Boy, taking decent pictures is HARD. There's so much to consider. Light, shape, composition, and most especially all the brick-a-brack and noisy mess of nature. I can't tell you how many pretty flowers or interesting shapes I saw, for which there was no way to frame up a shot without including a LOT of other junk.
The open space is accessible via a wide dirt trail from the parking lot. This terrain, all chaparral and scrub brush, is typical in our part of the world. The canyons are home to big scrub oaks, but the hills are topped by nothing taller than stumpy Manzanita trees. Unless you count the power line towers.
The skies, though, can be beautiful.
This photo is a good example of the clutter of nature I mentioned. The stump is kind of a mess of twigs, and the other kinds of plants make the bottom part of the picture pretty noisy and confusing.
I found this little rock stack in the middle of the trail. I wonder what it's story is?
I _think_ I needed a narrower aperture and a longer exposure here, to make it possible to capture both the rock stack and the background sharply. That's the correct theory, I think. But even if I'm right, I don't know how to make my camera do that yet. And I would probably have needed a tripod to hold a long enough exposure.
Also, this picture was taken by holding the camera about 3" from the ground, and guessing about the framing. I couldn't get my head into position to look through the viewfinder. Not without MANY more years practicing yoga, at least. :-)
In the shade of another Manzanita, there was a small outcropping of broken, lichen-covered rocks. I liked the textures very much, and the way the high mid-day sun finally found something interesting to cast a shadow on.
I really like this picture. But it suffers from a shallow depth of field, like the previous one. The farther recesses of the rock are a little blurry.
My blood pressure was normal this morning. It's only been a day since I stopped taking the Triamterene, so it's early days yet, but I'm hopeful!