Finally got it!: WPA Rock Garden, Sacramento

I am tenacious and never give up. I went back to the WPA Rock Garden in William Land Park, Sacramento with my macro lens for more practice. Finally, I now understand my lens and how to shoot macro.

This was my second time shooting there, and there were new flowers and small critters to find. The first time, I learned that I needed a higher ISO to get a faster shutter speed to capture the close up detail. This time I learned that I also needed to narrow my aperture (use a higher F stop) to get less of a shallow depth of field.

Now I’m ready to go back just to enjoy the shoot. Tenacity is a great trait, but offers little relaxation.

I also experimented with what else I could shoot with my 105 Macro Lens. Enjoy the pictures! (Captions not necessary!)

Oh Dear, No Deer: Effie Yeaw, Carmichael

As the heat continues, we look for places to shoot that are open early in the morning to avoid the rising temperatures. We chose Effie Yeaw Nature Center for a recent Tuesday shoot. This is a nature preserve along the American River in Carmichael.

Typically the deer are out in the early hours. When I took my young grandkids there, we saw a full herd in the first meadow, and we found bucks on the other side. Marlene and I had the joy of walking (on a path) through a heard one time. But, this time we didn’t see a deer–not one. I wondered where do they go to hide? It’s not a large preserve. One was spotted near the pond at the entrance.

So, without our dear deer, we looked for other things to shoot. Lesson learned: there’s always something to shoot. It’s what you make of it! We walked and shot for a couple of hours and then went for an early lunch.

After lunch, we went back to the Vedanta Society’s pond to see if the Hyacinths we in the pond.  There were some but not a lot.  During lunch we talked about what other outings we could schedule with this summer being so hot. I think you’ll have to wait to see where we go next!

We’re having a heat wave: Sundial Bridge at night, Redding, California

This week we are enduring triple digits every day. Relief may come on Saturday, and it’s only Tuesday. So here I sit, editing photos in my air conditioned office, trying to catch up. I’ve almost finished the San Francisco trip, I took with Linda, at the beginning of the month.

In the meantime, I’m hoping to opt in on some online courses. Yes, I’ve decided the next path on my photographic journey will be education–at least more than the free tutorials offer. When I realized that I knew most of what those tutorials offer, I felt accomplished. So now I’m moving on.

Triple digits are more normal in the Redding area than here in Sacramento. These photos were taken in May when the temperatures were lower and the weather beautiful. I’m posting some afternoon images of the McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens in the Turtle Bay Exploration Park. This is a relatively new addition to this park which also is home to the Sundial Bridge.

When we came back to shoot the bridge at sundown, we were slightly disappointed. I called it a wimpy sunset. Furthermore, they didn’t have the bridge lit up. I was told by a staff member that it would be. Oh well, I did practice some slow shutter , smoothing out the water. I don’t think captions are necessary here.

 

Busy, no time to edit: McKinley Park Rose Garden, Sacramento

Right now, I have about four photo outings to edit, and very little time to do it. May has been a horrendous time gobbling month. Right now, I’m taking time away from working the Sacramento Music Festival, which is a four-day event in Old Sacramento. We’re just not going in this morning. I haven’t brought my camera and probably won’t. Last weekend I shot the District 39 Toastmasters’ Conference. Jill and I went up a day earlier to shoot in Redding, and haven’t even imported those images into Lightroom. I have edited about 400 of the conference images. Next week, Linda and I are spending two-days in San Francisco shooting. Oh, and Mother’s Day weekend, I was enjoying staying with my two younger grandchildren.

Have you ever hit a point when you need to stop shooting and just edit what you’ve taken? What has your experience been?

This post won’t be just my complaining via words. I did go to McKinley Park to shoot the Rose Garden. I heard it was at full bloom, and it was. I did take time to edit this outing while I was working on the Toastmaster images.

Since my goal this year was to learn some Photoshop basics–which I haven’t accomplished yet. Maybe I should shoot less and edit more–with whatever time I have!

Beauty; no beast: Ironstone Vineyards, Murphys, California

We sometimes travel distances for beauty. On a recent Tuesday we traveled 2 hours to Ironstone Vineyards in Murphys, California. Why did we drive all that way? Because I know it’s beautiful, and there would be no disappointments. Well, sometimes it could be raining like during my last visit there. There was a little wind, so that meant we didn’t use our macro lenses. However, my 18 – 140 Nikon lens does excellent close up photography in the wind.

During shooting the flowers and grounds, I was having some trouble with my camera’s exposure. I would compensate and then on the next picture, re-compensate. It was bothering me because it meant that I would have to take two shots. One to let me know if I needed to compensate and another with the compensation. Maybe someone can help me figure out if I have a problem with camera or lens. It may be that the sun was bright, but then I’ve shot in bright sun before. Oh, it didn’t happen on my photo outing this week!

