Laura Macky Photography

Journey of a body on this earth


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Mt. Diablo Summit

The other day we took a drive to the summit of Mt. Diablo.  You can drive up both sides of the mountain (depending on what entrance you choose) to the summit which is at 3,864 feet.  On a clear day you can see the California sierras which are approximately 180 miles east (complete with snow) and the Farallon Islands to the west which lie approximately 30 miles outside of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

It was a beautiful day and I fully expected to be taking pics of the beautiful green hills and rare wildflowers that have been popping up due to a burn that happened in September 2013.  Alas, one needs to really take a guided tour to find these special wildflowers and since we did this spur of the moment, we didn’t have the opportunity to find these special flowers.  It didn’t stop us from enjoying the beautiful scenery though!

Of all my shots of the scenery, this one was my favorite.  Go figure.  This shot was taken at the Summit.  I really don’t know what this door leads to but I can only assume it’s for workers at Mt. Diablo since there were no signs for park visitors.  I loved that it sat there all by itself, a mystery as to what it leads to.  It was three bracketed photos processed in Photomatix Pro 5 and Photoshop CC.

Thank you to my friend Wisti for suggesting I go up there in search of wild flowers.  I will go back for sure and I do have a few other pics I’ll post later.

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Business Park Sculpture

I’ve driven past this business park sculpture for many years.  Originally, I wanted to shoot the sculpture back lit to obtain a silhouette with maybe a starburst, but the composition didn’t float my boat.  Sometimes what we think we’re going to do isn’t what works best, so I moved to the other side and composed the shot you see here.

Since we’re having such beautiful “summer” weather here (oy!), the flowers were looking very colorful.  During Christmas, the structure is decorated with lights to look like two wreaths.  I’ll have to remember to get a picture of that next Christmas.

The image is High Dynamic Range (HDR) created from three bracketed raw photos and combined in Photomatix with some additional processing in Nik Efex Color Pro.  Even business parks can be beautiful if one only “sees”.

Business Park Art


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Point Reyes Lighthouse

As you know, since I know you’re hanging on my every word lol, we went to Point Reyes, California.  The day was gorgeous.  There were clouds but sun too which is always nice, and the fog was breaking away.  Point Reyes is very windy by the way because it’s right on the coast and juts out into the ocean.  The part of Point Reyes we were going to see was the Lighthouse there.  It was one of those situations where you couldn’t just drive up to the lighthouse and park.  You had to park a ways from it and hike in.  This was a good test for my knee replacement!

It was WINDY!!!!!!  Wow!  I think the Ranger said it was 36 mph winds and it usually averages 40 mph.  It’s the windiest location on the west coast!  Thank goodness I know to always dress warmly and with a breaker when going to the coast, so i was prepared.

It’s only a half mile hike to the top of the Lighthouse steps and we saw breathtaking views of the Point Reyes coastline….

Point Reyes Shoreline

We arrived at the lighthouse and I realized that there was this 30-story staircase I had to go down to get to the lighthouse!  I still have one bad knee so my hubby asked me if I’d be able to handle it.  There were yellow signs warning of the strenuous hike, lol.  Sorry, this picture is terrible and was quickly taken on the iPhone but I had to include it here…

sign-web

I looked down and made the decision to give it a whirl.  I went on a wing and a prayer.  Going down was hard on my left knee (the one that needs replacing still)….ouch it hurt.  In this picture we were almost halfway down and you can see my hubby in the green jacket carrying my bag and tripod, lol.

davestairs-web

Only a little bit more to go, LOL….

prlighthouse1-web

Almost there!

prlighthouse2-web

Yay!  I did it!  Geeez…I am completely out of shape!  Fortunately it was worth it.  I did manage to squeeze myself into a small area where the wind was blocked and I took a “short” long exposure with my 8 stop ND filter.

Long Exposure

I couldn’t take any pictures going back up those steps.  Trust me, it was hard.  My knee was killing me and I tweaked my back on the way up because of it.  You know it’s bad when people older than you are passing you along the way!  haha!

Initially the entire purpose of this blog was to share the journey of my right knee replacement, but the saga continues as I just had an appointment with my orthopedic doctor to confirm the need for the left knee replacement which will be scheduled for January as soon as the office calls me back.  I’m done with this!  There are too many things I’d like to see in my life to be constrained by my crummy knees.

This trip was well worth it though.  I love our coastal areas here in California.  It just feels like home.  🙂