Wildflowers. Gold Country. Road Trip. Have camera, will adventure… The night before we listened to the song Jackson by Johnny Cash & June Carter. My wife saw a picture on Gold Country Photographers. It was decided. We took our youngest daughter on a little road trip to Jackson to do a little wildflower photography, and adventure of course. I love it when a plan comes together, and this one came together nicely. Welcome to Electra Rd.
With the Mokelumne river on one side, and hillsides covered in wildflowers on the other, it was a pretty amazing little spot. You can never go wrong with a river/wildflower combination.
Poppies, poppies, everywhere! All along the road were huge patches of poppies, which is never a bad thing. Large fields, rolling hills, all covered in beautiful wildflowers.
And of course a setting as beautiful as this makes for a great background a few portraits, and I happened to be lucky enough to have had a pair of beautiful subjects along for the adventure.
Bottom line, the answer to adventure is always yes. Anytime, anywhere. Never pass up a chance to explore. You never know where you’ll end up, or what you’ll see, and you just might be lucky enough to capture something beautiful.
Front Street Media specializes in a wide variety of web design photography applications. We love sunsets but we specialize in local business photography. Whether we are challenged to shoot food, a local shop or a landscape setting, we love the process and workflow behind it all.
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!! 🙂
A friend of ours came up two weeks ago the night before our NFL Championship game day event. He showed up with a bag (24) and a few runaway oysters. “Where the heck did you get those?” I asked, he said he stopped at our local market to pick up some beers and there was a guy selling them from the back of his truck. This was his last bag, it was half off plus he threw in all the ones that were loose.
While not my personal favorite food by any means, barbecuing them was an awesome experience. As us non-cooks got the barbecue ready, Arlene (who loves to cook) went to work on a mignonette.
Tools required: Barbecue, oyster knife, non-melting glove, forks, mignonette, Tabasco sauce, lemon wedges and a cold beer or beverage of your choice 😉
Birding By Kayak at Big Break Regional Shoreline in the East Bay
by Victoria Schlesinger on January 02, 2018
Looking northwest from the shore through tules and over Big Break toward the San Joaquin River. (Photo by Robin Mayoff, RHM Images)
Produced by Bay Nature for the East Bay Regional Park District
Strings of birds have been passing overhead for the past 40 minutes. There are wobbly lines of starlings, Brewer’s and tricolored blackbirds, all of them flying east toward the sliver of sun that’s pushing above the horizon. They’re commuting to the farmland in the Central Valley where they’ll feed for the day, and tonight they’ll come back here to the Delta to overnight in the tule marshes. The sky is still a diluted blue, and as the flocks fly they call to one another, a cacophony known as the “dawn chorus.”
Mike Moran is pointing out and naming the birds as we stroll toward the water’s edge. We’re getting ready for an early morning kayak trip to seek out some of the birds that live around Big Break Regional Shoreline, which sits at the edge of Oakley, a small bedroom city on the San Joaquin River. The park and region is a hot spot for birding, and I’ve been curious about watching birds from the water, from a different perspective. “You can see the Delta from the Delta’s point of view,” Moran says.
And then right over our heads sails a clump of dark-colored bodies with long curved bills.
“Those are ibis!” Moran whoops. “That’s crazy. White-faced ibis you see as you drive up Highway 99 north of Sacramento in all the rice fields. They’re lousy up there. But I’ve never seen a flock of them here.”
In fact, he says, this is the farthest west he’s ever sighted ibis. Moran’s been a naturalist with the East Bay Regional Park District for nearly 25 years and became supervising naturalist at the Big Break Visitor Center when it opened in 2012, so I make a note to look up where else white-faced ibis have been seen in the area. (That night I check eBird, a website where birders can record their sightings, and the last sizable flock of ibis noted at Big Break was in 2000.)
The last trip of the year. Where to go? Why not Tahoe! Not only is the area beautiful, but it also has so much to offer for activities. We decided a month out that traveling to South Lake Tahoe would be a fun destination to spend our last days of 2017 at. Not only do we celebrate the new year, we also get to celebrate my husband’s birthday (he’s a new years baby, born on January 1st). We started our trip off with a nice break in Chico at the Sierra Nevada Brewing company for an amazing lunch. The food is amazing and who doesn’t enjoy a good beer.
After our amazing lunch, we continued on our way to South Lake. The sunset was amazing!!!
I love sunsets. Something about the way the colors paint the sky. I’m use to mountain sunsets, so it’s always nice having a different view. Even if the view happens to be from the backseat.
Fun fact: the Sutter Buttes is known as the smallest mountain range in the world.
On our first morning in Tahoe my husband and our friend took a short drive to Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows for their day of skiing. Normally I would be right with them on the slopes, but I stayed behind to enjoy time with my friends and family. Which turned out to be a good thing considering they left their ski boots behind at the cabin. Silly mistake, but it happens. Me and a friend drove half way to meet them and bring them their ski boots. We chose a perfect destination! Emerald Bay. It’s so beautiful.
We even did the tourist thing….
We got really lucky, because it was early in the morning, we had the place to ourselves. Later in the day we took the rest of our group up to Emerald Bay to see the beautiful view and were not as lucky. It was crowded and we were barely able to find a spot to park. Even then we didn’t get the same view. But I’ll settle for what we did get.
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!!
I have fallen in love with the world in a black and white form. Not because I don’t appreciate color, or enjoy it’s beauty. But because I feel it is through the lack of color you see the true image. It’s structure. The lines. The details you might overlook had you been distracted by bright reds, or vibrant greens. The patterns that make up the petal of a flower are intricate, beautiful, and amazing. The way a drop of water hangs in balance on the tip… The slight imperfections each tell a story. All details that are easily overlooked when hidden within the wonderful colors of nature. Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate the beautiful colors of our world, and think nature has done a perfect job of painting the scenery. I often shoot in color just for this reason. But in my newest gallery, I’m looking beyond the colors and enjoying the deeper beauty of nature, people, and things we see in our every day life, but maybe we’re not really seeing them….
So, join me as I travel into the world of black and white. Visit my newest gallery at 11:eleven Photography and see the beginning of this journey, and check back often as I continue to add more images from this adventure.
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.
One of my favorite things about photography is that I can share the beauty I capture with others. One of my favorite things about the Gold Country, is that there is so much to capture. Through my lens, will be an ongoing journey. I will share with you the beauty, my travels, my experiences.
I’ve been a traveler. A wanderer. And yes, there is beauty to be found in all corners of the world. Some places have beautiful forests, some have gorgeous rivers, or mountains. Some places the beauty is in the people that reside there, or the history that lies within it. In all my travels I have not found another place that has all these things in one place. The Gold Country, set in Northern California has all these things, and more, practically within arms reach of one another. I am currently in the “heart” of the Gold Country, Nevada County. And although I have tried to move away several times, it has a magical draw to it, and I just can’t stay away very long. I don’t know if it’s the Tahoe National Forest that you can see all around it, the mighty Yuba River that runs through it, the snow capped Sierra Nevada’s that rise above it, or the wonderful, creative people that fill it. Come check it out. See for yourself. Enjoy the journey.
Check back here often, as I will be sharing the beauty of the area I call home, my travels, and things that catch my eye. You can also go to my website and view/purchase images I’ve captured along my journey. https://11eleven.shootproof.com/