But I was just there: The Fountains and farmers’ market

I’ve come a long way with my photographic ability, but it has been difficult at times. Like, what do you do when you’re going back to shoot at a place you recently visited? When my Tuesday group went to The Fountains shopping center in Roseville shortly after I had been there, I brought along my crystal ball–not to see the future, but to see the present differently.

It was a great idea, but very difficult to work. I brought along an old tripod that would hold the base for the ball so I could shoot through it to capture flowers. No matter how high I had the tripod, it wasn’t working like I had visioned. Add the breeze, and you pack away the ball. I did manage to get one shot I truly like. I suppose that made it worth it.

Halloween decorations and steam coming from the fountain also made the trip slightly different. I had some fun with the scarecrow images. You’ll see those in the gallery.

What really made the trip, was the farmers’ market. I love to shoot vegetables. They have such great color and texture. One vendor had a decorative vulture that was motion sensored and a glowing red eye. Fun! Fun!

So, at the end of the outing, I said to David. This wasn’t much of a shoot, but the company was great. I truly had a great time, and learned there is always someting different to shoot in a familiar place especially with great friends.

Crystal Ball Fun: Gibson Ranch

My crystal ball won’t tell the future, but it sure is fun to take on a photo outing. After trying a couple of my photo buddies’ crystal balls, I decided to get one. They are fun, but my 4.2 inch is heavy and bulky to carry around. I found an old point and shoot camera bag that it could fit into, and it helped to carry it over my shoulder during a July 4 morning shoot at Gibson Ranch with Laura.

If you’re thinking of buying a crystal ball/orb, don’t go bigger than mine. Photo buddy Karen has a 4″ and 3″. She prefers the 3″ because it fits into a jacket pocket and is lighter to carry. I find the smaller orb more difficult to shoot through and to get some of the background identifiable in the background. One recommendation is to get one that sits on a crystal base rather than a wood base.

If you haven’t shot through a crystal ball, it gives an upside down image of what you’re shooting and looks almost like a fish-eye effect. Here’s one:

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Of course, you can right side up the image and have the background upside down. In this picture, the blurred background is what you see in the ball. My goal is to learn how to crop out the ball’s base. Just another challenge.

Speaking of challenges, I have been attacking  Photoshop, but not on Mondays. We can schedule, but things do come up. Last week I broke open “Photoshop for Lightroom Users” by Scott Kelby. I’m learning some of the tools and to do little things right now. I’ve also investigated some of the other software I have as I edit.

So gaze into my crystal ball, enjoy and have fun!

 

From February to May: Donner Lake

I was surprised that there was still snow on the ground when we made our trip to Donner Lake.  The area around the lake wasn’t as pretty though. The gray snow that still surrounded some houses was negligible. We did stop at the same overlook and, wow, what a difference 3 months can make. Snow still capped the mountains, and the scene was beautiful.

The overlook was the only place that we visited before. This time we went into Donner Lake Memorial State Park. It was here that I had an opportunity to play with a crystal orb. Now that was fun. It took some getting used to, but I was happy with the results. A crystal orb is now on my list.

What did I learn? I believe I’m shooting with more confidence. I’m also getting a great deal of positive feed back on my images, and waiting for the five black and white prints I ordered. I do hope there are no surprises when I open the box. Meaning, I  want them to look as they do on my computer!

Here’s a glimpse of Donner Lake and the State Park.