Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Alphabet, 2006, Part 1 (A-E)

In October, 2006, I bought my first digital camera, a Nikon Coolpix L3, just to see if I liked the process.  Long story short, I liked it so well, that for Christmas, I bought my first digital single-lens-reflex camera, a Nikon D80--at that point pretty much state of the art.  I also joined an on-line photography group, The Photographer's Workshop, which allowed members to post one photo a day for the group's enjoyment.  Something gave me the idea to work my way through the alphabet, and I started out with A is for Apple.  Every day I would post a new photo, but it wasn't until I got to L that someone actually caught on and asked if I were going through the alphabet.  When I concurred that I was doing exactly that, they started asking, "What are you going to do for X?"  I replied, "You'll just have to wait and see.

Well, it's been over eight years, and I just got a new camera, a Nikon D7100.  I've had it less than a week now, and I absolutely love it.  Figured it was time to challenge myself again, and so come up with a new alphabet.  But first, I'd like to share the 2006 work with my blog readers.  This will be the topic for the next five or six posts, so hang on and let's get going.  By the way, I put the whole work together in a self published book.  Unless otherwise indicated, what follows are the pictures and texts from that book.  Also, with this "edition," I've added the photographic information.  Unless otherwise noted, all images were shot in JPEG format, and finished in Photoshop Elements.  Clicking on a picture will open it full screen in a new window.

A is for Apple

Taken October 26th, 2006, in Smith River, California, using a Nikon Coolpix L3.  Focal length is 19.2 mm, ISO 50, f /5.3, 1/60 second. 

There are four apple trees in the back yard at 344 Brookings Avenue, Smith River, California.  They start producing edible apples in August, and I continued to pick apples off the trees into December.  One of the trees is a Gravenstein.  I have no idea what the other three are.  Mother always made applesauce, but I prefer making pies, juice, or just eating them.

B is for Berry

Taken November 8th, 2006, using a Nikon Coolpix L3.  Focal length is 19.2 mm, ISO 50, f /5.3, 1/100 second.  

Wild Blackberry vines, which the locals call Himalayas, grow everywhere [in the Smith River area].  They're a weed, in fact, but I still like to put them on my Cheerios, or make a pie or even ice cream with them.  The picture above is of unripe, or "green," blackberries and was taken in November 2006.  I was intrigued by the fact that the leaves were turning with the season, but the new berries kept coming on.

C is for Cactus

Taken November 22nd, 2006, using a Nikon Coolpix L3.  Focal length is 19.2 mm, ISO 50, f /11, 1/60 second.

Mother had three "Christmas Cactus" plants growing behind her kitchen sink.  I'd never really paid much attention to this type of plant, although I've always liked them.  The bloom shown here began to open Thanksgiving week, and was at its full glory on November 25th, the day Momma died.

 D is for Darlingtonia

Both pictures taken September 4th, 2006, in the hills above Smith River, California, using a Pentax Single-Lens-Reflex film camera.  No other information available.

These peculiar insect-eating plants grow in a relatively restricted area in northern California and southern Oregon near the coast.  Usually they grow in dark boggy areas, and there is a botanical wayside on US 199 just east of Gasquet, California.  The ones pictured here, however, were growing on a wet rock cliff above the South Fork of the Smith River, about 14 miles off US 199.  Notice how they're sticking their tongues out.  I submitted both of these pictures to the Workshop, albeit at different times.

E is for Elk
(And yes, I know the proper term is Wapiti.)

Taken November 25, 2006 in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, Redwood National and State Parks, using a Pentax Single-Lens-Reflex Film Camera.  No other information available.

There are herds of Roosevelt Elk all along the north coast, including just south of the town of Smith River.  The most visible herds, however, are the ones in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.  They are often found alongside US 101 in the park, and are considered a highway traffic hazard.  They can also be found on the beach at Gold Bluffs and Fern Canyon in the park.  It's rather disconcerting to be walking through the beach grasses and suddenly find yourself face to face with a bull elk.

More elk

Both pictures taken November 25th, 2006, in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, using a Nikon Coolpix L3 camera.  Focal length 19.2 mm, ISO 63, f /5.3, 1/30 second.

Come back on Friday for F through I.  And feel free to leave comments here on the blog.

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