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Posts Tagged ‘nevada city’

The old Nevada City fire house at the top of Broad Street

The old Nevada City fire house at the top of Broad Street

This is the old fire house in Nevada City, California located at the top of the main street through town.

I took 9 exposures (at f/3.8) ranging from 1.6 seconds to 44 seconds. I wanted 45 seconds but a car was coming and I had to finish the exposure a little bit earlier then I would have liked.

As I usually do I used Photomatix Pro to compile the HDR using the following settings:

  • Strength: 100
  • Saturation: 50
  • Luminosity: -2
  • Light Smoothing: High
  • Microcontrast: +10

Tone Settings:

  • White Point: 1.196
  • Black Point: 0
  • Gamma: 1.01

Color Settings:

  • Temperature: 0
  • Saturation Highlights: 0
  • Saturation Shadows: 0

Smoothing Settings:

  • Micro-smoothing: 2
  • Highlights Smoothing: 30
  • Shadows Smoothing: 0
  • Shadows Clipping: 50
My three main critiques of this HDR has to be the glow around the top of the trees, the top of the fire house is a bit overexposed and the movement of the flags.
There is not much I could do about the flags since there was a soft breeze, I suppose I could see about photoshopping a set of still flags from one of the exposures.
However I am very satisfied by the night sky usually there are bad star trails, straight up black or just generally fuzziness.
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Nevada City's Broad Street at night.

Nevada City's Broad Street at night.

Last year after the fourth of July parade and when the sun went down Nevada City was quiet. A few cars remained parked on the streets, not another person was walking the streets and nary a car drove down the main thoroughfare.

With that knowledge in had I had an idea: I wanted to take a few long exposure night shots of Broad Street to make an HDR image (exposure of 2 minutes to 1/4 of a second). So after dinner I was at the top of the street looking down and I set up my tripod as usual.

Then cars started to come up the street. Well that was fine cars are allowed to use the streets I suppose.

They came up the street very slowly, very carefully and often with their high beams on. Then they slowed down when they neared me and looked very slowly as they drove by. These were attendees of the local fair coming home after the fireworks finished, and they celebrated with several choice beverages based on their driving habits of the evening.

In the end I did not get a photo that satisfied me in terms of exposure and lack of high beams. I shall endeavor to try again tonight in the hopes that many people will be home, have left town or perhaps driving a bit faster then seven miles per hour.

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The Great Republic of Rough and Ready and Ready to Secede Again!

The Great Republic of Rough and Ready and Ready to Secede Again!

This is why we celebrate the founding of our country, we can protest and speak freely about topics that could cause severe backlash in other countries.

In this case the Nevada City/Grass Valley fourth of July parade had a large swath of Tea Party members. In particular several from the small town of Rough and Ready who have already seceded once. Unfortunately before their letter of secession could ready Washington they decided to rejoin.

But still one of the greatest town names out there: Rough and Ready.

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A Lensbaby view of a closed door.

A Lensbaby view of a closed door.

I spent the weekend at my grandmother’s house in Nevada City.

Nevada City is an interested town for me to visit, it sits in the middle of the Gold Country in California Sierra Nevadas (it is not in Nevada) about an hour from Lake Tahoe. It is very much a tourist destination with a very quaint main street lined with stores and architecture. There are a lot of things for a tourist to see and do there.

Since I grew up there (at least spent summers) I never viewed it as a tourist destination or looked at it as a traveler. This time around I tried to see it through new eyes and a new lens. I took my Lensbaby through the main street and up around looking at houses. 

I find that walking around taking travel-esque photos with my Lensbaby to be somewhat difficult. With the Lensbaby I need to keep in mind most things that are automated with other lenses, this in turn made me take more time to consider a photo before taking it, I had a lot fewer random photos and more thoughtful ones. 

Nevada City had a lot of natural beauty in its forests, streams and mountains. I never considered this as they formed the backdrop to my childhood, it is only in comparison to other regions that I realize how heavily forested it is. For one of my photos this provided a good bokah backdrop to the foreground. As most of the trees are evergreen the background persists even if one is visiting in late December.

Next time I will be there will be in the summer and I hope to finally do some long exposure water photography.

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Where is my room?

 

Our New House

Our New House

My parents are looking to move out of my childhood home and move. I am waiting for the day when I come back from college or from a trip to find our house empty and the locks changed. Lucky for me they are not moving to Hong Kong or the East Coast (though I do like Hong Kong) but to Nevada City. My Mom grew up in Nevada City and my Grandmother has lived in her house there for the last fifty years.

My job while in Nevada City (besides helping my Grandmother) is to look at houses with my Mom and let her know what she does and does not like. Doing this I find it incredibly easy to make helpful suggestions like “Just tear down this wall here” and “Just build a garage in this corner”. It is so easy to spend money when it is not yours.

I am still deciding whether moving out of our current house is because my parents want to move or if it is a convenient way to get my brother and I to move out.

In any case I won’t let them buy a house without a room for me to, ah, well, visit.

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