to farms in the county. I have certainly benefited from these sojourns. I grew up in the city, and I’ve been able to see first hand how a farm operates.
Harrison Farms, featured a sunflower field and a some farm animals. When Marlene and I arrived, we stopped at the sunflowers first. Typically, bee keepers put hives near the fields and this was no exception! But the bees are so busy, they don’t bother someone who is allergic like me! As a field, this one wasn’t spectacular but individually the flowers were fun and pretty to photograph.
And then there was the farm itself. The pond was photographic.
There was also a small garden.
They also had a walnut tree grove.
It was an easy and fun visit. I wonder where we will go in July?
Get your telephoto lens ready, it’s that time of the year. Lotus flowers bloom locally each year at William Land Park in Sacramento. They take up one end of the small lake, and they are beautiful.
This year, I couldn’t believe how big the leaves were. They were almost as spectacular as the blossoms.
I wasn’t alone on a recent Saturday. There were many others, most were wearing masks, including photographers visiting. Most of the other photographers had super long lenses balanced on tripods. I wish I could see what they were getting. I had a 200 mm reach and was doing fine hand-holding my camera.
Of course you know I love to do close ups. Some cropping in post processing were done to these images. Okay, maybe a lot!! Love my new camera!!
What is perfect? Does it really exist? And, does practice get you there?
I think perfect is hard to achieve, and would you want to achieve it? Probably not. But I did want to get to the point where I could confidently take a picture with my new Fujifilm camera. I had a few disastrous pictures during my last outing. I may have confused the ISO dial with the shutter dial. I ended up with a lot of noise in some of my images.
So off I went to Old Sacramento our good old standby for street photography and everything else. I just wanted to get to the point where I truly understood how to shoot on manual. So, I would set the camera on aperture priority, check the data and then proceed to manual and play with the settings. I tested the camera in all situations.
I tried close ups:
And some shots to see how the camera would perform:
And, how about indoors without flash? Besides, I was getting hungry and needed some sugar:
While I didn’t get award winning shots, I did learn how to shoot the camera. Now on to understanding other factors like how to do HDR and more of what this camera does. It does a lot!
For my next outing, I left the Nikon at home. The Fuji and I did well together and got some great shots. I’ll show you the results soon.
The Rock Garden is an excellent place for macro photography so I brought my D7100 and macro lens. I also wanted to see how well the Fujifilm XT3 and its 55 – 200 mm lens would do close ups. My Nikon and 18 – 200 lens does close up photography beautifully.
First, I found out that my Fuji, like my Nikon, puts itself in various modes without telling me. It put itself in a different focus mode, making it difficult to focus. One mistake solved and learned from. Watch those fingers!
I saw macro opportunities and started shooting with my D7100 and macro lens. Best to do it while the breeze is down. Here’s the result:
Still wanting to use the Fuji, I wandered over to the small Land Park lake and saw lotus buds and leaves in the water. Yes! we would soon have flowers to capture in our cameras. Here’s where the second mistake occurred. I was having a difficult time shooting on manual with the Fuji and didn’t realize until I got home, loaded my pictures into the computer, and saw them on my monitor, that the images were super noisy. Looking at the data, I saw that some of them were shot at 12,000 ISO in sunlight! Did I mistake the ISO ring for the shutter ring? What did I do wrong? This was to be solved during my next Fuji outing! Here are some images shot with the Fuji:
Yesterday, I took pictures of a couple, Carol and Paul, I wrote about in for our community newsletter. I photographed them with the Fuji and the 18 -55 mm lens. They were beautiful. The shots and the couple!
So, lessons were learned. And, practice makes perfect as you’ll see in my next post.
We may not like our new normal, that of being under lock down, but right now it’s a necessity. I don’t know about anyone else, but I find that seeing something beautiful brings a smile to my face, hearing/seeing something funny makes me laugh and reading of a good deed fills my soul. I need all these feelings to get through the next few weeks or months.
So, I’m urging all bloggers to post beauty, funny stories or jokes or feel good adventures. Taking my own advice, I’m posting floral shots of a trip to Ironstone Vineyards in April, 2017.
My first commission (well sort of a commission) came from my son and daughter-in-law. “We want a lot of your pictures in our new house,” Greg said. Jess was more detailed–vineyards and oak trees. So, I waited until the leaves on the grapevines were green and the grapes were maybe turning color.
My first effort was going to Plymouth in Amador County to search the vineyards closer to home. We had some success. But first we went to Michigan Bar Road and that nice farm. I’ve posted pictures from it in this blog before, so for those who have followed me for a long time, you’re not experiencing deja vu! If you’re new to this blog, here’s your chance! I did try to take a different view of it.
We then went to the Amador Flower Farm where I found a beautiful old oak, and flowers for close ups. The close ups were done with my 18 – 200mm lens. (Yes, I’m keeping it!).
Now for the wineries. They were all located on Shenandoah Rd and it was an easy ride. I think Jess will be happy with some of these.
Flowers, flowers and more flowers! I’ve been shooting a lot of them lately, trying out a lens. I like being able to do close ups without a macro. You might be shooting a landscape, see a nice flower, want to shoot it, but didn’t bring your macro lens. So I’ve been practicing with a lens I might keep. It’s an 18 – 200mm Nikon lens.
Being a person who has difficulty making up her mind, I’ve practiced and practiced with it. I’ve pretty much made up my mind to keep it, but….