Wildlife? Mather Lake

Sometimes things don’t turn out the way you expected like our May outing to Mather Lake in Sacramento County. We expected the typical wildlife that we’re used to finding there, but we only found swans and fishermen! But, we’ve learned to make the best with what we get.

I was there with my Tuesday group, and we walked as far as we could around the lake. I was carrying my Nikon D7100 and my F/4, 300 mm lens. I do need to go back to using two cameras. I also need to get to the gym so I can do it! This left me sort of handicapped for landscape or wide focus shots. I made my Fitbit happy by taking some extra steps backing up to get a good compostion. While I like the results from my 300 prime lens, it is limiting,

Sometimes, when you’re not busy shooting, you experience the most outstanding interaction between birds. A swan was protecting his mate and his cygnets from a goose. The interchange was hilarous. Too bad I couldn’t catch it. My lens was too long and my reflexes too slow!

Take a look at what I saw that morning!

Normal? Indian Festival and Fair Oaks

e’re pretty much settled in, and hanging pictures. How many pictures can one small house hold? There’s still more stuff to find places for, and the sunroom to fix up, but that will just have to take time. It’s good to be back to normal–my going on photo outings and Richard running up to the observatory. Each day, we take time to hang two pictures or curtains, etc.

And, summer has arrived, so we try to plan our outings for early morning, local venue or inside. I have two outings to show you today. Linda and I went to the Indian Festival, hoping to get pictures of traditional dress and dance of our Native Americans. However when the dances were to begin, we were told we couldn’t take pictures, and the few dances that we were allowed to take pictures of, we couldn’t post anywhere. Oh, what a letdown for a couple of photographers. So, I’ll show you some shots I took of the festival and vendors before the dance started. This was held outside the State Indian Museum.

Now we move on to the small town of Fair Oaks and its chickens. Yes,

it’s known for being inhabited by wild chickens. They are protected, so no roasted chicken for us!

Now, which pictures should I pick to hang today?

 

 

Not today: Michigan Bar Road Adventure

Not packing or unpacking! Yes, today is a day off. Since we decided to move, I’ve gone on two photo outings, and, even then, I packed at night. Then, the next day, I unpacked at the other house. We are painting, putting in new floors and taking care of other things at our small home. The kitchen is almost set up. The rest of the move is easy.

Today, is a rest and blogging day. Last weekend I needed to take a break, drive somewhere and shoot. So, I rounded up photo buddies Laura and Linda and away I drove to Michigan Bar Road. This road is located in a rural area of Sacramento County. To get there, you drive on Highway 16 or Jackson Hwy through beautiful scenery, and in the summer, you can buy the best corn ever at the Davis Ranch produce stand. I’ve posted images from this road before, so I tried to get different angles, etc. Then we had the bright idea to go beyond the paved road and get home a different way. I do need to tell you it’s been raining here off and on for two weeks, and I was hoping that with a few dry days, the dirt roads would be more or less dry.

Not!! Going 7 – 10 mph can take about 45 minutes to go 4 miles! I made it through three shallow large puddles with the help of my valiant crew, but was stopped by this pool. We had to turn around.

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On the way back to the paved road, I had to set down the law because my pals were still wanting to stop to take pictures. No more pictures, we needed to get home. This was a fun adventure, and it rained the next few days so my car got cleaned outside. (I looked for every puddle to go through to get the underside clean.)

Each of us had a reason to get out and experience a bit of photography, so we all enjoyed our adventure. The next day it was back to moving for me, but my break was great!

 

The 365: Old Sacramento with Sharon

I had the pleasure of spending most of the day with my friend Sharon from Los Angeles before she went on to San Francisco last week. I picked her up at the airport after my Toastmasters meeting, we went to lunch and then headed to Old Sacramento. Now I would never had pulled out a camera before the 365 day challenge, but I did. After feeding the parking meter, I explained the 365 challenge to her. Not only was she okay with it, she was pointing out interesting things to me.

Old Sacramento is an area, located on the Sacramento River, containing quaint shops, old architecture, a train station, a few museums (most notably the Railroad Museum).

I enjoyed that day with Sharon, not only catching up with her, but realizing that I will probably pull my camera out from now on–365 challenge or not.

This challenge is amazing. I’m learning more than I thought I would and also found the support of a long-time friend.

Urban art: Midtown, Sacramento, part 2

Wow, what a busy photographic weekend. But, you’ll hear more about my Saturday and Sunday outings soon. Now, I want to finish up on my visit to Midtown, Sacramento. Midtown is not a separate city, but a community within Sacramento. We have the various directional communities (north, south, east) and in the middle is….Midtown! West Sacramento is in Yolo County and is a separate city. Sacramento City is in Sacramento County.

Now that I’ve thoroughly confused you, here are more images from last week’s visit.

A fun time with the peeps: Sacramento’s Tower Bridge at night

Yes, I’m trying to learn the new lingo. That’s one of the reasons I retired. I couldn’t keep up with the “20 and 30 somethings” colloquialisms, and it was time at 69 years! Hanging around with the peeps from Sacramento Photographers, a group on Facebook open to people who like photography, was fun.

I went out to the Tower Bridge with the intent to put my camera on manual, shoot with it on manual and get some light trail shots. I accomplished my task and also did some HDR. I don’t know why I didn’t shoot the HDR shots on manual rather than staying in my comfort zone at aperture priority. There’s always a next time.

Hopefully that next time will be with the Sacramento Photographers. They have one event a month, and the members are eager to share and help. They will also go out and invite the group at the spur of the moment like last nights activity. I’m looking forward to going out with the peeps again.

 

Gibson Ranch near sundown

What I love about the “Shoot Or Go Home” photography meetup group is the small, close to home opportunities they offer. Tuesday we ventured to Gibson Ranch (about 10 minutes away) for a photo walk and sunset shoot. I wasn’t feeling well, but I needed to do something I enjoyed after losing the trailer and missing out on a weekend away.

Gibson Ranch is a park where people board horses, organizations hold events and individuals picnic. It was a Sacramento County park, but is now being run by a private company. I think the County still owns the park but has leased it out. We met at 6:30 p.m. and proceeded to walk the area around the stables. It was a small group, so I had a chance to meet some of them. Mary and “Goose” helped me with my prime 50 mm lens. I’m still having troube getting the exposure correct. After enough frustration, I switched back to my zoom lens.

The setting sun created a challenge for exposure no matter what. I’m so glad I’m learning Lightroom. We all gathered at the small lake to shoot the sunset. This was my first time shooting a sunset for HDR, The sunset wasn’t all that spectacular, but I had fun processing the HDR and was pleased with the various results.

So, here are some of the images captured Tuesday night with the “Shoot Or Go Home” photo group.