Before you got to the Fort, also called the Russian Fort because it’s a historic Russian-era fort compound that has been designated National Historic Landmark status, you walk through the grounds of beautiful scenery and beaches. Here is a sample:
And now for the Fort. I know I’m giving you a lot to look at, but I’m hoping you’ll think it’s worth your time.
The next day we went to Napa. I’ll save that for another post.
When is a valley hilly? Never. In spite of that Marlene and I went to Napa to find more vineyards for my daughter-in-law Jess. We did find vineyards, but mostly wineries. I thought the Plymouth area vineyards were more eye catching and had more rolling hills.
But we did find lovely things to photograph, including the vineyards. We first found the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Copia which is a branch campus of the private culinary college. The building was simply beautiful, inside and out! You’ll find a store that has everything “kitchen,” a Julia Child exhibit and exhibition of her husband Paul’s photography.
They also have a restaurant, cooking classes, rotating exhibits, host events, and more. If you’re in Napa, stop in for an amazing experience.
Next we found the CIA at Greystone. This is where they teach students to become our future chefs. The building was Greystone Cellars, once the largest stone winery in the world. Its amazing history through its purchase by the CIA can be found here.
Marlene and I did not take the tour, but viewed as much of the building as we could. We shot the entry and outside. I really could have used my ultra-wide lens here!
And, yes, we did get vineyards!
And, so ends my vineyard quest. At least I hope so!!!
Oh, it’s wonderful: two days of sunshine, and one more to come! After, that showers begin again. I have managed to get out with my camera during the sunshine, and you’ll see those images later after they’re processed.
We drove to the art gallery after lunch and stopped along the way for more picture taking. You know photographers, we just keep clicking when we see something pretty. On approach, the gallery is pretty, the grounds are beautiful, but I wasn’t feeling the art. But, as I’ve learned by having my images critiqued, art is totally subjective. (I did find out that my “Droplets” picture did make it to the table from which the winners were chosen!) While I may not like something, someone else will.
The grounds that the two galleries sit on are beautiful, complete with a lake. I did the best I could with the limited access we had to the grounds. The highlight of the trip was the stop at the Lake Berryessa, in Napa County, and its spillway or Glory Hole.
So, here are the images of the country side, art gallery and Glory Hole!
With only a few days of sunshine peaking through, we are still wet here in California. In fact, they’ve called the drought over everywhere in the State. Right now there’s a break and the sun is shining, but I don’t expect for too long.
That’s the weather update, now for my personal photo journey. I did get my framed images down to the In Focus Photography Competition; however, they didn’t place. And, when I last communicated with the contest official, she said they hadn’t sold yet. She did say that when a group of school children came through, one boy fell in love with the mantis picture. He even drew a picture of it. Too bad his parents weren’t along to buy it for him!
It was an experience that I value. Those prints will be seen again at the Sierra Camera Club print competition. And, we’re thinking of buying a printer so we can print out our own images. Richard, Bright Star Observatory, is taking some great deep space images now, and they should be seen. I’m still not sure whether I’ll start competing elsewhere. Ahead is the State Fair competition which should be fun and educational. Maybe I’ll check other County calendars too. Who knows!
Right now I’m still battling a cold that my doctor says lasts for 4 to six weeks. I’m doing much better, but still have to watch my exercise level. Too much activity and I’m tired the next day. I did get in one day of shooting in the Napa Valley to the Quixote Winery and the di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art. It was the first sunny day in a long time and I needed to get out with my camera. I did pay for my adventure for 2 days afterward!
Here are some images taken on the way to the winery and at the winery. We’ll talk about the museum in my next post. I think I have to find my copy of “Here Comes The Sun” by Richie Havens and play it continually! You think that would work?
I just love road trips, and recently we went to Napa Valley to find mossy trees and mustard. We really start out with no particular destination in mind; just what we want to find. And, we were successful!
First we found a beautiful grove of oak trees that had moss growing on them. Next we found some wine vines with mustard growing under them. Then we stopped for lunch at the Buttercream Bakery in Napa–one of our favorites when shooting in the city of Napa.
After lunch, we drove some more and returned to the city for some Ben and Jerry’s ice cream which is another of our favorite stops. Then we photographed the 911 Memorial. We shot it the last time we were there, but the light was different. This day the sun shined through the glass plates, illuminating the names of locals who died in that horrific attack.
Of course we made some more stops on the way home until it was too dark to shoot. What a fun day. I do love road trips.
Just a follow up on my previous blog: I am looking into what competitions are available for non-professionals and continuing my Photoshop studies.
Mossy trees were on either side of the road.
A close up of how the moss hangs on the bare tree branches.
Poetry in motion.
The moss has a lacy quality.
A Napa Valley landscape.
Mustard growing in the vineyard.
I just love tree canopies.
A closer look.
The 911 Memorial. A homeless person is annoyed by our presence.
The sunlight filters through.
Another view of the Memorial.
I can’t resist a bit of street photography.
A sheep herding Llama.
The Buttercream Bakery.
The restroom sign at the bakery. Sorry, I just couldn’t resist.
I asked fellow photographers in the car, “Who knows where we’re going?” None knew, except that we were meeting at Karen’s and were taking off in two cars with Karen in the lead. This was sort of a first for us. We’d never had two cars, and we were reasonably sure of where we were going. Fortunately Karen knew exactly where we were going and the cars were able to stay together.
So, you’re asking, where did we go? To Rutherford! Where? It’s a small Napa County town that caters to wine tasting and delicious but high priced lunches. We ate, but did not wine taste. Of course we stopped at various places there and back to shoot, and we shot in Rutherford. We also re-visited the city of Napa. And, now that Tom is shooting with us, we stopped for ice cream! Ben and Jerry’s to be specific. Yum!
What did I learn? I learned that with good friends you don’t have to know exactly where you’re going–trust and your friend will get you there. Oh, I also started using some Nik software. Google is giving it away free right now. It’s probably being discontinued.
A lone sunlit poppy.
The Monticello Reservoir. Shot through the fence.
The hillside across from the Dam.
Rutherford Fire Station.
Roof of the old train station. Let’s a lot of light in.
Tom is shooting the roof.
I just liked the angles in this.
Be careful walking on this!
The train advertising the wine train tour. I edited this in the Nik Silver Efex software.
On the patio of a winery. When the sun is high, take advantage of shadows.
More of the patio.
I liked the way the tree’s shadows graced this building.