Getting out of the house, the kids and I took a walk along the Mississippi riverfront. Along the way we saw some firefighters that allowed them to get inside of the bucket of their tower ladder truck. They didn’t get to go up the 7 floors that it extends, but it was fun for them to get up in there. Along our walk we strolled under Centennial bridge that connects Davenport, IA with Rock Island, IL. The clouds made for a great backdrop to the span.
Other than the stifling humidity, it is great to go feet from the house and have tons of vegetation, creeks, and fun things for the kids to do. I wasn’t able to get out to see a sunset in the fields, but the creek did very nicely. I love how the water caught the light.
I’m off on a short family visit in Iowa this week and man, is it green here. The brown grasses and hills of California make one forget just how different it is in the middle of the country. Looking out the airplane window, all you see is green green green with creeks, streams and rivers cutting up the farmland. I managed to get out to the golf course with the some of the family yesterday and play 18 holes. This one spot had a great view down the hole with the cart perfectly positioned in the foreground. Way off in the distance beyond the green, is the corn fields.
If the clouds cooperate in the next few days, I’m going to chase down a barn or two and see if they’ll play nice for the camera. I even rented a wide-angle lens for this trip in my efforts to replicate a FunkySlug image. My work’s cut out for me .
Below is another view of the course with the sun cutting through the clouds.
A short photo series of Paso Robles wouldn’t be complete without at least a couple images of the vineyards. This horse was just sitting with that pose when I drove by. I loved the image so much I quickly drove down to where I could turn around then I found a place to park. I had time to walk up to the fence and snap a couple images until the horse noticed me then started heading my way. My arrival also captured the attention of the horse you see below. Now it may not be for everyone, but I do like the two palm trees peeking out from behind the vines. It gives that California feel.
I finally pulled down images from my CF card that were taken a couple weeks ago from my trip to Paso Robles. On that trip, I was able to escape for a couple hours from the family activities to go on a photo tour of the area. This little barn was in wine-country and just looked like it’s seen far better days. I like the TV antenna sticking up from the upper roof while the walls are falling with plenty of missing planks. On the whole drive, I don’t think I ever saw any barns as vibrant as Consuelo’s red one.
The annual Fotoclave competition is coming up and I am considering entering some digital images and perhaps try my hand at a print or two. (maybe). The categories are Color Pictorial, Creative, Travel, Nature, and Photojournalism. I am allowed two entries per category, and then my club picks from all entries 20 per category to move on to the larger competition.
I only have two creative images, so that is easy for me to decide, and I am way out-classed in everything outside of color pictorial. So what I’m asking for help in, is choosing the two images to submit, and perhaps two I should make prints of, for the color category.
Digital entries have a long-edge max of 1050 pixels, so details may get lost, which is what gives a preference for high detail to get printed.
Or if you had other favorites that I didn’t list, please suggest it. Let me know your two favorites. Thanks!
Here’s another image from my trip to Mission San Miguel. This is a south-facing tower of bells that has obviously been weathered over the years. The sun was high and bright and I wanted to bring it all in with the lens flare to give an old feel to the image. I worked it a bit to give it the bleached, cheap-camera feel.
I took a brief weekend excursion to Paso Robles this last weekend. While there, I took a bit of time to photograph Mission San Miguel. The lighting at the time I was there wasn’t ideal, and I didn’t end up with a huge number of shots that I loved, but I did get a couple. I love the old doors and weathered wall on this and how the small potted plant works with the sparseness of the space. I just with that pot wasn’t plastic.
This little bed & breakfast in Vallejo, which has obviously seen much better days, was in the final process of being moved to its current location from somewhere else. This had the feel of sitting around for many years without anything being done to it, but I don’t know what the full story is. I can imagine that once it gets done, it will be pretty nice. It is in an interesting location with the views behind me being the Richmond Bridge, the end of the Suisun bay and some scrapyard. I didn’t get the sense that the scrapyard would ever go away.
From the Attic of the John Muir House, is a Domestic sewing machine. It is pretty cool to see the simplicity of the old sewing machines compared to their modern counterparts. You can see some of the leaf and flower etchings in the metal. This shot was backlight substantially from the window. I used three exposures to balance it a bit more like what was actually seen, then did some color toning to drive home the antique feel.
This is the study from the John Muir House. The room was filled with lots of books and knick-knacks. It would be cool to be able to browse around it more, but the actual space wasn’t accessible, so a photo would have to do. I like the old typewriter in the corner.
The focal point of the weekend’s photo outing, the USS Iowa Battleship. She was commissioned in 1943, saw lots of battle in WWII, some in the Korean War and other action all along the way. Currently she’s with the rest of the reserve and mothball fleet in Suisun Bay waiting to be turned into a museum ship. I can’t wait for that day. I have always been fascinated with the Iowa. You can see in this photo a couple of the nine 16-inch guns on the deck.
In the attic of the John Muir house, there is this cool, old baby carriage. This shot was challenging since it was really dark. As you can see there are some harsh shadows from the light bulbs off-frame. Again, this is a 3 exposure HDR image, with the longest being 30 seconds. In PP, I tried to create a very dusty, old feel that was the modern lighting attempted to steal from the scene.
Here’s a creative piece from my trip on the Suisun Bay. I’ll let this one tell its own story as it has had lots of work done to it.
On our boating adventure in the Suisun Bay, we toured the mothballed fleet, aka the ghost fleet. There is a wide variety of ships and levels of decay. This particular ship is the USS Clamp, which is a Diver-class rescue and salvage ship from WWII. Her fate is to sit next to lots of other vessels indefinitely. This is a three-exposure HDR image taken while on another boat, which was moving while I was trying to be my own steady-cam.