Lens-Artist Challenge 108: Sanctuary

Sanctuary, for me, is where you seek refuge from things that may be bothering you, where you relax and rejuvenate, where you find peace. This challenge was selected by our guest host Xenia of Tranature and posted by Ann-Christine.

I gave it a lot of thought. Where do I find peace? Where do I get away from it all? Where? Where? I came to the realization that I find peace and rejuvenate when I’m out taking pictures. My camera is my calming mechanism. When I’m out shooting, I concentrate on taking the best pictures, I forget what’s bothering me, I forget my physical problems. When the outing is over then my hip hurts and the world situation comes back into my head.

So I began the daunting task of finding pictures that would be my interpretation of sanctuary. These Lens-Artist challenges can lead to great introspection. To my surprise, I kept coming back to the Sacramento Historical City Cemetery! Now that’s odd, you’re probably thinking. Me too! This cemetery is beautiful, has history, it’s not crowded with tourists, has places to sit, has lovely flowers, and old head stones and statues to photograph.

My photo buddies and I usually visit there at least once a year, maybe twice. Things don’t change much so the challenge is to find new ways to shoot and create difference. It was built in 1849 and its architectural style is that of a Victorian Garden. The grave stones tell us about how life was lived back then and the people who lived it.

You can see, beautiful sculptures rather than head stones. And head stones that tell the sad story of two children lost, and one simple stone telling of what I assume to be a still born child.

The lovely flowers are maintained by a volunteer organization, and they are beautiful.

During our last visit, I tried to capture the flowers around the headstones.

And I finally found the cemetery cat!

I’m due for another visit. Maybe this week. It’s supposed to be in the 80s on Wednesday! It’s a great time to visit my sanctuary.

Finishing up: Maple Rock Gardens, part 2

Finishing up is not exactly correct since there is so much to see at Maple Rock Gardens in Newcastle. But, I’ll focus this post on the small touches and sculptures. If you missed the first post on this fantastic place, here’s a summary.

The garden is a private residence associated with High Hand Nursery in Loomis. When you visit, you’ll walk from one themed garden into another. It also has acreage that supplies flowers to the nursery. It’s only open to the public twice a year and is available as an event venue for special occasion parties, like weddings, the rest of the time.

Look back at my last post to view the grounds, and now for the rest!

Shopping and shooting: The Fountains, Roseville

Senario: one week before husband, Richard’s, back surgery; dear friends come to visit from Los Angeles for a couple of days; Richard can’t walk much and is in pain; we stay home first day; second day, just to get out for a while, we, minus Richard, go to The Fountains shopping center and the Romanian Festival, both in Roseville.

Now that you know what’s going on, let me tell you about our friends of at least 40 years. We’ve seen our children grow and marry, our grandchildren reach the age of Bar Mitzvah, and stayed in touch after Richard and I moved from Los Angeles. Life cycle events would bring us down to L.A. more often than bringing these two couples up our way. So, it was a treat to have them stay with us, and it provided a diversion for Richard.

We went to The Fountains because Lois wanted to see the Vera Bradley shop, and Ron’s shutter finger was getting antsy. Shelley and Jim just enjoy walking. So, while Ron and I took pictures, Lois enjoyed signing up for Vera Bradley’s discounts, and Jim and Shellie walked.

Next, I tried to get them to the Romanian Festival, but our way was blockaded by a farmer’s market. We did make it to the Festival, which provided Ron and me another photo opportunity. You’ll see those images in my next post.

For now, come join us at The Fountains. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ve seen flowers from this unique shopping center before. I also took on the challenge of shooting more than just flowers.

Oh, the end of this senario: Richard’s back surgery went well with just one complication. Now he thinks he can do anything one week after surgery.

Road trip: To we don’t know where, part 2

To say photography has enriched my life would be an understatement. I have been to and experienced places I would normally not have gone to. I have learned to see things differently and be more aware of my surroundings. Most of all, I have met wonderful people who have become dear friends.

I was out with three friends during this road trip to we don’t know where. Three women of various ages, but with one goal–to have fun! Yes, photography is just an enjoyable means of having fun. We are serious about our photography, but not that serious that it is all consumable.

And, when women drive and shoot together there’s a major amount of talking and laughter. This road trip was no different.

In my previous post, we covered Winters, St. Helena and whatever we could find in between. In this post we visited Calistoga, Geyserville, Clearlake, Rumsey, Guinda and Cash Creek Casino. To be honest, I’m not sure I have images from each of these places, but we did drive through and sometimes stop at each of these towns or along the road side.

In the end, we were tired and weary, but joyful. We were grateful for an amusing day with dear friends. When I got home and uploaded my pictures, I was able to relive the day.

Yes, photography has enriched my life. It is now my passion.

Out and about Sacramento with my camera

I’m beginning to take my camera with me whenever I go where I think there may be something to shoot. Now, a trip to the grocery store, well there may be stuff to shoot there too. But, recently I was a trainer for Toastmaster officers down in downtown Sacramento during the lunch hour. So, I brought my camera. I should have brought lunch too.

My Toastmaster and photo buddy Bob and I took the light rail downtown where parking is difficult. While waiting for the training to begin, I practiced on manual, promising my fellow Toastmasters that I would delete the shots–I did. After the training, which was held in a cafeteria without food or vending machine, Bob and I walked to a nearby light rail station hoping to find something to shoot and something to eat. I did have an opportunity to shoot a memorial to slain police officers and a sculpture of a wife and daughter who had lost a husband and father. I also found some Mickey Mouse statues in a museum. We stopped in there to see if the gift shop had any food. We were desperate.

A couple of days later, I was chasing a sunset at Gibson Ranch with a couple of other photographers. The day before the sky was on fire, but I didn’t know it until it was dark out and photographers were posting their spectacular images on the web. Although we didn’t have the cloud cover of the night before, I did get a decent one-cloud shot.

So here are my images of being out and about with my camera.


Meet me up Scotty: Ruth Bancroft Garden, part 2

If the cacti and their flowers weren’t enough for us to photograph during this Meetup outing, the addition of sculptures made it an outstanding experience. We were allowed to photograph the sculptures, which were for sale, if we gave credit to the sculpture. So, I put a system in place of shooting the name card before I shot the sculpture. Of course, there were times I forgot! I’ll do my best in identifying these amazing artists. My apologies if I didn’t get them all right!

The art forms came in all mediums. There were some sculpted from metal, glass, stone, and wood. Here are just a few.