What’s a rock garden? Wikipedia has a full history and description for you here. Our small WPA Rock Garden was built by the WPA in 1940. The WPA was an employment and infrastructure program created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935 during the Great Depression. In 1988 Daisy Mah, a park employee, put her vision for the current garden into fruition. Its paths wind in, out and around, and is maintained by a group of volunteers.
We enjoy walking through the garden looking for small gems. Marlene was with me and is good at finding insects, but none were found that morning. But there were many beautiful floral delights. Here are some of them.
This was a great way to end a visit to the zoo. We’ll be back!
Oh my, we were late in getting to the Sacramento Zoo and the small parking lot in William Land Park was almost full. And, the big yellow school busses were dropping off school aged kids. It was going to be a tough day of photography! I’m guessing the big cats already enjoyed their bones, because the ones that were in their enclosure were just about to nap.
One cheetah had begun to rest when the other one came over and this happened.
When we got to the giraffe enclosure, Cheyenne, the new young giraffe was out in the yard. What a treat!
All in all, it was a pretty good morning at the zoo after all. Next we went to the WPA Rock Garden, and I’ll show you that in my next post.
I had two motivators for visiting the Sacramento Zoo recently. 1. I was gone for almost a month and hadn’t seen the new baby giraffe now named Cheyenne and, 2. I wanted to test out a new lens. With my Nikon, I had an 18-200mm lens which was a perfect walk-around lens. Unfortunately, Fujifilm doesn’t make a lens with that type of zoom. Recently Tamron came out with an 18-300mm lens for Fuji and Sony. So I bought the Fuji mount. The only drawback is its lack of an aperture ring on the lens. I was told that I could assign that function to the front dial and use the top dial to change the aperture.
When I purchased the lens, I was told that Fuji would make the switch automatically and when I put my Fuji lens back on it would revert back. I played with it while at the zoo and didn’t quite do it correctly. I ended up with sharp but noisy images. Thank heavens for Topaz!
The zoo didn’t disappoint. The cheetah was walking around; not running.
The red panda was walking the branches instead of sleeping.
The giraffes were being giraffes. Have you ever seen a two-headed, six-legged giraffe? We did get to see Cheyenne, but she was behind a fence and quickly went back inside with her mother.
The river otters were in their hammock.
And the lions were preparing for a nap.
One of the Okapi was out eating.
I almost forgot the alligator.
So, this was my morning at the zoo with friends Marlene, Laura and Ray. It’s good to be home and doing photography with friends.
One lesson learned: Be careful what you challenge others to do! Recently on a Lens Artists Challenge, I encouraged participants to take a photo walk with only one lens. If that lens was a zoom lens, I suggested that they pick a millimeter setting and leave it there. Last Thursday Ray and I went to the Sacramento Zoo and I accidently put my 80 mm fixed macro lens on my camera instead of the 55 – 200 mm I usually take inside.
I didn’t notice my mistake until I started taking pictures. I decided to stay with the lens and see what how it performed. Fortunately, the zoo has put glass in some enclosures, because the lens had a difficult time eliminating fencing.
The panda was the most difficult and far away. When I was taking its picture, I couldn’t see what it was actually doing. I thought the pictures were incredible. Here are three. They are cropped in a lot.
I’m trying to learn patience and the zebra proved that patience pays off. It was eating and then looked up. It also walked away from the food trough and proceeded to do a little tap dance!
There’s a new baby giraffe at the zoo, but she and mom were not out yet. But the macro lens did well with the others.
The jaguar was eating its bone (Thursday is bone day for the big cats.). Fortunately it was close to the glass so I could get these images.
Now for the lion. He just finished his bone and I think he’s telling us it’s tongue licking good.
I kept walking back to the orangutan enclosure, but they weren’t showing off. The only one out there just wanted a head of lettuce and was headed back inside.
So, this was my one-lens walk. It took some extra walking on my part, but I learned more about my lens and had fun!
Lately, I find that I’m usually choosing one lens to put on my Fuji camera when I go out for a photo outing with my friends. We are usually gone for few hours. I carry nothing else except for an extra battery. I mostly use my 18-55 lens which covers landscape and close ups. I’ve taken it to Bodega Bay to catch ocean scenes and to the Antique Trove to capture some indoor close ups.
When I go to the Sacramento Zoo, I always take my 55-200 mm lens. It does a great job of capturing giraffes and also gets me up close and personal with an orangutan.
You know I love Macro. When I need a lift, I take my Fuji and macro lens to the Green Acres Nursery. There I find many macro-opportunities.
Macro lenses are great for photographing other things like this bird. I was in the Rose Garden and saw it above me.
And then there’s my old trusty prime F/4 300 mm lens I use on my Nikon D7100 for bird shots. I don’t use it often but when I do, I appreciate it. Actually, this lens is why I’m holding on to my Nikon.
If I know I’ll be gone on a longer photo outing and not near my car, I’ll put on my waist pack containing an extra lens giving me a total of 18-200 mm in length. It also carries extra batteries, filters, water, lens cloth and tissues. My problem is, I don’t like changing lenses in the field. Maybe that’s why I challenge myself with one lens each outing.
My challenge for you is to take a lens for a walk. Yes, choose a lens and walk. You can also use your cell phone or point and shoot camera and see what you can do with it. Another trick, when you’re using a zoom lens, is to pick an aperture and stay with it. If you don’t have time or the weather isn’t cooperating, then delve into your archives. Look for images that represent one F stop or close to it. Most of all, have fun! Remember to link to this post when you take us on your one-lens walk and use the Lens-Artists tag.
We all enjoyed looking back with you during Sophia’s challenge last week. I thought your responses were unique and interesting. Next week our newest team member Donna Holland of Wind Kisses will be leading the challenge. Be sure to look for her post. Have a great week!
If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, click here for more info.
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.
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.
I find that I’m getting lazy when I photograph. I used to do as Patti suggests in this week’s challenge: bend down, sit down, walk around and even lay down to get the shot. Now I find that I stop myself after I take one shot and begin to walk away. I think it’s more physical aging than being lazy.
Sometimes I don’t have to bend down to get a different perspective. Sometimes I just walk around and aim the camera up. This red sculpture is found in Roseville’s Sculpture Park. While it’s a well known landmark, Roseville has cleverly hidden it behind a shopping center. But it can be seen from the freeway. Maybe the sculpture came first and the shopping center second.
My next example is of stepping back and changing position to get a different scene from the same area. This was taken at Fort Ross Historical Park in Jenner. I’ve never seen wild Calla Lilies, but they are here. We start out with a larger view of the coast and then come in to find the wildflowers (you can barely see them).
Sometimes it’s patience that gives us a new perspective on a picture. This Orangutan at the Sacramento Zoo required patience as I waited and followed his moves.
Finally, it’s taking a shot of many and bringing it down to just one for a different perspective. These poppies were found in Sutter Creek, Amador County.
Thank you Patti for reminding me to position myself to get the “one subject three ways!” When you post on this challenge please remember to link to Patti’s post and use the Lens-Artists tag. We all enjoyed finding our special treasures as prompted by Tina last week. Ann-Christine is hosting next week’s challenge.
Early this month we decided to beat the heat and went to the Sacramento Zoo when it opened. To our surprise, it was pleasant weather wise. However, the animals were being ornery. I don’t know why they turn away when they see a camera! Many weren’t in their enclosures and the nocturnal animals were sleeping early.
The orangutans were playing and eating in their enclosure. Finally one decided to turn around.
Thank goodness it was bone day, and the lions and jaguars were still gnawing at their treats.
By now we should have a new baby giraffe. I guess as soon as it gets a little cooler I’ll get down their to see him/her. The docents are hoping for a girl because she would get to stay. If it’s a male then when he gets to a certain age, he’ll be sent to another zoo.
