If you live in this area , chances are that you have come across one of my photos of Vacaville’s Lagoon Valley Park in a local magazine, news outlet or add. That’s because my images of that place have been licensed for a number of usages in the past four years. Vacaville is a small, thriving community with lots going on.
On January 8, 2022, I visited the park again. I took a few photos, and decided to make a blog post introducing the park to those who might live around, or those who happen to be passing by. I will only show a couple of photos because I want you to go to the park and find your own compositions…
The Park can be seen from the I-80 corridor between Sacramento and the Bay Area. The exit to the entrance of the Park is the Penha Adobe Road exit on I-80. In the featured photo, the highway is on the right hand side of the frame, and is mostly out of it. The photo is facing west.
Photographers do have a tendency to pass on the beautiful places they have nearby in favor of farther away iconic destinations. I participate in a number of local photography groups and I never see an outing planned to this local park.
I tend to go in the winter and in the spring, when there is potential for fog and the grass is green. It is a 20-min drive for me. There are quite a few spots for photography in the parks’ grounds, usually involving an oak tree on top of a hill. This means that you need to walk uphill, at least some, for the more exciting compositions. The trails can be used as leading lines.
There is also a small lagoon with ducks, if you are into this kind of photography or want to stay at sea level.
When there is fog in the park, more possibilities open up for oak-inspired photography and leading lines. See my previous post where I show a photograph taken in the fog. The photo below, I took in in the same place as the above photo, just a little closer to the tree, and without the fog.
Although there is often enough light in the park and a tripod may not be necessary, I always carry one just in case. A wide angle (24-50mm) on a full frame is often a good choice. If you have graduated filters, they might be useful when the sky is included. I must confess that I have not used them in this park.
There is a small redwoods grove and in the winter sometimes there are some mushrooms there. In the spring, there are wildflowers popping here and there. I usually find it hard to do macrophotography in this park because the wind is often a little on the fast side. If you want to try that, take a macro lens as well.
The Lagoon Valley Park is an interesting place for local photography, mostly between the fall and the spring. Photographers can get the double benefit of endurance training and photographic opportunities when trying to hollow equipment up the hills. Its best to go on an overcast day, foggy day or when the light is at an angle, early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
How about you? Are there any parks nearby where you live that you think are underappreciated by your fellow photogs?
If you like this blog, subscribe by E-mail to ensure that you don’t miss any updates.
To receive my quarterly newsletters, please subscribe to my site.