An artistic festival: Wide Open Walls, Sacramento City

I’ve said it before–I’m not an artist. But, I’m in awe of anyone who can visualize and create art. Recently, in August 2017, the city of Sacramento held a festival, Wide Open Walls, that enabled artistic visions to become reality, as murals, on various walls in the city. I wasn’t able to shoot during the festival since we were away, but was eager to see the results.

Murals are not new to Sacramento’s Midtown. Greg Morris (RIP) took me there a few times to view them in the alleys. He would tell me that the best time to shoot the murals was on Sunday because there was less traffic. But this time, murals were more predominate on the walls of businesses and out of the alleys.

I did go to midtown with photo buddies Karen B and Ray on a recent Sunday and thoroughly enjoyed the morning. We did a great deal of walking, shooting and resting. It left me in awe of the various artists’ talent. And, Midtown is not the only location. They are all over the city. Next time, we might walk downtown to see these amazing works of art.

Here are some of the murals I took pictures of. In some instances, I’ll show you the entire wall and then a portion of it. They were too large to do justice in one shot. No captions necessary.

Getting the sun’s glow: Cosumnes River Preserve, Galt

You’ve got to love Laura’s enthusasim when it comes to photography. I do. So, on a recent weekend morning, about 8 a.m., when she suggested we go down to Cosumnes River Preserve (CRP), a nature preserve of 46,000 acres, to catch the tail end of the morning’s golden hour, I scrambled. I always need that push to get up early, stay up late, etc. Laura gives me that push.

In my rush to get out, I left my backpack that contained, snacks, hiking shoes etc. at home. Another truth about me: I will shoot in Birkenstocks whenever I can because my feet don’t like to be confined (a bad arthritic toe). Luckily, we were walking on the dirt paths around CRP.

But we weren’t lucky enough to catch the last of the golden hour because there wasn’t any! Fog! This was the second time we caught the morning fog at CRP. The last time we were able to catch glistening spider webs on plants. That morning there were none. The rains had washed away the webs and the spiders hadn’t returned yet.

Because of the fog, I decided to use my Sigma 2.8, 17 – 70 mm lens; but, that meant I didn’t have the ability to catch the birds out in the distance. When the fog lifted, I switched to my Nikon 55 – 300 mm lens so I was able to catch a few birds.

In the end, we did get the sun’s glow and the moody fog. All in all, it was a fun morning.

Self evaluation: The California Automobile Museum, Sacramento

I’m at a cross roads and seem not to be ready to make the next move. I think it’s time to take my photography to the next level. My goals in 2017 are to learn Photoshop and some of the other processing programs I have accumulated, and to enter competitions.

I am learning more about Photoshop. I have an accountability partner, and I’m doing the 52 week challenge. I started it last year, but fumbled after the first couple of months. However, I think I can do it with Karen B. keeping me moving. I will also encourage her to learn. So far, I’ve learned more about the removal tools because Karen and I sat down for a Scott Kelby lesson.

The second goal is where I’m more stymied. Every time I hear about a competition, I read the entrance instructions and decide there will be better photographers entering. I tell myself that I don’t stand a chance. I know I should enter and accept whatever happens. That way I’ll at least find out what the judges look for, etc. But, I’m stuck. I’ve tried self-talk; it didn’t work. I know I’ve got to just take the leap, but I don’t seem to be jumping high or long enough! Confidence–that’s what I need.

Maybe a few blog posts in the future will find me taking the right path at the cross roads.

Aside from this, Richard had never been to the California Automobile Museum in Sacramento, so we decided to go. He loved the cars and I loved trying out my newest acquisition a F/2.8 – 4, 17 – 70 mm Sigma Lens. We both enjoyed our experience. As usual, I found it difficult to shoot there with cars stacked up in rows and ropes keeping us at a distance, so I did close up work again.

If you’ve been following my blog for a long time, you might think the cars are what you’ve seen before. The good news is that they continually change the exhibit cars. So take a look at the fun parts shots!