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

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Taking a Break

I think I'm going to need to take a break from the blog for a little while.  I've got a lot going on right now that is photography-related, and it's just keeping me from getting out with my camera.  I'm finishing up my 2014 Calendar (which I hope will be even better than the 2013 calendar!)  I'm working on prints for my first gallery show in July, and learning to cut mats for that show.  And I'm taking a web design class and working hard on my own photography website, which will hopefully be up within the month.  In the meantime, I'll enjoy following everyone's blog posts and try to put up a photo now and then when I do get out with my camera...

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Over the Top Desktop

Still taking it easy, so I've pulled another photo out of my extras file.  This one is from the Alameda County shots earlier this month.  It reminded me of the desktop on our old old Windows XP computer (I'm pretty sure that photo was taken somewhere around here), partially clouded green hills with dark blue sky and high clouds.  But when I searched that desktop it was much more vibrant in color and way over the top in terms of intensity.  So I clicked auto correct in the Windows Picture Manager program, which usually gives an "over the top" version of whatever photo you have up, and this is the result.  Somehow it's still not nearly as in your face as that desktop shot, but looking at it now, I can't imagine it being any more vibrant than this. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Calaveras Vineyard

Very tired this week; I'm lying low and not taking photos.  This one was taken last month somewhere out in Calaveras County.  By now all the grapevines are starting to leaf out. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Outside the Fishbowl

Or inside the drinking glass...because the light is so nice near the water cooler.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Jake's Puppies

From Adventure Time on Cartoon Network.  One of my non-photography projects.  This is my second set of puppies.  These are on their way to Ben in Iowa.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

All-American Barn

The last in my series of high clouds and bare hills between the Delta and the back side of Mt. Diablo.   Hope you enjoyed.  I'm thinking of using one of them in my calendar but right now I'm not sure which one.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Alameda Farmscape

I was surprised to see such a large patch of wild mustard still blooming in front of this farm in Alameda County earlier this week.  It made for a cheery late-spring look with the nice shade of blue and high clouds. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I Brake for Red Barns

Especially in weather like this!  These two are on a ranch between Livermore and Mt. Diablo.  The variety of green in the grass here is a good example of how the fields were looking earlier this week.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Collier Canyon

This photo was taken on my earlier trip, before the hills started changing color. I've been meaning to post it, and today seems like a good day because it shows how quickly the color has changed and it's a nice contrast next to the "Color Change" photo from yesterday.  Today's photo was taken April 2nd.  Yesterday's was taken April 15.  I like this scene a lot; hills don't get much more rolling than these.  I could practically graph a sine function on it! 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Change of Color

It was back out to Alameda and Contra Costa Counties yesterday. I'm surprised by how quickly the hills are changing out here, especially the south-facing slopes.  I do have some photos I'll be posting that are still very green, but we're in the process of changing from our green season to the brown that we'll have until next winter.  This in between color is pretty, I think.  I did use my polarizer on this shot, which gives the pretty blue.  I was playing around with converting this shot to black and white, but there's an ugly film that shows up in the sky which I'm sure is from my polarizer.  I'm hoping the filter just needed a cleaning, but I'm worried that it's a problem with the polarizer.  It seemed to be working fine yesterday, but sometimes I feel like it can give a color cast to my photos and not polarize all that much compared to the polarizer I have for my smaller lens.  I'll have to research this.  Maybe I need a new filter.  In this shot I liked those two little clouds for eyes.  And the fence line makes a wry smile.  Just the kind of animated scene I like.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Happy 3rd Birthday, 45journal!

What started as a one year project back in 2010 is now beginning year number four!  I had some pretty strict rules for myself when I started the blog:  each photo had to be taken the day I posted it, and I could only post one photo a day.  It took me six months to completely burn out, and another six months to recover.  Around that time I started connecting with other daily photo bloggers, and realized that no one was taking each photo the day it was posted.  It was so hard!  Some days I would get many good shots and could only post one.  Other days the light was awful and I was embarrassed with everything I took.  Some days I just wasn't in the mood or feeling creative.  Thankfully those rules are long gone, but I do still try to only post one photo a day.  At this point though, I would have to say that the best thing about the blog has been all the different daily photo bloggers I've gotten to know.  I never realized I would make such great connections with people all over the US and the world.  So many different personalities and interests, but all drawn together by this quirky desire to post a photo a day!  I'm not sure how much longer I'll keep up the blog, but I'm not intending to stop this year.  For today's photo, a close-up of what I think is a miniature Lupine variation.  This was the most common flower I saw on my trip to Table Mountain on Thursday. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Table Mountain and Our Encounter With Cows