One of the alligators was active and swimming towards the platform we stood on. He doesn’t look too friendly.
Last we have the okapi. There was only one out that morning. They are an amazing looking animal.
You’ll notice there are no flamingo pictures this time. All the birds are inside because of the avian flu. They even drained the flamingos pool. I hope they are back when we visit next. They are fun to watch and photograph.
Our zoo is planning to move to Elk Grove, a city south of Sacramento but within Sacramento County. More acreage is needed for expansion and to house the current zoo animals. But, it’s not going to happen overnight. They say the zoo will move in stages. I wonder what that would mean for the visitors and animals. Change happens!
When you have thousands of pictures, how do you pick just three? It’s difficult, but Sarah of Travel With Me has given us this challenge. I’ve taken it on and here are my three.
My first photo is of Waterton Lake, Waterton Lakes National Park, in Canada. I like it because when I decided to try processing it in black and white, it took on a whole new dimension, almost like a sketch. I love black and white, so when I think an image has a tonal quality that may fit, I try it. Sometimes it doesn’t work, but this time it did. I typically process black and whites in NIK Silver Efex. This won a prize in the Motherload Fair, Sonora.
Next is a macro that almost took first place in the In Focus competition. This means it made it to the final table. That doesn’t matter to me because I just like it for the color, seeing the hair on the leaf and the water drop that’s just hanging on. I process all my photos in Lightroom and may have brought this into NIK Color Efex. I just can’t remember. I’m sure I’ve posted this before in an LAPC post. This is truly one of my favorites.
My third image is definitely a recent favorite of mine. I love the flamingos at the Sacramento Zoo. I had already taken a few photos of them, looking for a “keeper.” I was thinking sometimes you’re just not in the right place at the right time. I was talking to a docent about the birds who were taking their naps and this one opened one eye and looked at me. I’m so glad it opened it again after I got my camera in position. This time I was in the right place at the right time! This was processed in Lightroom and Topaz sharpener AI. It did take “Picture of the Night” at the Sierra Camera Club general competition.
As I said, I have many more favorites. This was a difficult challenge Sarah, but worth the exercise. Thank you! Remember to use the Lens-Artist tag when you post your reply and link to Sarah’s original pose. Tracy’s Surreal challenge last week brought us many amazing photos to look at. I’ll be posting next week’s challenge, so be sure to check back.
During a photography competition, the judge always looks into the subject’s eyes–whether human or animal. Are they sharp and have a catch light. This week, Tina challenges us to focus on the eyes of a subject. Eyes are doorways into the soul.
I managed to find some images in my archives to show you. Let’s start with one I enjoy looking at. My friend and I were at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge driving the course. Towards the end, a bald eagle was in a branch right over the road. To get this picture, I climbed up through her car’s sunroof. Look at those eyes. What do you think he’s telling me?
Two more animals: The coyote is on the hunt. You can see that he is focused in his eyes. While the parrot, is just being colorful and beautiful.
Burrowing owls are very small, but their eyes are big in comparison. Is he flashing a do not disturb sign with those eyes?
I don’t capture enough candid portraits of people. Here are two that tell different stories. The first gentleman was sitting on a bridge bench. His glasses hide the despair in his eyes, but his body language speaks. The woman is taking a break at the Pirate Festival. Her eyes are narrowed and relaxed. To me she’s reflecting on a good day of fun.
Another of my favorites is this flamingo trying to sleep at the Sacramento Zoo. What is he trying to tell me as I snap his picture?
A dog’s eyes are a true reflection of what he/she is thinking. I think he/she wants attention. What do you think?
Eye focus equals communication. At Toastmasters we teach “eye contact.” Look directly into your audience’s eyes. You can tell immediately whether or not your message is reaching them.
Thank you Tina for this wonderful eye opening topic. Remember to link your reply to her post. Next week we begin our tradition of summer guest hosts during July. Next week Aletta Crouse of Now at Home will focus onTreasures. Be sure to look for her post.