Doing the 52: Point Reyes, Part 2

I really need a shove, discipline and hand holding to learn Photoshop. So, I decided to try to post an edited photo once a week. I started to do this last year. Signing up for it was the shove, posting was the discipline, but I had no one to hold my hand. This year, I have an accountability partner. Hopefully, I can get through the year, learn what simple things I need to from Photoshop, and also delve into some other processing programs that are taking up space in my computer.

With this lofty goal in mind, I recently spent more than 4 hours trying to eliminate the transparency from a masked item so I can place it, without a background, in another photo.

I will not stop until I’m successful! It’s frustrating though.

I watch tutorials. Go to my computer. Open up Photoshop and can’t recreate the exact process. I need to bring up my laptop and work the tutorial and Photoshop on my desktop together.

Enough complaining, the pictures in this post are the last from our Point Reyes outing. It was a fun day. I wasn’t out there to take photos, but who could resist. In the last post, you saw some of Richard’s pictures and mine. Today, it’s all mine.

Take time from whatever is frustrating you and relax. I hope you enjoy these images. I don’t need a shove, discipline or hand holding to take the pictures; just to learn new editing techniques.

 

 

Color and lights: Global Winter Wonderland, Sacramento

Liz made me do it! Okay, she didn’t exactly make me go to the Global Winter Wonderland at Sacramento’s Cal Expo. She asked. Since I hadn’t seen her in a long time, I agreed to go back to something I thought I wouldn’t.

I was there in 2o14 and was disappointed. The exhibits were blown up and held down with large ties. You couldn’t go in them. Yes, there was a lot of color, but the ropes and ties got in the way of photographing. I did try my had at slow shutter speed effects, and had fun doing that. But it wasn’t enough to go back.

I stayed away in 2015. However, Liz was enough to have me go back to the yearly event. It was a little better. The exhibits were smaller and not tied down as they were in 2014. Maybe they were weighted instead. They also had arches you could walk through. I tried to shoot the exhibits in an unusual way, and once again I had fun with the carnival rides.

At coffee afterwards, Liz was complaining that her photos were sort of “pedestrian,” and my comment was, “Well look at where we’re at!” I saw her images in her camera, and she did well.

For me, the fun was shooting with her and catching up. I’m so glad she sort of made me do it!

 

 

 

Zoo life: Back at the Sacramento Zoo

Every time I go to the Sacramento Zoo, I learn more–about the animals and photography. This time it was a short trip because I had a headache that just wouldn’t quit. But, I was there long enough to learn more about how to get through the cages with my lens and animal behavior.

For instance, take the flamingos. I only brought my F/4 300 mm lens that day, so I was looking for close ups. I noticed two flamingos drinking and their beaks were turned the same way. I shot a close up of them and got their reflections. Soon one came closer to where the other was drinking. The result? A disagreement over water rights! You’ll see it in the gallery.

There’s more descriptions of various animals in the gallery captions. So, what did I learn about getting through the cage? When the animal is closer to the cage, lower your F/stop. I also could have increased my ISO–next time. In any case, I’m very happy with the images I got.

I had fun in the short time I was there, and I’ll be making more trips. Having a zoo membership makes it easy to visit anytime I want to practice. And, at the Sacramento Zoo, there’s more to shoot. There’s pretty flowers and people! Next time I’ll bring a second camera with a more versatile lens.

Until then, enjoy our local zoo inhabitants.

 

It’s a long way down: Black Chasm Cavern, Volcano CA

You don’t notice how far down you travel until it’s time to walk back out of the cavern. Black Chasm was so interesting, I didn’t notice how far down we climbed. We joined a group of children for a 45 minute tour at the last minute.

The tour guide was wonderful, placing us in the back of the tour so we could stay back and take as many pictures as we wanted. In fact, the entire group accommodated our picture taking. However, we were listening as the guide explained the dramatic features of the cavern.

The most important feature of the Black Chasm Cavern are the rare and delicate helictite crystals that adorn the cavern walls along with the traditional stalactites and stalagmites. I’ve been in other caves and caverns, but have never seen helictite crystals.

The cavern has three main chambers. Although we thought the last one at the bottom was the largest, it wasn’t. At the end of our tour, we climbed the same stairs, but this time going up, and up and up! I said to Marlene, “Did we go down this far?”

Here are some images from this amazing cavern. No captions this time.