All the comforts of suburbia are great and I love it, but it’s nice to visit the country once in a while. Thank goodness for the Yolo Art and Ag project which gets us out into the country and on farms and ranches that we would otherwise not gain entry.
This was the case during a recent Thursday when we went to visit the Clarence Scott Ranch in Winters. This Ranch has a bit of everything and lots of scenery for photographers and artists. Hay and cattle are their predominat income sources.
I’ve begun to rely on just one lens when I go on a photo outing. It challenges me, and it’s easier to carry. And, at this point, less weight is important to me since this year has given me a few health challenges. My gear consisted of my Nikon D7100 and the Nikon 18 – 140 mm lens. It’s hard for me to grasp that my camera is OLD now and reduced in price for less than half of what I paid! But it’s the same for a car. Once it’s off the lot…….
On the way home, we stopped to photograph sunflowers and zinnias in Woodland. You’ll see these in my next post. Right now let’s look at the Ranch. The clouds were spectacular!
Artists and photographers were busy too!
I was also fortunate to watch a woman shoeing her horse. A first for me!
They are so beautiful, but only bloom once a year. But, that’s also what makes the Lotus flowers so special. The flowers in this post are from the Vedanta Society of Sacramento in Fair Oaks (Where last year’s images were shot.) and my chiropractor’s farm in Auburn. Who would have thought that a small Lotus pond would be on a farm!
At the Vedanta Society, the mature Lotus were more inside the pond and the buds surrounded them on the outside. That made shooting them a little tricky, but with the lens extended all the way out to 140 mm and creative cropping, I managed.
At the farm, it was just the opposite. The featured image is a black and white from the farm. No matter, they are beautiful no matter where they are. And, pictures are a way of enjoying them all year round.
Except for the last two, these were taken at the Vedanta Society.
Not a Lotus.
This Magnolia blossom ends the images taken at the Vedanta Society
Two from Dr. Heather Rosenberg’s farm.
This is the same as the featured black and white.
Challenges, I love them–most of the time. Visiting Nevada City in the Sierra foothills, was like that. If you’ve been following this blog, you have seen images of this quaint town and its neighbor, Grass Valley. We stopped there on our way to Downieville, walked and took photos and then went on to the city of no pizza!
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.
I also can’t resist something old and rusty!
A cannon located in a small park.
It’s great that stores allow photographers to come in out of the rain to shoot inside. On a recent rainy day, my Tuesday group invaded Emigh’s Hardware store–with permission! While our new house is being painted and floors are being put down, I have time to shoot. Even with the rain, it was good to get away from packing for a few hours.
And, we did shoot for a few hours. Emigh’s, located in Sacramento, is much more than a hardware store. They have a small nursery, an enormous selection of outdoor fun stuff, outdoor furniture and of course hardware. When you walk into the store, you are greeted and asked if you need help finding something. While walking through the store, I was asked several more times.
I totally enjoyed taking pictures in their outdoor decorations area. Really it was more of a separate room. I also ventured out to the nursery while the rain had slowed down to a mist.
It was a much needed fun morning. Moving is like riding a roller coaster. Our buyer fell out of contract, but our fabulous realtor resold the house in one day–for more money! But, that was a tough 24 hours for me.
I’m looking forward to Tuesday when no rain is predicted and I still can refrain from packing. We just have to figure out where we’ll go. That’s next on my list!
What is this fish trying to say?
This was the centerpiece of a windchime.
This was a sun wall decoration.
I also tried to create abstracts from windchimes.
All that glitters.
These were shells that I tried to do something artistic with. Not sure I made it.
A crystal in a decoration.
Here’s looking at you!
An indoor plant.
A butterfly wing on a windchime.
I forgot what this was, but it works well as an abstract.
Beautiful in pink.
This one welcomed the water.
Flower out in the nursery.
Hooray, the computer is working! Thank you Kevin!! This technical age has made us so dependent on our computers, phones, tablets. I could say that I remember when, but I won’t bore you. I’ll just say that my typewriter never crashed. It may have needed a ribbon change, or a key might stick–but never crashed.
I do love one digital necessity (at least to me) that has not crashed–my DSLR. I’m still learning, and with each outing I get better. Let’s finish up my trip with Laura to the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge (SWR) and Gray Lodge Wildlife Area. Laura is the best bird spotter. Without her I wouldn’t see the small birds.
After seeing three bald eagles and many hawks at SWR, we ventured to Gray Lodge. Tired from climbing up and down to and from Laura’s sun roof, I resolved to just shoot what I could get from the open window. Fortunately, there are more opportunities for landscapes at Gray Lodge. Again, there were many hawks, but the sun was going down and it was difficult to shoot them as they hid in the trees. Take a look!
At Gray Lodge
Dark skies and low light, but still some color.
SWR, egret ready to fly
Something ruffled his feathers!
A closer look
Red Shouldered Hawk 9?)