Other than that frustration, we had an enjoyable day. And, since I wasn’t driving, I napped on the way back. Yes, the key to traveling long distances is to pick a worthy spot–then you don’t mind the long drive, especially if you can snooze a little on the way home.

This will be a two-part post. Today, I’ll show you some of the flowers. Most are tulips, but there are others. In the next post, I’ll show you the grounds and cavern (wine cellar).

Best therapy, photography: UC Davis Arboretum, Davis, California

I wasn’t feeling well. In fact, I told myself that I probably shouldn’t go. But, I knew I wasn’t contagious, wanted to go, so off I went with my Camera Totin’ Tuesday group to the UC Davis Arboretum. Located on the UC Davis campus, the arboretum draws people of all ages to walk, ride their bikes, picnic, study and take pictures.

I was warned by my friend Laura that they were in the process of restoring half the rambling arboretum and the water was low, but we decided we would go anyway. We knew the flower garden would be there. I took the majority of my images there in the small garden. The flowers were beautiful.

Laura was right, in some areas the water level was so low that you could see the ground beneath. There were less birds, no turtles, but it was still pretty in some areas. At least the red buds were blooming, adding their rich pink color to the landscape.

Because I wasn’t feeling well, I turned back earlier than others. Karen A. (We now have two members named Karen and both were on the outing.) walked back with me. The others came back in two’s. We were probably shooting for two hours.

The next stop was lunch–isn’t it always. So, I’m wondering whether it was the photography or the people that made me so anxious to go when I knew I should have stayed home?

In this post, I’ll show you some of the flowers. In part two I’ll show you some of the birds, landscape and people I was able to photograph.

 

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.

Shopping and shooting: The Fountains, Roseville

Senario: one week before husband, Richard’s, back surgery; dear friends come to visit from Los Angeles for a couple of days; Richard can’t walk much and is in pain; we stay home first day; second day, just to get out for a while, we, minus Richard, go to The Fountains shopping center and the Romanian Festival, both in Roseville.

Now that you know what’s going on, let me tell you about our friends of at least 40 years. We’ve seen our children grow and marry, our grandchildren reach the age of Bar Mitzvah, and stayed in touch after Richard and I moved from Los Angeles. Life cycle events would bring us down to L.A. more often than bringing these two couples up our way. So, it was a treat to have them stay with us, and it provided a diversion for Richard.

We went to The Fountains because Lois wanted to see the Vera Bradley shop, and Ron’s shutter finger was getting antsy. Shelley and Jim just enjoy walking. So, while Ron and I took pictures, Lois enjoyed signing up for Vera Bradley’s discounts, and Jim and Shellie walked.

Next, I tried to get them to the Romanian Festival, but our way was blockaded by a farmer’s market. We did make it to the Festival, which provided Ron and me another photo opportunity. You’ll see those images in my next post.

For now, come join us at The Fountains. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ve seen flowers from this unique shopping center before. I also took on the challenge of shooting more than just flowers.

Oh, the end of this senario: Richard’s back surgery went well with just one complication. Now he thinks he can do anything one week after surgery.

Trip 2 and part 2: Return to Apple Hill

I’m either shooting better or not being discriminatory enough. I’ll go with shooting better! It’s my personality to not toot my own horn. But, here I am with a lot of Apple Hill images to show you. Thus, we continue from my last post.

Every year people make a pilgrimage to Apple Hill in El Dorado County (just above Placerville) for their holiday pies–apple of course. Since I don’t like pie, that’s not the reason I go. I like to photograph the people, the landscape, the old equipment and sometimes flowers.

So, let’s look at the images that remain from that day’s outing. Was I correct in thinking I’m shooting better? I can handle constructive criticism.

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Finding cooler weather: Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley, California

Yes, we ran away! At least 1 1/2 hours west where the temperatures were about 20 degrees cooler. And, we enjoyed it. Camera Totin’ Tuesdays went to Tilden Regional Park in Berkeley and visited the Botanical Gardens, Golf Course, steam train and carousel.

It was a wonderful day. The park is magnificent and large, and the weather was delightful. While we didn’t expect any flowers this late in summer, we managed to find small blooms in the Botanical Gardens. The gardens were large and separated into different areas. We managed to walk through the entire garden before we stopped for lunch at the Golf Course.

After lunch we rode the miniature steam train and went to shoot the carousel (merry-g0-round). But, we didn’t get to everything. Maybe we’ll go back. Right now it’s in the high 80’s and low 90’s in the Sacramento area so we stayed local yesterday and visited the Sacramento Zoo.

In this post I’ll show you some of the Botanical Gardens. In my next post, I’ll show the rest. I hope those of you who are enjoying summer, are cool!