Happy 2023: Day two in Bodega Bay

Happy New Year everyone! Each year we wish that this brand new year brings health, happiness and prosperity. I’m wishing for good health. Health brings happiness and a prosperous attitude. Above all, let’s keep smiling through this year! Smiles are catching and have a healing quality.

We did a lot of smiling during our brief stay at Bodega Bay. On day two, we went to the beach. Again we had cloud cover with a hint of sunshine. Almost sounds like an ice cream sunday, doesn’t it. Yum!

Here are pictures from our beach visit. Here a seagull found its best photographic side.

Learning how to fish.

The beach.

Beach views from the top of the hill.

A colorful kite shop in town. I resisted buying the candy.

This was a great way to end 2022. What will 2023 bring us? I gave up predicting years ago. I also gave up making resolutions. I just try to be the best me that I can be.

Right now it’s still raining in the Sacramento area, and that is good even though some areas are flooding. Our lakes are filling up and we will probably get a good snow pack in the mountains that will give us water during the summer.

Take care everyone, and I wish you the best this year.

Out of the area: Port Costa, Contra Costa County

Bulletin: most places won’t let customers use their restrooms because of COVID! That’s what Jean and I found out when we left recently to drive out of the Sacramento Valley with our cameras. We were driving to Port Costa, an old little port city in Contra Costa County. I had been there twice before, but that was several years ago. Nothing changed! I decided to take pictures in a way I didn’t before.

On our way down to the port, we stopped at this viewpoint to take a picture of the Carquinez Bridge while it was being enveloped by approaching fog. A couple of seconds after I took this image, the bridge was totally fogged in.

We then made the usual stop at the C&H Sugar refinery. Photographers are not allowed in, but they do let you take pictures at the entrance. You may have seen this view before if you’ve been following this blog for some time.

Now for Port Costa itself. The railroad still runs by it.

The town is old and the hotel shows it. Homes are overrun with overgrowth.

The shoreline, beyond the railroad tracks is interesting and we saw some kayakers paddle by.

It was just before we left Port Costa that we realized there was not a public restroom to be found. We did find a portable toilet at a small park near a fishing pier. The flush bathroom was closed. It was a good stop in more ways than one!

Before heading home, we stopped at Mare Island. I knew that the only public restroom was in the museum which was closed. There was a Navy ship in for repairs. No, we couldn’t go on board! So, after taking our pictures as best we could because it was all fenced off, we headed to a Starbucks in Vallejo.

When we found the Starbucks, we were allowed to buy coffee but not use their restroom! CostCo to the rescue. Fortunately there was one on the way home. All in all, it was a fun day. We did learn, though, not to go too far from home!

Rain relief: The Fair Oaks Bridge, Fair Oaks, California

It stopped raining for a day, so Linda, Jean and I went off to catch the Fair Oaks Bridge in the golden light. Yes, we asked for rain in California, and we are getting it. The drought is officially over–at least in Northern California!

We chose Fair Oaks because it’s close and the sky looked like the clouds would dump rain at any time. It was a fun couple of hours. I had a chance to play with natural light and composition. It seems so easy now, and I realize that I’ve come a long way with my photographic abilities.

The bridge didn’t disappoint us and neither did the golden light. The next day, the rain resumed. I’m so glad we were able to get out for those two hours.

 

Sacramento has bars…along the American River: Negro Bar, American River

Okay, that was a sneaky way to get you to read this blog, but it’s true. Recently Marlene and I went to Negro Bar another popular spot along the American River.

This bar was quite different from Sailor Bar. You couldn’t walk along the shore line, but it had a small beach and a boat launch. Most noticed were the absence of birds. We knew our sunset would be wimpy and there would be no birds to dress it up.

And, there was much more activity at Negro Bar. Kayaks, paddle boards and small fishing boats came and went while we ¬†were waiting for the sun to set. I’m still trying to capture distance with an 18 – 140 mm lens. I think now that I’m more sure footed, I might go back to carrying two cameras so I could put a longer lens on my D3100. Also different was my using my new monopod and wearing tennis shoes. Both worked out fine!

I’m also feeling a shift in my photography. I’m seeing the picture better before I shoot. This could also be stated as, I’m seeing the possibilities and taking the opportunity to finish it in Lightroom. My framing and composition is also getting better.

I still have a way to go in processing. Working only with Lightroom is limiting, and once I learn Photoshop and other programs, I’ll be able to see more opportunities. I’m looking forward to doing that next year.

In the meantime, take a look at the second bar I’ve visited…along the American River!

 

Late morning practice: Nimbus Fish Hatchery, Gold River, California

I love the Sacramento Photographers Facebook group. It’s where I learn by seeing what others post, asking questions and attending activities. It’s through this group that I found out about the Nimbus Fish Hatchery, and I thought it would be a good place to practice shooting on manual.

And it is. There were birds, people fishing, a nice path to walk on and a great visitor’s center. I wish I were feeling better so I could have stayed longer, but I did what I could. Also, I shot my D3100 on aperture priority because I couldn’t remember how to change the F stop in the manual setting. Now I’m wondering whether I ever had that camera on manual!

I also realized that I need more practice shooting flying birds and getting them in focus. So, this morning while getting a pedicure, I read all about focus for the D7100. I am determined to push and advance in my photography knowledge this year.

I will go back to the fish hatchery and practice. And, I will continue enjoying the Sacramento Photographers group.