Photography: Stormy Downtown Sacramento

“The night is darkening round me
The wild winds coldly blow
But a tyrant spell has bound me 
And I cannot cannot go”
-Emily Brontë, The Night is Darkening Round Me

To say I’ve fallen in love with photography is an understatement. Not only do I love it, but I get giddy with excitement when I see something interesting I might be able to play with. It’s an adventure every single time I grab my camera and head outside.

This week I took photographs during a rainstorm in downtown Sacramento. It was filled with challenges—navigating fallen branches, stepping in puddles, looking for a safe place to park, and getting soaked. However, it’s totally worth every second for the thrill of downloading the images and seeing what I got. It’s like Christmas every single time. Magic.

While some of my images are blurry from raindrops, and others are far too dark, I liked the overall feel of my images. I spent a fair amount of time today editing them—experimenting with contrast and exposure to give them each a slightly different feeling. I’m still a novice in every sense of the word, but I adore the process of learning.

I hope you enjoy this walk through the rainy city.

Here’s a bonus photo with a little color. The red was from the reflection of my brake lights as I pulled over to snap a picture of a puddle.

  • Photos were taken with an Olympus OM-D and edited with ON1 Photo RAW

What to see more?

Photography: Monochrome Nature

“Well, we all make mistakes, dear, so just put it behind you. We should regret our mistakes and learn from them, but never carry them forward into the future with us.” -L.M. Montgomery

Yesterday I took family photographs of a dear friend and her beautiful family. It was a wonderful opportunity for me to stretch my photography skills and offer this service to people I love. What I learned was…I need to learn a lot more. Although it went well, as far as flow and everyone staying in wonderful moods, I didn’t do great with lighting or poses. While some of the photos were beautiful, others fell short. Ultimately, I failed in a lot of big ways.

When I woke up this morning I felt defeated and upset. I wanted to do so much better. While I could let this setback derail me, after coffee and a long hot shower, I’ve decided to keep going. I think after the new year I’ll enroll in some photography classes, invest in some new software, and keep trying. Everything is a learning experience and the only way to get better is to keep going.

My photos this week were all taken before the family shots and were edited to be black-and-white. I hope you enjoy them and have a wonderful week.


  • Photos were taken with an Olympus OM-D and edited with ON1 Photo RAW

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Photography: Morning Hike

This morning after dropping the kids off at school, I took a nature hike by my house. It was a beautiful, peaceful morning and I was greeted by lots of little critters. I saw geese, butterflies, lizards, birds, and dragonflies. Although most were either too far away to capture or moved too quickly, it was a nice morning and a great way to start off my week.

I’ve experimented more than usual with photo editing. Let me know what you think and thank you for stopping by and supporting me on my creative adventures.

Have a great week!


This last photo was a surprise. It wasn’t until it was downloaded that I discovered I’d captured a frog. I love its little wet hopping prints. I wish it was a bit more in focus, but I wanted to share it anyway because it was a happy surprise.

  • Photos were taken with an Olympus OM-D and edited with ON1 Photo RAW

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Photography: Dillion Beach

I’ve spent the last few days with my writing partner Anna, her daughter Bella, and my daughter Lola at Dillion Beach. While it’s over 100 degrees back home it’s been cool and overcast here. We’ve had several days filled with talking, relaxing, and writing. Considering the state of affairs in the world right now it felt extra special to be together as women near the healing energy of the ocean.

I struggled to photograph the beach in ways I haven’t before and I’m not sure I was very successful. I included a photograph of a fire truck as yesterday we came across a woman who broke her ankle on the hiking trail down to the beach. Anna held her leg and comforted her while the rest of us flagged down the first responders when they arrived. Watching how everyone came together to help this woman was a wonderful example of kindness in a world that feels a bit scary at the moment.

Thank you, as always, for your support of my blog. I hope you have a wonderful day.


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Here’s a bonus photo my lovely and talented friend Anna took of me. You can find her incredible artwork and writings at loscotoff.com.

#100DayProject: Photography-Week Six

“The scariest moment is always just before you start.” -Stephen King

This week I had the privilege of taking my nephew’s senior portraits. The night before I sat up late researching poses, looking at photos, and reading about photographing in sunlight. It felt like a huge responsibility and I wanted to do well. I choose a tourist area downtown with lots of varied backdrops; railroad tracks, colorful doorways, brick walls, and old pillars with lots of character.

He’s a musician, so he brought an acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, and drumsticks. He’s also shy and not comfortable in front of the camera, so I felt the responsibility of capturing his natural smile and personality while making him feel safe. I brought my teenage daughter for support, and she also took photos. It was an awkward start but after several minutes we found our rhythm. The entire thing took just over an hour, and I came away with hundreds of shots.

When I opened them to start editing and choosing the best ones, I was surprised and elated at how good they are! I’m really proud of how they came out and I was able to send over 50 edited images for his mother to choose for his announcements. I don’t have permission to share them here, yet, but it’s part of my journey so I wanted to share the experience with you.

I’ve gotten some feedback and I’m ready to play around more with F-Stop and movement in my photographs next week. I might try some low-light images or landscapes. Thank you to those following my journey and rooting me on. It means so much to me.

If you’re unfamiliar with the 100 Day Project, the concept is simple. You choose any creative project you like and do it every day for 100 days, sharing your process on social media using the hashtag #The100DayProject. This year the dates are Feb. 13-May 24.

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Here’s a bonus photo of my adorable nephew taken with my iPhone 13 in my backyard: