Brightening up the valley: Barn Quilts, Rio Linda, California

What’s a barn quilt? A quilt sewn to hang in a barn? No. They are boards painted to look like quilts and hung outside of barns and houses. When I heard about this from a fellow Camera Totin’ Tuesday member, I was curious. I found that the practice is done across the U.S., and our local quilters have established the Rio Linda, Elverta Quilt Trail Project.

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The women gather every Tuesday afternoon in a member’s garage and paint. They paint on special wood boards and paints meant to handle whatever mother nature throws at the quilts, especially rain and wind. The women work from a thick pattern book. And, when there’s a special request, they do their best to work the theme into a pattern. Here’s where they work.

The only charge for a barn quilt is the cost of the materials, the labor of design and painting is free. Our hostess told us about a quilt they painted for a church, and when the pastor retired, they stitched him an actual quilt of the same design.

Their quilts can be found on barns, homes and businesses.

And, of course, we found other things to photograph. Also the featured image in this post, features one of our CTT members!

In search of Fall color: Hope Valley

The great migration has begun! Each year we photographers go to the Eastern Sierras to find those amazing rich yellows, greens, oranges and reds. This year we may have gone to Hope Valley too soon, but Marlene was ready for a day trip. With Linda along, we made the 2-hour trip to Hope Valley.

Linda had never been there and had never shot the famous cabin. I just went along, not expecting much color. As I’ve said before, an outing with friends is great!

By the time we reached the valley, hunger had set in. The only place to eat is Sorensen’s, a small resort featuring cabins and campsites. We love their cafe. The food is delicious. After filling our tummies, we set out to find the cabin. This old cabin has been photographed by all the photographers who come in search of Fall color.

After finding the cabin and shooting it from every vantage point, we went on a scouting trip to find anything else. We weren’t the only photographers out there. I stopped to talk to a guy who was a little disappointed in the colors. He thought it would be at the peak in a few days. I thought it would peak in about a week.

We did find a couple of other places that had nice color, and then started the trek home. It was a fun day of shooting with friends. Since we were up there, about two weeks ago, photographer’s pictures still don’t show the rich colors we saw last year. Maybe that’s the way it will be this year. Those who went further south, got better color.

This was our only trip to seek the amazing rich colors of Fall. Next year!

 

Better late than early: Hope Valley

Sometimes you have to give a little to gain a lot. Marlene and I went to Hope Valley last Tuesday, October 18, to catch some fall color. The best of the color is in early October. So some local photographers were telling us we might be too late. Yes, the aspen trees were already dropping their leaves, but the weekend rain brought snow to the surrounding mountains.

It was a beautiful sight. Things do work out. Although we expected to find a larger land mass, Hope Valley was still brilliant with orange and yellow. It’s amazing how pictures will give you an impression of a place. As photographers, we do have the ability to make an area look larger than what it really is. We even found the iconic cabin that all photographers shoot. It even looked different in person. Perspective–that’s what it’s all about.

Today, I’ll show you some images from a lodge called Sorensen’s. It might be the only place in Hope Valley! We had lunch there. Delicious! Afterwards we walked the resort before we went in search of the cabin. The grounds were beautiful and well planned out.

In my next post, I’ll show you the valley. Yes, for us, it was better late than early. We got the snow which you’ll see in the next post.

 

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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The 2nd annual trip: Apple Hill, El Dorado County, California

A spiced apple donut with thick chocolate icing–yum! I should have taken a picture, but I was in the midst of having an “I need sugar attack.” We were in Apple Hill, El Dorado County, enjoying apple anything and taking in the sites. This was my second time up above Placerville shooting apple orchards, vineyards and vendors. I think it will be an annual trek up the mountain.

During autumn, growers belonging to the Apple Hill Growers Association open the area to everyone, selling pies, pastries and wine. Vendors of all sorts are on hand to sell their crafts or products.

