Random Photos and Thoughts. Adventures in life as a Amateur Photographer.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Anise Place to Visit

The weather is cooling down a bit so I end up less active.

In recapping some of my adventures, I end up a bit closer to my own back yard. The Fransisco Bay area has some of the best places to visit. One recent weekend my wife and took a drive and visited one of the East Bay Rec district park, Coyote Hills.

The park/preserve is right up along the edge of the bay, and has a small seasonal marsh, as well as some chaparral type hills. The three hour hike is lovely and really more like a walk. The trails are not completely flat, but are not excessively aggressive either. Make sure to carry lots of water even, if the day is cool. Always carry a wrap of some type as the wind can also be very cool and as you walk around the to the water side of the hills, you'll find you may need a jacket or sweatshirt.

The photographic opportunities are varible by the season, and as in most cases you'll have to slow down and find the opportunities to get some interesting shots. The hills are often frequented by hawks and vultures which might fly low enough to get an interesting shot. There was also lots of waterfowl and birds, are well as lizards and other animals in abundance. We saw Coyote Scat, by didn't encounter any.

Make sure to carry a close up or macro lens with you. Take the time to explore all the stands of flowering weeds. We saw an abundance of these:


They are generally very hard to get to sit still for more than a minute and are not very approachable.

And Back to the subject. Everyone wonders what I spend some much time looking at when I go for these walks? this time was well spent with a close-up filter. I caught this small wasp on this anise blossom.

No no matter where you go,
take your camera and take your time.
Slower is better.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Soap Box Time or How I Lost a Little of My Mind.

Drafted in May of 2009.

If you take the time to read this, Maybe you'll understand just why it took so long to write and publish. Do I think I am being petty or shallow? No. But then maybe I an just too close to the subject.

I haven't written in a while. I would say I have had too many irons in the fire, or too busy juggling things, but that not entirely true.

This really has been a burr under my saddle for a while. This blog entry has been half written a few times and discarded each time or put on a back burner.

I have to lay a little foundation, so you can understand my gripe.

At the end of October last year, the company for which I work, eliminated my assignment. This allowed me to make a seniority move onto a different job. (It is called bumping) So after careful consideration, I went on job which started work about 13 hours earlier in the day. I used to start at 7:00pm, and now start at 6:00am.

This is the 1st time in about 10 years I've had evenings off.

A chance at something more of a social life.

Now I can add one more little item to the mix of my life.

A year ago April I bought a new Digital Camera, retiring my 35mm Nikon F2S2 camera. After nearly nine months of taking pictures and exploring digital photography on line groups, I decided to look into a local photography group. I thought I had found a good, viable, friendly local group.

I asked what I considered some sensible questions:
  • How many active members do you have?
  • What sorts of activities do you have during the year.
  • How experienced are your members?
  • Do you have guest speakers or presentation work shops classes.
  • What sort of community involvement do you have.
  • Do you have a written set of bylaws?
  • If you collect dues or donations is the club a registered none profit club with a tax number?

I found a small group which appeared on the surface to be ideal. The active membership claimed by the club officers was 25-30 members. They claimed to have a good mix of experienced users to beginners. They had monthly photo themed contests. The husband and wife team appeared to have it all together. The meetings seem to relaxed, informal. The initial meeting we attended had several good handouts which would be good for user from Novice to Advanced. Most clubs have some very nice information on line. Their handout were pretty standard information stuff.

So we filled out the application and my wife and I joined. She is novice photographer, with an art background. I am a amateur veteran film photographer with 30+ years of experience. in 35 and larger formats. For example: I once made glass plates with a painted on emulsion, and used a lens off a enlarger to make a 4 x6 negative.

Now on to what went wrong.

