PhotoWalk Highlights: Mike’s Camera Sacramento, CA

Crowds like I’ve never seen, but glorious light….surrounded by 8 passionate photographers, eager to #SeeWithNewEyes and learn how to use their new Lumix Cameras! The Photowalk in Downtown Sacramento was really fun! We had no idea that K Street Mall, an open air, closed-off street in Downtown, would be swarming with people and cars—it was crazy! We left Mikes Camera about 10 blocks away to meet near the parking garage on 11th and  J by the Convention center… only to find out it was FULL! So, we all scrambled around finding other garages. While waiting for all to assemble, a car show went by, with old cars, lowriders popping and grooving… we had literally walked up and no time to even turn on the cameras…. I got this in sepia only because I had demonstrated how to set that up in camera 30 minutes ago in class!!! I did take another raw file and restore color- and I love the driver’s face in it but the background of the other car is distracting. I tried a couple other crops but -naaahh. Not thrilled. That’s what you get with action grab shots: one chance. #winsome #losesome

Quick on the draw, of course I had to get a video too. I was sad to miss the one that was literally leaping off the ground as its front tires bounced! Love the slo-mo and music! Thanks @triplescoopmusic



Most of the usual places I shoot didn’t work because of the hundreds of people swarming KStreet Mall, but there was plenty to see, regardless! We quickly shot a group pic and got to looking around ~ Mostly UP!

First Photo-Opp: change your lens to wide angle for a different perspective and try cold-tone B&W (in camera) for variety & fun. You might want to change the aspect ratio (yes, in camera!) to square for better visualization.

As we are looking for details to shoot, this bike caught our eye, and as we switched over to our programmed Fav B&W recipe on C1, (we learned how in class) we realized how color sometimes distracts from the message. B&W brought out the design much more in this image of the bike.

One of the students was asking how to get a shallow depth of field image. I demonstrated on this little tree- the difference with f2.8 and f16, and how zooming in, and the subject being close, can make a huge difference. (even with f4)

The light bouncing off the Imax Theater gave the most gorgeous portrait light, so we asked one of our students to pose to illustrate. While the first one is using f2.8, a shallow depth of field (DOF), it was shot at around 50mm and she is square to the camera. For the second shot, I turned her body away from the light, head toward the light, leaning slightly forward to brighten eyes and add energy, AND I walked farther back and zoomed to the full 100mm which makes the background even softer and the whole image lovelier. Thank you, Mary for being our pretty model and capturing that perfect portrait light!

Shooting down the street with a long lens compresses the view and the leading lines draw you in. I took many, but this one with the solitary guy crossing is my favorite. I purposely over exposed (use +/- compensation) to get a lighter, painterly look. It almost looks snowy! Yes, it’s winter here but we don’t get snow! [70-some degrees, yeah!]

I’m thinking I want to paint this one…. (see future blog).

Next, we came alongside the cathedral and a lovely Tulip tree in bloom. I love spring! The monochrome colors blended beautifully with the colors of the cathedral, and I took many images with different backgrounds, showing the architectural shapes. Always using a shallow DOF at f2.8 makes the flowers pop against an out-of-focus background. I want to give it “place” by showing the background, so making it out of focus accomplishes that, while adding mood and shapes without overbearing distractions.

The contrast of shapes and textures is so lovely. These images were captured within a few feet of each other.

One of the things I love to play with, especially with super low-contrast images, is the Filter Gallery! Here are a few to bring new life and perspective/mood to your scenes! The nice thing is that I shoot in Raw + Jpg so the .jpg is filtered and the .rw2 (raw) is full color and all the original info! I can always change my mind later if I don’t like it! #freedomtoplay

One of the things I do to be a good storyteller (in stills and video) is to capture all perspectives of a subject. Variety gives so much more interest and tells the story with far more impact and perspective. Looking back, I see that these are 8 frames in a row! #impressedmyself J haha  But look how it tells the story of where we are— and it will make a lovely page layout in my book! (see future blog)

So, as a bonus, since we had the New #LumixGH5s to test out and build sample images/videos, we asked a couple to model for our class and so the last 45 minutes were with models at Capital park! Lots of great images and lessons….. which I will save for a later blog!

I hope you enjoy the images and perspectives, and join me someday for a class or photo walk!

Check out my schedule here at

Until next time, enjoy your #mobileArtlife!

#suzettesays #seewithneweyes #saywhatyousee


Suzette Allen,

Lumix Ambassador, Adobe Influencer, Visual Storyteller, Photo Fanatic J

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