Camera Totin’ Tuesdays: Petaluma, California

For me and about 15 others, Tuesdays is reserved for shooting. I’m sure I’ve told you about the group Marlene, Karen and I started after our photo buddy Greg Morris died (Our trio was called Tuesdays With Seniors). While he was ill, Karen started going out on Tuesday with us. After he passed, we felt a name change was in order and we became Camera Totin’ Tuesdays.

As we posted pictures of our adventures more photographers wanted to join us. Most of us are retired, but some join us when they can get a Tuesday off from work. It has become a fun group. We are starting to venture out of the greater Sacramento area now, and recently we went to Petaluma.

Not being a loner, I prefer to go shooting with other photographers. I love the camaraderie, the sharing of information, seeing other photographers styles and  making new friends. I watch the others and learn. Most of the time, when someone finds a great shot, they will share it. On occasion, I have gone out alone and enjoy the solitude and self creativity that ensues.

But when we went to Petaluma, we had nine photographers and a three car caravan. We found it easier to pick a meeting spot and just meet up there. As the group grows we’ll have to perfect this.  Once in the town, we had a fun day. We sort of stayed together in a loose sort of way, had lunch together, did some more shooting and then took our separate ways home.

I have never processed so many images as I have with this outing. I’m either falling in love with my pictures, getting better shots or not being discriminating enough! Well, maybe a little of all three. Or maybe I just found so much to shoot in this small town.

Whatever the reason, I am grateful for our CTT group that gets me out shooting no matter how I feel that day. This will be a 3-part post. Enjoy the architecture of the town and waterfront. I told you I edited a lot of images!




Back again: The West Sacramento River Walk

A place revisited can bring surprises. That’s the way it was with the West Sacramento River Walk. Marlene and I had been there with Greg Morris (who passed away in January) and returned recently with Camera Totin’ Tuesdays members.

But what had changed? The geese had goslings, more homeless were around, and different vendors were selling their wares at the farmers’ market. Oh, and Karen brought her 3″ crystal orb for us to practice with.

So, you’ll see different images in this post. What did I learn? I learned that shooting through a 3″ orb is more difficult than a 4″ orb. However the 3″ is much lighter to carry. Weight is a consequence when you’re a senior. In spite of that, I did purchase a 4.2″ orb. But, I have yet to practice with it.

I’m becoming more confident in my photographic journey. The more compliments I receive, the more positive about my abilities I get. That’s why I don’t mind going back to places I’ve already shot at. I see things differently and can find those surprises.


A new look for the New Year: Discovery Park

I’ve reached a plateau. After a year of taking a picture each day, I believe my photography has reached another level of competency. To celebrate, I wanted a new look for my blog–something clean and crisp that would show off my images. So here it is.

Of course nothing is perfect! Wouldn’t it be nice if it were? The one and only thing I don’t like about this template is that you have to scroll down to the bottom to get to the archived posts. And, as my photography level has grown, my technical capabilities have not. What does CSS mean anyway! I mean, it isn’t going to change. So, I hope you don’t mind scrolling down. Let me know what you think.

Now on to Discovery Park in Sacramento. Lately we’ve been concentrating on short, local outings. It’s amazing what photographic opportunities Sacramento City and County have to offer. This park is at the confluence of the American and Sacramento rivers, is 302 acres, and is the beginning of a 32-mile bike trail that runs along the river. We were there about 3:30 and the park was still hosting runners, bicyclists and boating enthusiasts.

I had never walked on the I-Street Bridge that links West Sacramento (which is in Yolo County) to Sacramento. There we found homeless returning to their camp and workers returning to their homes on either side of the river.

It was a beautiful evening and set the stage for a New Year and this new look.



Sacramento has bars…along the American River: Negro Bar, American River

Okay, that was a sneaky way to get you to read this blog, but it’s true. Recently Marlene and I went to Negro Bar another popular spot along the American River.

This bar was quite different from Sailor Bar. You couldn’t walk along the shore line, but it had a small beach and a boat launch. Most noticed were the absence of birds. We knew our sunset would be wimpy and there would be no birds to dress it up.

And, there was much more activity at Negro Bar. Kayaks, paddle boards and small fishing boats came and went while we  were waiting for the sun to set. I’m still trying to capture distance with an 18 – 140 mm lens. I think now that I’m more sure footed, I might go back to carrying two cameras so I could put a longer lens on my D3100. Also different was my using my new monopod and wearing tennis shoes. Both worked out fine!

I’m also feeling a shift in my photography. I’m seeing the picture better before I shoot. This could also be stated as, I’m seeing the possibilities and taking the opportunity to finish it in Lightroom. My framing and composition is also getting better.

I still have a way to go in processing. Working only with Lightroom is limiting, and once I learn Photoshop and other programs, I’ll be able to see more opportunities. I’m looking forward to doing that next year.

In the meantime, take a look at the second bar I’ve visited…along the American River!


If the shoe fits: River Walk, West Sacramento, California

This evening about 3 hours ago, I wore a pair of tennis shoes for the first time in 10 1/2 weeks! And, just in time for the rain!! I was beginning to wonder if I would ever be able to wear a shoe other than Birkenstocks again. Foot surgery has certainly been a bummer and has had an effect on my photography.

First, I found a difference in my energy level. Second, I had to choose places to shoot that were flat and not rocky. And, third, squatting down was difficult. Now I’m hopeful.

With my problems and Greg’s new physical difficulties, we decided to take the River Walk path in West Sacramento. This is located directly across the Sacramento River from Old Sacramento, and I have wanted to shoot from that side for a long time. While the trail goes for a long way, the River Walk is short and easy to walk, even on the grass areas.