  • The membership was over stated, in the 4 monthly meetings we attended I saw only three or four other people. Two guest showed up and never came back.
  • The husband and wife team were ill prepared for the meetings and seemed to be in the habit of leaving materials at home.
  • Their promises to e-mail material always seem to fall short of the mark.
  • Even the results of the monthly photo contests never made it to the next meeting.
  • One month the theme was to be "Photojournalism" and a handout was supposed to be made available to explain just exactly what the theme would encompassed. The handout, at the meeting was left at home and would be e-mailed out as a PDF file. The week before the monthly competition wasto be over, the file was once again requested. This time no one even bothered to return any calls or answer e-mail. Then later it came out the file was non-existant.
Then the real slap in the face came.

Our local county fair came, I picked out three of what I felt was my better photos would fit the categories for the local fair. This is the 1st time in over 36 years I entered anything in the local fair. The fair entries went in and were judged.

I was mildly surprised. The categories I entered had some fairly number numbers of participants. One category had over 100 photos. I took a second place in one category and third in another. One of the Club Members took a best of show for a photo. Surprising she seldom had any entries in the club competitions and her participation was during meetings always seems minimal and very cliquish.

The Club web page did well they congratulated the member for the winning Best of Show. She deserved it with an excellent digit photo. the entire show was over 2000 photos. The club web page even congradulated the Club President for getting an award for a painting she did. The Club president husband, got acknowlegement for taking a third place.

What about my Second and Third place awards, you ask?

Completely and absolutely ignored by my so called "Club".

The part the had me confused: the photos were done well enough one of the shows Judges blogged about the photos, and they appeared in his newspaper column as well.

So after 5 months, I decided not to waste our time and effort with a club which really consisted of a husband and wife team, and three other people. Five if you counted myself and my wife.

Enough Venting I finally got it out of my system.

Move on, Bob to the point of this entry.

So the question for today:

Is joining a local photo club worth the time and effort?

My answer is: Yes!

Luckily there are several local clubs, and I think I will attend a few of their meetings.

Will I be so quick to join?
Maybe not.

The old saying: once burned, twice shy,
would be wise to consider.

While I was stewing about this article, I have been busy taking pictures and hope to resume Semi-regular blog entries again.

Coming soon: a blog entry on how to make Panoramic shots.
When: I don't know. and Who's on First?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sipder Girl?

DSC_4210, originally uploaded by jestrbob.

A few weeks ago I wrote here about our trip to the Pinnacles National Monument. This area is a true multiple use facility. Campers, backpackers, hikers, and equestrians, road and mountain bikers, .birders and wildlife watchers. there are even groups that watch and count butterflies all enjoy access to this area which is about 2 hours south of California's Bay Area. The area is well documented botanically (but no collection of flora is allowed). This time of the year it is loaded with wildflowers.

Here is a fine example of multiple use. A group is using this steep face to practice rock climbing. The people below are coaching her which hand hold to use and aiding her selection of path.

This photo is a little like Life. One person is working to achieve a goal. Often times it takes a good safety line, and dozens of coaches and fans to cheer you on from the side line as you reach for the next step.

So as life deals you those issues which force you to stretch yourself to the limits and pull yourself up to a next step, never fear because someone his ready to help you.

In this case the young lady decided to drop down and try again another day. It wasn't a loss or failure, but a victory. You're not always ready for the next step and just making the attempt is often good enough.

Hey, Tomorrow is another chance.

So the image I want to try for is still out there waiting the next time I have the right settings on my camera and with the experience I gained from today, I can make a better tomorrow.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I Dream of...

Recently I had the honor of going to a quilt show with my wife.

I actually enjoy these events. I get to see art in a medium which is a real challenge for the artist. It is amazing to see what these Artists can do with simple pieces of colored and patterned fabric.

Quilts shows are ideal places to take pictures. They are mostly indoors and often have great lighting and high ceilings.

There are great people to watch at the show. Being a good photographer is a skill in watching people and capturing them at their best.

There there are the surprises. This yearly show, which I have attended several times over the the span of 20 years, also has a group of doll makers displaying their art.

