A dear friend of mine and I drove across the Bay Bridge to San Francisco and made a stop at Buena Vista and Treasure Island. The view from these two islands, that are located in the middle of the San Francisco Bay, was absolutely amazing!
I felt like I was in another world as I viewed San Francisco in a way that I had never done before. I was driving and I am sure that my friend was holding on for dear life as I pulled in to areas that said "no parking" so that I could get some photographs. I tend to drive like I walk. I know what I am doing but no one else does.
We stopped and took in the breath taking view of the City! I hadn't noticed the sail boat with the black sails at first. My friend drew my attention to it. I had never seen black sails on a sail boat before. After we got in to San Francisco and were eating lunch on Pier 39, I saw quite a few of these sail boats.
It can be printed in most sizes and it is on my Fine Art America site where it can be purchased, not only in print format but also as things like shower curtains, mugs, tote bags, pillows, beach towels and other items. 2-joy-patzner.pixels.com/products/san-francisco-and-a-sailboat-joy-patzner-shower-curtain.html
Contact me if you are interested in my prices for photos, matted photos or framed photos at email@example.com The water mark is not on any photos I print.
My web page is mostly about my photographs. The photographs are my love and so that is all I am posting on this site.
However, I have a separate Etsy shop where I sell knit scarves, hats, headband and sewn eyeglass cases. If you would like to take a peek, you can click on this link. https://www.etsy.com/shop/AJoyfulCreation?ref=hdr_shop_menu
I am not selling the items here but you can view and purchase them there. It is also A Joyful Creation because I make my items with love!
Here is one of my eyeglass cases:
And here is one of my knit hats:
I have been a little lax at uploading photos here on my web site as well as marketing the ones I have. I am preparing for three arts and crafts shows in the next month or so. I will be displaying mostly my photography since May and June tend to be a bit warm for knit scarves and hats (my other specialty.)
In the process of getting my photographs ready, I am having memories of the places I took the photos and, in this particular case, the good friend who was with me.
It was near the end of the year last year and it was rather chilly. We went to various places around Santa Cruz. We both love the ocean and the boardwalk and so it was an enjoyable day. I became a little kid again and rode on the Merry Go Round. He decided he would remain an adult and he watched and laughed.
Aaaaah lunch at The Crow's Nest! Anyone in the area knows the Crow's Nest. Sitting there and enjoying my Caesar salad with calamari while looking out on the Monterey Bay, sail boats and the beautiful lighthouse, what more could I ask?
We walked out to Walton's Lighthouse and he shared memories of when he was young and would go there with his dad. Of course the whole time I was snapping photos. Every since I decided that photography was my love, I have my camera hanging around my neck almost everywhere I go. That can be a dreaded site for those who do not obsess with taking photos.
Our last stop before heading back home was at Steamer's Lane. It was absolutely freezing and yet the water was filled with surfers. It was hard for me to even take the photos because I wanted my hands to disappear inside of my warm coat. However, I have found it very hard to click the button on the camera much less to be able to focus on what I wanted to see in my camera lens if my hands are not available.
On our drive back home we thought about the enjoyable day and hoped for many more like that. The evening was topped off with a movie in San Jose and then I went back to where I was staying with a friend and marveled that she was still awake. I was able to enjoy a glass of wine and unwind before heading to bed.
A friend of mine and I decided we wanted to go to Daffodil Hill in Northern California to see the daffodils blooming. We had both heard of the area but neither of us had ever been there. She also loves taking photographs and so it was decided that we would go.
The trip would normally take us about two hours to get there. However, we discovered that there is a big difference between normal and reality.
I drove and she navigated. Right off the bat I realized that she had a different route in mind but it was too late by the time I noticed this. That's fine. We were still headed in the right direction.
We got to a town and she said that we needed to make a left on this small road that was off of the main highway. Since I had never been there before I did exactly as she said. I turned left. I thought it was rather strange that there weren't any signs telling us where we were. I also was getting a little nervous when the road kept getting narrower and narrower. It is when the road turned in to a dirt road that I started to question whether we were going in the right direction.
