All Who Wander Are Not Lost

My lovely bride and I snuck out for a quick dinner last week and, on the way, I saw a sticker on a car that read, “All Who Wander Are Not Lost.”  For some reason, the phrase resonated with me – maybe because I was hungry – but the thought seemed incomplete.  Susan and I discussed the sticker over dinner, brainstorming ways to complete the thought.  We decided that it needed to say, “All Who Wander Are Not Lost – Some Of Us Are Taking Pictures!”  I slept well that night, meeting a subliminal need to be profound.  Maybe it was the good dinner and wonderful company – I’ll go with that (love you, Cutie!).

In my last post, I teased you with a promise to deliver a great composition montage from my photography challenge.  Here you go!

PHOTOROGR - Comp-Montage - 6854

This is the stamp mill at Coloma State Park, overlaid with a texture from a classic Chevy I found in a barn yard. I placed the wood stamp mill in the rusty areas of the texture and let the faded grey areas interact with the background and foreground.

The challenge for last week was street photography.  The instructions were simple: go to a location(s) and take pictures of street scenes – include people if you can.  I was a bit apprehensive for this challenge.  I don’t live in a big city where people can be oblivious of activity on the street.  And the Carson Valley is not small enough so I know everyone.  Granted, I know lots of people here, but not everyone and, in true pioneer spirit, being too invasive can get you shot around here – figuratively, not literally.  So, I traveled across the Valley to the Town of Genoa.  It’s a quaint little place – the oldest settlement in Nevada (unless you’re from Dayton, where they take exception to Genoa’s claim, but I digress).  Tourism is big in Genoa with lots of people around, so I felt safe with my camera over there.  Genoa has one main intersection with a 4 way stop.  I parked a little bit away from the intersection and started taking pictures: a nice couple walking through the Genoa State Park; vehicle traffic going through the intersection; a family stopping at the General Store from their bicycle ride; and a group of men enjoying drink outside the Genoa Bar, the “Oldest Thirst Parlor in Nevada.”  My attention kept returning to a group of people placing mulch in the planting areas along the street.  I recognized one of the workers, so I approached and said howdy.  They are members of the Friends of Genoa, and were sprucing up the downtown before a major tourism conference next week and a big event, the Genoa Cowboy Festival, the first weekend in May.  They were very chatty and welcomed me and my camera.  Here’s my image.

PHOTOROGR - street photography - 7291

I got rave reviews from the photo challenge facilitator, who liked that the woman’s red jacket complemented the red in the stop sign, the ‘V’ positioning of the people, and the lines created by the tools connected the people in the picture. Better lucky than good? Yes, I think so!

One of the great things about being retired/self-employed is that my time is mine to use as I wish.  Susan and I live in a great neighborhood with wonderful neighbors.  Several of these neighbors are members of an ATV group that hits the trail at least once a month.  This month’s trip was southeast of Dayton, the Rawe Peak area, and featured fun stops at the Como Mine and the Palmyra town site.  If you want more information on this area, just Google ‘Como Mine’ or ‘Palmyra, Nevada’ and you’ll find lots of information on the area.

IMG_6878 - e2lg - 03

This is Lynn, John, and Bob, with the Como Mine in the background.

IMG_6887 - e2lg - 03

Looking down to the road from the mine equipment. The high desert was beautiful.

IMG_6895---e2lg---w

This drum was intriguing. I don’t know enough about this mine to tell you what its purpose was.

IMG_6979---e2alg---w

The remains of the only building ‘standing’ in Palmyra.

I can’t go anywhere without looking for a little wildlife.  We hit the jackpot near Palmyra, as we found a band of 6 horses, including a young colt.

IMG_6971---e2lg---w

Here he is with Mom. A fire passed through this area some years ago, making tough walking to get close to the horses. Not too close, however – this was shot with the big lens and then cropped.

IMG_6950---e2alg---w

The yellow grass, bare trees, and reds in the horses created quite the challenge for my limited photography skills. The horses were mostly cooperative and didn’t run away.

We also went to a nearby mountain, just down from Rawe Peak, to enjoy the views and let a couple group members do their geo-caching thing.

IMG_6994---e2lg---w

Looking northeast towards Stagecoach, Nevada.

IMG_6987---e2lg---w

Looking northwest towards Mt. Rose. Dayton is in the right side of the image, and Mound House is on the left.

IMG_6985---e3lg---w

Looking across the Dayton Valley to Virginia City on the hillside (along the light brown line in the far mountainside). Mt Rose is just out of the image on the left.

IMG_6983---e2lg---w

The view to the southwest and the Carson Valley. Jobs Peak, Freel Peak, and Little Sister are the prominent snow covered peaks. Lake Tahoe is just over the ridge of the far mountain range.