Clover and I went back to Table Mountain near Oroville again this spring.  There's a little trail, visible in the lower left corner and slightly visible just above the purple flowers, that leads across the butte and to a waterfall at the edge.  Even though we came here within two days of our visit last year, we saw completely different flowers this time.  I would say the purple flowers must be lupine, but in miniature.  All the wildflowers on table mountain are tiny, and usually only just a few inches off the ground.  One difference this year was the number of cows grazing right along the trail's edge.  Clover was curious about them on the way out to the waterfall, but she left them alone.  On the way back though, two little cows were running, and so of course she started chasing.  Pretty soon she had about 50 cows on the move.  I was yelling like crazy.  She came back happy as could be and not even realizing she had done something wrong.  It was the leash after that.  At one point there were two cows right on the trail.  By this time Clover had an entirely different definition of a cow as something fun to chase.  So she was pulling at the leash, and these two bold cows were looking at us with very mean eyes for cows.  There was a little bit of a stand-off.  I was worried they were going to charge us.  They would sort of start forward and then pull back.  I didn't know cows could be so aggressive!  So by the end of the hike, we had both reassessed our feelings about cows. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Purple Sage

Salvia Leucophylla blooming along the edge of West Davis Pond.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Olive Oil on Tap

I know Napa Valley is all about the wine, but the thing that really has me around here is the olive oil!  In this fancy olive oil boutique in St. Helena you can bottle your own olive oil, just pick your variety!  I'm very spoiled.  After we move I'm going to have to come back here each year just to get my fresh olive oil!!! *love, love, love*

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Delta Breeze

This stretch of hills on Vasco Rd, which runs between Brentwood and Livermore in the delta, is taking good advantage of our wonderful "Delta Breeze."  The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta lies at the intersection of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers; the American River merges with the Sacramento River upstream in Sacramento.  And the delta is what fills the San Francisco Bay to the west.  It's an extremely beautiful and unique stretch of land and water, and because it has such a low elevation compared to the surrounding hills, we often get a strong breeze through here, which makes the summer heat more bearable. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

State Flower

I'm still working on my California Poppy photo.  One problem I'm aware of is that I don't know exactly how I want this photo to look.  Or I only have a vague idea that I can't see well.  Slowly I'm getting closer to whatever it is I'm imagining.  I like the depth of field here.  I think there's too much green though.  More purple would have been helpful.  The purple is not lupine but some roadside weed that is in the wild sweet pea family.  The little elf hat shapes are poppies that are about to open.  I'm glad they got included in the focal range. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Lupine and Poppies

 I'm still working on my wildflower shot.  I think this was a pretty scene at Mt. Diablo last week:  a lone lupine blooming in a field of California Poppies.  I like the idea of having more than one type of wildflower in the shot, but I'm thinking that maybe more lupines would have been better.  Just thinking about it for now...

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Partly Cloudy

Weather forecasts can be so confusing, and partly cloudy seems sort of pessimistic, I think.  This scene was definitely mostly sunny.  Lots of puffy clouds, but mostly sunny.  Of course, technically there's no sun in this shot, just a cloud.  It's a really great cloud though, so "partly cloudy" seems right.  I wish I could have given it some more space in the frame.  I was using my favorite lens, the 80-200m, and I'm sure this was taken at 80mm.  My kids like to tease me that I always have the wrong lens on my camera, but I would say I can use the 80-200 about 75% of the time.  Anyway, I quickly switched to my 17-55mm but the cloud moved just as quickly and the more spacious shot was gone. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Mrs. Ladybug

A bug for your birthday, Eric.  She is the only one I saw on my shoot yesterday.  I think my camera scared her and she started running around the wheel before heading underneath for safety.  I used the macro filter, so she and I were very close for a few moments. 
Happy Birthday!  :)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Crayola Day

How 'bout this for a little red barn, oh so green hills, and cartoon sky?   It's a scene from my elementary school art days, straight out of a Crayola 8-pack!  One thing I've learned in my few years here is that if we get a good spring rain, it totally clears the air, and the next day we've got wonderful clouds and crystal clear visibility.  I've become a weather-watcher, and I'll drop anything for a photo shoot on a day like this!  We should get another rain Thursday or Friday, so I will have to head out again after that.  This is the far side of the delta, in Alameda County, and I saw a lot of barns this shape.  They seem to be cow barns, and usually way out in the hills like this.  This one definitely had the most activity in terms of vehicles and things. Looking at in now, with all those funny little vehicles, it looks like a scene from the countryside on a small scale model train track.

Monday, April 1, 2013

California Poppies

Lots of poppies blooming along the road up Mt. Diablo.  This was my first time seeing Mt. Diablo this green; I'm always here in the summer when it's brown.  Really loving our green hills season right now, and we've had a few good thunderstorms in the last two days, so things will be even greener this week!