I think I probably turned the car around and then back again a few times before we finally saw a jogger going by. All I can say is 'thank goodness!' We were lost. She got us going back in the right direction and it was then that we realized we had been absolutely in the wrong place. Thankfully we connected back up with the highway and managed to finally get to Daffodil Hill.
I can't really begin to describe how beautiful the daffodils were. I have never seen so many different types of daffodils and other flowers all in the same place. We walked and walked and took photo after photo. It was a photographer's heaven.
Along the way, we came to an area that had peacocks all over. I had so much fun trying to get photos of them when they would open up their tail feathers. It was my friend who pointed out the white peacocks to me. I had never in my whole life seen a white peacock. There were bunches of them. They were absolutely wonderful to see.
After both of us were exhausted and getting very hungry, we decided to start our trip home. Since we were able to get to the place, we decided the trip back home would go much smoother. Yeah, right!
We were enjoying the beautiful green countryside on the drive home. It all looked the same and so pleasant in this part of northern California. It was seeing a sign that said Stockton 30 miles when we decided we were not where we were supposed to be but rather we were at least an hour off our course. Amazing how she and I could get off the road we were supposed to be on and end up heading towards Stockton instead of Nevada City/Grass Valley where we both lived. Another a stop for directions (since neither of us could figure out where we were on the map) we finally got back on the correct road again and were heading in the right direction.
It WAS a beautiful drive but we were both starving when we finally decided to pull over and get some food. I am surprised we weren't smashing each other by this time. I did decide that if she and I make another road trip that she will drive and I will navigate.
The decision to drive up to Oregon all by myself so I could get photographs of the famed Multnomah Falls was a hard one but also one I knew I absolutely had to do. I had seen so many photos of the beautiful waterfalls but I wanted to see them for myself.
I made the plans I needed to make and also arrangements to stay with an old high school friend of mine who lived in Eugene. I told her she was welcome to go with me up to the northern Oregon area to see the waterfalls but she decided she would stay home. This was probably a good thing since she wouldn't have wanted to hike to the top.
I made stops on my way to Eugene to get more photographs. The area I was most interested in was Mt. Shasta. I think I probably spent an hour going to various places around the mountain so I could get the best shots. Once I was satisfied that I didn't need more I continued my journey to Oregon. Once in Oregon I stopped in Ashland to get more photos. I wish I had more time in Ashland because it is a very cute little town. However, I was getting tired and still had more driving ahead of me.
It was early evening when I made it to Eugene and met up with my friend for dinner and then followed her to her home. We had a nice visit but I knew I had to get up early in the morning so I headed to bed.
The next morning I started my exciting journey to Portland and then along the Columbia River to the waterfalls. I don't always think things through. I chose Memorial Day weekend in 2014 to do this. It was mainly so that I had more days to visit with my friend. However, everyone else in the whole wide world had the same idea. I can't tell you how lucky I was to find a parking spot. I think it was the last one. I had to walk a distance to get to the waterfall but when I saw it I realized the walk and the long drive was worth it.
Along with a billion other people, I was taking photos each step of the way as I got closer and closer to the falls. I knew I wanted to walk up to the famous bridge I had seen in so many photos. However, as I got close there was a sign that said something about a one mile walk to the top of the falls. I instantly knew I had to do this. Had I realized it was going to be such a strenuous hike I might have decided against this. One mile! I can do that!! No problem. Why I didn't look up to see how high the top of that one mile was, I don't know. Maybe I did and was in denial.
The trail was made up of many switch backs. Switch backs look like this < . You go uphill in one direction and then continue uphill in the opposite direction. Many, many times I debated about continuing. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I couldn't breath and my heart was pounding. However, the encouraging people who were on their way down kept telling me, 'you are almost there.' Honestly I really wasn't almost there but those words kept me going with lots of rest stops along the way. I would pass a group of people resting and then they would pass me when I was resting.
