Old Sacramento river reflections with a goose at night.Old Sacramento is a classic, historical gem graced by the Sacramento River flowing beside it. You really don’t know here to look next with all the varied activity. And remember, this is not some fake old town like some carnival midway. In fact, this is the real deal that dates back to 1839 when John Sutter arrived on the banks of the river with the promise of a land grant. He started to build a commercial center – rivers were key then with shipping trade via boats – but gold was discovered in the hills in 1848, the flood of those seeking riches really made Sacramento into a city. And eventually most of Old Town’s 28 acres into a California State Historic Park.

The subject: A goose. Yup, a goose. He (she?) was paddling along the Sacramento River next to the Tower Bridge where it runs beside Old Sacramento. Even these birds make the Old Town more appealing today. The area fell into disrepair, as did most city centers, but was renovated in the ‘70s to create a draw for tourists and locals alike. Unfortunately, in June 2017, the old wood planks that impart a wonderful feel to the river area will be torn out and replaced with stamped concrete (to resemble wood) due to an ADA lawsuit.

The inspiration: A beautiful stream of reflected light fell across the river from Old Sacramento and its lights. I was standing on the opposite side of the bridge from Old Town. Now, if only that goose would swim over into the right place…. Com’on, goosie, goosie…. The color was spectacular on this late winter day after sunset as I played with – and was trying to get better at — taking photos at night. And finally the goose paddled over where I wanted it.

Artist’s tools: My Nikon D90 has served me well for many an adventure, as does the 18-105mm lens f/3.5-5.6, both of which I got when I returned to photography after about 25 years! What I like about this focal length on a lens is its ability to capture almost everything for me without fiddling with changing lens or being draped with several cameras with different lenses. For this particular photo, I had my trusty steed on a tripod – using a remote release – as I was trying to catch this silly goose in the reflected light of Old Sacramento. I was set at a slow 1/2th of a second at f/7.1 with a longer focal length of 70mm. I prefer more realistic photos so I also try to avoid over-processing. This was taken in March 2016.

Explore more in the Photographer's Diary

Cloud reflections create “feather canyons” on Rocky Mountaineer train

We were getting closer to our destination for the evening in Whistler and passing glorious high-mountain lakes. But instead of shooting up and out at the mountains, I decided to shoot down at the unimaginably beautiful cloud reflections.

Read More

Dali old town in China full of surprises, culture and history

On our entire trip through the Yunnan province in China, monks were irresistible subjects. Mostly they were quick to get out of the way of photos, and you had to be quick at stealing a snap. These two, though, were casually strolling down the street in Dali old town.

Read More

Entranced by light on a Hurtigruten stop in Honningsvag Norway

I was entranced by the light. Honningsvag is of course beautiful in a simple way, but mid-day in November in northern Norway the sun is already pretending to set. This time of year there is only twilight for a few hours mid-day. The light sparkles off the windows of the homes and paints the hills with a red glow.

Read More

Louvre Museum: Historic meets modern in Paris

Depending on who’s talking, the Louvre Museum in Paris is the second-most-visited site in the French city. And the world’s most-visited museum, with nearly 10 million people touring the grand halls in 2016 (although that number slides up and down a bit from different sources). This, for example, is where the Mona Lisa resides.

Read More

Peaceful evening in Old Sacramento on the river

A beautiful stream of reflected light fell across the river from Old Sacramento and its lights. I was standing on the opposite side of the bridge from Old Town. Now, if only that goose would swim over into the right place….

Read More

Thai Park Berlin a feast for eyes and tummies seeking yum Thai food

Germany’s capital of Berlin offers every international food imaginable, in restaurants, street markets or, in the case of the most authentic Thai food in the city, spread across a park. Thai Wiese (Thai Park) comes alive every weekend with arguably the best Thai food in Berlin.

Read More

Bathing in pollen: Ladybugs and poppies

When thoughts start to turn to spring and flowers, the question arises, where to find wildflowers and perhaps butterflies and ladybugs too? The hunt is on for the expanses of color, the bees, the butterflies and the beauty. In Northern California, we go looking...
Read More

New Orleans Jazz Fest: jazz everywhere you look in Nola

New Orleans isn’t just a Mardi Gras party town. Think jazz music everywhere you look! On street corners, in parks, on balconies and, of course, in clubs. Then there is the jazz highlight of the year, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest in late April, a.k.a. just New Orleans Jazz Fest.

Read More
Follow Me

Therese Iknoian

Traveler at HI Travel Tales
Little did her parents know that a short trip to Europe in high school would launch a lifetime love of travel, languages and cultures. Trained as a news journalist, Therese Iknoian spent a decade as a daily newspaper journalist before launching a freelance writing career specializing in outdoor, fitness and training. All the while trotting the globe, her focus finally turned to travel. Fluent in German, Therese runs a translation business (www.ThereseTranslates.com) working primarily with companies in the outdoor/sports/retail industry. Also a French speaker, she loves to learn a bit of the language wherever she goes -- gdje je kupaonica? Мне нужна помощь! -- often embarrassing herself in the quest for cross-cultural communication and the search for great travel discoveries.
Follow Me