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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mono Lake Tufas inspire me to try new photo processing techniques

Mono Lake is an ancient  65 square miles lake located 13 miles east of Yosemite National Park. It has no outlet, and continues to become increasingly salty. Amazing limestone rock formations called tufas form from fresh water springs interacting with alkaline lake water.

Mono Lake Tufas

Mono Lake Tufas

Tufa spires start underwater. Thirty foot formations become more visible as the lake levels decrease due to water diversions to Southern California.

Tufa Watches Over Mono Lake

Tufa Watches Over Mono Lake

In 1994 the State Water Resource Control Board in an effort to protect Mono Lake set limits on amount of water that could be diverted.

Gently Floating Along

Gently Floating Along

All kind of objects spring to mind when I look at a tufa rock formation.

Kissing Lambs

Kissing Lambs

It is so easy to imagine faces, and animals.

Animal Look-A-Like Tufa

Animal Look-A-Like Tufa

Serious Tufa

Serious Tufa

I spend time in the late afternoon watching birds around the lake. Some nest on the tufa. Later I photograph a sunset on the South Tufa side of Mono Lake.

Sunset over Tufas

Sunset over Tufas

Tufa Sunset

Tufa Sunset

Dramatic Sunset Over Mono Lake

Dramatic Sunset Over Mono Lake

Getting up early provides photographic rewards.

Sunrise Over Mono Lake

Sunrise Over Mono Lake

Summer Sunrise Over Watchful Tufas

Summer Sunrise Over Watchful Tufas

Early Morning at Mono Lake

Early Morning at Mono Lake

The tufas on Mono Lake are somewhat other worldly, and my photo processing skills felt free to experiment. I used Adobe Lightroom 5.7, Photomatrix Pro 5 and Topaz Plug-Ins: Detail and Adjust.

I semi reluctantly returned to Bodie and Mono Lake with my photography friends Anne and Laura.  My first experience had been clouded by altitude sickness. I am so glad that I set aside my trepidations and I came away with some good photographic memories. Note to self, always set aside initial reservations, and get out and make new memories.

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A Bodie Photo Journey (part 2)

Bodie required a second look, so we headed back early the next day. It is not that the town is that large. The heat, dust and altitude passed my creative juices. When I reach the point that creature comforts takes over my attention, it is time to put away my camera. I’m glad my photo friends, Ann and Laura felt the same way.

This second day with clouds overhead we began at the Bodie Cemetery.

Path to Bodie Cemetery

Path to Bodie Cemetery

Up on a hill, a little outside the town the cemetery stands. “Arrested decay” may describe this place, but there are signs that restoration happening. As I walked up to the cemetery I imagined what a family member would be experiencing. Many of the gravestones marked the passing of children.

Bodie Gravestone of young girl

Bodie Gravestone of girl

Many of the grave sites were missing markers. Probably made of wood, and did not survive the test of time.

Bodie Cemetery Grave Site

Bodie Cemetery Grave Site

A Gated Grave Site with no marker, just wildflowers

A Gated Grave Site with no marker, just wildflowers

About 80 gravestones remain.

Bodie Cemetery

Bodie Cemetery

For the rest of the morning I took it slow, tried to get a feel for the hard, desolate life lived in this area.

Framed by Auto

Framed by Auto

Vehicle Garden in Bodie

Vehicle Garden in Bodie

When the population abandoned Bodie, the shuttered buildings and personal items were left as is.

General Store

General Store

 

Some items held up to time, some rotted away, some fell apart, and layers of dust collected.

 

"I'll huff and I'll puff and ..."

“I’ll huff and I’ll puff and …”

That part of it captures my imagination. Visiting museums I see artifacts from an earlier time, but they are often set apart from their time. Here everything just continues to get older.

Selfie!

My photograph captures me in a moment in time!

I enjoyed the time spent here. I also had fun with processing my photographs using various software tools. Mainly, I used Lightroom 5.7  with the help of Topaz plug-ins. I used Topaz Adjust and Topaz Detail 3. In some of my shots this weekend I used Photomatrix Pro 5 which I just purchased after the trip. I still need practice to perfect my 5 bracketed HDR images and process it with this new software.

I am getting ready to upgrade to Lightroom CC.  There is always something to learn to improve my art! This keeps it interesting!