California Highway 58 south of Atascadero to the central valley is one of my favorite drives, especially in the spring. The grass is green, the weather is still cool, and many times the wild flowers are blooming. If you drive at a leisurely pace, you will find all sorts of subjects to shoot and document.
On the right side of the road was this old adobe barn. Or what I can only assume was a barn. It is nestled in a small valley deep among the old oaks. The walls are giving out and starting to collapse and the roof is covered with leaves and tree litter.
I’m guessing that at one time it was used as a shelter for the ranchers or possibly a storage shed for supplies. Either way it’s still fun to shoot.
Bodie State Historical Park is one of my favorite places to shoot. In north east California, just north of Mono Lake, it was a boom town that was abandoned and left to disappear. The state took over and has kept it in a state of “arrested decay”, meaning that they don’t repair anything, but the also don’t allow it to get worse.
Winters brought snow ten feet deep and summers were hot and dry. The mills of the mines were loud and constant. And the population was a large group of hard living miners who weren’t always law abiding. Life must have been hard during it’s hay-day.
Shooting there is a blast. It has a shot everywhere you turn. They also have a museum where you can look at the artifacts found on site from a past culture. Inside, against a window is this collection of old bottles from the town.
I took this with a Lensbaby and actually did a great job getting the sweet spot in focus. I like the blur on the outside edges of the shot and the clarity of the center bottle.
Crescent City is one of my favorite towns in Northern California. It’s really close to Jedediah Smith Redwoods SP, which in my mind, is one of the most beautiful parks we have in the state. It has a quiet, sleepy atmosphere. And it’s got great weather.
Crescent City also has a really cool breakwater that is made of tetrapods that deflect the waves and current from damaging the harbor. They are held in place with large chains and cables that are anchored at the top of the jetty.
Looking down the jetty, you can see all of the chains lined up across the curb of the jetty. Inside the chains there seems to be some kind of electrical cable, but I have never been able to find out what it was or if it did anything.
Touring around Illinois, I had the opportunity to stop at Lincoln’s birth place and museum in Springfield. They had this nice statue of Lincoln across the street in a park. I looked at it from all angles and finally found this.
Yes, there is heavy use of vignetting, but the sky was a boring overcast and I thought it brought attention to the subject and gave it an old fashioned look.
The museum itself was interesting and did a great job showing both the history of the era and what the feelings of the nation were during that turbulent time. I’d like to go back and see it again.
The Willamette Valley area and southern section of Oregon has a LOT of covered bridges. I went on a hunt to shoot all of them. Most of them were boring and not all that interesting to shoot. But I did find this shot of a stream running under a bridge near one of the covered bridges.
Again, I played with shutter speed to try to capture the moving water and get a nice blur in the water, but still get the rest in sharp detail. Fortunately, I had my tripod with me and was able to hold the camera still in the water as I took the shot.
I love the dappling of the sunlight in the trees and side of the stream as well as the softness of the water. It’s a typical Oregon bridge.