Painting is just another way of keeping a diary ~Pablo Picasso

Saturday, December 31, 2011

December 31

I'm reading the Steve Jobs biography right now, and really loving it!  I had just finished the mac design section this morning when I took Clover for her walk.  I'm sure it influenced what I saw, because the simplicity of this tiny valley oak leaf and shadow really stood out to me.  *The journey is the reward!*

Friday, December 30, 2011

December 30

Pretty late December blossoms. 
They remind me of suns, which is nice, because it was so overcast today. 
Or maybe they look a little like fried eggs. 
Sunny side up.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

December 29

Another shot from my favorite road in Yolo.  I always have good photo luck on this road.  And today this scene really surprised me, because I've never seen it before.  I wonder why.  Anyway, I'm going out there every few weeks for eggs because the chickens at our local farm are molting.  Even when the local hens are laying again, I think I'll still have to drive out to Yolo with my camera.  I'm always excited when it's a Yolo day because I never know what scene I'll find out there. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

December 28

I pass by these seed pods everyday on my walk with Clover, and I always think they look like something out of a Dr. Seuss book.  I'm a little iffy on this photo though.  I thought I would like blurring the background to color patches, but overall I'm not sure it works.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

December 27

We had lunch at Shoki Ramen today in Sacramento.  We went at one o'clock, hoping to miss the lunch rush, but still we had to wait outside for one hour!  So that gave me a chance to walk up and down the street looking for photos.   I found this scene on the building next door.  I love the colors and shapes here and I tried this shot from lots of different angles.  Here's my favorite.  And yes, the ramen was worth the wait!

Monday, December 26, 2011

December 26

Christmas Eve we went to my sister in law's family celebration.  She has a large and festive family, and one of the things they did was have a lighted Christmas parade with caroling up and down the street.  I had fun practicing with using rear camera flash and a long exposure time.  I couldn't choose between photos today; I like them both. 

  The little girl above came up with the parade idea, and acted as grand marshall.  I love how the colors are spread out here, and just wish the flash had lighted her a little more.

Much stronger flash here, as this girl would tell you!  We just watched the movie Princess Mononoke this week, and so I think this photo makes her look like a Reindeer Goddess!  Especially since her legs don't show up.  It looks as though she's materializing into the scene.  This is because my new lens blocks the flash from illuminating the lower section of the photo, so I guess that means I'll need to get an external flash now.  :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

December 24

Stopped by my favorite farm on CR 96 last night to get this photo just as it was getting dark.  The son came out to greet me and to tell me that their pig was giving birth!  Eight piglets had already been born, and were they cute!  They were trying to get the mama into the barn because it was getting cold.  Such a commotion too.  So even though I envisioned of this as a Christmas Eve photo, it just reminds me of piglets!

Friday, December 23, 2011

December 23

There was a nice winter light today on my walk with Clover.  And these rose hips were look perfectly ripe.  If the city landscape crew didn't spray here, I would have picked them to make tea.  Still they make a nice red photo!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

December 22

Well, I went back to Locke today with the family.  Stores were open and people were out and about, I'm happy to report.  Just as many cats as last time too.  And hard as I try to get some photos of the buildings, I always seem to like the cat photos best. 
Look at that face! be a cat in Locke! 
Now that's the life!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

December 21

I just can't help but see shadows this month, and given that today is Winter Solstice, a shadow photo seems appropriate.   This pattern reminds me a little of Charlie Brown's shirt.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

December 20

Yet another foggy morning, and honestly, I'm absolutely helpless to it.  I tried to resist heading out with my camera this morning, but the fog was mocking me.  It actually grew thicker as the morning wore on, and before I knew it, there I was parked along the side of the road with my hazard lights flashing. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

December 19

I was parked next to a white car, and in front of a brick wall in midtown this morning, and the reflection off the car looked really interesting.  The original photo was actually much more pale, with the histogram just in the middle of the spectrum, so I tried using the autocontrast adjustment and this is the result. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Saturday, December 17, 2011

December 17

Another beautiful foggy morning here.  I took a different route today and found these trees all lined up for a photo.  From this angle it sort of looks like they lined up tall to short.  By the way, the leaf balls in the trees aren't nests, but are actually mistletoe, which is a pesky invasive species here.

