It’s the third day of 2020, and my first shoot of the year was a real estate shoot. I am anxious to get out with my camera for something else! I guess that will happen sometime next week.
In the meantime, I do have a couple of outings still not posted like the Victorian Christmas in Nevada City. This is a yearly happening in this small touristy town in Nevada County. The streets are decorated, all vehicle traffic is closed off on the main street, vendors take up the streets and people walk around in period costumes.
I once went to this at night, 2013, when the temperature was down to 25 degrees F! It was great that vendors were selling hot drinks! I had just started this photography hobby and now that I look back, the pictures were not that good. They were the best I could do at the time. It’s amazing for me to see the difference!
So back to the present and my images from this outing!
I didn’t take a lot of pictures since it was crowded and cold. One last story: We were having a difficult time finding a parking spot. As we were going up and down residential streets, I saw a woman and her driveway was empty. Since I was driving, I asked Marlene and Ray to see if we could park in her driveway. I was willing to pay for the privilege. She not only agreed, but with Ray’s help moved some fencing to make room for us. She said she didn’t want any payment. How nice was that! We did buy her a small gift.
I’m probably not going back to Nevada City for the Victorian Christmas. However, I might visit another small town next year!
The tulips bloom only in April at the Crystal Hermitage Garden in Ananda Village in Nevada County. So, we waited for sunshine and no rain. We finally decided to go when there would be a possibility of sunshine, meaning partly cloudy with some sun. This resulted with some tulips open, but most shut.
But it was worth the trip. Planted each year, the gardens are always beautiful and attract visitors from all over to see the more than 17,000 plants. This quote was taken from one of their sites. “We planted over 111 varieties of mid and late season Dutch bulbs this year,” said lead Gardener, Nancy Mair. “We blend tulips with a rainbow of complementary pansies, wisteria, rhododendrons, azaleas, peonies, dogwood trees and the fabulous cherry tree, so that guests enjoy a different garden in each terrace.”
I’ll admit that I was upset that after waiting, we still were under dark skys for most of our time there. But, as usual, it was a great experience. Until next April here are some of the images I took.
I didn’t mind because it’s challenging to find something different to shoot, or maybe to shoot from a different angle which can give you different results. Exercises like these help improve your compositions and photographic abilities.
So here I am in Nevada City finding inspiration, seeing new opportunities and learning.
I was drawn to this flower pot attached to a window.
This picture belongs with the cover photo. Next time I’ll go inside.
This crystal was in a store. It was totally white; I worked with the color a bit.
Benches are occupied!
This tented crepe shop was opening for business.
Flower pots with character.
I can’t resist a flower macro.
A very photo-graphical home.
The church on the top of the hill.
A home rental hiding from on-lookers.
A better view.
If I remember correctly, the end building is an entertainment venue.
You know that feeling you get when you set your expectations to a certain thing and that thing turns out not to be what you visualized? I don’t know what we expected when our Tuesday group decided to go to the Independence Trail near Nevada City in Nevada County. One of us envisioned a parking lot rather than pull off the road parking. I thought since it was billed as wheel-chair accessible, it would be a wide and nicely kept trail. We were both disappointed.
Of course, we visited in late summer when everything is dry and there’s very little green to be seen. Our fault for not planning better. There was brush everywhere and the beautiful Manzanita trees couldn’t stand out. So, most of us shot close up. We also had some lessons from senior photographers in our group. Jim showed me how changing from spot to matrix metering can change your photo. Tom was giving Karen and Kelley other gems of wisdom.
When you shoot with wonderful people, disappointment is minimal. We ate lunch in Nevada City and did some additional shooting. The venue may not have been what was expected, but we had fun and gained some additional knowledge.
The trail had a nice beginning.
One of the many benches along the route.
I don’t know what these are, but I kept shooting them until I got something I liked.
A bridge, but no water.
A nice covered seating area ahead.
The side of an old outhouse.
This Madrone tree is shedding its bark.
An old dead stump shows Woodpecker holes and texture.
Now in Nevada City, who can resist a cute dog.
I think this is an old water wheel.
Getting up close with an old mining stamp machine.
We stopped for ice cream. We took on the challenge of shooting the overhead fans, hand-held and slow shutter.
We are in a morphing stage. Since Greg’s passing, our Tuesdays With Seniors group hasn’t been the same. We’ve reformed and are now enjoying the company of pre-seniors. It was during this time that our two new members, Rita and Karen, and I went to Grass Valley and the Empire Mine State Park.
I had been there twice with Greg, and he was the tour guide. He mostly showed me the town, various high points and the countryside. He used to live in Nevada City and for him it was a homecoming.
I find Grass Valley old town a little less touristy than Nevada City. We went to both, but shot mostly in Grass Valley. Once again, I needed to shoot the familiar scene a little differently. I didn’t do HDR or carry a tripod as I had done on my two previous visits. I tried different angles and got in a little closer in some shots, especially at the mine.
This time our visit to the Empire Mine, where I did use a tripod and shot HDR, yielded an unauthorized brief tour of the cottage. The ranger in the office turned her head and allowed the docent to take us in. We were like children in the candy store, that is until the alarm went off. Our docent, probably feeling like he got caught with his hand in the candy jar, was busy trying to turn off the blaring sound. Soon we heard an additional but different blare–the second alarm! We took our shots quickly because we knew that once the alarms were turned off, our sneak peak into the cottage would be over.
But, the fun isn’t over, and I look forward to more adventures with this re-formed group. We will have a new name which will be decided tomorrow during our Napa visit.
This mural was on the side of a convenience store near the historic part of town.
I couldn’t get a decent shot of this beautiful library the last time. So glad I came back.
Karen and I played around with catching a sunburst on the old Del Oro movie theater.
This picture of a bank shows how hilly this area is.
Just a bunch of hanging signs on Main Stree.
Inside the cottage.
I loved the old furniture. I used HDR because I didn’t want to damage anything with a flash.
Love the old tub in the downstairs bathroom.
This is what we would call the family room today.
At the blacksmith shop.
The docents make real, usable items in this shop.
In the old machinery bone yard. Close ups.
I love old rusted machinery.
I’m sure this was used to carry stuff out of the mine.
I’m on the move this year, shooting whenever and wherever I can. So, when photo buddy Greg Morris offered to take me up to the foothills and visit the sister cities of Grass Valley and Nevada City, I couldn’t refuse. I had been there and toured the Empire Mine State Park, but when you go with someone who knows the area, it’s a whole new experience.
As a former resident, Greg knows all the stores, buildings, neat homes and the area’s history. Greg shoots mainly on a tripod and takes a good deal of HDR shots. And the results are amazing. I’m going to have to ask him to give me a lesson in Photomatix.
It was fun listening to his stories. I hope you enjoy the images.