I wanted to check out Simpson Park in Hemet since it was relatively close to home. I used to live in Redlands where Hulda Crooks and Prospect parks were super close and have a network of trails. I noticed some of the trails in the San Jacinto/Hemet area are either in the San Jacinto mountains or in Diamond Valley Lake, both require money to hike. I don’t have an issue with that, but I rather spend the whole day hiking those trails than doing a 90 minute stint before church. I went to Simpson Park and was flabbergasted at the beauty of the place. Boulders everywhere. Green shrubs. A beautiful view of Diamond Valley Lake for the low, low price of zero dollars and zero cents. A gorgeous view of San Jacinto/Hemet. My plan was to hike and take a few pictures, but I mostly took pictures and hiked a lot less than I thought. I’m a bit rusty with landscape photography, but I had a lot of fun with it!
I remembered reading an article about some of the mistakes that newer photographers make. I recognized some of those mistakes from my own work, but I know that I’m improving. Mistakes are great teachers! But there was one piece of advice that stuck with me, take pictures locally. I tend to showcase my work when I travel somewhere else. However, this taught me to appreciate my surroundings. San Jacinto and Hemet are treated like they are the same city which is fascinating. They have an interesting history and story. Do you know that the headquarters of Scientology is located in San Jacinto (I highly DO NOT RECOMMEND that you go there. Might have armed guards)? Do you know that Hemet has the Ramona Bowl which features the famous play Ramona every year? I will still travel and take photos whether I fly overseas or step out my porch.