Off to Apple Hill

Apple Hill, located midway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, is the destination for my adventure with my Senior Photo Friends.

There is a direct route to Apple Hill. Get on Highway 50 (east). Get off at Apple Hill exits. But when I travel with my friends we meander and find interesting spots. Quiet spot and crisp air signals a change in seasons.

Autumn alond the American River

Autumn along the American River

The stillness of the river provides a perfect opportunity for this yellow kayak.

Kayak reflecting

Kayak reflecting

Sailor Bar on the American River

Sailor Bar on the American River

Great textures on this tree

Great textures on this tree

Apple Hill supports many family orchards, wineries, and farms. At this time of year pumpkins abound, and all things apple are available. In the past, I brought my kids up to a U-Pick farm. On other occasions, my dog Libby joined me for a day in the country. Today, my camera set my focus.

Apple Orchard

Apple Orchard

These three will not end up in an Apple Pie, Walking Pie, or Caramel Apple. I like the texture and warm colors.

Apples Three

Apples Three

Pumpkin patch located at the Boa Vista Orchards.

Pumpkin, Pumpkin

Pumpkin, Pumpkin

The Larsen Apple Barn is one of my favorite spots for photography. This water wheel provides an interesting setting. This year there is no water. Drought is making its point here in Northern California.

Water Wheel found at Larsen Apple Barn

Water Wheel found at Larsen Apple Barn

With this photograph I tried my hand at HDR (High Dynamic Range). I also used Topaz Detail to process this image.

Larsen's Apple Barm Water Wheel

Larsen’s Apple Barm Water Wheel

I love the colors in this photograph. When I take a photograph I often look up additional information. In this case, I wanted to find out more about this colorful flower. This flower Gaillardia, or Blanket flower is a good choice for hot, drought conditions. This perennial is related to the Sunflower family and attracts butterflies, and bees.

Bees attracted to the Blanket Flower

Bees attracted to the Blanket Flower

Red Hot Poker attracts bees

Red Hot Poker attracts bees

The area behind the museum at Larsen’s Apple Barn provided great photo possibilities. Love the front of this old truck. Can’t help but see a face with lots of character.

Old Chevrolet

Old Chevrolet

Another old farm vehicle that I photographed and processed using HDR.

Farm Machinery

Farm Machinery

Late afternoon shadows captured.

Wheel and Shadow

Wheel and Shadow

Not a “Selfie”, but you can tell I was there!

Me and My Shadow

Me and My Shadow

Just liked the way this composition spoke to me.

Animal-Like Abstract

Animal-Like Abstract

At the ranch with my friends

At the ranch with my friends

We ended our day at the High Hill Ranch where many crafters were selling their art work.

Apple Hill is very busy on the weekends with more farms open, crafts sold, and wine tasted. I enjoyed the less hectic time to get out and take photos.

 

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!