Can my camera lead me out of my comfort zone?

I grew up watching my Dad talk to everyone he met. At times I felt a bit embarrassed. We would be stopping at a grocery store and the conversation would start with the cashier.  I would think, just pay for the milk and bread already. Standing in line my Dad would strike up a conversation with the people waiting behind us.

Well I find that lately I am following in my Dad’s footsteps. This is particularly true when it comes to my dog. My Libby acts as quite the ice breaker. Her friendly demeanor draws people to her. I love sharing her with others. When my parents were in an assisted living setting I always visited with my dog. I kind of miss taking her there. When I am at a pet store I start conversations from treats, training, leashes and everything in between. Rather than be bored waiting on line I look around, and inevitably I’m in conversation. Sometimes I find I have a question to ask, or an opinion to state (My 2 cents worth!). I shop by myself, and if I have trouble deciding I will ask anyone around. Lately I can’t find helpful sales people around. The shopping experience has changed, but that is a conversation for another day.

I am often told that I look like someone else. This has happened on both coasts of the country. It has happened when I was 40 years younger, when my hair was long, short, straight or curly. No not me, I reply. Then I am asked if I am related to … No and I have no sister. Have you ever been mistaken for another person? Another conversation starter.

How does this relate to my original question? Well I bought my new camera with the intention to get into bringing personality into my photography. A simpler camera, an easy way to change settings, a totally silent shutter, and a less invasive look helps. Having a big camera with a powerful zoom can capture people without their knowledge. Stand back and peek at the world. Less confrontational. Until they turn and see your big lens pointed at them, I fear. More of a paparazzi feel to the image. May make for an interesting story. This may be something I am over thinking, and I need to change my attitude.

This image was taken with a zoom lens. Not sure if the natural feel would have been there if they were aware. I felt safe capturing the moment.

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My street photography tells a story!.

For me to capture people close up I will need to bring myself into the game. This is where I move out of the comfort zone. But if I start with my new found use of conversation with people I meet, I may get a more satisfying photograph. Then I will have a story behind the image to remember. That will be “the connection”.

Looking through my over 40,000 images I am currently drawn to the photographs with people in them. Now I want to  review why I like them. I am not talking about my family photos. That is a different set of circumstances.  I am looking at some of my landscapes where I included people in the image and the landscape provides the environment.

In the middle of Old Sacramento this couple would not have noticed me. Again, I was using my zoom lens.

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Eyes for you!

I also need to look at location and situation where people and environment come together. Festivals, city streets, group gatherings parades all provide good opportunities. Here are some photographs I have taken over the years.

Renaissance Fair

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What did I do wrong?

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Playing with fire

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Father & son juggling

4th of July Parade

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Folsom 4th of July Parade

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Street performer in Seattle. A tip provided the incentive, and a face to face encounter!

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This time no eye contact. 

Captured this couple in the mining town of Columbia. They had finished shopping. Some post processing added an old time feel.

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Quietly seated among the daffodils

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Silhouette at McKineley Park

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Through the corn maze

Captured from a distance or from the back is easy enough for me, but now I’m looking to up my photography and make the connection.

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With my 35mm viewpoint found in the Fuji X100F I can capture the person in their environment. Find a good location and wait. This is one street photographer’s approach. I need to be comfortable with my new camera’s capability. Many street photographer’s share their images in black & white. Usually I focus on color, so I may need to study what makes the black & white process pop.  My raw files can always be changed to black & white later.

Not sure how conducive the suburban or rural life will give me similar settings. Luckily Fair Oaks brings back Fiesta Days this weekend and  I plan to be there making a connection.

 

New Camera, New Perspective

I wanted a new perspective when out taking picture. I no longer say, “Out shooting.” I wanted to add human interest into my images. With that in mind, I purchased a new single focus small camera. The Fuji X100F provides a lot of features in a compact camera.   With a 23mm lens (35mm perspective) I now need to zoom with my feet. It is easy to change my settings, and easy to walk around without being too conspicuous. I wouldn’t say this replaces all of my camera equipment, but I have been using it exclusively this past month. I carry this camera everywhere. That’s the way to get to know your gear.

I have already posted some images in a previous blog I took during the March for our Lives event.

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Looks like they came to stay!

I have less to worry about when I take my Fuji out for the day. Do I bring other lenses? Should I change lenses now? Which bag do I take? Should I bring my tripod? And then to use or not use that tripod.

With my Fuji camera all I may need is my sunglasses. Usually for a day’s outing I won’t even need an extra battery or memory card. I need to consider the weather though since this camera is not weather sealed. But I am more of a fair weather photo friend anyway.

