Grab a brush: Wide Open Walls

The annual Wide Open Walls Festival is adding more beauty to Sacramento’s buildings. To beat the heat, we left at 7:30 a.m. and headed to downtown. I had a list of about 30 murals and addresses. Diane was our navigator and I drove the one-way streets which sometimes turned into two-way streets. And when you’re not familiar with the streets, mistakes are easy to make. Need I say more.

I’m not going to show you all that I photographed, just some special art pieces. Let’s begin with this one. The artist did separate panels on the building’s walls. I loved the colors and surrealism.

Next is a mural and a close up of the woman’s face. We found on a SMUD (Sacramento Municipal Utility District) building. Tea anyone?

This next set is full of symmetrical and asymmetrical designs.

Here are some odds and ends that I thought were great.

I’ll end with art that isn’t a painted mural and I don’t think is part of Wide Open Walls. They are mosaic art images and in some places raised. They are beautiful.

We will return for more mural photography and I hope to have more fantastic pieces to show you.

Lens-Artists Challenge #209: Surreal

Yikes, Tracy you want us to post images that are surreal? Can I? Do I have any? Well, I don’t say “no” to a challenge, so here goes.

My first image was truly a mistake. I was trying to take away hay from this alpaca‘s face and ended up with…..

I think a three eyed alpaca is weird if not surreal. I put two more images into Photoshop and used various filters to get the effect I wanted. The first was a diffuse filter which gave me surprising results. For the second I used one of the distort filters which gave me predictable results.

This next picture has no fancy editing. I think this mural’s artist had a surreal bent to begin with.

To be honest, I don’t know what this next image was a picture of! It looked surreal to me in the beginning, but I brought it into NIK Silver Efex to see if I could exaggerate it a bit. Do you think it might have been a puddle and drops on concrete?

Finally, I had fun using Photoshop’s distort twirl filter on this one. I don’t think it’s as surreal as much a fun design.

Thank you Tracy for this great challenge. I had fun with it. When you respond, remember to use the Lens Artists tag and link to Tracy’s original post. And we all enjoyed reliving special summer vibes with Andre last week. Next week Sarah Wilkie, blogging at Travel with Me, will be our guest host. She will encourage us to post Three Favorite Images.

Until then, have fun and stay safe.

If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, just click this link and join us: https://photobyjohnbo.wordpress.com/about-lens-artists/

Just a short post: McKinley Rose Garden

A rose will always be a rose! And I do love them. They are the only plants I personally take care of. I have a small but beautiful rose garden. But today I’m writing about my adventure at the McKinley Park Rose Garden in Sacramento.

Every year they have a photo contest to see which photographer will win the coveted first place prize. Last year, I was lucky enough to win first place. This is the winning photo.

This year I also went down to the garden to take photos. That day, the wind was blowing and the roses were either on their way out or budding. But with my macro lens on my Fuji, I did my best. I used a high shutter speed and hoped for a slight breeze. Of course it was the last week of the contest–no going back another day! You know I procrastinate.

Here are the best of lot. We are allowed five entries. In 2020 I received an honorable mention.

We’ll see what happens and I’ll let you know–even if I don’t place.

A promised post: Manetti Shrem Museum

I didn’t mean to tease, but various challenges had me show pictures from the architecture of the Manetti Shrem Museum on the campus of U.C. Davis in Davis. I promised more images in a forthcoming post. Well, here it is!

The building is amazing with its curves, lines, angles and shapes. So lets look at the outside. Notice how the shadows created by the building are art in themselves.

Next post, we’ll take a look inside!

Exploring Roseville at night

A modern day boom town, Roseville was stretching its borders when we first moved here in 2001. What was once a small railroad town is now a hub for corporations (At least before the pandemic hit.) and new housing. When I was doing business in Roseville there were four main areas: Downtown Roseville, the Historic District, East Roseville (corporate) and West Roseville (housing). A couple of weeks ago, we ventured into Roseville for sunset and night photography.

We began at the Roseville Sculpture Park. This large red metal sculpture can be seen from the Interstate 80 freeway. The sculpture is named “Cosmos” and was dedicated to the people of Roseville in 1990 by a local developer.

We did find a couple of mushrooms along the path to the sculpture. I didn’t have my macro lens, so I photographed these at 55 mm. Actually the car was in the parking lot and I was too lazy to go get the lens. I think if there had been more than two mushrooms, I would have changed lenses!

Next we went to Downtown Roseville and its main street: Vernon Street. There are two theaters, restaurants and shops around Roseville’s City Hall. Here are some of this area approaching sundown.

After we enjoyed dinner, we returned to Downtown to catch some of the town’s lights. The Christmas tree was up in the Town Square and a decorative display of a house caught peoples attention. These were taken without a tripod because you know, I’m lazy!

We ended our evening cold but happy.

A colorful trip: Empire Mine State Historic Park

Why do we go back to sites that we’ve been to before? The answer is simple: There’s always something different to see and photograph. This time we went to the Empire Mine State Historic Park in Nevada City to capture some Fall color. We weren’t disappointed! The Ginkgo trees were in their splendor.