These are amazing dolls. Works of art. the challenge is to make images which display them properly. It is not always as easy as it sounds.

DSC_3369, originally uploaded by jestrbob.

I am always looking for items to capture in photos photos. These dolls caught my eye. This one is about 8-10 inches tall. She is displayed with her companions looking on as if they are her audience. I have posted a few more to my Photostream on Flickr.

It was fun to take pictures of these dolls. The presentation of display and the artistry of doll maker made this quest easy.

What's that in the sky? A bird? a plane?

Or just a bit of whimsy.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Nothing much here, Just a blogger with nothing to much say!

Well, people that's the truth. This week has been a mishmash of trying to go through the images of the last photo crawl and playing catch-up with neglected chores. I've also been busy reading other people's blogs, my backlog of mail, trying to pick out an image or three for our incoming county fair and work. I ran across one blog which I have been following for a while, which I find worth taking the time to read. Face it, there are blogs like mine, which are just exercises in mind. There there are people which capture followers, and have important things which to impart to the world.

This Blog:

Is worth taking the time to reading. It is very well written and interesting and informative articles.

In his recent blog cited above he displays a small version of this image by Ben Matthews

This is something I saw like something I saw done in the 70's with a pinhole camera, and colored lights at night. This photographers use of color and shading creates an interesting picture.

The Image:
is worth taking looking at, it your are interesting in light painting. The same use of light and color to create a mood seem to be well executed in his images.

Congratulations go out to Ben for this winning image.

So people Where does this type of technique take you. How many are interested in doing something like this?

I am! What about you.

I had to reedit this enter some of the links changed as did the licsencing for the photo from Ben Matthews

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bits 'n' Pieces and Awful Parodies


In a recent discussion e-mail list which I participate from time to time, had an involved exchange on what different people should carry when you are off trekking with your camera. I, like most shutterbugs and photo enthusiast usually carry my Camera around my neck. That works for short trips, when I can dash back to the car in a few minutes to grab something I need. What about if you are going out on a longer (2-6 hours) hike?


* Water and snack foods, or a lunch. note I said water, not soda. If it is very hot, lots of water, I did see one very authoritative brochure from a government monument, [US park Service] suggested one liter of water per hour. I think a hydration backpack might be the thing to have.

Safety items
*1st Aid Kit That depends on where you are going and how many people are travel with you. While I was involved with 4H Camp. The Groups were generally 10-15 children and teens, and about 3-5 adults. I would often end up toting a full pack of 1st aid supplies, as well as camera gear and my own water. Now traveling just one other person, I would suggest a smaller pocket sized 1st aid kit. Most good outdoor stores have several options from which to pick.

What about camera gear? [It is what I really want to talk about right now, isn't it?]

Well you might pack and carry a photo-bag.

But then you ask how big and what type of bag?

Bags are personal choices and most people I know have several different type of bags and use them for different places. The bags come in all different sized and shaped. Backpacks, Hip Packs, Shoulder and Messenger bags are just few of the commons types.

So what should I put in the bag style of my choice?

*One small notebook, pocket size, one pencil, a penknife to sharpen the pencil. A penknife is a small knife, usually with a single folding blade. 100+ years they were used to sharpen quill pens.

*Your other lens. I tend to use my telephoto more than my 'wide' angle lens. So the 'wide' goes into the bag.

*Spare memory cards, in my pocket sized Pelican chip holder. It holds SD 10 memory cards. and On long trips I used most all of them.

*Camera Battery At least one fully charged 'Spare Battery' for you camera.

* Lens cleaning gear. Face it, everyone has managed to end up with dust on their lens, and no one wants to have a perfect shot ruined by 'dust on the lens', and no suitable way to clean it.

The awful random thought that escaped my normal, everyday self censorship:

All the prefect shots ruined by a dirty lens in a room and singing "All we are is dust on the lens." A parody of a song by Kansas.