I MADE IT!!!! I got to the top without dying. I was hot, sweaty and kicking myself for not bringing a water bottle, but I made it. At the very top I looked down at the world famous waterfall. I took photos of people with their cameras and they in turn took my photo. It wasn't my best picture but I decided I wanted to have that one photo of me standing at the top of the falls.
The trip down would have normally been easier except that, sadly, a man had a heart attack. I didn't see him but I had to wait and follow the paramedics and park rangers down the mountain as they carted him on a stretcher to the bottom with continual stopping to try to resuscitate him. An ambulance was waiting for them at the bottom. I found out later that the man didn't survive. That put some sadness in my trip. I still remember that part.
The picture at the bottom of this blog is me. Not my best photo but one I was proud of. I hiked to the top of Multnomah waterfall all by myself. You can see more photos of that waterfall and others that I took during my trip north, in my store.
The hardest part about creating and selling the items I make is not the 'making' of them but rather getting the word out about what I am selling. In other words, marketing my sites.
I spend a good hour and more just telling the world what great things I have to sell. Well, I hope they are great to the world. I know to me they are my loved goods and inventory. Thought goes in to each photo I take and edit, each scarf I knit, or each eyeglass case that I sew. The thought is not just the actual making of the item but also the yarn, material and what is in the view of my camera.
Sometimes it is easy for me to say "I don't need to do marketing today" but then I think of the difference in the views of my shops. I could say 'to market or not to market?' However, I know I NEED to market so I set about the daily task of doing it.
I have a routine. I start with my FaceBook business page and move on to my personal FaceBook page and then on to all the groups I am in on FaceBook. I move on to Linkedin, Google+, Tumblr, StumbleUpon and then lastly I work with Twitter.
In Twitter it isn't just posting a link to one of my photos or knit items, it is also retweeting others. The retweeting is a necessity. For every person that I retweet, I get a retweet back from them on one of the things I posted. I say everyone. That is not the case all of the time. However, it doesn't hurt to work with others and hope that they will, in turn, work with me.
Another huge job on Twitter is getting followers. I have finally worked myself up to 10,373 followers. This did not happen over night. It has taken years. I do know the more followers I get and the more retweeting I do, the more followers I get. It is a circle. The one thing I don't do is just refollow everyone. In fact, some of the people who follow me are spammers. I will get my own followers, thank you. I don't need to pay you to get me a thousand bots (or not real entities.) That doesn't get legitimate views to my sites. Those people I block. They anger me because I don't want have a bunch of Twitter followers who are not going to at least consider looking and and maybe buying one of my products.
So, after a morning of marketing, I usually feel like I have been run over. However, I see the results with views to my site. It is worth the work. I am hoping it will eventually pay off when I become a world famous photographer.............. well, at least known in my town.
Another thing I have been trying to do is include one of my photo note cards as well as both of my business cards (Etsy and my photo web site) in with packages that I have sold on Etsy. They are looking at my knit and sewn items and probably don't have a clue that I also do photography. By including the cards (both business and photo) I am letting them know that there is more to A Joyful Creation besides Etsy.
Think twice about your views on marketing. If you are serious about selling your product it is a very important part of being your own boss and business person.
I have lived in California my whole life. Most of that time was spent less then 50 miles from San Francisco. However, as many times as I visited my favorite city, I never did more then just drive across the Golden Gate Bridge.
I decided that the best way for me to really get some nice photos of the beautiful towers of the bridge was to walk under them.
I was visiting San Francisco with a friend of mine and her fifteen year old daughter. I asked her daughter if she would like to walk with me across the bridge. I wasn't sure if she would want to but I was nicely surprised to hear her say yes. I knew her Mom would not do it with me but she did ride with us on the day we decided to do the walk.
It was a beautiful Sunday morning and I think that every person who has ever been to San Francisco decided to do the same thing. I tried parking on the San Francisco side of the bridge but to no avail. Every parking space was occupied and there were countless cars driving around doing the same thing I was, desperately trying to park. On top of that it took forever to get away from the parking lot and on to the road going across the bridge.