All the images in this post were taken near the and of the Bourn Cottage. To read the history of this home follow the link. Here are some images taken this trip.

Now for the colorful grounds.

Oh, I have many more images but how much color can you handle! My next post will show more of the grounds going to the mine and the mine grounds.

Lens Artists Challenge #163: Keep walking

Amy wants us to walk. I don’t have a choice! I walk 1 1/2 to 2 miles each morning–unless the weather doesn’t permit. I do this to keep Gem, my dog, happy. He leads the way, has his various routes around the community, knows the other dogs and knows the humans who have the treats! We have a small lake and there’s always something going on with the geese and ducks. Too bad I don’t bring my camera with me. This is his joy and my exercise. Okay, I enjoy it too. It helped me feel less alone during lockdown.

My joy, is walking with my camera. My photo group goes out once a week, and sometimes to our favorite places where we can walk, talk and take photographs. One of my favorites is the Effie Yeaw Nature Center. It’s on the American River and supports a great deal of wildlife. Here’s a few photos taken during a 2019 walk.

We also like to walk the Sacramento Zoo. The animals sometimes put on a show for us. Here again is a 2019 visit.

And how about the Sacramento Historical City Cemetery! We go there about once a year. It’s so peaceful to walk about, there is so much history to be found. One year they were going to take away the flowers, saying they weren’t there when the cemetery was first started, and they wanted to keep the cemetery original. Everyone protested and we won.

I’ll close with an image from an outing to the Folsom Farmers’ Market that moved me–our flag in glory.

So, how do I feel about these photo outings? I enjoy them and look forward to them as much as Gem does his morning walks. It’s good exercise and a good time with dear friends.

Lens-Artist Challenge #119: My Hideaway

This challenge brought to us by Ann-Christine is a difficult one for me because I really don’t have a hideaway. I even checked the dictionary to see if I could put a twist on it, but the dictionary let me down. One thing I could possible spin off on is that a hideaway is a place to get away from people. So, let’s expand that to getting away from it all. When I want to get away from it all, I go on a photo road trip.

These day trips began when I met Greg Morris a fellow photographer who passed away in 2016. He would pick me up in the morning with some destination in mind. We might reach it or we might not. Either way, it was an adventure.

Soon Marlene joined us and our threesome would venture out every Tuesday. Since he was driving, we had no control of where we went. Well, we did, but we didn’t want to! When Greg became terminally ill with glioblastoma brain cancer, Marlene and I would take him out to places he had taken us. We would take turns walking with him.

This post is dedicated to Greg Morris who showed me the fun of getting in the car, with maybe a destination in mind, and enjoying the get-a-way day. Here are some pictures of our last outing with him to Discovery Park in Sacramento. This park is a the confluence of the American and Sacramento Rivers.

Thank you Ann-Christine for taking me down memory lane. I still enjoy road trips and went out with my friend Jean yesterday for one. Like driving with Greg, we never did reach our destination, but we did have fun!

Luminar frustration: Old Sacramento

Did you ever have a problem only to be sent around in circles? Unfortunately, I’m writing this post just after encountering a problem with Luminar.

I’m licensed for Luminar 4, and in the short time I’ve had it, I love it! I get an email regarding what looks like an update to Luminar 4.3. Great! Not so great. Once I install the update, it tells me I downloaded a free trial. If I have a license, put it in this box. I copied and pasted my license number in the box, and it says it’s not associated with my email.

I try a few more things, and finally it says that license number is associated with my email! In frustration, I tried to get a hold of tech support. The chat box opened. This chat is computer operated–no live person at the other end. To make a long story less long. The chat bot, as it’s called, gave me instructions that either didn’t work or sent me in circles. I’m currently waiting for a tech support reply. Do you hear my screams??

Okay on to Old Sacramento. We went down there for a sunset. I was amazed at how crowded it was, and many people weren’t masked. That made me a little uncomfortable, so I tried to stay away from people as best I could. There weren’t any clouds, but I thought this would be a good opportunity to replace the skies with Luminar. It worked well, and for the most part I was happy with the results.

Here are some before and after shots.

This was the first one I did. A photo buddy suggested moving the cloud so that it wasn’t directly over the tree, but since it was a Luminar sky, I couldn’t.

This one I went from Lightroom to Luminar to Nik Silver Efex.

Another attempt with a much smaller sky.

And finally, this image got me into the trouble today. I was looking for a tutorial on cleaning up a sky replacement, but first went into my email. I should have gone to the tutorial first. This is the Tower bridge. I liked the sunset sky, but the second tower seems to have the sunset sky run through it. If anyone has a suggestion how to eliminate that thin bit of sky, let me know!

Luminar had nothing to do with this last image; just mother nature and a boat.

I’ll let you know how I make out with Luminar in another post. Maybe my next one! Hopefully in my next post!!

The Lotus are blooming! William Land Park

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!!

There are more lotus from this visit and to my short visit to the Vedanta Society of Sacramento’s small lotus pond. Next Post!!