In the Field

PTCC Field Trips
& Group Shoots

Participant Assumption of Risk Form - Required

Competitive Field Trips

Every Club Year, PTCC conducts one competitive Field Trip. Unlike our Group Shoots, these events have assigned subjects that our participating members need to capture and the images are judged by competition group and category. Results of past Field Trips may be seen in our Image Gallery.

PTCC Members at Creek Side Terrace Trailhead

Group Shoots

What is a Group Shoot? Group Shoots are all about hitting the streets in an interesting local venue and seeing it in as many ways as possible. They're a fun platform for learning from other club members in a field setting and having fun doing it. It's stimulating and often enlightening to see how other photographers set up for a shot, what equipment they bring (or don't bring) and watch experienced shooters work a subject. Participants shoot individually or in groups driven by their common interests. We usually all come together for lunch during the high-sun part of the day. We've been accused of really being an eating club that takes pictures, but hey... you need energy for this stuff. Take a look at some of our past outings.

Gearing up before the walk

July 15, 2017, Group Shoot and Barbeque at the Black's Ranch

On Saturday July 15, the club was invited by Jane Black and Connie Bafford to visit the Black's Ranch in San Benancio Canyon. Our Group Shoot and BBQ at Jane’s rustic ranch house was truly an outstanding event. More than thirty members and guests enjoyed the beautiful, if a little warm, weather, the gorgeous sky and a full BBQ spread.

To follow our Group Shoot tradition, all who were there are asked to put together up to ten images that they’re most happy with for a short program at a club meeting on August 16.

The slide show can be downloaded here by clicking on this link. The slide show is 12 minutes long and is a large file so be patient on the download.


Group Shoot at Moss Landing / Elkhorn Slough: March 12, 2016

On Saturday, March 12, 2016, twenty-four or so PTCC members gathered at Moss Landing for a Group Shoot. The weather had been iffy all week but Saturday was dry and beautiful for photography. The group spread out over the town and harbor and took an Elkhorn Slough Safari trip to get close to the birds and marine life that enhabit this beautiful place.

We lunched at The Whole Enchilada during the mid-day light then many stayed to continue their shooting. A great day!

Competitive Field Trip to Capitola: January 17, 2016

Our trip to a blustery and dripping Capitola on January 17th was a hoot! Twenty or so hearty PTCC souls hit the soggy deck on a rainy Sunday in search of the perfect capture for our seven target categories. The little town had taken quite a beating from recent storms and high tides, evidenced by the debris-strewn beach, piled sandbags and muddy sidewalks. Did it stop us? Did it even slow us down? Heck no! The group lunch at the Stockton Bridge Grill, organized by Bill Shewchuk, was comfortable and tasty and came in the nick of time.

After scouting and shooting, and dodging passing showers, some from as early as 6 am, we were all ready. The fried calamari didn't stand a chance.

Speaking of 6 am… those early birds actually did get a little sunrise action!

You have to put yourself out there!

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk: September 7, 2013

Here's another jewel right under our nose. The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk literally overflows with unique and exciting photographic opportunities. Animal, vegetable, mineral and undefinable... it's all there! A group of about twenty members and guests spent the day capturing the vibe of one of the oldest amusement attractions in California. The group enjoyed a satisfying lunch on the pier at Stagnaro Brothers Seafood. While the weather didn't cooperate with those wanting sunrise splendor (a clear, sparkling morning), at night, the boardwalk more than made it up to the shooters with its electric sunset blazing across the inlet from the pier.

Zabala Vineyards: April 20, 2013

On April 20, 2013, Padre Trails photographers traveled to the gorgeous Zabala Vineyards north of Greenfield to spend the day photographing the atmosphere and activity of a working vineyard. PTCC Member Joni Zabala's gracious hospitality made the day a wonderful experience for the shooters. As an added attraction, the property served as a rest stop for bicyclists riding in the Gran Fondo bike tour which provided even more great photo ops.

Moss Landing: December 29, 2012

How often do we take for granted what's right in our own back yard? Less than 20 miles from Monterey, Moss Landing is a banquet of subjects to photograph and on December 29, 2012, twenty-some PTCC members made the short trip north around the Bay to spend the day capturing the charm and variety of this quaint and quirky little town. Some arrived before dawn to capture elusive sunrise color, if the fog lets them, others slept in (which is approved behavior) and stayed for evening low light and possible a sunset palette. One thing most participated in was our mid-day lunch at The Whole Enchilada.

Carmel Mission (2011)

Sixteen members took part in the Carmel Mission shoot. The weather provided near perfect light for the event although a little more dramatic sunrise might have been hoped for. We all stayed dry. During the morning hours the shooters had the mission and grounds practically to themselves. Lunch at Cafe Stravaganza in the Crossroads went down well also. Images taken during the shoot will be shared with the Club and guests at our regular meeting on December 7, 2011. Thanks to lead Sharon Blaziek the 2011-12 Group Shoots are off to a roaring start.