Ducks in a row
Red Shouldered Hawk
I always try to keep my promises. The operative word there is “try!” In my last post, I said that I would be going out to shoot Christmas lights when my friend Jean got her new camera, and I kept that promise. I was really dragging that night, and I’m so glad that my promise got me up and out. We had a lot of fun in the short time we were taking photos.
Our adventure took us to the Fab 40 area of Sacramento–an area of old beautiful homes. This neighborhood’s holiday effort didn’t compare to the residents of Dove Court in Orangevale; but with my fatigue and Jean’s knee, it was perfect. We walked the two blocks, shooting and talking with some residents. I saw two displays I liked and had fun zooming my lens.
Oh, Jean’s new camera is a tiny Panasonic mirrorless that does a lot. It made my Nikon D7100 look huge and feel heavy! I hope she finds a great deal of joy in using it.
Happy 2018 everyone. My wish if for you to have good health, prosperity and fun!
I liked this display because of its simplicity.
This one is simple too.
This seemed to welcome you.
I think I like this side shot even better.
This I shot in three parts.
On the side lawn the display continued.
And the final piece of the display.
This was a wreath that was hanging from a wire going across the street. Below it, was a string of lights. The following zooms are of this wreath.
I tried different angles.
Different shutter speeds.
And different focal lengths.
This zoom was of lights on top of a small tree.
This zoom was of lights on a small tree covered in lights.
Remember that cold I was complaining about? I still have it! But, at least I’m still standing when so many of my friends have succumbed to the flu. This isn’t a complaint, okay it is! When I’m sick, I can’t regain enough energy to not be tired. And, this affects my ability to do photography.
Before this cold/flu hit the Sacramento area, my Tuesday group was given a special tour of the Historic Folsom Powerhouse in Folsom. This small power source once lit up all of Sacramento. The following from Wikipedia illustrates the significance of the powerhouse.
“Before the Folsom powerhouse was built nearly all electric power houses were using direct current (DC) generators powered by steam engines located within a very few miles of where the power was needed. The use of rushing water to generate hydroelectric power and then transmitting it long distances to where it could be used was not initially economically feasible as long as the electricity generated was low-voltage direct current. Once it was invented, AC power made it feasible to convert the electrical power to high voltage by using the newly invented transformers and to then economically transmit the power long distances to where it was needed. Lower voltage electrical power, which is much easier and safer to use, could be easily gotten by using transformers to convert the high voltage power to lower voltages near where it was being used. DC power cannot use a transformer to change its voltage. The Folsom Powerhouse, using part of the American River‘s rushing water to power its turbines connected to newly invented AC generators, generated three phase 60 cycle AC electricity (the same that’s used today in the United States) that was boosted by newly invented transformers from 800 volts as generated to 11,000 volts and transmitted to Sacramento over a 22 mi (35 km)-long distribution line, one of the longest electrical distribution lines in the United States at the time.”
The tour was great, especially since it was led by a photographer who has since joined our Tuesday group. While our guide explained the history and how the Powerhouse operated, I listened and continued shooting. Unfortunately, I should have been taking notes!
But since I didn’t, follow the link for more information on the Powerhouse.
We have since been on other outings, and you’ll see those in future posts. Maybe by then the cold will just be a memory and I’ll be out there clicking away.
Close up of the machinery.
This old phone booth was their only way of communication.
The next few are more close ups.
The main room.
Another room was behind the main part of the Powerhouse.
An old water container?
Going back into the main part of the building.
An old can used to capture oil.
Here I sit contemplating the 1 1/2 shoots I still have to edit. I’m thinking I enjoy shooting more than editing. I don’t even edit a whole lot, but I’m behind. Maybe it’s because the last two outings have been all-day road trips. You know how those camera clicks can add up!
Plus, I’ve started printing. My son wanted two of my images printed on canvas, size 32 x 48 inches. Now that’s a big number for me. I also learned that for the aspect ratio of my camera I should be printing out 8 x 12 prints instead of 8 x 10. And, then I learned how to export from Lightroom to support the pixel count necessary to print large prints.
To complicate my life, I’ve put my D7100 on back focus. After a slight learning curve, I think I like it. Now I have to get my D3100 on back focus also. It was fun on yesterday’s outing with one camera on back focus and the other not.
I thank my son and the Sierra Camera Club for pushing me to print out my images. The Club’s print competition has me gaining more knowledge in that area. I’m so glad I joined that group. I’m more charged up about photography, and more confident in my abilities.
So, maybe I’m behind because I’m learning so much–okay it’s a lame excuse! Enjoy a few shots from the small Mather Lake. I didn’t know what to expect, and brought a wide angle lens rather than a long telephoto. But I got beautiful landscapes and a few of the bird wildlife.
Fortunately I could get close enough to this blue heron so I could capture it with my 17 – 70 mm lens.
A close up.
He finally tired of being my model and flew away.
A swan with wings up.
A wide angle of the lake.
When we got there, there were no clouds.
I wasn’t the only one who thought this thistle was pretty. A bee was hovering too.
The reflections were great.
When we were leaving, the clouds were beautiful.
If this old table could talk, what stories it would tell!
A couple fishing.
The other half of the couple.