Searching for fall colors: Markleeville

It seems that with each season Sacramento photographers rush to photograph the Milky Way, wildlife including the Sandhill Crane, snow and Fall colors. I’m no exception which is why my Camera Totin Tuesday group treked up to Markleeville, Alpine County, to capture delightful images.

There were five of us, and we squeezed into one car. Fortunately Marlene drove and her Suby Blue accomodated us easily. It’s a 2-hour ride up to the colorful aspens. Thank you Marlene for driving us. We stopped along the way to photograph the changing colors and had lunch in Markleeville. After lunch and taking pictures of the small town, population of 210 in the last census, we continued looking for color.

While editing the pictures of this outing, I tried to get out of my comfort zone with some creative help from Nik software. I’ve been liking the soft look lately and wanted to do some of my own. So, here’s the California colors of Fall.

 

Country life: Yolo Art and Ag

I’m not a country gal, but I do enjoy the opportunity to experience it. And, fortunately, I do get the chance. During the summer months, Yolo Arts brings together artists, photographers and farm owners in an effort to  raise awareness about the importance of preserving farmlands. This is accomplished through the Arts and Ag Project in Yolo County.

It’s amazing how close urban and suburban Sacramento is to farms and orchards. Drive one hour and you’re in a different world. A world I often get lost in! This month we visited Meeks and Sons, Inc. farm. A large farm that grows crops. This was a much different experience than in the past when we visited small farms–maybe two or three at a time. Karen B. and I got lost driving up and down the dirt roads. We did manage to find almond pods on the trees and some old and new farm equipment to take picture of.

Afterwards, Karen B. and I drove about 30 miles north to scout out a venue for our Tuesday group–a resting place for old busses and trucks in Williams. This is a photographers dream shoot, but not in the summer. It’s way too hot with more triple digits days than ever before. We ate lunch in the town and took some pictures.

Take a peek at what this city gal found on the farm.

 

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?

 

 

Found and seek: Sutter Creek,California

Very early into our visit to Sutter Creek, I found a wallet on a bench. My first instinct was to just leave it, but I thought maybe the owners ID would be in it. So, I looked inside. I found a driver’s license with a PO box for an address, no other identification and a wad of $20s. With that much cash, I couldn’t leave it. So, began the adventure to find her or the Police Station!

And, yes, it was an adventure. Our photographing stopped, we asked in several stores to see if they knew this person and to ask where the Police Station was. After walking past the end of town, we finally were told that the Police were located in a small white house! Sutter Creek is a small town in Amador County. But it wasn’t open. We had to press a button and wait for the dispatcher to come and take the call. Then we waited for the officer to come and take the wallet.

I don’t know which was more fun, shooting or finding the Police Station! Having been to Sutter Creek before, I concentrated on shooting doors. Of course there were other things that I couldn’t pass up.

We bumped into the wallet’s owner coming out of a coffee shop–literally bumped into. She was rushing over to the bench to retrieve her wallet. We calmed her down and told her we found it and it was at the Police Station. Being grateful, she told us to go into her sister’s coffee shop and order what we wanted and she would pay for it. The coffee shop, Choc-O-Latte, ended up being a photographer’s wonderland. See, do good deeds and you’ll be rewarded. If you find a wallet or purse, try to find the owner. You’ll have fun!

 

 

Jet lag: Peachtree City, Georgia

I woke up at 3:30 a.m in spite of my trying to stay up until 9 p.m. last night–jet lag wins. I’m happy to be home, but brought back sad, happy and exciting memories from my trip to Peachtree City, Georgia and to family.

It was great seeing family again. It’s been 2 1/2 years since we were last there. But, it was sad knowing my brother is gravely ill, with Louie Body Dementia, and visiting him for what may be the last time. The exciting memory came when my great nephew took me for a ride in their small plane. I’ll show you those images in my next post.

My goals this trip were to see my brother and take my sister-in-law to places she had not visited since moving to Georgia from California 3 years ago. I’m so glad I brought my GPS along! We were busy! My niece took us to Serenbe one afternoon. This is a fairly new community and well planned. We stopped for coffee on the way back at an antique shop that served delicious coffees.

It was a great getaway, and I enjoyed spending time with my niece. This type of visit is difficult, but I found that having my camera, got us out and away from the sadness for a while.

Meanwhile, I guess I’m going to try again to get my body clock back on Pacific coast time today.

Bittersweet visit: Historic Senoia, Georgia

Today I visited Chuck, my older brother, by myself. My visit to Peachtree City, Georgia is almost coming to a close and it has been bittersweet. Chuck, is fighting Louie Body Dementia and has been placed in an assisted living home. I knew he wouldn’t know who I was, because he stopped recognizing me on the phone a while ago. But today was a special visit. I was able to help feed him, and he ate a little bit food I knew he wasn’t fond of. It gave me time to gain some emotional closure over his ordeal. He’s fought cancer and won; had heart surgery and bounced back, but this illness has no turn around. I was soon joined by his son-in-law Greg and we were able to joke, not with him, but between ourselves. It made things less real.

Dementia is difficult for the caregiver and other family members, but this form is even more so since it involves Parkinsons also. I care gave to my mom, who had dementia, for 9 years, but she had a strong body. Chuck is suffering on all accounts. Through it all, the family here continues to take amazing care of him.