Well after driving across with all the other cars I finally got to the parking lot on the Marin county side of the bridge. I am really not sure how many times I circled the parking lot frantically looking for a space. I do know that my car almost got run over by a huge tourist bus. I am thinking the name on the bus was "Big Bus." It fit perfectly and it was very scary for all of us. It was one of those times that had us biting our nails but laughing about it later. Sadly we never got a parking space and we didn't get to walk across the bridge.
The next day, my friend and her daughter went home. I also had to go home but I decided to take one more chance to see if I could find a parking space and make that walk. It was Monday but there still was no parking on the San Francisco side of the bridge. However, this time I was lucky because I found parking on the other side. I was all by myself and a bit nervous but still determined to walk the bridge.
It was a long walk and it was windy but I was ecstatic. I was actually walking across the bridge. I have always loved it and to be able to look up at the towers and not worry about getting in to a car accident while doing it, was just the best feeling. I passed many other walkers as well as a lot of people on bicycles. Since I tend to be a motor mouth I also managed to talk to quite a few people. Some probably had no idea what I was saying to them because I had no clue what their responses were. Quite a few people were from other countries. I did have to dodge the bicycles because they had a tendency to take over the walk way.
When I was finally on my way back home I had many thoughts about my experience and, even though I was tired, I had no regrets about that wonderful walk. Many of my friends told me that they had never done this and wanted to. I had to smile because I have the photos to prove that I did it!
This past weekend I made my second trip down to Santa Cruz so that my friend and I could see the last four Best Picture nominated movies. This is a yearly tradition that tends to wear me out but also one that both of us look forward to doing.
Our first (or I should say fifth) movie was the only one that we were able to see at home. All I can say is thankfully I didn't pay to Mad Max at the movies. It took quite a long time in to the movie before I could figure out what was even going on. The plot was buried inside a bunch of vehicles racing across the desert. I looked over at my friend and she was sleeping on the couch. I kept saying "wake up! I am not watching this by myself." I finally got a grasp on the point of the movie and then it turned around and I lost my hold on it. At the end I breathed a sigh of relief because it was over and I didn't have to go through that again. However, it worked its way in to my dream that night.
We saw the last three movies the next day as we raced between theaters. Revenant was the first of the three. I do have to say that as much as I was dreading watching that movie, and it did live up to what I had heard, I felt it was the best of all the eight movies. I had to close my eyes a few times because of the brutality that was going on but, even then, I was thinking about how excellent this movie was. Both of us agreed that it was very well done and very well acted.
Our next stop was the movie The Big Short. Throughout the movie I felt like I was at a lecture in college and I had no clue what the professor was saying. I yawned many times. When it was over I said "I didn't like it." However, my friend liked it a lot and felt she had learned from it. The next day I finally asked her to explain what 'betting on a bond that loses money' meant. After she answered me I realized that I wish I had known that when I first started watching the movie and that I needed to see it again after gaining that knowledge. The mortgage crisis was an awful time that had swept me up as one of the many casualties.
The last movie that day and of all the eight Academy Award nominees was Room. It was another one I was dreading to see. It was difficult watching this kidnap victim living in a tiny room with her young son. She had been snatched when she was seventeen and had lived there for seven years. However, the movie was not entirely based on that but rather on the healing that took place when she was finally rescued. I had thought that it was based on a true story but it was not. It was, however, based on what actual kidnap victims have gone through in the past. Not one in particular but rather the concept.
After going through all of this on Saturday, I was able to have a nice relaxing time on Sunday with another friend of mine. That is when I took the photo of the seagull above. Now I wait for the Academy Awards to see if one of our guesses for Best Picture will win. I am saying The Revenant and she thinks Bridge of Spies.
All of the eight nominated movies are worth seeing except for Mad Max. All were well done and all very entertaining.
As I am sitting here at my computer I am feeling a little discouraged from the lack of excitement over people wanting to buy my photos. I see people are looking at them and I read and hear the compliments that people are giving me about my work and yet my sales are low. It makes me wonder 'why am I doing this?'
