Len-Artist Challenge #103: Surprise

Now this is a challenge. A surprised moment could be photographed in many ways. I was thinking about this and came up with the idea that sometimes people would be surprised they were photographed candidly. So here goes my interpretation of this week’s challenge by Ann-Christine.

Let’s begin with a most recent picture taken on my son’s boat during an outing to Folsom Lake. This was part of my birthday present. I love to shoot the backs of people. Totally unaware were my daughter-in-law, granddaughter, and grandson. Maybe I should have told Ryan to straighten up his head, but then it would ruin the candid moment. Separately, the kids were also surprised.

Now, we go back in time (2018) to a photo walk along the Embarcadero in San Francisco. In this shot we have a young couple helping their very senior dog into her stroller. This touched my heart.

These next two are of homeless guys. One is asleep and the other is trying to get his belongings into the restroom. More images to touch my soul.

Last, was opening day at Daffodil Hill. This was run by a family who plant these lovely flowers each year and open their property to the public. They closed permanently after the first weekend because of the crowds on the property and traffic mayhem on the road in/out. From left to right: The traffic on the road in, the line for the restrooms, the congestion along a path.

I may have been behind the camera for these images, but I’ve also been on the receiving end of a candid shot or two by my photo buddies! I love candid images.

An annoying cold in the summer: Catching up

I thought I was over the 2-week cold, but I guess I wasn’t. I’m in my fourth week of it and not feeling really well. Can I continue to complain a bit? The worse part of it is the fog brain that keeps me from posting, etc. I didn’t even realize that I haven’t posted in a long while. Okay, that’s enough complaining.

I’ve been on a few shoots since my trip to San Francisco, and I’ll try to post about two of them here. My Tuesday group visited The Fountains Shopping Center again. It’s always a challenge to come up with something different at a place you’ve photographed many times. So here’s what I came up with:

Another visit was to downtown Sacramento and the third year of the Wide Open Walls Festival. This time we shot on the second and last days of the week’s artistry. On the second day, we found only one artist at work. On the last day, we were treated to two amazing murals: Johnny Cash and Monkeys (which was three-dimensional with metal parts and paint). Here’s some of what we saw:

While shooting our first set of murals, we stopped by William Land Park in Sacramento to photograph the lotus pond:

And, of course, I do enjoy shooting buildings:

That’s it for now. Have to rest. I do hope this cold is over before my next post!

Street Photography: San Francisco, part 2

When the going gets tough, the tough plow through it! Marlene and I walked between four and five miles the day we walked the length of the Embarcadero in San Francisco. Now that may be nothing to younger folks, but to seniors with feet and leg issues, it’s success!

Yes, we got some good images that day. In my previous post (part 1), I showed you some of people I photographed and told my interpretation of their stories in the captions. Some, I didn’t need to interpret like the old dog being helped into her stroller. I talked to her owners who were intent on making her last years as easy as possible.

However, I couldn’t resist taking pictures of buildings, structures and crowds. It’s amazing how many people can move along a street without problems. I also took some pictures from the ferry we picked up in Vallejo. So, to finish off our trip to San Francisco, I have some more to show you.

Walking and shooting: San Francisco

Many people have asked me what type of photography I enjoy doing. I always answer, “Everything but portriat!” Of course that leaves landscape, buildings, macro and more. One is street photography, and I don’t feel as comfortable with this as I do macro, etc.

Part of the problem is that I’m not fast enough to catch the moment. I also fail to see the opportunity. I think I can do better with some training and experience. So, I jumped on the chance to walk along the Embarcarado in San Francisco. This fun day was sponsored by the Exploring Photography Meetup group. We started at 8:30 a.m., taking the ferry from Vallejo to San Francisco. We were to walk and take photos along the way and meet back to catch the ferryferry at 4 p.m.

We were told to take small sized gear so we wouldn’t be conspicuous. So I took my D3100, my 50 mm lens and shot on aperture priority. But, how can you be conspicuous with a bunch of tourists snapping pictures! At least the D3100 was lighter than the D7100.

It was also good experience using the 50 mm prime lens. I stopped trying to twist the barrel after a while! It was a fun day as I looked for people their stories. I took so many pictures that this will be a two-part post.

So get your walking shoes on and follow along!

Processing with presets: San Francisco, part 2

Is it okay to use a preset, from a processing program, on your image and call it your own? I had never thought about this until I took a sunflower bud I shot and brought it into Smart Photo Editor, used their presets and found one I liked. I posted it on Facebook and it got a great deal of attention. One photographer said that it was a great edit. I quickly replied that it was a preset. And, that’s when I began to question whether I could post this as my own. Here is the image as posted.