This past month I took it with me for a family outing to San Francisco. When I am with family I don’t want to make it all about photography. But I do want to capture memories. Kids grow up so fast.

My husband, and two of my grandchildren headed to Richmond making our first stop at the Hunter Hill Safety Rest Area. Over the years I have taken many photographs here on our way to the Bay Area.

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My 16 year old granddaughter always makes a great model.

Picking up my son in Richmond we headed to the Oakland Ferry Building to take a ride to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.

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Import/Export – See tankers being loaded and unloaded with cargo.

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Oakland Bay Bridge in the distance

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What a view going under the Bay Bridge

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No crowds this morning. Selfie time.

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Oakland Bay Bridge goes through Treasure Island

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First stop Golden Gate Ferry Building

 

 

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Heading to Fisherman’s Wharf

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Ride is over and tickets are collected.

With the pleasant, quiet ferry ride over we headed to Fisherman’s Wharf in search of food.

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This street musician captured my eye. I should have gotten a bit closer, but the group was leaving me behind.

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Faced with many choices. 

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Warned to watch out for Sea Gulls. This guy had no problem finding food!

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Now the Sea Gull travels in style!

After lunch we head over the the Musee Mecanique

This free museum was full of action this Tuesday.

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Pinball Attention

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Granddaughter and her Aunt

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Glad this mirror is not in my house!

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Not easy to get everyone in a photograph

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We walk up to North Beach in search of the perfect slice of pizza.

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Cyclists getting instructions

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Segway getting instructions

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Tie Dyed in San Francisco

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Hot Lips

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Yummy Gelato!

Tired and ready to take an Uber to the Ferry Building and head back to Oakland.

FYI for the price of the ferry we were able to park in a covered garage in Oakland! Not a bad way to travel!

Fun day for everyone!

More about my camera adventures to come

 

 

Sacramento 2018 March for our Lives

One month after the terrible tragedy the students in Parkland Florida make their voices heard round the country. Here in Sacramento my husband and I head to the Capital to add our voice.

Perfect Spring day and the crowds were out in force. I saw grandmas and grandpas to newborns. Strollers, wheel chairs, tricycle, and horses. I met many different breeds of dogs from Borzoi to Shitzu. My Libby stayed home this time. I wasn’t sure what the atmosphere would be today. Headlines in the paper this morning were ominous due to a controversial police shooting in Sacramento last week. No opposition here in this march today. Plenty of people registering new voters. Glad to say there were no vendors about.

A lot of creative ways to get the point across that our so called gun policy is outrageous. Here are some of the photographs I captured.

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People realize that the power of the vote needs to be asserted.

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Apathy from the public is not what is needed now.

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The next three signs point out the problem with getting things done.

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Clever: This is the Last Straw!

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When I said I’d rather die than go to Chem, it was a hyperbole!

This group of students made me think that it is time to wake up and pay attention! Let’s get sensible and put people ahead of the second amendment.

 

Another Scavenger Hunt but this time in the graveyard

Picked the location for the next CTT outing. Back to the Sacramento Historic Cemetery. My husband thought that creating a scavenger hunt bordered on the insensitive. I thought otherwise, and so the trip was planned.

This is such a beautiful setting. Full of reminders of our historic past. Volunteers each tend their garden area with such passion. Flowers bloom throughout the year. Bulbs, roses, succulents, perennials, and annuals. And if you stop one of the volunteers you will learn a lot about gardening.

To add a bit of interest to this outing I created a photographer’s scavenger hunt. No prizes awarded, just a new way of looking for photo opportunities.

The bright sun worked hard to warm up the day, but the wind blew harder. Seems like the mild winter is showing its force these last few days of February. The record hail storm the night before even made national news. Looked like it snowed in Sacramento, but it was actually many inches of hail. Did not see this in Fair Oaks, but one of the gardeners came to the cemetery to check on his flowers. Such devotion.

I looked up a number of lists for this scavenger hunt, but I created my own to go along with the venue. The most surprising thing I did not find was Roman numerals. I just thought that there would be easily found. Not!

Starts with the letter P

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Something Red

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Reflection

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Looking Up

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Informational Signs

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Wilted

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Seedling in a Crack demonstrating Rule of Thirds. This was 3 in 1 find

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Wilted

 

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Environmental Portrait

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Poem

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Texture

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Decorative Metal Work, and Light Leak

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Religious Symbol

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Critter

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Patriotic

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Spending time outdoors with my camera and friends makes my day.

Enjoy each day, and until next time.