Camping with Alex

I had the idea of doing a camp-girl photoshoot at the Inn Town Campground in Nevada City and Alex Jade did an amazing job as the model.

We started the shoot in a RetroRV. Shooting with the Fujifilm X-T3 and natural light.

We started the shoot in a RetroRV. Shooting with the Fujifilm X-T3 and natural light.

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We then moved into the Airstream to take a few pictures inside and outside.

We then moved into the Airstream to take a few pictures inside and outside.

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Then we moved onto Glamping Tent #3 for a few final shots.

Then we moved onto Glamping Tent #3 for a few final shots.

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Portraits with Becca

I worked with bay area model Becca on some really special portraits over the weekend in Nevada City.

This image of Becca at the  Tulip Gardens  is now one of my favorite portraits that I have captured. Everything about it is special, just works and tells a story. This is the type of portraits i would love to create all day long.

This image of Becca at the Tulip Gardens is now one of my favorite portraits that I have captured. Everything about it is special, just works and tells a story. This is the type of portraits i would love to create all day long.

Both images shot with the Fujifilm X-T3 and 16-55mm f2.8 lens

Both images shot with the Fujifilm X-T3 and 16-55mm f2.8 lens

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After taking photos at the tulip garden, we headed down to the cemetery outside downtown Nevada City for some moody and emotional portraits.

After taking photos at the tulip garden, we headed down to the cemetery outside downtown Nevada City for some moody and emotional portraits.

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Roadside Nevada County

Nevada county has a few roadside attractions that are unique and fun to visit:

Grass Valley robot

Grass Valley robot

This Tin Man and Tin Woman in Nevada City play Wizard of Oz music when you push his bellybutton. 

This Tin Man and Tin Woman in Nevada City play Wizard of Oz music when you push his bellybutton. 

Rough and Ready has an entire mini town dedicated to Gold Mining history. 

Rough and Ready has an entire mini town dedicated to Gold Mining history. 

More from Rough and Ready

More from Rough and Ready

Clark's in Nevada City

Clark's in Nevada City

Old Shell station in Penn Valley (Bridgeport)

Old Shell station in Penn Valley (Bridgeport)

Red White and Blue

I have always loved shooting rusty things and Empire Mine State Park is the motherload for rusty history. Add some snow and everything changes.  I went out early on Sunday morning to try and see if I could capture the snow mixed in with the gold mining equipment, before the snow melted.  

The park was closed when I first arrived, but i was able to shoot this over the fence from the parking lot. The sky was pretty dark still at this time of the morning. 

The park was closed when I first arrived, but i was able to shoot this over the fence from the parking lot. The sky was pretty dark still at this time of the morning. 

When I returned 2 hours later, much of the snow had already melted. 

When I returned 2 hours later, much of the snow had already melted. 

Shooting in the snow is new to me, and the biggest challenge has been to keep the white balance as close as possible, without the snow turning blue or the highlights being blown out. 

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Inn Town Campground

When you think about Nevada City, you have to think about the outdoors and the unique camping experience offered by the Inn Town Campground.  Located only 5 minutes from downtown Nevada City, the campsite offers you an outdoor experience that includes glamping, RV camping or you can just pitch a tent for a few days. 

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The office and front desk, complete with gift shop.  Inside you will also find a common area with couches, a fireplace and a full kitchen. You will also find a new swimming pool to stay cool. 

The office and front desk, complete with gift shop.  Inside you will also find a common area with couches, a fireplace and a full kitchen. You will also find a new swimming pool to stay cool. 

When you get into the campground, you will immediately see a collection of buildings and tents that you can call home for a weekend. 

Across from the tents are bathroom and shower facilities. 

Across from the tents are bathroom and shower facilities. 

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Once you go inside a glamping tent, you will be impressed with the care and detail put into each unique overnight visit. You can't get closer to a hotel experience while still enjoying the fresh air of being in a forest. 

Open the back flap and you can relax on a private balcony with a view. 

Open the back flap and you can relax on a private balcony with a view. 

Each tent has a unique custom headboard, lights, power and fan to keep you cool on hot nights. Don't forget the comfy bed. 

Each tent has a unique custom headboard, lights, power and fan to keep you cool on hot nights. Don't forget the comfy bed. 

The Inn Town Campground offers 17 different glamping tents with different decorations and features that will make you want to try them all.  Different bed configurations are available for the entire family. 

A lot of detail has been put into each room, from the wood floors to the chairs. 

A lot of detail has been put into each room, from the wood floors to the chairs. 

You will be impressed with how clean and new the tents feel. 

You will be impressed with how clean and new the tents feel. 

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The campground offers a place for your own RV or you can bring the family and spend time in a Retro RV with beds and its own bathroom. 

The new retro RV available for the entire family. 

The new retro RV available for the entire family. 

Near the Airstream (used as a campground business office), you will find the remains of a historic Chinese Cemetery from the gold mining era.  Don't worry, the ghosts are long gone. 

