Happy Birthday to me! WPA Rock Garden, Sacramento

I remember my Mom was excited to reach her 65th birthday because she thought she’d not make it. I don’t know why, but when that day came, I made her a nice party. She lived to make it to her 87th birthday. So here I am doing this post on my 76th birthday.

It’s fitting that this is on the WPA Rock Garden, in Sacramento, because I do love shooting macro. And, I’m happy that I can still bend down and get up to take a picture of a tiny flower or bug. However, age does have its restrictions like no more hiking up mountains, etc. Carrying heavy equipment is difficult too. I often say that I started photography 20 years too late!

I got my first camera, Nikon d3100, in June of 2012, didn’t know what ISO was, didn’t understand the exposure triangle and shot on auto and JPEG for a while. This journey has been fantastic. I’ve learned a great deal and my photography has progressed.

I recently looked through the photo book I made about our cross-country trip in 2013. After looking at the photos, I told Richard we needed to go again because I can take better pictures now! He refused!! However, they are good enough to jog a memory.

So here I am, 76 and loving it. My chosen hobby fills my soul and writing for my community’s monthly newsletter keeps me in touch with my original passion.

Enjoy the macros and close up images from the Rock Garden.

Photography, art, both:Lagoon Valley Park, Vacaville, CA

I follow many terrific photographers and learn from their blog posts. Reality hit when I read a tutorial by Leanne Cole, Australia. I met Leanne in person last year when she was in the States and visiting in Saratoga. I thoroughly enjoyed the day of shooting with her. Back to her blog post on inserting a sketch into a picture. I’m not going into the details of how she did it, but what emotional reality it stirred up for me.

I followed along with the tutorial until she came to the point of putting a shadow under a thumb. I would never had thought to put a shadow under the thumb. She explained it was necessary because of the lighting of the over all picture. Lighting? I would have never thought of that.

A former member of my All About Photography Toastmasters Club said that the way to become a better photographer is to study the famous painting masters. At the time I thought that he was just into art more than me. Now, I understand.

Photography as I do it, is just photography. I choose to shoot a scene I like, compose it, shoot it and do minimal editing. I edit until I like the picture, having no prior knowledge of art. I work on highlights, shadows, etc. However, a photographer who is an artist understands and can do a great deal more.

As a recent example, I posted a picture I shot at Lagoon Valley Park in Vacaville asking which was better the color or black and white.

Although most of the votes were for color, I was drawn to the black and white.

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Three respondents in favor of the black and white, suggested I lighten the bridge to draw the eye into the image. What? A great photo buddy, Karen, changed it for me and I could see what they meant. So I re-edited the image and lightened the bridge.

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Are you more drawn into the image? I learned that a dark foreground stops the eye and a lighter foreground draws you in.

Art is not natural for me. I’m sure I can learn some things, but I’ll never be an artist. And, I’m okay with that. I love the photography I do. I’ll just keep learning from the terrific photographers I follow. It’s just another turn in my photographic journey.

I’ll post the rest of the images from Lagoon Valley Park in my next post.