Friday, December 16, 2011

December 16

I didn't set out to make a sunset photo today.  I was out in Yolo just before sunset, and I was imagining getting a low light photo of the hills and shadows, but I didn't make it to my deadend road before the sun started setting.  Luckily the road is lined with these great trees!  So needless to say I was very happy to have gotten this shot.  Then I went into Woodland to run some errands, and when I came out the sky was the most beautiful magenta.  Of course I was in a parking lot then and no chance for any kind of nice photo.  I bet it was a once in a year sunset too (at least for here), and somehow I didn't see it coming.  So now I'm slightly less excited by this photo.  But that's because I know what it could have been if only I'd hung around for it!  I don't think I've ever photographed a magenta sunset, so now that's a goal of mine.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

December 15

This is also from my trip to San Francisco yesterday.  Downtown, near Chinatown and Union Square, although I'm not sure of the exact location.   I just liked all the colors.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

December 14

Back to the airport today to pick up Eric for Christmas Break, and of course I came across the Golden Gate Bridge.  I never know what the photo opportunities will be here.  Today was a fun one.  Not many people were at the bridge, but believe me, every single one had their camera out! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

December 13

Every morning this past week we've had a light frost on the ground.  And every morning I've tried photographing it on the leaves across the street.  Today I tried with my +10macro filter, and I think it came out ok.  It reminds me the Waltz of the Flowers in Disney's Fantasia, where the fairies skate across the landscape and frost grows under their skates.

Monday, December 12, 2011

December 12

This was just a quick snapshot, but I ended up liking it.  We were at Riverwalk, between the Sacramento River and Raley Field, and there are these benches with metal awnings along the path.  Some of the open spaces in the awning are filled with colored plexiglass, and the street light cast this shadow on the sidewalk.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

December 11

Going across Tower Bridge this evening, and all of a sudden train gates started coming down.  I didn't even know there were tracks here!  But they run past the Railroad Museum in Old Sac, and it turns out this is Sacramento's own Polar Express which runs on weekends in December.  The train cars were filled with families with young children, out for a Sunday afternoon holiday adventure.  At the engine switching point, I read that Santa climbs on board and hands out candy.   The brightly colored engine almost reminds me of holiday ribbon candy. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

December 10

 We went to downtown Davis this afternoon to do some Christmas shopping, and I couldn't resist trying some more shadow photos.  This was the scene directly across from where we parked.  Until a car pulled in and blocked my view. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

December 8

Still playing around with photographing shadows.
I do like this one, but I'm wondering if maybe it was taken too early in the morning when the light wasn't strong enough.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December 7

I don't really have a lot to say about this one.  It's not my favorite, but it did catch my eye.  The shadow reminds me of a puppy dog.  Why the long face?  Guess that's one of the benefits of December shadows.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

December 6

A little country church sits on a big parking lot with a tiny patch of grass at the front.  Looks like they are over-watering the patch of grass, and in December no less.  But the run off made such a pretty pattern I had to stop to get a photo.

Monday, December 5, 2011

December 5

This little pond is outside Sutter's Fort in Sacramento.  The fort was closed, so I'll have to try visiting again another day.  Glad I went and got to walk around the grounds though.  I was really fascinated by this strange tortoise shell pattern in the water.  I've never seen this before.  I think it's pretty.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

December 4

We went to Orinda today, to a reception for my sister-in-law's pottery show.  And afterwards out to dinner in Walnut Creek, where this photo was taken.  So two nighttime photos in a row.  Almost identical camera settings too with ISO1600 and f/2.8 aperture, but this one looks so much grainier than yesterday's.  I wonder why.  Oh well.  It gives it a nice nostalgic feel.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

December 3

Tonight was the 19th annual Capitol City Yacht Club Holiday Boat Parade.  Over 30 decorated boats floated past us with more still coming when we headed home.   This photo of Tower Bridge was taken just before the parade started, when the reflection was calm.  

Friday, December 2, 2011

December 2

This was the scene from my car window during a red light in midtown Sacramento.  I liked the colors on the windows and hurried to get my camera.  I just had time to take one photo before the light turned green, and this lady walked right into my shot.  I think it worked out ok though.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December 1

Today I had the good fortune to visit our CSA, Eatwell Farms.  This was such a quaint scene in front of the farmhouse there, that I couldn't pass up a photo.  (Even though I didn't imagine photographing a pumpkin in December!)  Here in the Central Valley we're lucky to have a year round growing season, so we pick up a box of organic produce 50 weeks out of the year. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November 30

Every fence post along the edge of this farm has an old boot on it.
I didn't count how many, but they number in the hundreds for sure, and they all have this much character. 
I wonder what the story is here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November 29

Sacramento was all tucked in under its "blanket of fog" earlier today.  I hear this weather is pattern is supposed to break, so it should be clear skies tomorrow.

