Lumbar Spine Decompressed

No more tingling feeling! Sometimes tingling can be caused by excitement. That’s good. But the tingling, numbing feeling I lived with is not. Surgery on March 8th went well. New equipment now makes this microscopic surgery possible. Nerves are given room to be “happy”. My doctor’s term. Herniated disc relieved.

I went home with a bunch of pain medications, walker, and instructions. No bending, twisting, lifting and stretching. Given all the information regarding taking opioids I was very careful, and only needed relief for a couple of days. At my 1 week follow-up a new med was added to try and alleviate back pain. 12 days out and I am much improved. I expect physical therapy will start after my 6 week follow up appointment. Muscles are healing. Back pain is telling me so.

Started getting out for short trips. We had a sudden burst of spring-like weather and so on Sunday we drove over to the American River at Sailor Bar. Got my Fuji x100F out for a couple of pics. I realize that taking photographs will also be limited while I heal. Eye-level only for a while. My CTT group had a virtual outing this week. We were asked to post photos and explain our processing ideas. Here is my contribution.

My husband is serving as my driver while I am recovering from surgery. No one wants to be driving around while taking pain meds. And also with my limited flexibility I will not twist and turn easily. Sunday, the weather was nice and we went out Sailor Bar. Located a short mile from my house. This is off the American River. When I processed the photo I wanted it to look old fashioned so I used some of my quick plug-in tools. First I went to Lightroom and cropped the image. Took it to Topaz Studio where I added a wood-like texture. Brought it to Luminar where I found a Sepia tone, and added a slight vignette.

This is my original photograph.

Here is the processed image.

This next one may make a 1000 piece puzzle to drive some to drink. I wanted the rocks and texture to pop.

Looking down.

Better?

Hope to be out and about with more photographs to come.

See you soon!

Drop me a comment. Would love to respond.


Link

Jackson California Outing

Another Tuesday outing with my friends Anne and Greg. First stop is revisiting Michigan Bar Road.  The cool winter fog presents such a change in atmosphere in the images. The summer sun that beat down on me gave my photos shadows and highlights. Now winter fog and mist saturate colors. I grab a couple of shots of the curving road lined with barbed wire fence.

Michigan Bar Road Curves

Michigan Bar Road Curves

1512_08_Jackson_001

Dried wild flowers hug the barbed wire

Cattle grazes in the pasture.

Cows Grazing

Cows Grazing

Fall colors, a recent memory, are not visible. The color palette are grays, browns, and greens. Definitely have a feeling of winter approaching. Later in the week there is talk of a storm. I have heard this before. The drought here is real, and somedays I long for time to hibernate, and catch up on all kinds of projects. Then, I’m out shooting, and I am glad for the dry weather. Guess I should appreciate what I have since I have no control over weather anyway.

Farm animals got to listen to my “Julia Childs” voice as I call to them. I can tell they respond to my voice. The cows come closer, the horse looks my way. I am patient, and enjoy the time I spend trying to get a good image.

Cow Listening to "Julia Child" Voice

Cow Listening to “Julia Child” Voice

Slim Pickings for Cow

Slim Pickings for Cow

Do you like my earings?

Do you like my earings?

What's on the other side?

What’s on the other side?

Follow the leader.

Follow the leader.

Perfect rural setting

Perfect rural setting

That's what I think about that!

That’s what I think about that!

Love the markings on this horse.

Love the markings on this horse.

Next I concentrate on my landscape photography. I am using my tripod, and bracketing my shots. I capture 5 frames with different shutter speeds so that I can merge them using HDR  Photomatrix Pro 5 software.

Stopped at Michigan Bar Road farm

Stopped at Michigan Bar Road farm

1512_08_Jackson_005

Rural Landscape

Our lunch destination is Fat Freddy’s in Jackson California. The menu is simple. Carlos has been serving hot dogs here for the past 19 years. He started with a hot dog cart, and opened up “Fat Freddy’s” nineteen years ago in Jackson. Over a Kraut Hot Dog and delicious Cappuccino Milk Shake Carlos told the story as to how the place was named. His original thought was to name it “Wanda’s Wonder Buns.” This name was strenuously rejected by his wife Wanda. After some thought Carlos gave in and Wanda came up with the name “Fat Freddy’s”.  Seating is counter style and the tiny “hole in the wall” space is eclectically decorated.

Worth a trip to Jackson

Worth a trip to Jackson

Carlos, the owner of Fat Freddy's in Jackson Ca.

Carlos, the owner of Fat Freddy’s in Jackson Ca. Always ready for conversation.

Cappuccino Milk Shake @ Fat Freddy's

Cappuccino Milk Shake @ Fat Freddy’s. So thick and yummy!

Walked off lunch by strolling around town. Many retail establishments are   dressed up for the holidays, but on a Tuesday some places are closed. Lots of pedestrians window shopping.

Main Street in Jackson Ca

Main Street in Jackson Ca

Retail signage

Retail signage

Retail Signage

Retail Signage

1512_08_Jackson_019

St. Patrick Church in Jackson Ca.

Historic Plaque

Historic plaque tells an interesting story.

The Chamber of Commerce suggested that we stop at the National Hotel. The staff welcomed three photographers, complete with tripods. It felt like I had been transported back to a lavish Victorian era hotel around the  1860’s. The ambiance of lighting makes taking photographs challenging. I definately needed to use my tripod. For some of the images I bracketed 5 frames and then imported the files in Photomatrix Pro 5 from Lightroom. I hope I did the National Hotel lobby justice. If you are in the area this is a place to visit. I didn’t get to see the rooms, but I am tempted to make a reservation.