I open my shutter, only for a moment, and the moment's gone
All my photos, pass before my eyes, a sad ending
Dust on our Lens, all they are is dust on our lens
Same perfect shot, just a mote of dirt in an endless sea
All those pictures, thrown to the bin, though we refuse to see.

Dust on our Lens, All our images end up ruined by dust on our lens.

Apologies to Kansas and Kerry Livgren

[I now return you to our normal mundane blog. I sure my wife will someday explain my insanity to you]

More Bits

* Close-up lens. I would suggest carrying a set of closer up filter lenses. +1,+2 +4 diopters. I like to get down and close to the plants and flowers. The most 'Plain Jane' will look completely different when seen through a close up.

This simple mustard with just a +1 close-up lens looks worlds different. By removing the background and looking closer, our Plain Jane turns in to a Delicate Wonder.

*Circular polarizing filter. Everyone should carry, and learn to use this wonderful tool it allows a person to control the reflected and refracted light in the image. With a Circular Polarizing Filter, the photographer can limit the light reflecting off a window in a landscape, or off a glass in still life. One can also increase the blue color in the sky by limiting the refracted light. The trade off is about one f-stop. which isn't bad.

*A set of Neutral Density filters. How often have you had a great shot but couldn't stop open the lens up enough to control your Depth of Field? These handy gadgets drop the amount of light which hits your lens. The real experts have supplied well written examples of how to use them correctly. Why should I reinvent the wheel. Good well writen articles abound on the web and in some blogs on the Web. Google is our friend as they. Wiki is often a good place to start.

Wikipedia's article on Neutral_Density_Filters

and in this instance the article is linked to this great blog.

What are Neutral Density Filters (and when and how to use them)

[this Blogger's latest entry is worth reading for the Links alone]

So what else do you need or want to carry?

*A hand full of pipe cleaners in greens and brown colors. Use them to make great stabilizers and stiffen up droopy blooms and branches).

*A few note (3x5) cards taped together that fold up (Light reflector or wind screen,. The unfolded size should be about 20 x 18. They can be taped together with hinging tape).

*A mini tripod, All round useful item. Really not that expensive, and can be used many ways.

* A couple of sets of stiff wires about (12 gauge) with alligator clips. ( they can hold the cards for you or be used to brace a branch or flower stem. With these items you can stabilize most flowers and get the light were you want it.

A few other small items you may want to carry is a

* A small beanbag to rest your camera on.

* Foam kneeling pads You can get them at the local garden store. They protect the knees and your clothing.

All of these items, except the kneeing pad and tripod can be carried in safari type vest or photobag.

*A small LED light. Either Head (miners style) light or a hand held flashlight. I like the head lamp because it leaves your hands free and will always shine the direction you are facing. (Make sure you have a set of spare AAA batteries.)

Rather than try to stuff all these items in a giant sized camera bag, consider the following

*A safari vest. These are the neatest of things. They are either 9 or 21 pocket vests. Most of them have a mesh type back that allows you not over heat. You have room for lots of carry gear, close up lenses, and a bottle or two of water. Your spare lens and tripod can go in smaller bags, rather than a single giant bag.

Two last items (really three but the last one is really important.)

* A monopod. This doubles as a walking stick. There is even one with retractable legs. Mine has a ball head mount.

* Insect repellent. No one wants to be buzzed by the gnats and mosquitoes, or have an encounter with the meat bees.

*Sun Protection [two sub items here]
* Sun Screen, applied to your face, hands ears and neck. Read the directions on the bottle. Apply as directed and reapply as directed also. Those little sunburns will detract from your overall experience outdoors and in the end hurt you.

* A Good Hat, to shade your face, ears and the back of your neck. I don't like baseball styled caps (billed hats) for this protection. While they may shade your eyes and face, they offer no protection for your ears and the back of your neck.

So, JestrBob. What do you think makes a good hat?

