Lens Artists Challenge #231: Favorite Images of 2022

To be honest, 2022 wasn’t my favorite year. I spent most of it in the blahs with a few exceptions. Now John has tasked us with the challenge to pick our favorite images of what was my blah year! To do this, I decided to pick one favorite from each month.

January: Laura and I went to the Point Reyes National Seashore. The Tule Elk were out. What is this one trying to tell me?

February: An outing to Grass Valley in the Sierra Nevada Foothills yielded this pine cone in perfect light.

March: Ray and I made our yearly pilgrimage to Lincoln to photograph Great Egrets and Blue Herons nesting in three trees.

April: Again another yearly visit to Ananda Village and their Tulip Festival. It’s the same each year and it’s always beautiful.

May: My year can’t be complete without showing you a visit to the Sacramento Zoo. One of my favorites is the pelican who lives with the flamingos. He’s missing a wing and can’t fly. This time he was close.

June: Our yearly trip to the Land Park pond to photograph the Lotus wasn’t as spectacular as previous years, but you never give up.

July: My wanting to get Downtown Sacramento building images ended with me getting a flat tire and the AAA driver getting lost! But I was able to get a few photographs.

August: brought us down the the Amtrak station in Sacramento. I tried in-camera double exposures and got one fairly good shot.

September: Another annual event, Chalk It Up. This artist’s piece of Gene Wilder was amazing.

October: I finally had the opportunity to photograph outside of my local area. I joined friends on a New England cruise. Before the cruise we spent time in Virginia. Here’s an image from the Luray Caverns.

November: My photo buddies and I went to the California Museum. It’s a place I need to return to without my camera. I spent a lot of time photographing angles and lines.

December: We were staying with the grandkids in Reno, Nevada when a snow storm hit. This is a picture of the sun rising on the mountains with houses and Reno below.

So that was my year in pictures. Thank you John for helping me realize it wasn’t a blah year after all. I’m anxious to see all of your favorites. When you post please remember to link to John’s post and use the Lens Artists tag. Next week Sofia leads the challenge so look for her post.

 For more information on joining the challenge each week, check here.

Lugging the long lens: Point Reyes National Seashore, part 2

I continue my Point Reyes adventure with Part 2. This area is not just about Tule Elk and Elephant Seals as shown in part 1. Beauty abounds in the grass areas and seashore. For this job, I raised my Fujifilm XT3 up to my eye.

There were also three birds and a coyote that wanted their picture taken.

Before we headed for home, I just had to see how the Point Reyes was getting along. The S.S. Point Reyes is a wooden steamship that crashed on a sand bar in the town of Inverness, Marin County, over a 100 years ago. Surviving having her stern set on fire by photographers light painting with steel wool in 2016, she still remains on the sand bar. Sadly she showed more corrosion in the few years since I last saw her.

This ends my wonderful get away with Laura. It was great to go to the ocean for the day!

Lugging the long lens: Point Reyes National Seashore, part 1

Cabin fever for me means I have to get away outside my local area to photograph, and I had it. So, when Laura asked me if I wanted to go to Point Reyes National Seashore in Marin County, I immediately said YES! It’s about 2 hours and 20 minutes away, so that was a perfect getaway.

I was armed with my Fujifilm for landscapes and my Nikon and the F/4 300 mm lens for zoning in on the animals. I was not disappointed. In my few trips to Point Reyes, I didn’t see Tule Elk at the preserve. However, it pays to go with a true nature photographer, Laura, who knows the area. She picked me up early in the morning, and we found the elk. A first for me! The early bird does get the worm!!

Next we drove to where the elephant seals were. When we arrived, Park rangers were on the beach and we were able to get a great view of the seals.

Along the shore, we spotted a brown pelican who performed for us: swimming, flying, landing and diving!

So far this was a great adventure, but it’s not over. The rest will be in part 2. Stay tuned!

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.

 

 

Couple time: Point Reyes National Seashore

I shoot pictures during the day and Richard shoots pictures at night. You see, my husband, an amateur astronomer images the night sky. His observatory is in the Sierra Mountains, and he finds galaxies and nebulas via a camera attached to his telescope. Viewing is done through his computer.

My advantage is that I can shoot on cloudy, overcast and pretty much any kind of weather. The result may not be pretty, but I can take my camera out more than he can use his scope.

So when we decided to take a day and run away, I did take my camera. We ran, excuse me–drove, to the Point Reyes National Seashore. Once there, he wanted to see the Lighthouse. It was well worth the long drive. I had been there, and I wanted him to have the experience too.

When we got there, I got out my camera and set one up for him. Richard wanted to whale watch, but we didn’t bring binoculars. I hoped that my 55 – 300 mm lens on my D3100 would give him enough reach. Whale watching was a bust, but he did get some great photos that you’ll see in this post.

The Lighthouse was also a bust. It was closed. If it was open, I don’t think we would have made it down to it and back up. There’s 300 steps which they say is equivalent to climbing 30 stories of a building. I’ll put a picture of the Lighthouse stairs in the second part of this post.

Meanwhile, winter is definitely a tough time for astronomers. For photographers, if we can put up with a bit of fog, rain and clouds, we’re good to go. And, we take pictures at night also!

 

I guess I’m being humble: Point Reyes, Part 2

Without really understanding the effective uses of slow shutter speeds, I named this journal Slow Shutter Speed because that’s how I felt my photographic abilities were moving along. But that was when I got my D3100 and was a total newbie. The learning curve was difficult, and I learned through shooting, reading and asking questions. I’ve never taken a class. Along the way, I met many terrific photographers who were more than willing to help. The purpose of this blog was and still is to take you along on my journey.

So why am I going into this, I’ve received comments from friends that I’m being to hard on myself and not realizing how far I’ve come with my skill level. I do realize that my skills have increased, but I’m shy by nature and don’t usually toot my own horn. I recognize that I’m now asked to help a new photographer, can offer suggestions on shooting and editing, and hold my own in the field.

Some of you who have followed this blog from the beginning, know where my photographic journey has taken me. And, some of you are very gracious with your wonderful comments. For me, it’s like shooting in the fog I encountered at Point Reyes National Seashore. I look at each challenge with trepidation, jump in, conquer it and soon the fog is lifted.

In today’s post, I’m showing you some of the less foggy images of Point Reyes.

I almost forgot: Leanne Cole has brought me back to my writing roots by asking me to do a regular column in her amazing online quarterly magazine. We are calling it “Senior Moments,” and the magazine is “Dynamic Range.” Look for it at www.leannecole.com.au.

Weather or not: Point Reyes, part 1

This was a first for me–shooting in dense fog. I learned a lot in a recent Meet Up shoot to Point Reyes National Seashore on the coast. It was my first time and I truly wasn’t prepared for the totally socked in adventure I was about to have.

At first I thought, “What moody images this will make.” I had no idea that the fog would make focusing difficult! Auto focus had its problems, so I tried to focus manually. Even that was hard.

In addition, I wasn’t well during the week and only did part of the trails, meaning I didn’t reach the beach where it wasn’t so foggy. I basically concentrated on what I could do rather on what I couldn’t.

Today, I’m posting some images so you’ll get an idea of the fog. It was an amazing first for me.