National Hotel

National Hotel

Majestic hotel lobby of the National Hotel

Majestic hotel lobby of the National Hotel

National Hotel Lobby in Jackson

National Hotel Lobby in Jackson

National Hotel ready for the holidays!

National Hotel ready for the holidays!

Ceiling Tiles

Ceiling Tiles

Christmas Ornament

Christmas Ornament Reflection

1512_08_Jackson_032

National Hotel lobby features this book. Any ghosts haunting this old hotel?

National Hotel

National Hotel Santa

This hotel retained many antiques which creates an interesting atmosphere. I have never seen this before.

Antique Cigarette Machine. Only 25 cents

Antique Cigarette Machine. Only 25 cents

1512_08_Jackson_031

Glass Work on door in National Hotel

Thanks for the hospitality in such a gracious hotel.

Before heading back to Sacramento we made one more stop along the way.

Leaving Amador County

Leaving Amador County

Defeat and Victory!

Tree fight it out.

 

Heading back to Sacramento. Fog is rolling in.

Heading back to Sacramento. Fog is rolling in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Civil War Brought To Life

My camera takes me back in time. Mathew Brady, a well known photographer from the 1860’s left a visual legacy of the Civil War in the United States.  When asked why he photographed the Civil War he said ,”A spirit in my feet said “go” and I went.”  His brand of photography showed all what war really looked like. Up till then paintings usually portrayed heroism, bravery, and glory.

This year I am fortunate to be a spectator  in a 15 year tradition held at Gibsen Ranch to reenact the Civil War battle at Appomattox. Every year the National Civil War Association puts on a Civil War reenactment locally. It took my camera connection, a meetup, and my good friend Anne to get me to this event.

I wanted to photograph this event in the style of Matthew Brady. In speaking with the participants it becomes apparent that much preparation, and interest in authenticity is central to the success of the day.

Brady visited the encampment with a team of photographers and a wagon filled with darkroom supplies. He would develop prints in the field. Before the war he photographed celebrities using clamps to keep the subject still. Formality is gone in the field.

Union Soldier poses

Union Soldier poses

Hardtack (cracker) eaten during the Civil War. Usually lasts indefinitely, but poorly stored cracker attact bugs.

Hardtack (cracker) eaten during the Civil War. Usually lasts indefinitely, but poorly stored cracker attact bugs.

During the reenactment authentic meals are prepared

During the reenactment authentic meals are prepared

Little is known about medicine, and disease at this time. Close combat lead to lethal wounds. Amputations were common, and done quickly without anesthetics. Ouch! Many deaths occur not from original wound, but from infections afterward.

Primitive knowledge of medicine existed during the Civil War

Primitive knowledge of medicine existed during the Civil War

Union Soldiers ready for battle

Union Soldiers ready for battle

Young boy watches soldiers marching off to war

Young boy watches soldiers marching off to war

Those left at home still think of war.

Those left at home still think of war.

Union soldiers display discipline

Union soldiers display discipline

Unlike Civil War photographers I had to try and avoid modern day from spoiling the historic picture I was after.

Marching formation

Marching formation

Soldiers often brought a musical instrument with them to remind them of home. Both sides realized that music could be used to help lift spirits.

Music played many roles both on and off the battlefield

Music played many roles both on and off the battlefield

Some instruments served a purpose to signal troops often blinded by the smoke on the battlefield. This position was replaced in later wars. The bugler also got the troops up in the morning, and played taps at night. My father-in-law played the bugle during WWII.

Bugler assigned to the cavelry or infantry to signal troop action during battle. Often smoke blinded the troops.

Bugler assigned to the cavelry or infantry 

Those participating in the reenactment take time to educate the young.

Those participating in the reenactment take time to educate the young.

This Union soldier shared some current photographic information with me.

This Union soldier shared some current photographic information with me.

Horses played an important part in this war. Rescued horses are used in these reenactments.

This Union Soldier works with the horses. Rescued horses are used in the reenactments. Horses played an important part in this war.

This Union Soldier works with the horses.

Field Artillery Caisson carried 2 ammunition chests weighing 500 pounds each and a spare wheel

Field Artillery Caisson carried 2 ammunition chests weighing 500 pounds each, and a spare wheel

This is the 10th annual reenactment held at Gibson Ranch.

This is the 10th annual reenactment held at Gibson Ranch.

Confederate encampment appears less organized. This reenactment was the last major battle of the Civil War.

Confederate encampment appears less organized. This reenactment was the last major battle of the Civil War.

Confederate Soldier

Confederate Soldier

Confederate troops at the very end of the Civil War.

Confederate troops come together in all kinds of uniforms.

Did people from the town witness the battle? This reenactment certainly draws a crowd.

Did people from the town witness the battle? This reenactment certainly draws a crowd.

Readying for battle.

Readying for battle.

The strength of the armies are visibly unequal.

Union Soldiers march on to the battle field.

Union Soldiers march on to the battle field.

Canon fires. Loud and smokey.

Canon fires. Loud and smokey.

Confederate cavelry enters.

Confederate Cavelry enters.

Union Cavelry

Union Cavelry

Watching through the smoke.

Watching through the smoke.

Field Artillery Caisson arrives

Field Artillery Caisson arrives

Union Soldiers outnumber the Confederate Army.

Union Soldiers outnumber the Confederate Army.

The battle is over. Lee surrenders at the courthouse at Appomattox. The Civil War would soon be over.

I learned much from attending this event, and more while preparing this blog.

Sources used:

Civil War Trust – http://www.civilwar.org/

Mathew Brady – http;//www.mathewbrady.com