A wide, 3 inch brim. Maybe with tie to hold it down in the wind. One with a ventilated crown is great for summer outings. The wide brim will protect your face, ears and neck. I found a great hat in a local store that sells work clothing for the outdoors.

Now that you are all outfitted for your outing why are you still sitting at the computer?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Horse of Different Color or They're and Swiming Off

Yesterday was the scheduled opening of the new Secret World of Seahorses.

This peek through the door shot was taken. I asked to take a walk though for pictures for my blog, they said no. Or Well. So I was just happy to see the Aquarium was still going strong after these years. A weekend trip to the California Coast is always an adventure for our family. So everyone, Get up off the couch, go somewhere with your family or spouse and take a walk.

One of the Things I have noticed is every public aquarium has at least one exhibit with Clown Fish. Disney's feature film Finding Nemo gave an entire generation the interests in these fish.

At least everyone that has visited with a camera has tried to take a picture of these fish. They are very photogenic.

They are good practice at this type of shooting.

The move slow enough you don't have to track them and move enough to be interesting.

Are these fish an ideal model fish, or is that an ideal fish model?

What I want to say, is some fish seem to move so fast they are nearly impossible to track in the low light/flashless conditions. While other fish don't seem to move at all.

No matter what your technique happens to be for taking good images of these creatures, it is a skill worth developing. No tripod, no flash and low light/usually a nice bulb placed above the tank to stimulate the native light conditions.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium has these impressive tanks which model the nearly the Monterey Bay from the waterline to about 50 feet below sea level.

Then if you get tired of fish watching. You can always people people watch.

Do you ever wonder what people are thinking when they watch fish?
It is almost as interesting as watching the fish. I asked one of docents about how the fish seemed to interact or react to some people and the colors of clothing they were wearing.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Step Right Up!

DSC_4486, originally uploaded by jestrbob.

Step Right Up Folks!

This was the cry of the circus barker, inviting people into the show tent.

And that's what this blog is about.

Going back to a recent theme of one of my older entries:

Where do you go to take pictures?

One of our club members answered: Zoos.

He had displayed a interesting picture of a young tiger taken at the Fresno Zoo. Shooting in a zoo often allows people to experience the excitement of taking pictures of animals with little cost and risk.

In this image and the next two images. I took my shots in an enclosed area at the Aquarium.
This is possibly the best chance most people could do, short of laying out on a beach in a blind.

It is good to practice these shots in low light without a flash. and will hone a person skill at taking the shots of birds or animals so they can get the best possible shot when they are in the blind.

These were shot back to back, with a few seconds between the shots. I shot about 30 or 40 shots in this enclosure alone.

An Aquarium or Zoo building is also a great place to practice shots with no flash, using the available lighting. Most Zoos dislike you using flashes as it tends to upset the animals.

Inside at the Tanks the goal is to avoid the reflections and ghost images.

Can you see my reflection?

I didn't use a polarizing filter, which might have eliminated the reflection, but most polarizing filters tend to drop the amount of light available.

Then there are the extreme reason you can't use a flash.

This is a Amazing relative of the Seahorse called the "Sea Dragon"

They are very photosensitive and there are dozens of signs around on the wall "Not to use flashes" and "No Flashes" in the area.

I have a few more images, taken at the Aquarium which I still have to process and post.

A good reason for returning to your local zoo or aquarium, never forget there are new displays being built and opened.

It just so happens one will this very next weekend. I did manage to get a preview shot through the door.

I need to do a bit of post processing and will try to post the preview image tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Chia 'Pet' and other Blooms.

Thanks To Deborah and Wendy for the help in identifying the Bush Poppy in my last blog.

DSC_4128, originally uploaded by jestrbob.

Flower identification can sometimes be difficult You can only carry so much gear and the Pinnacles National Monument is a not collecting area.