Monday, November 28, 2011

November 28

I drove through the Yolo Basin this morning mainly because it was so foggy, being near the river.  But once I got out there, the abstract patterns made by the marsh reflections are what caught my eye. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

November 27

On our way through San Francisco today we stopped by the Fairmont Hotel to see the giant gingerbread house in their lobby.  It was several stories tall with decorated rooms.  Just to give a sense of the construction, each brick is a gingerbread slab.  It was very impressive.  Plus we had fun exploring the lobby of the hotel.  I hate to be facetious here, but I'm pretty sure the 1% are Occupying the Fairmont.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

November 26

The first really foggy morning of the season, but it was easy to spot this persimmon tree!

Friday, November 25, 2011

November 25

So you know in the movie Christmas Vacation when they drive into the mountains to cut a Christmas tree?  Well, we did that today!

Turns out there are plenty of National Forest Service offices in California that offer this, but the closest one to us was the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.  It costs $10 to purchase the permit, and they give you maps showing areas in the forest where you can cut.  So this photo was taken at one of the locations where we looked.  The trees tend to be thinner than what you get at a tree farm, but the tree we chose is probably my favorite tree we've ever gotten.  I suppose because of the family adventure involved. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

November 24

Happy Thanksgiving!
I was thinking it would be fun to get a photo of one of the many turkey flocks that I see around here.
And normally they're pretty easy to find,
but for some reason, I didn't have any turkey sightings this week!
Hmmm....maybe they're smarter than I think.
Anyway, my idea of a turkey shoot would have been pretty painless.
That's what she said, as she prepares to put the bird in the oven!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

November 23

Back to leaves again today.
We're still getting a lot of color around here.
This is a shady spot under a big tree, so I shot in vivid.
The green and yellow came out nice.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November 22

So guess where I was today...
Hint: Rice-a-Roni is a treat here! 
I came through the city to pick Eric up at the airport.
Glad to be back home now, and thankful that the family is together for Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 21

I don't normally think of mockingbirds as photogenic, but when this one landed in the branch above me and started eating these berries I couldn't help but take his photo.  It's  way overexposed because my camera wasn't set for pointing the camera to the sky (yes, it's possible that I might have been photographing leaves!), but I sort of like how it came out.  It reminds me a little of a vintage bird picture.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

November 20

More leaves from the walk along West Davis Pond today.  It's looking like this might be leaf week.  And given that just last month I was willing to drive several hours up to Lake Tahoe to photograph colorful fall foliage, it's a good week to be thankful for such a beautiful display of color right in my own backyard!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

November 19

Perfect November weather today.  Cool and overcast on my walk with Clover. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

November 18

 Rain clouds were coming over the hills this morning out in Yolo. 
And these horses watched me warily from their rusty shed.
I like the before the storm lighting.
And I like the string of lights.
It reminds me of Snoopy's dog house at Christmas time.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

November 17

  I can hardly believe this is the West Davis Pond. 
  Where did all this color come from?
  This scene snuck up on me when I wasn't looking.
I love November!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November 16

Also from yesterday's trip to Coloma.

This building is one of two remaining Chinese Stores from a Chinese gold rush settlement, now part of Marshall Gold Discovery State Park. 

Just loved the colors.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November 15

So far this fall Tuesday has been my photo field trip day.  Somehow I ended up in Coloma today, which wasn't what I was planning.  But I love the historic Hwy 49 Gold Country route, and I guess I'm a creature of habit.  I'm standing just feet from Sutter's Mill where gold was discovered in 1849.  I hadn't noticed this building before, but I was drawn to the texture in this scene and the bright whites; my first thought when I saw it was that it would make a great black and white. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

November 14

View while waiting in the Starbuck's drive-thru line this morning.  I was in the mood for a simple photo today.  And as an editorial comment, Starbucks should serve fresh decaf all day long, not just the morning.  Don't people want decaf in the afternoon?  Or is it just me?  f/2.8 at 1/800, ISO400, 200mm.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

November 13

Back to the walnut groves in Winters this morning.  I was practicing capturing motion parallax with the camera.  This one ended up being my favorite because it's so richly saturated (backlit).  The photo is just as shot; completely un-retouched.  The physics behind motion parallax is that objects in front of the focal point appear to be moving in the opposite direction from objects behind the focal point.  The focal point is fixed, while the eye is moving (in this case in a car).  I love a painterly photo, so I'm always happy when I can achieve this effect.   f/13 at 1/15, ISO100, 80mm.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

November 12

Swapped out photos here.  Not sure why.  I just didn't like the colors in the other building.  This one was just a snapshot at a red light, and a building I was planning to come back a photograph later.   Guess I like the contrast and bit of blue sky.  Definitely potential here.  f/2.8 at 1/2000, ISO100, 155mm.