During my week’s visit, I told my sister-in-law, Brenda, that I wanted to take her places, getting her away from the house to relax. Brenda doesn’t drive, so we go to visit Chuck and then take off. Taking off sounds like we go a distance, we don’t. Everything is close here.

Through it all, photography has brought me out of the sorrow and into a different time and space. Our first get away was to Senoia, a small town with a Main Street shopping area. It was an easy walk through and fun. Since then, we visited Starrs Mill and Serenbe. My niece Roberta took us to Serenbe yesterday, and it was a lovely afternoon drive. And, last night, we joined the rest of the family for a birthday dinner celebration–the first without Chuck present.

Today’s images are of Senoia. I probably won’t have time to post from here again before I return home. And I’ll be taking sweet memories back with me.

Cabin fever: Sacramento Delta Area

Wednesday was supposed to be partly cloudy and the first day of no rain in two weeks. So, I asked Richard if he wanted to take a ride down to the Delta–just to get out of the house. We were astounded to see rain drops making perfect round circles in our pool Wednesday morning. I checked the weather forecast and it said RAIN!

We went anyway. Going south, the rain lessened and by the time we got to Locke, it was just a light mist. We were amazed at how high the Sacramento River was. Everywhere we walked that wasn’t paved was soft so our shoes sank into the soaked earth. You’ll see in some of the pictures that piers were floating well above their normal levels.

We started in Locke’s Historical District, drove through Walnut Grove, went on to Rio Vista for lunch and then home. It rained on and off the entire morning. Of course I brought my camera along–just one camera and lens. But, I didn’t go out of my way to find environments to shoot. I’ve gotten so that I don’t go anywhere without my camera!

This was not primarily a photo outing. We were just two people trying to get out of the house for a short time. We got out and it did put a dent in our cabin fever. Oh, I read in the newspaper that Northern California is out of the drought, but parts of Southern California is still in severe drought. It’s progress.

 

I’ve got a plan: Petaluma, California, part 3

In my last post I was bemoaning about not moving forward with my editing education. To those who responded with support and suggestions, thank you!

Monday will be my editing day with 3 hours prioritized. I think that is a good and doable approach. I also believe that once I get into it, the hours may increase.

Here’s the last on Petaluma–the churches. I have never seen so many churches in a small area. All have that small town charm. I shot the outside of most and went into the St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church and shot the inside. In fact, it’s this church that I feel I did not do well on the outside.

The featured image shows its amazing steeples, but by the time we walked the house tour and got to the church, I think I was tired and my mind was blocked. However, I think I did a better job on the inside.

In the meantime, I’m looking forward to Monday and my 3 hours of editing. Wish me luck!

Again, no captions.

Having fun, but not making progress: Petaluma, part 2

If you’ve been following this blog, then you may remember that I began the year with a goal of learning Photoshop and other processing programs. With half the year gone, I haven’t made much progress. I can take out unwanted things easily in Photoshop, but haven’t ventured into layers. I have gotten acquainted with some processing programs, but have only used their presets.

And, no, I’m not being hard on myself; I’m just stating facts. I’ve been shooting a lot and loving it. My photography has improved too. Maybe it was just too big a goal. Maybe I need to chunk it down to learn one thing at a time with Photoshop, especially now with the big update to 2015.5 in the CC version.

Okay every week, I will learn one new thing about Photoshop. Can I do it? We’ll see. In the meantime, we will continue touring Petaluma with the  walking tour of Victorian houses. These old houses are beautiful, and the flowers are from their gardens. You’ll notice that I concentrated mostly on the doors and entries. No captions.

One new thing a week, one new thing a week. I’m beginning to feel like the “Little Engine that Could!”

Camera Totin’ Tuesdays: Petaluma, California

For me and about 15 others, Tuesdays is reserved for shooting. I’m sure I’ve told you about the group Marlene, Karen and I started after our photo buddy Greg Morris died (Our trio was called Tuesdays With Seniors). While he was ill, Karen started going out on Tuesday with us. After he passed, we felt a name change was in order and we became Camera Totin’ Tuesdays.

As we posted pictures of our adventures more photographers wanted to join us. Most of us are retired, but some join us when they can get a Tuesday off from work. It has become a fun group. We are starting to venture out of the greater Sacramento area now, and recently we went to Petaluma.

Not being a loner, I prefer to go shooting with other photographers. I love the camaraderie, the sharing of information, seeing other photographers styles and  making new friends. I watch the others and learn. Most of the time, when someone finds a great shot, they will share it. On occasion, I have gone out alone and enjoy the solitude and self creativity that ensues.

But when we went to Petaluma, we had nine photographers and a three car caravan. We found it easier to pick a meeting spot and just meet up there. As the group grows we’ll have to perfect this.  Once in the town, we had a fun day. We sort of stayed together in a loose sort of way, had lunch together, did some more shooting and then took our separate ways home.

I have never processed so many images as I have with this outing. I’m either falling in love with my pictures, getting better shots or not being discriminating enough! Well, maybe a little of all three. Or maybe I just found so much to shoot in this small town.

Whatever the reason, I am grateful for our CTT group that gets me out shooting no matter how I feel that day. This will be a 3-part post. Enjoy the architecture of the town and waterfront. I told you I edited a lot of images!