DSC_8305_peThe composition is mine, the fact that it was a sharp image is my doing, but the ultimate look is not mine. The reality is that I, with my lack of artistic ability, could not complete it this way.

So, what do you think? Is it okay to use a preset and call it your photo?

Now, back to the pictures in this post. We are in San Francisco and are headed to the California Academy of Sciences when they open. I got up early and went down to Fisherman’s Wharf to see what I could shoot along the way. It was fun and got my energy flowing. I have some of those shots to show you. What was amazing were the swimmers out for their morning exercise in freezing cold water. There were also walkers, runners and bikers using the old pier as their exercise ground.

The Academy was amazing, but the parking wasn’t. The only place to park was in their very expensive structure–it cost us about $30 for the day. We had coupons for the Academy admission so that helped with the cost. We did opt for an additional tour, but it was worth it, especially since we were the only ones who went on it. We had a guided tour behind locked doors and were able to walk the roof.

A lot will be explained in captions. It was an all day experience. We left about 4 p.m., stopped to take pictures of house boats to take up the time before dinner. We were trying to avoid traffic. It all worked out, and our drive home was easy. Enjoy the academy through my camera lens! I apologize for the many images, but I didn’t want to make this a three part post.

24 hours: San Francisco

The California Academy of Sciences, in Golden Gate Park, is more than a museum. It’s a planetarium, a rain forest, and aquarium and natural history museum. Yes, it is a museum, and Linda and I wanted to visit. But we knew it would take us all day to get through it, so we decided to stay overnight at the Ft. Mason Hostel (Once again in a private bedroom.).

Our plan for this adventure was to leave early in the morning, visit some sights, get to the Hostel in the evening and go to the Academy the next morning. That first day our road trip took us to Tiburon, where we had lunch and enjoyed the small town; Sausalito where we shot the Golden Gate Bridge; and to the Sutro Baths in San Francisco.

Given that itinerary, I think this will be a two part post. Remembering that we are seniors, me more than Linda, we packed a lot in. However, we were tired at night and didn’t venture out for night photography.

I had a great time. I was more at ease with my photography than I was during our previous trip. Again, we found fog in San Francisco. I’m still amazed at how fast it moves across the vistas. In less than 5 minutes, you can be shooting in fog, mild fog and no fog.

Let’s begin with Tiburon and end with the Sutro Baths. The next post will have images from the California Academy of Sciences.

 

Digging it: Copp’s Quarry, Rocklin, CA

A very beautiful, local place, Copp’s Quarry, is making way for houses. Some call it progress, photographers call it sad.

One of Rocklin’s most productive 19th-century granite quarries, Copp’s provided granite for Stockton and San Francisco. Copp’s closed around 1915, but remained one of Rocklin’s most scenic quarries. It is soon to be seen no more.

On a recent Tuesday, we made our way to Copp’s Quarry and walked through it. The landscape was still beautiful. Unfortunately we couldn’t get down to the creek in many places, the small lake was covered in some sort of algae and houses lined the perimeter. But, the weather cooperated and clouds were in the sky.

We all enjoyed what was probably our one and only chance to enjoy the quarry’s beauty.

On the road again: San Francisco

I didn’t say yes right away, I thought about it. First, I had never stayed in a hostel, and I’m not fond of driving in San Francisco. But I capitulated, and told photo buddy Linda that I’d go with her–if she drove. Oh yes, I also told her I wouldn’t rent an electric bike to take me places. I won’t say how many years it’s been since I’ve been on a bike, but I was worried about my balance and whatever photography gear I would be carrying.

It ended up being three days of fun and adventure. And, we did okay using Linda’s car. We found free parking wherever we went that was close to where we were shooting. I think it had something to do with visiting during the week. We did have to pay to park the last day, but were validated for most of the amount.

So what did we do? Our first stop was Treasure Island. I was there on a night Meetup to photograph the Bliss Dance statue before she was moved, and I wanted to shoot in that same area during the day. It was so much easier to get a sharp image of the city this time, even though there was fog.

After Treasure Island, we went to Fort Point National Historic Site at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. Built between 1853 and 1861, Fort Point was used as part of a defense system of forts planned for the protection of San Francisco Bay. Designed at the height of the Gold Rush, the Fort and its companion fortifications would protect the Bay’s important commercial and military installations against foreign attack. We made a few more stops before checking in to the Hostel. All this and more will be discussed in the next few posts.

I’m so glad I finally said yes to this photo adventure and probably part of Linda’s bucket list.