Our bonus for the day was Tuesday’s farmer’s market. It’s so much fun to shoot produce! We were also on hand to capture lunch time as the workers came to enjoy food from the catering truck and some of the food booths.

Next Tuesday, I’ll be wearing my shoes, but I’ll bring along Birkenstocks just in case. Hopefully the shoe will keep fitting and keep my feet in comfort.



Before and After: The journey to Locke in the Sacramento Delta

Part of the fun of going somewhere is the before you get there and after you’ve left! Have I confused you? Well, we don’t go straight to any place. We stop along the way, get sidetracked and look for unique things to shoot. This happened on the way to Locke in the Sacramento Delta.

The Sacramento Delta is an expansive inland river delta and estuary in Northern California and is  an important habitat for migratory waterfowl and more than a hundred species of fish. It is also farmland, a popular recreation area and a source of drinking water for two-thirds of California’s population.

We first stopped at the small Freeport Marina. It was there that I realized I left my tripod home! Greg offered to share his with me, but I knew he used his most of the time and declined his generous offer. So, it was a handheld day for me. Lesson learned! Seems I’m always learning. Didn’t I say in my last post that I learn a lot by making mistakes?

Next we found a Halloween surprise, an old truck and a bridge to shoot. Then we got to Locke. You can see that our journeys seldom follow a straight path, and that’s the fun of a photo outing.

In this post you can see our before finds. You’ll have to wait for the next post to see Locke and what happened on the way home–the “after” part of our trip.

Late morning practice: Nimbus Fish Hatchery, Gold River, California

I love the Sacramento Photographers Facebook group. It’s where I learn by seeing what others post, asking questions and attending activities. It’s through this group that I found out about the Nimbus Fish Hatchery, and I thought it would be a good place to practice shooting on manual.

And it is. There were birds, people fishing, a nice path to walk on and a great visitor’s center. I wish I were feeling better so I could have stayed longer, but I did what I could. Also, I shot my D3100 on aperture priority because I couldn’t remember how to change the F stop in the manual setting. Now I’m wondering whether I ever had that camera on manual!

I also realized that I need more practice shooting flying birds and getting them in focus. So, this morning while getting a pedicure, I read all about focus for the D7100. I am determined to push and advance in my photography knowledge this year.

I will go back to the fish hatchery and practice. And, I will continue enjoying the Sacramento Photographers group.

UC Davis Arboretum: beauty so close

With two rivers, the Sacramento and American rivers, winding through the valley, the greater Sacramento area has a lot to offer photographers who want to capture local beauty. One such place is the UC Davis Arboretum. I’ve posted images from this garden spot twice before. The last was taken during the winter when nothing was blooming, but we were able to capture the golden hour lighting which added so much to our pictures.

Now, it’s summer and plants are blooming even though we are in a drought. Fortunately, the entire arboretum runs along a stream and is somewhat shaded. Each section has different plants. This week, my photo buddy Jayne and I went to walk it. It wasn’t as pretty as the first time I saw it. Water was plentiful then. I love this arboretum because you can keep going back and see different things.

I’ll be returning before the summer ends since we only walked about half the arboretum. It is so great to have such a wonderful place close.

Trinity weekend: Our last morning was for the birds!

Oh, did I sleep soundly the second night in the house by the river. I was woken up at 7 a.m. by my husband’s phone call. And, yes, I was the first up again!

I really didn’t feel like going down the stairs, so I put my telephoto lens on the camera and went out onto the back deck. I proceeded to shoot the river and the many birds that were on the lawn and in the trees. What fun! I continued until others started waking up. Then my chore began.

I was the cook for this morning’s breakfast which was simply eggs, bagels, cream cheese and fruit. I made the eggs to order, and everyone seemed to like it. After breakfast, we all pitched in and cleaned up the house for the next guests. But, our day didn’t end there. We women did go to an outlet center near Redding California to shop. We invited Ron, but he politely declined. Well, it was more like a “heck no.”

We didn’t shop til we dropped, but none of us went home empty handed. And, Julie and I shared lunch. You know which two of the four of us spent more cash!

By the time I arrived home, it was about 7 p.m. I unpacked the car, ate some dinner and went to bed. It was a long day and I slept soundly again this time in my home. Here are some of that morning’s images.

Trinity weekend: Good morning!

Darn an aging body. I woke up about 5:20 a.m. to use the bathroom (Yes I do check the time.), but couldn’t go back to sleep. So, I rolled out of bed at about 5:40 a.m. Put my sweats and jackets on, grabbed my camera and went outside to experience the river.

Right here I need to back track. Yesterday I said this was to be an all women’s weekend, but we did have a guy along. Karen’s husband Ron had work to do on the property and rode his motorcycle up. I knew Ron was getting up at 6 a.m. to do a controlled burn of excess brush and green waste. But, here I was the early bird, wishing I could have slept in.

However, the river didn’t disappoint me. It was beautiful at daybreak. The sun hadn’t come up yet and all was still. I walked the property, taking pictures and continued to come back to the river to catch the waking colors as the sun rose and hit the tree lined shore.

And, when Ron came down to start the controlled burn, he gave me an additional opportunity of capturing images. I’ve always enjoyed a campfire. We always had one when we camped with the kids; but now, we seldom leave the trailer and television in the evening when we travel.

The morning moved on, and I went in to put Julie’s breakfast casserole in  the oven to bake. By the time it was done, only Sue was still asleep. She woke up just in time to eat and leave for the geocaching adventure. Tomorrow would be another day for trying to sleep in.

Enjoy the early morning at Trinity River images. Geocaching will be the subject of tomorrow’s post.