Local View of Napa

Another Tuesday, and I am off to Napa Valley. I thought this would be a return trip to a familiar place. Wineries, galleries, and grapevines. Wrong. I was treated to an insider view of the beautiful landscape.

First stop Solano Lake Park.

1602_09_Napa_0001

Lake Solano Park

1602_09_Napa_0002

What do you see? I’m always seeing something. This time, a kind of rabbit. Or the shape of one of my grandson’s stuffed monsters

I looked up the Monticello Dam and found out that this spillway provides a safety valve during an El Niño. I guess I will need to make another visit since California is still in a drought. The concrete structure inspired this photograph.

Monticello Dam curves

Monticello Dam curves

Across from the dam a highway crew was shoring up a cliff to prevent a rock slide. I got the opportunity to photograph as the workers were scaling the sides since we had to wait for a lead car.

Cliffs found near the Monticello Dam

Cliffs found near the Monticello Dam

Highway crew scales cliff

Highway crew scales cliff

The Butter Cream Bakery located in Napa provided us with a real local dining experience. Yum!

I took this photo and processed it two different ways trying to get a feeling of the age. Dull versus extreme bright colors. Which do you like?

Original

Butter Cream Bakery in Napa

Butter Cream Bakery in Napa

Does this bring back a 1950’s feel?

1602_09_untitled_002-2

Or does the bright colors take you back?

1602_15_napa_001

Mustard flowers grow along grape vines

Mustard flowers grow along grapevines

Mustard blossoms all around

Mustard blossoms all around

Napa Valley view westward

Napa Valley view westward

Alpaca graze in the Napa Valley

Alpaca graze in the Napa Valley

Napa Valley Grape Vines and Mustard

Napa Valley Grapevines and Mustard

 

Ditto pokes his head out to say hello

Ditto pokes his head out to say hello

More concrete forms. What is it?

More concrete forms. What is it?

Tree in winter

Tree in winter

1602_09_untitled_002

Wine Bottle Art Sculpture

1602_09_untitled_004

Main Street in Napa at the Golden Hour.

1602_09_untitled_005

City of Napa 

Hope this shows a different side to the Napa experience. Traveling with my camera exposes me to so much around me. (Pun intended!) Tomorrow I am off to explore with my great camera group. New name for group coming next time.

 

 

 

 

Image

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!