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.

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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.

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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.

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Redwood Roots

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

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Look for it!

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The gangs all here

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Some kind of face

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What’s under the top layer?

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Redwood down

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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!

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Looking at a platypus. Can you imagine?

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Redwood Swirls

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Slice of Tree

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Up, Up, Up

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Very focused

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Mushrooms and moss

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Along the Redwoods Trail stands the “Father of the Forest”

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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.

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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.

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Not the Salmon Falls Trail overlooking American River

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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.

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Macro view of Pine Cone

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

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Flower blossoms

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

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American River in early Spring

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Great clouds

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Butterfly stops for a sip

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Love in the afternoon

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

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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.

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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.

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Mary’s Chapel

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Mary’s Crapper built May 1912

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Cemetery at the Mary’s  Chapel

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Mustard field blooms at the foot of the Buttes

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Bees are buzzing

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Yellow Mustard all around

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Orchard blossoms create look of snow

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Orchard with pink blossoms

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Pink Blossoms Frame the Buttes in the background

Looking at these hills I see a sleeping person.

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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.

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Cows enjoying the green fields on the Sutter Buttes

Blurry background achieved with small depth of field.

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Wildflower stands out.

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Our travel around the Buttes passed this farm with some unusual animals.

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What is this llama thinking?

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Goat was looking for a hand-out.

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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.

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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.

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Seascape at the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area

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Reflection at Gray Lodge Wildlife Center

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Sunset at the Sutter Buttes

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Silos in the Sunset

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Farmhouse on the Hill

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Sunset through the orchard

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Sun goes down

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Good To Be a Local Tourist!

Announcing the name of my photography group, Camera Totin’ Tuesdays. Spent much of the day with my favorite people laughing over the many names, and acronyms possible. Settled on this one. Going out every Tuesday with this group opens up my horizons. For the past 35 years I lived in Sacramento.  Exploring the surrounding areas demonstrates the richness of the area photographically. My friend Karen shares local history, and always prefaces her remarks with, “You must have been here already.” Surprisingly, no. I must have been very busy with work and kids, or just not curious enough to get in the car for a ride around Northern California by myself. Remedy, get a camera and surround yourself with good friends.

This particular Tuesday we headed to Auburn. My friends wanted to try their hand at smoothing out rapids as the river flows over rocks. They brought along ND filters to achieve this affect. Destination: Lake Clementine. The lake did not impress, but in all honesty we got there late and didn’t complete the hike. I used a circular polarizer (since I didn’t have a ND filter) for some of the shots and slowed down my shutter speed to try and achieve smooth, flowing water.

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North Fork of the American River

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Smooth water rocky shoreline

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Graffiti along the river

 

Actually for this goal we should have started earlier to avoid the bright sunshine. The Foresthill Bridge, the tallest bridge in California, is amazing. It is the 5th highest bridge in the United States.

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Foresthill Bridge

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Foresthill Bridge

In 1898 the classic design of the  Auburn Court House  replaced the prior building destroyed by fire. I usually have trouble finding the right angle to photograph buildings.

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Auburn County Courthouse

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Replica of the Auburn Courthouse reflected

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Exhibit at the Placer County Museum

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Placer County Museum

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Auburn Hook and Ladder No. 2 since 1852

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Advertisement found on a brick wall in Auburn

I processed this photograph using Topaz Texture Effects. It fits historic Auburn, don’t you think?

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Advertisement on a brick wall in Auburn.

 

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Interesting door

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Love all the textures

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Just passing through Auburn

Couldn’t resist taking a picture of this unusual find. In my neighborhood I saw a similar vehicle just before “Burning Man”. Wonder what this one is used for.

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Strange vehicle spotted while looking for a sunset.

We went searching for a place to watch and photograph the sunset. Passed this private ranch. My friend Anne told Karen and me to ring the bell and ask permission to park in the driveway. Sure thing. The owner and his two Portuguese Water Dogs greeted us and allowed us to park just in time.

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Sunset with lens flare

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Found this beautiful site to catch a sunset

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Auburn Sunset

Another great day out with my friends and my Nikon D7100.