San Juan Bautista

Near Monterey, stands a mission along the California Mission Trail. It also stands on the San Andreas Fault! San Juan Bautista is a beautiful, small mission founded in 1797. Below is the church. Some of the tiles that make the floor have paw prints of cats that walked over them while they were drying, over 180 years ago! Another note of interest is that parts of Alfred Hitchcock’s movie, Vertigo, was filmed here.

The church at Mission San Juan Bautista near Monterey, CA. Photo by Not So SAHM

Mission San Juan Bautista – ProjectEdit365 – 26 Jan

Did you know that your lens determines how many points you’ll have in a starburst on your lights? Hop over to Project Edit 365 to read about how many points my starbursts have and how I edited the original photo. Thanks!

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Overview of Carmel and Point Lobos

It’s almost always hiking weather in Monterey, California. There’s a nice park there called Jack’s Peak that you reach by driving up a small mountain. The views from the park are magnificent. You have to walk through the forest to get to various vistas, but you get almost a 360 degree view of the surrounding lands: Monterey Bay, Salinas, Carmel Valley, and Carmel towards the Pacific Ocean.

This shot is looking southeast, over Carmel and towards Point Lobos, another beautiful hiking spot. It’s maybe a 5.5 mile distance as the crow flies (using this handy tool, because I’m terrible at distances). Everything is close by in the Monterey area.

Seeing this really makes me want to go back. We were only there for nine months. Enough to capture a little piece of my heart.

Looking out over Carmel from Jacks Peak Park to Point Lobos. Not So SAHM

Overview of Carmel to Point Lobos – ProjectEdit365 – 17 Jan

It was super bright this day! Head over to my project blog: Project Edit 365 to see how I brought back the color to the original photo. Thanks!

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You gonna eat that?

The seagulls in Monterey ARE NOT shy. I think the tourists like to feed them and they become rather aggressive. In this photo, I had just finished a 5K and was sitting down on the sea wall to enjoy a banana and a bagel. My little friend landed right beside me and watched me eat every single bite. I did not share.

A seagull sitting very close looks on as I eat. Not So SAHM

You gonna eat that – ProjectEdit365 – 29 Nov

My little friend was pretty dark in the original photo. I couldn’t increase the exposure of the whole picture though because the water was almost blown out. I used an adjustment brush on him to balance out the lighting. I also used two different graduated filters to lower the exposure of the water on the right side. Doing that made the bright area look brownish yellow, so within the filter I cooled the temperature. That got rid of the yellowing. Here’s the original:


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California Farmland

When you think of California, the first thoughts aren’t of lush farmland. At least, not when I think of California. Much of the area surrounding Monterey is produce. Much of the land in the middle of lower California is orchards (like my territorial designations?). And a lot of the land we drove through on the way to the redwoods looked like Virginia!

This picture was taken in the morning on our way south back to Monterey.

Cows eating peacefully in a green field in Northern California. Not So SAHM

California Cows – ProjectEdit365 – 28 Nov

I took this with an iPhone, in a moving car. I think I at least rolled down the window. The original picture isn’t too bad considering those conditions, but I wanted to add a little bit more ambiance for the peaceful cows. 🙂 I cropped to straighten and remove the road. With the new Lightroom CC that I recently downloaded you have the option to reduce haze. OR you can do the opposite and ADD haze, which is what I did. I also reduced the saturation of the blues so the sky wouldn’t be so obvious and I added some grain. Here’s the original:


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More of the beautiful wood

I knew trees had rings, but I can’t say that I’ve ever seen wood with this type of pattern before. Can anyone tell me how it came to look/be like this? Is it water erosion that is slowly exposing different parts of the tree rings? Once again – I could stare at the patterns for hours.

A piece of wood weathered by the water has beautiful patterns. Not So SAHM

More of the beautiful wood – ProjectEdit365 – 27 Nov

I had to show you guys another shot of that wonderful wood I found. The original was a little dim and dull. I sharpened the picture, increased the contrast and clarity, and lightened the shadows and blacks. I used a graduated filter on the bottom part of the photo to increase the exposure down there because it was so dark. Here’s the original:


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Weathered Wood

As we were driving along the Avenue of the Giants we drove across a very cool looking bridge over Elk Creek*. Just after the bridge was a pull-off, so we parked and walked a path down to the creek. There aren’t a whole lot of deciduous trees, so there weren’t many changing leaves. I took some pictures of what yellow leaves I could find–took pictures of the girls playing in the stream–took pictures of the bridge overhead–then I noticed this wood. I fell in love with this wood, or at least, was fascinated by it. It is so beautiful.

Weathered wood sits in a stream. Not So SAHM

Weathered Wood – ProjectEdit365 – 22 Nov

*Google Maps is amazing. I didn’t remember what the creek was called (this trip was two years ago), but I had taken a picture of the distinctive bridge. I searched along Avenue of the Giants and found the places where a stream crossed the avenue under a bridge. I then zoomed in with the little person for a 360 view and was able to find the exact stream and bridge where we stopped.  Maps has helped me many times find places we’ve previously visited.

The original photo was dull. I wanted to bring out the texture. Even though I liked the coolness, I decided to warm it up ever so slightly (that really makes the moss pop). I increased the contrast and clarity, and I lowered the highlights and brightened the shadows. I sharpened and then reduced the noise. I used adjustment brushes to further increase the contrast and clarity of the exposed wood pieces, and reduced the exposure just a touch on the top wood. Here’s the original:


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