So all we can do is take pictures and drawings. Well, I never been able to draw very well. (it may have something to do with being left handed. Or maybe I have never applied myself to develop the skill). Anyway, I did see several neat and small flowers along the trail.

These guys were about mid-way up the slope (1200feet) and in the full sun. After a quick and careful scan of a couple books, I figured out is the bloom of Chia [Salvia Columbaria]

Another Neat Flower I found was these delicate looking things.

May guess is this is a Foothill Saxifrage [Saxifraga californica]

Another wildflower that was in abundance Was this woody looking plant.

This is the Nightshade Plant[Solanum umbelliferum]

It is farily well scattered throughout the park. The masses of purple blooms are very eye catching.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Pinnacles National Monument and Good Cameras

DSC_4115, originally uploaded by jestrbob.

Well everyone, I promised an update from the outing. this is one of the fine wildflowers found this weekend at Pinnacles National Monument 35 miles south of Hollister, California,

This was a great get away, just barely a 90 mile drive from home. the park is located in the coastal range of California.

This image is a case of getting closer. This small flower is about 3/8 of an inch across. Most all the wildflowers were next to the trail and in abundance. This High Peaks trail was good hike. The trail is rated Strenuous and one should be able to at least walk 4-8 miles in inclined territory.

There are several different Trails and all of them have their own sights to see. This time of the year of the year the grass is green and everything is growing. In a few months everything will be dry and the temperatures will soar from a mid-sixties to mid seventies to 100+ degrees. Even with the cooler temperatures the need to carry water on all trails is a requirement.

This is a friendly park with lots to different hikers on the trails.

One of the people we met on the trail, mentioned the nice camera were we using.

I replied, they are great cameras. Great, because they were the ones we were using.

You see, I have the opinion that any camera can be a great camera. The skill in getting a good picture is determined by the skill of the person using the camera, and how hard the person is willing to work to develop the skill to know what will make a great shot. The fact it is it takes the willingness to use the camera which will in time and with hard work allow you to know when you are at the right place to get the good shot. A camera that is sitting in a closet, will never be a good camera because it is not being used.

Even worse the person who owns the unused camera will never have chance to develop the skill to use the camera. Taking pictures is easy. Taking good pictures is a skill which needs to be developed over time.

So folks grab your camera and use them.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Choices? Choices! Photo Opportunities!

The Weekend Cometh! (and Options Abound)

This is when I start to make plans for the weekend. This is often difficult because I work six days a week. I normally only get one day off a week, and after 38 years on the job I have worked my way up to getting that one day off on Sunday.

So What do I do on Sunday? The two choices which are running tied for 1st place is either Pinnacles National Monument [ http://www.nps.gov/pinn/ ] or Yosemite National Park [http://www.nps.gov/yose/]. There is a close second or third choice (if you are counting) in the running and that's Point Lobos State Reserve [http://pt-lobos.parks.state.ca.us/].

All three sites are well discussed on several sites and blogs. The real choices may end up fully dependent on the weather conditions the chances of me getting one of those "Personal Days Off" which I receive in lieu of paid holidays.

All three sites are interesting. My own leanings are to go to the Pinnacles, especially if I can get one of those "personal days". The truth is my wife will also get a vote and she will certainly want to go someplace. My real assignment is to make the outing something special. (for both of us.)

The current plan is to leave as early in the afternoon Saturday as I can get away from work. The Plan is to have the car is packed and tank filled. All the camera batteries are charged, tripods loaded.

The ice chest with water should be all set to go, sandwiches and pasta salad will be picked up as we leave, and the snakes foods like apples, string cheese, granola bars and crackers easy to pack. Already I have double checked the 1st aid kit.

This sort of Stuff is easy because we have discovered the easy way to be packed to go is never fully unpack and put away all stuff.

Anyway, my next blog entry should be a report on the outing with pictures.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Path to be Explored?

The Path to be Explored?

DSC_3914, originally uploaded by jestrbob.