Near the Airstream (used as a campground business office), you will find the remains of a historic Chinese Cemetery from the gold mining era.  Don't worry, the ghosts are long gone. 

Next to the campground is the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum, which is a great place to visit with the family. 

Next to the campground is the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum, which is a great place to visit with the family. 

Winter in the Foothills

It took a really long time for winter to finally happen in Northern California. Between storms and bad driving conditions, I managed to find time for a few photos before the rain returned to melt the snow. These are my favorites. 

The biggest challenge about winter in Nevada City is how fast the snow melts. I want to shoot the snow in 3 or 4 different locations, but I seem to run out of time before the snow is gone. 

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Broad Street, Nevada City

Broad Street, Nevada City

Broad Street, Nevada City

Broad Street, Nevada City

Deer Creek in Nevada City

Deer Creek in Nevada City

Nevada City

Nevada City

Empire Mine State Park, Grass Valley

Empire Mine State Park, Grass Valley

Empire Mine State Park, Grass Valley

Empire Mine State Park, Grass Valley

Smith Vineyard and Winery

I joined a very cold winter photowalk to Smith Vineyard in Grass Valley. It was nice to finally get a chance to visit this beautiful property after driving past it almost every day. 

A little red barn in the trees.  Fuji X-T2, 23mm at f2.0

A little red barn in the trees.  Fuji X-T2, 23mm at f2.0

Fujifilm XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS at 18mm

Fujifilm XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS at 18mm

Fujifilm XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS at 18mm at f3.2

Fujifilm XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS at 18mm at f3.2

Fujifilm XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS at f3.2

Fujifilm XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS at f3.2

This was my favorite image of the day.  Fujifilm XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS at f4.0

This was my favorite image of the day.  Fujifilm XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS at f4.0

Fujifilm XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS at f8.0

Fujifilm XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS at f8.0

XF35mmF2 R WR at f2.0

XF35mmF2 R WR at f2.0

XF16mmF1.4 R WR at f1.6

XF16mmF1.4 R WR at f1.6

XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS at f4.0

XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS at f4.0

 

 

Deer Creek Tribute Trail

In Nevada City, you can find a unique suspension bridge that hangs over Deer Creek. It's a pretty easy and short walk from downtown Nevada City.

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The creek that runs under the bridge is always changing, and today seemed like a good day to get some updated long exposures.  Because of fallen trees and giant rocks, it is a little tricky reaching the ideal shooting spot, but I did manage a location I am happy with. 

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Buttermilk Bend

When shooting landscapes, I usually prefer moody weather. Clouds, mist, fog and even rain. Winter is trying to end early and we have been experiencing bright cloudless sun for weeks.  When we finally had an overcast day, I decided to return to Buttermilk Bend trail in the South Yuba River State Park to capture the green hillsides along the South Yuba River. 

This trail is really great for a light hike. Mostly flat and you don't need to do any climbing. 

This trail is really great for a light hike. Mostly flat and you don't need to do any climbing. 

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One of my favorite parts of the trail is this set of stairs that take you to the main trail.

One of my favorite parts of the trail is this set of stairs that take you to the main trail.

I have been on this trail three times now, and I only found these cool bridges by accident.

The bridge crosses some really nice streams, but they are totally dry because of the short winter. 

The bridge crosses some really nice streams, but they are totally dry because of the short winter. 

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As spring reaches the peak, the trails should be filled with wildflowers.  Something to make a return worth while. 

Independence Trail

After moving to Grass Valley in 2016, I soon discovered a really special hiking trail about 10 minutes outside of downtown Nevada City called Independence trail.  This happens to be the nation’s first identified handicapped-accessible wilderness trail. The trail is broken down into two different trails, East and West

This boardwalk is found in the East trail (Go Left from main entrance). If you walk far enough, you will reach the South Yuba River.

This boardwalk is found in the East trail (Go Left from main entrance). If you walk far enough, you will reach the South Yuba River.

The trails are a combination of wooden boardwalks like the one above and dirt trails. All of the trails are mostly flat, although they can get muddy during the winter.  The trail also has an ok sized parking lot and bathrooms. I have heard of cars being broken into, so hide your stuff. 

This tunnel under a giant rock can be found along the east trail. 

This tunnel under a giant rock can be found along the east trail. 

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If you go West (right turn from entrance), you can walk just over a mile to one of the coolest boardwalks I have crossed.

A waterfall runs under this section of boardwalk

A waterfall runs under this section of boardwalk

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The real prize on this hike is the not just the handful of small waterfalls, but the impressive switchback ramp designed to allow wheelchairs to reach the water below.  Unfortunately age has damaged the ramps and it is closed.  The current plan is to get an engineering study completed and make major repairs. The restoration costs are around $750,000.

At the far side of the ramp is a really cool looking waterfall that I have been unable to visit because of the closure. 

At the far side of the ramp is a really cool looking waterfall that I have been unable to visit because of the closure. 

A unique closed sign. Probably true, although I have seen people cross into the closed area. 

A unique closed sign. Probably true, although I have seen people cross into the closed area.