Our last day on the Central Coast is spent at Hearst Castle. As a first time visitor with limited mobility (Plantar fasciitis) my choice was the Grand Rooms Tour. I ordered tickets online, and arrived ready for an early morning tour.
Woke up to plenty of fog. It actually felt like a misty continuous rain.
Our group met at the Visitor Center where we hopped on a bus to take us from the coast up the winding road to Hearst Castle.
Taking photographs during a walking tour I needed to up my ISO (lighting sensitivity).
This pool is quite spectacular.
Once outside I had to keep my camera safe from the elements. I grabbed these quick shots. I would have loved to spend more time outside.
I am so impressed with the way the fog and light made these flowers pop.
I say good bye to Hearst Castle. There is much to see, but I am not sure I will be back.
I enjoyed my stay in Cambria. Moonstone Beach may call my name again.
Now for the 6 hour drive home to Fair Oaks. Passing some lovely landscapes. I caught these images from the car window.
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.
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.
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.
4th of July Parade
Captured this couple in the mining town of Columbia. They had finished shopping. Some post processing added an old time feel.
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.
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.
My right hand is on the mend, and I can once again hold my trusty D7100. With Old Sacramento as the destination I joined my CTT friends in a Scavenger Hunt. 50 items and about 2 hours I didn’t give in to any pressure. I wanted to pay attention to how I captured the image.
This scavenger hunt added a photographic design element to many items. The usual suspects included rule of thirds, leading lines, and repeating patterns. The last item repeating patterns was actually repeated. More unusual ones: do what a sign says, you can smell it through the photo and topsy turvy pushed my creativity. And getting a very low perspective may have pushed my physical endurance on this warm September day. Probably would not have been able to get up!
This scavenger hunt produced some interesting results. It is a great way to get out, have fun, enjoy good company, and practice some good photographic techniques. I will keep this list for another time because it challenges me to look around and improve my images. Not much photo processing this time. Because I am getting used to holding my dslr I only used my 18-200mm lens this time.