I hope this is a somewhat timely point to make. During a recent Camera Club meeting a question was asked towards the end of the meeting:

"Where do you decide to take photos? "

I would be willing to bet, questions like this get asked at nearly every camera shop, and club meeting.

Well, the best answer I could come up with is go somewhere and take your camera. When you get to where ever you are going, get out of your car and start taking pictures. (really don't be afraid to stop in route and explore)

If the "Wide Angle lens can't find anything interesting, then take a stab using your telephoto lens.

What if you still don't see anything interesting?

That's a real possibility. It has happened to me. Nothing caught my eye.

Try a close up lens.

Get down. Change the level you are viewing the scene

Get close. Try out a close up lens

Look for weed blooms, insects, or just the texture of the ground and rocks.

The path is just an opportunity. It is up to you to explore the path.

Sometimes you have to stop and just wait. The wildlife will often return. Sometimes the wildlife is hard to see.


This image is an example of something I drive by everyday, and only considered making an image on second thought.

I actually bought my wife an used Cannon XT and this was a chance to get her used to taking photos.

The whole idea was to get her to take the pictures without worrying a lot of fuss. She managed to get a great shot of the one of these birds landing. I never did.

The entire idea is to get up and go somewhere. Take your camera and shoot.
Or even stay in and set up flowers in a vase or pot, and shoot the picture.

The only way to learn to take a good photograph is to start taking photographs.

Learn by experience.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Poppies and Colors

DSC_3738, originally uploaded by jestrbob.

Well This is the easy part. A late season cold front started through yesterday afternoon, as I was getting off of work. The front brought cold winds and rain for much of the afternoon. The weather today is still gusty winds and scattered showers. The Gusts are 20-30mph. Not really conducive to taken pictures of wildflowers or wildlife.

So I spent yesterday evening looking at some more of those Knights Ferry shots. I found this one hiding among the hundreds of shots I took. of various clusters of poppies. While this is typical of many the shot it sort of jumped at me a bit more than the rest. The Cluster is compact and most of the blooms are open and there isn't too many seedpods formed yet.

One of the thing I tend to forget is that California Poppies are Orange and too much orange in a in an image won't make a pretty image.

As shown in this photo, the Blue/Purple Lupines are over powered by the orange from the out of focus poppies in the background. So folks watch those background colors even if the are out of focus.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


One of the things which fascinate me has always been wildlife.

DSC_3456 (3), originally uploaded by jestrbob.

Hummingbirds are something which I have loved to watch. While I was scouting out the Knight's Ferry Area, I happened across this shrub with the brightest red flowers. Instantly I was surrounded by these busy fliers.

I caught this one as it was busy feeding. 1/400th a second and I almost got a full stop of the wings.

I've had some fun!

Last Spring I bought a Decent digital Camera.
After 36 years, I retired my Nikon F2S2 (pending repair?). I After Viewing the options, I selected a Nikon D60.

This Blog will be hopefully a commentary on my experiences and travels. Both past and future adventures.

My Most Recent outing was the March 14th, 2009. It was a short 45 minute Drive east when We spotted our 1st photo op. West of Oakdale, California on Rodden Road, sits on top of a hill a castle.

This was a very fantasy looking image and of the several shots I took I picked his one as the best of the batch.

From there we Continued up the road eastward bypassing, the community of Oakdale, and continuing to the small town of Knight's Ferry. The Downtown District is a few buildings from the late 1800's. There is a General Store, Post Office, Hotel, Deli and Saloon. The highlight of this area is the many Riverside Parks.

Stanislaus River Parks

When we got to Covered Bridge Park, it was early afternoon. We found the hillside almost covered in freshly opened wildflower.



I also like to shoot close up photos.

The breeze was very light, So I tried to make a shot and while I had several that turned out sharp and clear, The one I liked the best just the opposite :

I have about 10 photos more to add to my Flickr pages when I get a chance to edit the images a little bit better.