2009 San Juan Bautista

Twenty members hit the streets of San Juan Bautista on a clear and warm Sunday morning, May 17, 2009. Some arrived as early as 5:30AM! What we won't do for a potentially winning shot. Most of our outings of this type are just for the fun of it, to be with other members in the field and learn the techniques and equipment choices of others in the club. The trip to San Juan Bautista, however, was the one competitive trip sheduled during the year. By competitive, we mean that unlike the just-for-fun trips, this trip had a specific list of subjects, twelve to be exact, that challenged the participating members to find and capture in a unique manner their best image of each subject. These images, one per category per photographer, will be sent reviewed, commented on, and ranked by a photographic expert to award first and second place honors in each category and an overall first through third plus honorable mentions where deserved. For this competition, our judge will be local professional Douglas Steakley. We're honored to have Doug agree to judge this competition. The winning images will be returned and will be presented on this site through the Gallery pages.
One requirement for the day: Have Fun! Not a problem. You can tell the photographers shared the mood... some more than others. Often, it was hard to tell just who was shooting who... The main drag was lined both sides with modern and classic hot rods and show cars and the mission bells could barely be heard above the rousing Beach Boy-inspired street music.

One of the target subjects - Ice cream - is the reason for the apparent stakeout by one member, waiting here to capture the definitive emerging cone. Dona Esther's Restaurant opened up a blessedly air conditioned banquet room for the group, seen here filing in out of the head for a much needed rest and a hearty lunch. Below, the group awaits their lunch, and later enjoys a song.

Wild Flower Walk - Creek Side Terrace Trail, Ft. Ord Saturday, March 29, 2008

Padre Trails members near the Creek Side Terrace Trailhead on Saturday, March 29th. The wild flower walk, organized by the club field trip committee - Marianne Glosenger and Betsy Schoenstadt - came together quickly but neither the short notice nor the morning drizzle could deter the group from a enjoying the trip and getting some interesting shots in the process. Here's looking at you, bud These outings - that used to be called Group Shoots - offer an informal and fun way to learn from each other and share our tips and techniques. Getting down and dirty... Shooting with other photographers enhances the whole experience of outdoor photography. How lucky are we to live in this place and have some of the most beautiful outdoors in the country right on our doorstep.

The Club is working to increase the number of this type of non-competitive field trip excursion to build on the success of this and other outdoor photo field trips. Read on for more about Padre Trails' past field activities.

Field Trip (Non-competitive) - Elkhorn Slough Photo Safari Sunday, February 24, 2008

On a beautiful February Sunday morning, a baker's dozen Padre Trails members piled into Captain John Gideon's pontoon boat and embarked on a dedicated two-hour photo safari through Elkhorn Slough. A naturalist and photographer himself, Capt. Gideon knew just where to find what we were looking for, and more important, how to approach the animals and birds without frightening or endangering them. We had the craft to ourselves and we couldn't have asked for a nicer day.

Each member on board had a full bench on which to stow gear and move around for the best shot. Capt. Gideon skillfully maneuvered the boat to ensure all of us had a close encounter of the photographic kind. Many of the critters we encountered seemed almost as happy to see us as we were to see them. As you can see from the glassy surface of the water, there was little or no wind. In most cases a 300mm lens was adequate to get close. Most of these shots were taken in a zoom range between 250mm and 400mm with a hand-held VR lens.

Having our own bench seat and rail space allowed many of the shooters to lash their tripods steady along the side. We often were able to spend several minutes with a subject which allowed time for anchored tripod shots as well as braced hand-held setups.

Watch the calendar section of this Web site for the meeting night when our members will share their Elkhorn Slough images through projections and prints. 

After the safari, the group met at the Whole Enchilada in Moss Landing for some true sailor's fare... That is if the old salts ever ate cheese burgers. The food was good and the conversation lively. For some reason, the owner of the place passed out sea star sunglasses. Not a good look.

Group Shoot - Ano Nuevo State Park
Saturday, December 15, 2007

The residents seemed happy to see us On Saturday, December 15, 2007, six members of Padre Trails Camera Club traveled up the coast to Ano Nuevo State Park to photograph the elephant seals that are gathering there now. Even though we were part of a twenty-member "walk" conducted by guide and naturalist, John Brown, we were afforded ample time to set up and shoot. The light was a bit high and the animals were often found in repose. Even so, we did encounter a few active males who rattled their greetings. Another group lower on the beach. Ano Nuevo island in the background Ano Nuevo instituted the guided walk program - which began on the 15th - to ensure that the visitors learn as much as possible about the animals and how to protect their environment. As part of the inaugural group, Padre Trails appreciates the time, effort, and energy expended by the staff and docents who made the day so pleasurable.