License to Explore~ Winter Finally Arrives in the Gold Country! By Steph Gabler

Steph Gabler Photography

Just when I was resigned to the fact that we were going to go from Fall to Spring here in the Gold Country, Winter arrived with a BANG!  14″ of beautiful, white snow arrived overnight and into the morning, so of course I grabbed my camera and went out to explore.

Camino, CA is probably better known  as Apple Hill, and is absolutely gorgeous any time of the year. However, on those fairly rare occasions that it is covered in snow… it’s simply magical.

I started my trip down Carson Rd,  at the bottom of “downtown” Camino.  I saw this magical scene just minutes after getting off the freeway…

 

This Vineyard is getting a nice winter blanket of snow.  As I slowly made my way down the hill (not everyone was practicing safe snow driving) I saw my next photo opportunity… at the “famous” High Hill Ranch. High Hill is the largest and most popular farm in Apple Hill.  With snow covering the apple Orchard, I was captivated by what was before me. Continue reading “License to Explore~ Winter Finally Arrives in the Gold Country! By Steph Gabler”

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License to Explore~ Cameron Park Lake, CA By Steph Gabler

Steph Gabler Photography

License to Explore

Life  has kept me and my camera separated, until today. My Valentines Day morning was spent with my love, my camera. Having a bit of “free” time to jump in the car with my camera was something that I have looked forward to for weeks!

I set my sites on Cameron Park Lake, in the center of Cameron Park, El Dorado County. During the “warm” months, there is a fee to get into the lake, but this time of year, it’s FREE!! 🙂

Cameron Park Lake

The trail around the lake is just over a  mile long, level, and an easy walk. I cannot begin to name all of the different birds on this lake! However, today I had my sites set on the swans Continue reading “License to Explore~ Cameron Park Lake, CA By Steph Gabler”

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License to Explore ~ Christmas at Jackson, CA By Steph Gabler

Steph Gabler Photography
January 7, 2018 and I found myself in Jackson, CA.  I have made many trips to Jackson over the past 30 years, it is one of my favorite small towns to visit. Happily, life is returning to this Main St, along with many of the others along Historic Hwy 49 in the Gold Country.

When we stepped out of the car, I was not only thrilled, but stunned to see and hear Christmas! Carols were playing on the loud speakers, and all the shop windows still displayed the Christmas cheer. It didn’t take long for me to remember that Jackson has a very large Serbian population and they celebrate Christmas on January 7th.

It was wonderful being surrounded by Christmas! I love the holiday season and wish I could live in it year round.  Main St was all decorated, along with the National Hotel and most shop windows.

I think my favorite store windows were the Antique Stores, it was like stepping back into simpler times. Continue reading “License to Explore ~ Christmas at Jackson, CA By Steph Gabler”

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License to Explore~ Don’t Hide From the Rain! ~Steph Gabler Photography

January 4, 2018 and it finally RAINED!! Hopefully this is just the start of a delayed, long, wet winter.  While many of you may be inclined to put your camera away until the Spring flowers start popping, I urge you to go out into the weather and shoot!

Please be aware… you need to protect your camera first! The two biggest enemies of your camera are sand and water. You can easily find rain / weather covers for your camera on sites like Amazon.  Rain covers are made in disposable and reusable forms. These covers are generally inexpensive and considering how much you paid for your camera and lens, it is well worth the investment.

So, why shoot in weather? It’s wet, cold, windy. I want to stay inside where it’s warm. Well, let me show you why. My personal favorite is fog. Fog is moody, and the image changes almost constantly if you just sit and watch. Fog creates a special kind of light that I really enjoy.

 

See what I mean? Fog completely changes the landscape giving it a “private” feel for me, like it is just me and the landscape. You can set your white balance for “cloudy” if you want to “correct” the light, however I leave mine at “daylight” because I like the look nature has given me.

Rain. This is where I like to look for the “details”. Look down. Look at the leaves and flowers. Raindrops on Roses are truly magical. I have even been known to use a spray bottle on flowers to enhance the feel of the photo.  Here are my “wet” examples;

Do you see the reflection of the tree around the leaves? To me, that image tells a story. If it had not rained, all you would see are leaves on asphalt.

Now to my favorite, snow. I am lucky enough to live above snowline, so as soon as it begins snowing, I grab my camera and head out. This next image was taken from Big Hill Lookout in the Crystal Basin Recreation Area above Pollock Pines during a late Fall, early Winter snow.

The light kept changing, the clouds kept moving and I felt like the luckiest girl on the mountain (OK, I was also the only girl on the mountain, but let’s not get technical) The evergreen bushes give a great pop of color to the image, and I loved the dead leaves that were still hanging onto the tree, despite the winter weather. This photo actually won Nature Photo of the Year in a national competition a few years back.

Ahh, my friend the Canada Goose. He simply stood there and let the snow collect on his back. I find this photo to be very peaceful. I would never have seen this if I had stayed home with my feet by the fire (or more likely with my feet by the washer and dryer, lol)

Gold Country residents and visitors, the rain is returning to Northern California! Grab your gear, make sure it is protected and get out there and take some pictures!

So, my rating for shooting in the weather? 5 cameras!!

stephanie-gabler.pixels.com

 

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License to Explore~ Mather Regional Park, Rancho Cordova, CA – Steph Gabler Photography

What better way to start the new year than with a new blog? My name is Steph Gabler, owner of Steph Gabler Photography.  I am titling my blog ” License to Explore” because that is exactly what my camera encourages me to do. I plan on sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly of my adventures with my camera.

So, Day one…January 1, 2018. Today the weather in Northern California was perfect (if you like mid-60’s in January). My family and I jumped into my truck and headed west to explore a place I had heard of, but had never visited, Mather Regional Park. My goal, the variety of birds that call the pond home this time of the year.

 

The park is cute, but be warned THERE IS A $5 PARKING FEE!!!! First off I noticed this gentleman fishing, with Swans swimming in the background. Now, if you are not a “birder” you may not know that these Swans were not common around here until a few years ago, so seeing them is very exciting!  There is a gravel path around 3/4 of the pond, but it does appear that they are working on making the trail go all the way around.

First goal.. the Swans. I’m guessing 26 swans were enjoying this sunny morning.

 

Aren’t they beautiful? I might add, they are quite large as well.  As I was shooting the swan, I noticed that there was a pair of white Pelicans! Wait! What? Yes! Even though we are about an hour inland from the Pacific Ocean, we had a pair of Pelicans visiting.

Before I could make my way around the pond to get a closer shot of the Pelicans, I spotted a beautiful Great Blue Heron. I have never really gotten a good picture of these majestic birds, they are kinda jumpy. That’s ok… I like a challenge.

Like I said… they are kinda jumpy, but I did get to see him glide by me.

Just ahead, my goal, the Pelicans.  Clearly a mating pair, we enjoyed the male trying to  impress the female (who really could have cared less).  So here is what I saw….

 

Our bird count, Swans, Pelicans, Egrets, Cormorants, Coots, Great Blue Herons, Hawks, Grackles, Canada Goose, Mallard ducks, and Buffleheads. Not bad for a mileish walk around the pond.

I am going to create a rating system for all these adventure locations.  1-5 cameras

Mather Regional Park, Rancho Cordova, CA  gets 2/5 cameras. 

Steph Gabler Photography

 

 

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