Nature Photo Sharing Positively

Getting out with friends for a day of photography is how I get positive energy. My group of photo friends continues to grow, and our weekly shoots are great. I use Adobe Lightroom CC to organize and edit my images. I am up to date, and I set up a collection of my best photos from each outing.

I recently purchased the Nikon 70-200mm f4 lens, and I am pleased with the results. When I select a lens I take into consideration the quality of the glass, and the weight of the lens. I don’t want it to be too heavy that I dread carrying it around. This is a solid lens and it can be used with both a full frame and crop sensor camera. I use it with the Nikon D7100, a crop sensor.

UC Davis Arboretum provided the backdrop for this post. This is a place I like to return to because it changes so frequently. Today I chose to take a closer look at nature.

1604_12_arboretum__DSC1744
Bee hard at work
1604_12_arboretum__DSC1746
Couldn’t resist this amusing situation the tree found itself in!
1604_12_arboretum__DSC1752
Yellow Jacket, pretty to look at, but I kept my distance with my new lens.
1604_12_arboretum__DSC1756
Plant looked like all eyes were on me. Don’t know what kind of fruit was developing.
1604_12_arboretum__DSC1801
Love the Dogwood Tree blossoms.
1604_12_arboretum__DSC1807
Past glory. The play of colors caught my eye.
1604_12_arboretum__DSC1809
Splash of color.
1604_12_arboretum__DSC1812
Green Heart. Love!

Several walking bridges cross Putah Creek. Students have placed Love Lock messages along the way.

1604_12_arboretum__DSC1806
Love Lock
1604_12_arboretum__DSC1823
Happy Pine Cone Camper!

Hope you enjoy this closer look at nature. Getting out and looking at the world around me is good for positive karma. Take some time this weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

Big Basin Redwoods State Park

I had an opportunity to go to San Jose with my friend Anne. There we met up with another photographer Nia, and headed to Big Basin Redwoods State Park.

1602_19_untitled_001
Santa Cruz Mountains

This park is located in Santa Cruz county and is 20 miles from San Jose.The Redwood Trail Loop is an easy .7 miles flat loop through some very old, very large Redwoods. This trail is recommended for families with young children.

1602_19_untitled_016
Friends head down the path

The day was cold and damp, and we decided that as photographers this would suit us. Estimated time given is less than an hour. Three hours later the three of us completed the loop. With each step I saw something I needed to capture.

1602_19_untitled_006
Redwood Roots

The trees with burls, moss and lichen filled my imagination and sd card.

1602_19_BigBasin_9523
Look for it!
1602_19_BigBasin_9530
The gangs all here
1602_19_BigBasin_9585
Some kind of face
1602_19_untitled_009
What’s under the top layer?
1602_19_untitled_007
Redwood down
1602_19_untitled_002
Burned Out

Many of the images here helped me complete a story that has been spinning around in my mind. I often see faces looking at me when I am out photographing the natural world. The picture book is called, Faces All Around Me!

1602_19_BigBasin_9645
Looking at a platypus. Can you imagine?
1602_19_untitled_005
Redwood Swirls
1602_19_untitled_008
Slice of Tree
1602_19_untitled_012
Up, Up, Up
1602_19_BigBasin_9636
Very focused
1602_19_BigBasin_9652
Mushrooms and moss
1602_19_BigBasin_9676
Along the Redwoods Trail stands the “Father of the Forest”
1602_19_BigBasin_9661
Say Cheese! Kind of hungry at the end of three hours.

By this time the rain arrived, and we headed out. We were ready for some hot cocoa, but there was little to be had at snack bar.

Stopped for one quick photo in the rain, and then went in search of some hot liquid refreshments.

1602_19_BigBasin_9680
Fog and rain in the Santa Cruz Mountains

By including me in this photo outing I discovered this enchanting place. Thank you Anne.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hanging out in Folsom

Camera Totin’ Tuesdays stayed close to Sacramento this time. The winter rain filled the reservoirs and the American River is running fast. Headed out looking for some waterfalls. With the recent rain the Salmon Falls Trail was under water. So we found another interesting path that overlooked the river. No waterfalls photographed today.