This year I went with more photography knowledge and confidence. California is still in a drought and the scenery showed it. The vineyards weren’t as green. It just looked dry after having a great deal of triple digit days this summer. So, I shot close up, with a few landscapes.

I do enjoy shooting close up, and the old farm equipment provided color and texture–just what I love. I used to spray shoot without a direct purpose. This time it was different, and I was happy.

Of course I’d have been happier if I bought another donut and brought it home! (This will be a 2-part post.)

 

 

We follow no map to reach our destination: Apple Hill

Tuesdays with seniors is fun because while we have a destination in mind, with Greg as our guide, we take back roads to get there. And, with photographers, you just have to stop and take photographs as you drive along. The joke is that it takes us twice as long to get anywhere!

The trip up to Apple Hill was no exception. We detoured to visit the American River and the Sailor Bar boat launch. The American and Sacramento rivers wrap around Sacramento and outlying communities. That’s why I love this area. It was amazing that we drove, more or less, straight to Apple Hill after leaving Sailor Bar.

Apple Hill is a seasonal treat where growers have stands, activities for kids, crafting booths and more. You can’t leave the area without eating something made from apples. You can get anything apple. I enjoyed dipping my apple slices in caramel. Yum! Oh, there’s another favorite of mine–kettle corn. Richard is still enjoying his apple pie (I froze slices). And, lastly, there is wine tasting.

But the real attraction for a photographer is the countryside and nearby towns. Take a look!

Still shooting in dismal skies: Crockett, California, final chapter

Right now, I am totally enjoying the sun streaming through my office window. Its warm glow feeds my body and soul. But, remember, we are still in Crockett under fog and clouds. Today, I will show you what two photographers do when they are waiting for their food, and an old truck we stumbled upon.

So, just what do photographers–amateurs–do when lunch is going to be a long time coming? We take out our point and shoot cameras and wander the restaurant. Actually, this was a quaint deli where your could get sandwiches, and it was well worth the wait. I could only eat half my sandwich and enjoyed the rest later in the afternoon. On our way out of Crockett, I saw an old truck on the side of the road in a residential area. I love it when I’m out with a photo buddy and we can just stop and take pictures whenever we want. This truck was a photographer’s dream–old and in rough condition.

Have fun with the images as we say so long, for now, to dreary skies and say hello, for about a week, to the sun.

Capay Valley–after almost a month’s absence

Do people really forget about you when you don’t blog for a while? I hope not! My spirit was wanting to blog, but that 4-week long cold kept saying, “Stay home. Rest!”

Resting is boring; shooting photos is exciting. I had a wicked good time when Jayne West and I joined other photographers from the Exploring Photography meetup group in Capay, California. I’ve never been on a trip like this. We met each other for lunch at the Road Trip Bar and Grill, had lunch and then went on our individual road trips. I’m not sure I would have enjoyed it as much if Jayne hadn’t been in the car with me. Two women from the group met a landowner prior to our lunch, and he invited the entire group to come and explore his property. It was amazing. A literal junk yard for old cars and other stuff. Jayne encouraged me to try some bracketed shots. I managed to set up the tripod myself (A feat!), but I couldn’t get my new remote shutter release to work. It worked the night before! So I’m not sure how the bracketed shots will work on Wednesday when Jayne shows me how to use the HDR and Lightroom software.

After that, Jayne and I went to find Peacocks that were supposed to be at a park nearby. They were there, but stubborn and didn’t want to spread their beautiful feathers. After that, we drove on to find Lake Berryessa. But, it was closed by the time we got there. We did shoot some images from the side of the road just to prove we were there.

Just going out with this group makes me feel like I’m still spinning wheels. Most of the photographers do HDR and are more advanced than I am. So, I need to catch up! I’ve decided that every Tuesday will be practice day. Most of it will be local, maybe even my back yard! But, I will practice!

The added bonus to learning will be the routine blogging I hope to do. I have quite a few images from the Capay Valley so this may be a two or three part post.