One new photograph, almost every day of the year

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2018—Little Blind on the Prairie

On our first morning in the Sand Hills of Nebraska at the Switzer Ranch, home of Calamus Outfitters where we’re spending the week photographing Greater Prairie Chickens and Sharp-tailed Grouse, we were excited to shoot Greater Prairie Chickens on the lek.     We need to keep our long lenses as unobtrusive as possible, letting them protrude only a few inches out of the blind.  This restricted the usable area behind the cameras so we were a bit cramped.   But once again, the sounds of the birds on the lek coming to life at 6 AM in the dark, surrounding us with their morning calls was enough to get the adrenalin pumping.  And, as the sun brought light to the prairie, we were treated to great views from our little blind on the prairie.

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2018—Auburn Hook & Ladder Spring Blooms

The back view of Auburn Hook & Ladder #2 shows off the bell and bell tower.  It’s framed by a spring blossoms..

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2018—Auburn Hook and Ladder #2

Auburn Hook and Ladder #2 has served the city of Auburn since 1852, one of the first all volunteer fire companies in the State.  This historic firehouse building was was constructed in Auburn in 1891 and moved to its present location when a freeway ramp forced it to be moved.

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2018—Sho-Chiku-Bai

It’s what’s for dinner in Auburn.  I was drawn to the neon sign but thought the Japanese lantern with the words Sho-Chiku-Bai was compelling, too.  I enjoy eating sushi but don’t know much about its nuances.  A little googling revealed that  Sho Chiku Bai is a way to rank the three levels of choices in Sushi, with Sho (meaning pine in Japanese) being the best, most extravagant and most expensive, Chiku (bamboo) next, and Bai (Plum) being lowest rank with the smallest servings but still excellent. I didn’t sample their sushi but I’ll have to go back there and try their offerings.

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2018—Old Auburn Courthouse

On Wednesday evening we walked from the Tap & Vine on High Street in Auburn down Lincoln Way to the Old Auburn Firehouse #1.  On the way, we passed the historic Auburn Courthouse and found the contrast between the brightly lit courthouse in the background and the unlit light standard in front an interesting subject.

In the first shot, it appears as if the photograph is rendered both in color and black and white or that some Photoshop shenanigans were involved.  Neither is the case.  The entire photograph is in color. In the second shot, the colors changed when I moved to my right just a few feet.  The lamp takes on a blue cast and the courthouse more of a yellow glow.  I used a tripod for both shots and both were at ISO 64 and Auto natural Auto white balance.  In the first, the aperture was f/4.5 and a shutter speed of 1/2 second; and the second was shot at f/20, and a shutter speed of 25 seconds.

 

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2018—The State

Auburn’s State Theater still has a glowing neon facade that beckons theater goers to its latest offerings.

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2018—Welcome to Old Auburn

Wednesday evening, I met members of the Placer Camera Club for dinner at a relatively new restaurant in Auburn called the Tap & Vine before we went out to photograph downtown Auburn at night.  The dozen or so of us had such an enjoyable time at the restaurant that we were about a half hour late meeting up with the rest of the group who chose not to join us for dinner first.  We broke up into small groups and wandered around.  A few of us in my group were intrigued with the lights of the signs at the dive bar called The California.  While I’ve not been to The California, I have enjoyed a glass or two of wine at Carpe Vino, whose  round sign can be seen in the background.

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2018—Spring Salsify

Salsify springs up occasionally on the median strips between the walkways and the parking areas at my gym.  It is intriguing to me because its large flower is bright and cheerful and its root is edible although I have not knowingly ever tasted salsify.  Salsify is related to the parsnip and belongs to the dandelion family.  I may have to plant my own and see how it tastes.  I’ve read that its flavor is somewhere between asparagus and artichoke but its other name is “oyster plant” because some say it has an oyster-like flavor.  That gives me pause because I am not an oyster fan.  Over the years,  the plant’s presence has become less and less prominent at the gym and Tuesday morning I saw flowers on only two spindly plants.  Since the light was lovely and they were right next to where I parked my car, I photographed the two together.

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2018—Bud and Bugs

The first Judy Garland rose of the year with a few aphid.  Where are the ladybugs when I need them?

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2018—Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Bobo

The ever curious and infinitely territorial Bobo had to investigate what I was doing Easter morning because I had invaded her window seat.  I had placed a pot of herbs there and had my 105mm macro lens on the D850.   I love the gorgeous light that the north facing window provides and I often take advantage of that light if I want to photograph something close up.  I wanted to try the D850’s Focus Shift feature that takes sets of photographs at prescribed intervals and distances, changing the focus point on each photograph with the end result, a single photograph that combines many photographs into one so that all of the fine details are in focus.

Sadly for me, this attempt was quickly thwarted by the presence of Bobo in the shot but I decided to make the best of the situation and she became my subject.  I had placed a piece of black mat board behind the pot of herbs so that the distracting view through the window was eliminated but still allowed the light.  As happens every time I do this, Bobo chewed on the edges of the mat board.  When her actions jiggled the cardboard enough so that it fell forward, she panicked and plummeted off the window seat (she doesn’t fly but rather flaps ungracefully) to the floor.  That ended the photography session.  And,  I have yet to get successful results from the D850’s focus shift feature.  I’ll have to try another day.

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