I’ll close this week with a images of the wild horses closer to home.  I checked on them the other day, and they are enjoying the spring very well.  I now have images of 7 new ones this year.  I know the names of 4 of the 7.  I hope you enjoyed my fun week.  Enjoy – PHOTOROGR

IMG_7171---e1lg---w

These are the two little ones in Shorty’s band, I think. They didn’t get too far from their Mamas.

IMG_7179---e1lg---w

This is one of my favorite images from this year, and is available on a small note card or as a larger print. Sorry, I had to get one commercial plug into the post!

 

 

My ‘Creative Spirit’ is alive and well!

As promised, I’ve been trying new techniques and subjects this week, and I’ve been having a blast.  I haven’t forgotten my familiar subjects, however, and you’ll still see plenty of them.  Before we get to this week’s highlights, I’m very excited to announce that I am offering for sale 4.25″ x 5.5″ glossy note cards.  I printed a set of prototype cards and sold out immediately.  Take a look at the ‘Buy My Images’ page for prices.

Let’s start with my image for last week’s photo challenge – Shutter Zoom.  This technique uses a long shutter speed combined with changing the focal length (or zooming) the lens to create an interesting image.

PHOTOROGR - Shutter Zoom - 7087

This is one of our apple trees. They are leafing early this year and provided a wonderful subject. The only editing I did was a little cropping and ‘vignetting’ (the light color in the colors).

The challenge for this week is a ‘re-do,’ to make another try at a previous challenge.  I didn’t have a plan for this challenge, waiting for the creative spirit to strike.  While shooting at Glen Alpine Falls yesterday (more on that later), I made an image that begged to be black and white.  Here’s my submission for this week’s challenge, a re-do of the black and white challenge.

PHOTOROGR - Re-Do - Black and White - 6311

Glen Alpine Falls in black and white.

Since I already introduced yesterday’s shoot, here are additional images from Glen Alpine Falls.  The falls are usually much more dramatic this time of year, but the drought and resultant lack of snow pack have really impacted the falls.  They are still beautiful, but this is more typical of water flows in late summer or fall.  I worked on shooting in manual mode, selecting aperture, ISO, and shutter speed, and exploring how changing one impacts the other two.  I normally shoot in aperture priority, as depth of field is my primary concern for birds of prey.  My next go round with landscapes will include different filters.  So much fun to be had!

IMG_6292-re3a---w

Glen Alpine Falls.

IMG_6398---re1---w

Glen Alpine Falls.

IMG_6329---e2-w

These rocks are not part of the falls – they are downstream. They have their own water source and create a different kind of waterfall. I noticed the intricate shadows caused by the rock surface, which created a very pleasing pattern. The old and large tree on the left enhances the composition.

IMG_7138---re2a---w

Speaking of great trees growing in an unusual environment, on my way to Glen Alpine Falls I saw this tree growing at the top of a rock cut. The road was built about 60 years ago, and the solid rock slope has eroded away during that time. I am amazed that this tree is growing considering the lack of soil and water supply, and exposed root system. It grows, though, and has for years. Nature is truly wonderful!

The wild horse bands have been great this week, too.  Blue now has three babies, and Blondie has one.  Here are the little ones.

Sidney-and-Mama---PHOTOROGR

This is the newest little one – Sydney – one of Blue’s babies.

Little-Jo-and-Mama-2---PHOTOROGR

My special buddy, Little Jo. She put on quite a show for me the other day.

Jonah-and-Mama---PHOTOROGR

And Little Jonah, Blondie’s daughter. She was feeling quiet when I saw her the other day.

IMG_5928-re2alg---w

I found Hope having quite a fun time. She was bucking and jumping and roiling in this dirt patch. I kept thinking she found an anthill, but she kept going back and eventually lost interest.

And I found some owls.

_MG_5838_edited-2lg---w

I’ve been trying to make a good image of these two for several months. I finally figured out the right combination of aperture, shutter, ISO, and shooting technique to get an image that I could edit. The light was not nearly this good when I made the image. And the bird on the right took off right after I made this image.

_MG_5591---e1alg---w

I found this Horned Owl by accident. She had her head up at the right time. I’ve been back a couple more times, but she keeps her head down more often than not. There will be more of this one in the future.

 

I will close with a couple fun images.  The Manzanita is blooming in the Sierras, so I took this picture.  By chance this morning.  I saw this balloon in the sky over Gardnerville and pulled over in time to catch him descending and landing.  And so, my Creative Spirit is truly alive and well.  New subjects, a number of new shooting techniques, and an eye looking for different opportunities – expect lots of fun in the coming weeks!  Enjoy – PHOTOROGR

IMG_6410---re1a-w

Manzanita is beautiful year round, but these pink flowers make it more so.

_MG_6432_e2amlg---w

Gotta love a hot air balloon in the sky, with the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the background.