1603_22_Folsom_0547
Not the Salmon Falls Trail overlooking American River
1603_22_Folsom_0559
Viewing the American River from Not the Salmon Falls Trail

Puffy white clouds add interest to these photographs.

Pulled out my Macro lens for some close-up shots.

1603_22_Folsom_0552
Macro view of Pine Cone

Use a shallow DOF (depth of field) for this picture.

1603_22_Folsom_0591
Flower blossoms

Traveled on to check out the American River from another location.

1603_22_Folsom_0602
American River in early Spring
1603_22_Folsom_0603
Great clouds
1603_22_Folsom_0671
Butterfly stops for a sip
1603_22_Folsom_0696
Love in the afternoon

I’m not so sure everyone would agree with this sign. But for me, “Safety first!”

1603_22_Folsom_0703
Interesting sign found in Folsom Historic District

The last three weeks I have been photographically very busy. Using Shutterfly.com, I created a story book using some of my photographs.  Just got the book, and now I am already thinking of my next project. Then along with the weekly Tuesday trips, I took a short trip out of town to emerse myself in Sonora,  a local area about 2 hours from Sacramento. This past weekend the California coast at Bodega Bay called my name. So many new images to review, edit and include in my blog. Sorry for the delay, but good things are coming!

I’m positive that being busy is just what I need. I feel productive, and energized. It also helps me appreciate all the people and places that surround me. Today is a more quiet day at home. My dog Libby is getting a bit of overdue attention. I will pick up my granddaughter from school and we get to spend some time together. And dinner will not be a last minute decision.

 

 

 

Photographing the Sutter Buttes

Another week and Camera Totin’ Tuesdays is off to the Sutter Buttes. Starting in Woodland I am impressed with the water-wise landscape in my friend Karen’s front yard.

1602_23_Buttes_001
Low water and low maintenance landscape. In a couple of weeks Poppies will bloom.

Our first stop was Mary’s Chapel. Created in the 1850’s the cemetery is about 2 miles north of Yolo in Woodland.  The chapel was build in 1857. It is called Mary’s Chapel because after a fire destroyed the church, Mary Cross Pockman asked the community to rebuild.This local cemetery is still used by the community.

1602_23_Buttes_003
Mary’s Chapel
1602_23_Buttes_004
Mary’s Crapper built May 1912
1602_23_Buttes_002
Cemetery at the Mary’s  Chapel
1602_23_Buttes_007
Mustard field blooms at the foot of the Buttes
1602_23_Buttes_008
Bees are buzzing
1602_23_Buttes_009
Yellow Mustard all around
1602_23_Buttes_015
Orchard blossoms create look of snow
1602_23_Buttes_006
Orchard with pink blossoms
1602_23_Buttes_005
Pink Blossoms Frame the Buttes in the background

Looking at these hills I see a sleeping person.

1602_23_Buttes_013
The Sutter Buttes are green after the drought.

This cow was a distance away, but I caught her turning her head and looking my way. Maybe she likes my “Julia” voice.

1602_23_sutter_002
Cows enjoying the green fields on the Sutter Buttes

Blurry background achieved with small depth of field.

1602_23_Buttes_014
Wildflower stands out.
1602_23_Buttes_012
Our travel around the Buttes passed this farm with some unusual animals.
1602_23_Buttes_011
What is this llama thinking?
1602_23_Buttes_010
Goat was looking for a hand-out.
1602_23_sutter_001
Leisurely ride around the Buttes

We arrived at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, and mosquitoes greeted us in heavy swarms. All these photographs were taken exclusively from the automobile with windows closed.

1602_23_Buttes_017
Gray Lodge Wildlife Area

I have been working with Adobe Lightroom cc for the past 3 months and after watching more tutorials I am developing my images in a new way. Tweaking highlights, shadows, white and black tones, saturation and luminance.

1602_23_Buttes_016
Seascape at the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area
1602_23_Buttes_020
Reflection at Gray Lodge Wildlife Center
1602_23_Buttes_021
Sunset at the Sutter Buttes
1602_23_sutter_004
Silos in the Sunset
1602_23_sutter_003
Farmhouse on the Hill
1602_23_Buttes_018
Sunset through the orchard
1602_23_sutter_005
Sun goes down

Another great day enjoying my surroundings in Northern California and sharing it with friends.