Lens-Artists Challenge #187: Water

Just think about the photographs you’ve reviewed lately. I bet a lot of them include either a foreground or background of water. Water enhances our photos, adding impact. Photographing it is also fun and sometimes a challenge.  My dear friend Jean, who passed away recently, loved to photograph anything water. In fact, many outings were diverted because she saw a sign saying there was a lake or other water nearby. This was taken on one of Jean’s detours.

The San Francisco Bay near Port Costa.

Water is featured in many landscapes.  This ocean picture was taken in Pacific Grove.

This Folsom Lake image was taken before the drought hit last year. The sailboat is the focus, and the water gives it location.

Bridges usually go over water and in Sacramento County we have many that help us get to the other side of the rivers. I took this one recently of the Rainbow Bridge, a Folsom landmark, and the American river. Reflections in the water add a certain dynamic.

Water can also be the focus of our pictures. Waterfalls, from the great Niagara Falls (the American and Bridal Veil falls), to the small falls at our local Dry Creek are focus points. At Dry Creek, I was handholding the camera and trying to show water as silky by slowing down the shutter speed. I’ve yet to master that because I don’t often carry my tripod! One day I will get up early, plant myself at the ocean, put on my neutral density filter and photograph beautiful waves as they hit the rocky shoreline.

Here’s another handheld close-up image of water coming out of a pipe. This just shows that water of any kind can be fun to shoot. Next is a macro image of a water drop on a leaf. I had a lot of fun taking that one. Finally, the last of this trio shows simple drops of water on lotus pads.

Oh, the last bit of water I’ve had fun with is the snow. Fortunately, here in Sacramento we don’t live with the snow, but we can visit it. Here’s an image of a home in Blue Canyon one hour up the interstate. The second image is of icicles (And their reflection in a window) on a cabin at Donner Lake which is 1 ½ hours away.

I’ll end my show and tell here, but what water fun have you had? Please show us your water fun and tell us about it. Go through your archives and retrieve some memories or find new liquid delights to photograph this week. We’re anxious to see your images. Please remember to use the Lens-Artists tag and to link to this post.

Thank you for participating in Sophia’s challenge of “Low Light” last week. Next week we are pleased to have Karina of Murtagh’s Meadow as our guest host. I wonder what she has in store for us.

If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, we have easy to follow instructions. Just click this link and join us:

https://photobyjohnbo.wordpress.com/about-lens-artists/

 

Lens Artists Challenge #175: Follow Your Bliss

Bliss is what we all chase. It’s that something that relaxes, yet drives us to accomplish. It’s what we enjoy as a participant or spectator. This week, Lindy Low LeCoq encourages us to “show us your sense of wonder and excitement. Whether it be one activity that is your passion, or many different interests you follow, this is a wide-open opportunity to showcase how you “follow your bliss.”

One thing that comes to mind for me is music. I can’t sing, follow the beat or play an instrument. But music sooths my soul. I listen to both words and melody. One place I used to totally enjoy was the Sacrament Music Festival. Richard and I would work it every year, and the music was fantastic. Our favorites were Tom Rigney and Flambeau, who would play anything from zydeco to rock and roll, and Dave Bennett, whose clarinet rivaled Benny Goodman’s and his piano playing was as close to Jerry Lee Lewis as you could get. I’m sad that they discontinued it.

Even as I was enjoying music, I was also following my bliss for photography. When the pandemic and lockdown hit, photography was my outlet. Richard and I went for rides for the first few months of lockdown, going in search of snow and the California Poppy.

Soon my photo buddies formed a photo pod and went out once a week. One outing was to the WPA Rock Garden in William Land Park.

Another was to the California State World Peace Capitol Rose Garden in Sacramento.

And of course there are my friends who share in my love for photography. I’m dedicating this post to my friend Jean Armstrong who passed away this month after a short fight with brain cancer. She and I enjoyed going on day outings and, because she drove, we’d end up finding some sort of water. She loved the lakes and ocean. Here are two from our last outing together in January this year. We went to Port Costa (near the bay of course).

Thank you Lindy for reminding me to continue to follow my bliss. It’s so important especially now.

Out of the area: Port Costa, Contra Costa County

Bulletin: most places won’t let customers use their restrooms because of COVID! That’s what Jean and I found out when we left recently to drive out of the Sacramento Valley with our cameras. We were driving to Port Costa, an old little port city in Contra Costa County. I had been there twice before, but that was several years ago. Nothing changed! I decided to take pictures in a way I didn’t before.

On our way down to the port, we stopped at this viewpoint to take a picture of the Carquinez Bridge while it was being enveloped by approaching fog. A couple of seconds after I took this image, the bridge was totally fogged in.

We then made the usual stop at the C&H Sugar refinery. Photographers are not allowed in, but they do let you take pictures at the entrance. You may have seen this view before if you’ve been following this blog for some time.

Now for Port Costa itself. The railroad still runs by it.

The town is old and the hotel shows it. Homes are overrun with overgrowth.

The shoreline, beyond the railroad tracks is interesting and we saw some kayakers paddle by.

It was just before we left Port Costa that we realized there was not a public restroom to be found. We did find a portable toilet at a small park near a fishing pier. The flush bathroom was closed. It was a good stop in more ways than one!

Before heading home, we stopped at Mare Island. I knew that the only public restroom was in the museum which was closed. There was a Navy ship in for repairs. No, we couldn’t go on board! So, after taking our pictures as best we could because it was all fenced off, we headed to a Starbucks in Vallejo.

When we found the Starbucks, we were allowed to buy coffee but not use their restroom! CostCo to the rescue. Fortunately there was one on the way home. All in all, it was a fun day. We did learn, though, not to go too far from home!

Riding the freeway: Port Costa California

Not knowing the country roads, we needed to take the freeway to get to Crockett, Port Costa and Mare Island. Marlene said, “Greg wouldn’t approve,” and I agreed. This was our first long distance outing since Greg became ill. We stayed around home base for a few weeks during our Tuesday’s With Seniors outings to accommodate his needs. He may not have been able to come, but he was certainly on our minds.

Driving the freeway route, we first stopped at Crockett, then found Port Costa and eventually made our way to Mare Island. Today, I want to show you some of Port Costa. This small, decaying town is a census-designated place in Conra Costa County. The population was 190 at the 2010 census. Founded in 1879 as a landing for the railroad ferry Solano, Port Costa’s ferries carried entire trains across the Carquinez Strait from Benicia to Port Costa. The town lost its importance when a railroad bridge was constructed at Martinez in 1930 to replace the ferry crossing. Today, it’s a sleepy, photogenic and cute town.

I enjoyed shooting in Port Costa more than the other two places which I will show you in another post. I just wish, some of the stores were open on Tuesdays. It’s a good thing we ate lunch before we arrived!

From Port Costa to Mare Island, we were able to stay off the freeway although we did use the GPS–another thing Greg would never use!