However, just like with this old clock that belonged to my Nana and the old books that are embracing it, things take time. They don't happen instantly. I don't think that famous artists became famous overnight. In fact, some didn't become famous until after they have left this earth. I don't plan on becoming famous I just hope that I become 'known' before I am gone.
I have only been doing photography for a few years and I am constantly learning. I compare my new work with the work I did when I first started and I just want to throw the old stuff away. I am growing with my labor and, as long as I continue to love what I am doing, I will continue to take photos and enjoy the pleasure that goes with along with it.
Even though the encouraging words are not really selling my work, they continue to make me feel good inside about what I am doing. When I first started knitting my scarves and hats, I was still a 'work in progress.' I made a lot of mistakes and I ended up marking down items to what they cost me so that they would sell and I could stop looking at them. I didn't stop knitting because I loved doing it. As the years progressed my items started selling and the encouraging words keep coming in. When I was at the end of the scarf and holiday season last November, I almost sold out of all my hats. That was a first. In fact, most hat orders I get on line now have to be made before I can ship them.
The same thing happened with my eyeglass cases. At first I would just grab material and make an eyeglass case. I didn't have to like it, I just pumped them out. However, I found that they didn't sell very well and, in fact, I still have a few of the earlier cases that I may start begging people to take. I have learned and grown and now I have a much better idea of what people want. I was a 'work in progress' with those. Now I sell tons of them.
This is how I have to think in regards to my photography. I can't let myself get discouraged. I have to continue to grow and to learn what people want. I am starting to be able to put a photo on the wall and see how it looks before I even take picture. The encouragement that people give to me is like fuel in a car so that it can keep moving. It means a lot even if I forget to tell them that.
I will continue to do what I love and if I ever become 'famous' my thoughts will remain with the people who have helped me get to that point.
My area is having a short break in the weather. We have had a lot of rain and it has been wonderful but yesterday it was a very pretty, sunny day. I decided that I need to walk in to town to go to the post office instead of driving the mile and a half round trip. Today my body is hurting but I don't regret the walk.
Nevada City is a small (very small) version of San Francisco. We don't have the ocean but we do have the old historical homes and buildings and the hills. Walking down hill to the post office is not very difficult. It is the walking back up hill that made me wonder if I would make it back alive. As a precaution I stuck my driver's license in my pocket....... just in case. Probably silly but, trust me, my heart was beating mighty fast on the walk back.
I have taken a few walking trips down to the town area. I honestly should do more and maybe I wouldn't feel like I was on death's doorstep on my way back. I live in a wonderful area. The town is usually full of tourists who drive to see what I can see by simply walking a mile.
The area is full of gold mining history. Grass Valley, next door, is home of what used to be a very large gold mine. Now it is no longer an active gold mine but rather a California state park called Empire Mines. The area, especially Grass Valley, is full of signs of the Cornish miners who came over from Britain to grab the mining jobs.
I walk in to Nevada City to eat the great food. I walk in order to try and burn off the calories of the bagel with cream cheese and avocado. You notice I say 'try.' Probably hopeless but boy is it good! I have also walked in to town and walked out with a huge ice cream cone. It was a warm day when I did that and I had to eat it fast and then try not to let the sugar high and low keep me from walking uphill on the way back.
However, mostly, I walk in to town to get photographs of the beautiful buildings and homes. I look at each home and think to myself "I could live there." However, I doubt I ever could because I couldn't afford the prices. Doesn't matter, I can still dream.
Yesterday I only walked to the post office and back. I didn't think that my out of shape body could handle another half mile or more by walking all the way in to town. I had some money with me and I did think about stopping and getting something yummy to eat but I refrained as I looked at the uphill walk back home.
Hopefully my next walk will include the walk all the way in to town. Hmmmmm.... ice cream, bagel, ice cream, bagel, maybe both. I had better not check out the other places that serve food until I have gotten myself in to better walking 'shape.'