Lens-Artist Challenge #107: Winter

The wonderful thing about living in Sacramento is being able to visit Winter, enjoy for a few hours and come back to mild temperatures and no snow! Oh, I forgot to mention that if you time it right, you won’t need snow tires or chains to get to the snow and ski resorts. But timing is critical.

I remember taking two members of my Skillbuilders Toastmasters Club to Reno, Nevada for a District 39 conference. We didn’t see any snow on the 2-hour ride up to Reno. We were just about to find a place to eat dinner when my husband called and said to come home. There was a big storm ready to hit Reno and further west. We didn’t hesitate. By the time we got to the car, the snow was already falling. When we got to the California border, I couldn’t see in front of me; the snow was falling that heavy. I managed to get down the mountain by following truck tracks that sort of plowed the road. I didn’t have snow tires or chains. However, the scenery was simply beautiful. Freshly fallen snow on pine trees; a photographer’s dream. It’s too bad I was driving. I would have been taking pictures.

While the timing was wrong for that trip, it was right for our February 2016 trip to the small town of Donner Lake, near Truckee, in Nevada County. The weather was perfect, roads were plowed and plenty of snow available to photograph. Linda drove and Marlene and I went along. It was an amazing day, topped off by the best pizza. Yes, we are foodies of sort.

Thank you Ann-Christine, and this challenge, for taking me back to a wonderful day! Check the captions for image details.

I’ve been up the mountain to shoot snow since, but never experienced a day like this. Isn’t it wonderful that we have our images to help us remember. Keep beauty in your heart!

Moving forward: Shasta Dam, Shasta County

I am excited! I just joined another photography group and signed up for one of their workshops. The group is Viewpoint Photographic and Art Center in Sacramento. Viewpoint is a gallery, store and educational center, catering to the photography community.

I went there a few years ago and was so overwhelmed–never went back. But, since joining the Sierra Camera Club (SCC), my confidence level has increased. Many of the members also belong to Viewpoint. I’ve learned so much in the two months I’ve belonged to SCC; can I learn even more at Viewpoint? Viewpoint also allows members to show their work and receive feedback.

In addition, Viewpoint gives workshops. I’m finally reaching the realization that I need more education than free online tutorials can give me. I know all that stuff. Now is the time for me to expand and leap forward. You’ll have to wait for my report on my first workshop which is on July 23rd. This is a big step for me; and, yes, I’m excited!

The images in this post are of Shasta Dam, the second tallest in the United States after Hoover Dam in Nevada. Construction began in 1937 and it was completed in 1945. Jill and I visited the Dam before attending the District 39 Toastmaster Conference in Anderson, California.

Our tour guide was wonderful and put up with our taking a lot of pictures during the tour. Fortunately, we were a tour of two! Take a look at what we saw.

 

What’s your passion? IKEA, part 2

I have two passions: Photography and Toastmasters. Toastmasters changed my life and Photography enriches my retirement. So I decided to combine these two diverse activities and formed a Toastmaster’s Specialty Club: All About Photography (AAP).

At AAP we follow the Toastmaster format, but as our name suggests, we speak on photography and our table topics are on photography. We have photographers of all levels. Last week, I presented my images from IKEA for table topics. The participants were to give a 1 – 2 minute mini-speech on how they would edit these mostly abstract photos. I do crop well in the camera, so they had a difficult time imagining the total scene.

It was a fun exercise, and I picked up a few hints on what I could have done–next time. So what is your passion? What has changed your life? What enriches your life?

Here are my remaining images from IKEA in West Sacramento in black and white.

Experience, the best teacher: Hope Valley, part 2

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!