One of the many things I love about living in the Bay Area is all the great hiking and the beautiful parks. I've discovered a few favorites since we moved here in June, and one of them is Quicksilver Park. It covers over 4,000 acres of land in the rolling hills on the south side of San Jose and contains a lot of picturesque views as well as some challenging hiking (if you choose). It also contains a lot of history because it was an area of mining activity for over 135 years and was the home to 1,800 miners and their families. I've only explored a very small area at the Senador Mine Trail entrance, but every time I go there I am in awe of all the beautiful, natural flora and fauna. As a photographer, I also can't help noticing how many gorgeous sites there are for photographs - both for landscape and as potential backdrops for portraits.
So I spent an afternoon hiking my usual trails armed with my Canon 7D, Canon 24-70mm 2.8 L lens, trusty Canon 50mm 1.4, and my new Lee ND Soft Gradient filter for maintaining information in my skies. I stopped so many times to capture something new, that the hike was about three times longer than usual but I was having such a great time that I didn't notice. During the last 45 minutes, I even got some dramatic late afternoon light that made the meadows golden and shadows come to life. At the peak of the final hill was a rolling field, and I thought of my dad and how much I knew he would enjoy doing this with me. I have many fond memories of going on evening walks with him around our neighborhood, exploring his land in Wautoma, WI with our dogs, and the enjoyment he got out of taking photographs with the 35mm Pentax camera he bought when I was born. With him not being well, I look forward to the time when he can come out and visit me and we can go on adventures like this. I snapped a photo with my phone to send him later when I had better reception.
An old bridge from the Senador Mine Trail entrance in Quicksilver Park
In the bright afternoon light, I maintained a sky with my new Lee ND gradient filter! Now I just need to invest in a filter holder which will make taking photos with it a lot easier.
I think these fields are beautiful now, but I can't wait until Spring when they are blooming with wildflowers!
I love the old fences and barbed wire near the entrance. It gets me wondering what this area looked like 100 years earlier.
Some Queen Anne's lace aglow from the afternoon light.
Every time of day that I come to this park, there are always new things to see and different areas of beautiful light. I look forward to exploring this area in all the different seasons this year.