General Info page

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Hello again, thanks for visiting! 

I hope you enjoy perusing my website, no doubt an outlet for my writing & editing compulsions, aside from messing around with digital photos.   

Right up front, I would like to express my gratitude to my friend Rich, who since the mid-1990s - when we worked in the same office - has lead an ever-changing group of hikers on a monthly hike generally from from Sacramento area via Davis, Roseville, or Sunrise Blvd. to interesting places, such as the East Bay Regional Parks, or Point Reyes National Seashore, or the Sierra Nevada mountains.  My photo-pantry would be nearly bare if not for Rich's monthly hikes.         

ps: the photo associated with this page was of San Francisco but my wife & I live in Sacramento.  We did live in SF for about a year and in the East Bay for another year plus some.  I simply like the utter calmness of the City shot.  It's in evening light with no fog or wind, or sailboats.  And car headlight are not to be found.   

Photo History 

When I was 19 and living in Wilmington, Delaware, someone gave me a heavy old Minolta 35mm SLR and I began to experiment with photography. Ever since then I have enjoyed learning how to take pictures, a continuous process. That 'someone' was my girlfriend's father, from Hungary, a concentration camp escapee, at that time an avid devotee to black & white urban photography.       

Since the beginning, my main interest drifted towards landscape images.  When I'm on a hike I spot scenery which meets the old Sierra Club Calendar photography examples, where a landscape image must - at least - have something of interest to the viewer's eye in the foreground, at middle distance, and in the near and far background.  It's more subtle to think of 5 or 6 or more zones of depth....

An ability to take photos of people evolved over time, on its own.  I appreciate all of my hiking friends allowing me to capture them, in good scenery hopefully.  

In one of my first people photo experiences, I was at beautiful Longwood Gardens, at Kennett Square, Pa., not far from home.  It was a lovely summer afternoon and I intended to use my long distance lens (150-300 mm) lens to get people shots, with sharpness in front and wonderful bokeh behind, hopefully undetected by the subjects.  

Strolling along one of the many landscaped ponds came a family of very photogenic Amish (or Pennsylvania Dutch) people, which as usual included a few generations.  The men had traditional beards and black outfits and hats, and white shirts, the women with a similar white-under-black outfit.  They seem to wear layers of clothes under an outer jacket.  

When I tried to get a long-distance photo of a few Amish people, there were two immediate, negative outcomes.  One was the sense of guilt I felt at this blunt invasion of their privacy, and (having no monopod) I started shaking & couldn't hold the dang camera still.  Of course, cameras were a lot heavier back then.  The second outcome was the (predictable) reaction of the Amish - who are sensitive about being gawked at, and thus keep an eye out for it - who noticed me and the whole group turned and walked away from me, and I felt even more guilty, for being so obvious.   

I liked seeing large multi-generational Amish families, every summer at Rehobeth Beach, Delaware, where they never dress with less clothing on, no matter how hot & humid it gets.  They tended to sit sensibly in the shade, from late morning to mid-afternoon, alongside the boardwalk, in large overhead roofed picnic-type shelters.

The family members seemed to derive endless mirth at the sight of so many minimally clad people.  Of course they were conversing actively with each other at times, too.  I never once saw a look of scorn or disapproval.  And it was always worth a long peek into their world once the group was fully occupied with lunch, because a huge spread emerged, and sometimes wonderful aromas wafted out. 

SOFTWARE

I'm still stuck in the dark ages with turn-of-the-century image-posting software and I'm the first to acknowledge that this website is antiquated.  Website hosts like Smugmug or Wix allow a pleasing slide-show type function, for instance.  I'm still in the planning stage for an upgrade to newer photo tools, like from Adobe.  Or maybe I'll go the Smugmug route, tho' it has some commercial aspects I'm not sure about.  And you get their logo too....that's crap. 

Photoshop - all photos posted on this website (except for the fall 19 UK trip preview) have gone through probably four to six types of Photoshop 7 corrections.  While I have barely scratched the surface of Photoshop, I remain nonetheless amazed by it's powerful set of tools.

Photo Equipment 

Since fall of 2001 I have been using Canon digital point & shoot cameras, the G series, and now have a G16, a very nice camera.  In 2016 and 17 I realized that point & shoot images are often not clear enough, so I acquired a Canon T6i, a simple DSLR, plus a wide-angle and a distance lens.  

It's terrific how lightweight the new equipment is, and image-stabilization technology helps to get sharper images.   

When using the long distance lens, I have to use a monopod & mechanical shutter, for sharpness.   If I'm using the G16 then it's hand-held. 

Note to visitors about grammar mistakes on a new webpage posting -

I almost always post a new webpage in an unfinished form, just to get the images out there, with some rudimentary text.  I tend to notify people to look at my website right after posting, so please forgive my wordiness or repetitions, and visit again a few days or even a week later, by which time I should have worked out the final text. 

I tend to bulk up the text at first, and then reduce it as months go by.  I try to remove excess wordery and find the simplest way to say something.         

Contact   

If you have any comments about website content, or other comments or questions, feel free to email me at mdimage@elkgrove.net  I certainly do not mind receiving historical corrections, or plant names corrected, or any other kind of corrections, or suggestions. 

Privacy concerns come in degrees, with nuances, all of which are acceptable to me, thus, should you be the subject of one of my photos who prefers to not be shown, simply let me know.  I promise not to reply to you via Rich's entire cc list !

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