Exploring the World Around Me


A little over 3 years ago I moved to the Silicon Valley area of California from Houston, Texas. During the first 3 years here I have not done much exploring except for my local zoos but since I started using Dreamstime for my stock portfolio I have been wanting to be more adventurous. I do a lot of reading on the DT Blogs and one day I was reading the blog Staycation and in the comment section Achilles brought up the fact that a lot of individuals that live in a particular area can not tell you the best places to visit and that tourist or people from out of town are normally the ones that get the best pictures instead of the locals. I decided to hit the library because of his comment to research what is interesting to do within a 2 hour radius. I have been really enjoying exploring the Bay Area plus I have been learning a lot about the locations or subjects that I have been visiting for my photography. I look forward to more new locations to explore in my world.

Places I have explored So Far:

Western Lowland Gorilla

San Francisco Zoo and Oakland Zoo - For over 3 years now I have been taking pictures at the San Francisco Zoo but recently I have been starting to photograph the animals at the Oakland Zoo. Through my photography of the animals I have learned a lot about many different species because I want to research on the animals that I photograph.

Amazon Waterlily Reflection

Conservatory of Flowers - Located in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. It has many species of flowers from all around the world plus they that en exhibit area that is changing a couple times a year. Right now their special exhibit it the Butterfly Zone.

Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse

Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse - The Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse was built in 1967. Mark Abbott was an 18 year old who died in 1965 while surfing close to the location that this lighthouse stands in Santa Cruz, California. His parents built this lighthouse in his honor. Today the lighthouse is now a Surfing Museum.

Natural Bridges

Natural Bridges - State Park Beach area located in Santa Cruz, California. Natural Bridges is a beautiful place to visit because of the scenery of the rock formations in the water plus it is a great place to see marine mammals, birds and monarch butterflies.

Winchester Mansion

Winchester Mansion - The Winchester Mansion is a strange Victorian Mansion constructed by the late Sarah L. Winchester. Her husbands family was the creator of the Winchester Rifle and after the death of her daughter and husband she was told there was curse on the Winchester family. The spirits of those that had been killed by the Winchester Rifles are said to have haunted Sara Winchester and the only way to please them was to build a house for them but she had to keep building onto it or she would die. The house was always under construction starting from 1884 until 38 years later when Sara died. This house has many strange construction to it because there are doors that lead to nothing, stair cases that just lead to the ceiling and cabinets that just open to a wall. The Mansion is considered a California Historical Building.

Egyptian Painted Wall Sculptur

Rosicrusian Park - Located in San Jose, California and is also home to the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum and Planetarium. The Park has a beautiful garden with many different sculptures related to the Egyptians plus several different flowers.

Photo credits: Susan Pettitt.
Susan Pettitt
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  • Lifesazoo
  • Mountain View, United States
Update November 17, 2010:

Earlier this year I made a decision that I would not be selling my photos any more but would start removing my photos in November. I would like to thank everyone that has given me wonderful comments on my photos the past several years and to the the buyers that have bought my photos. I now will only be displaying my photos for show in a photography journal that I have created which you can find the link listed under my website.

I've recently started going back to school for a degree in Zoology and trying to keep up with my stock photography and schooling at the same time was not working out for me. My schooling comes first and then photography has and always be just for fun.

Thanks again everyone cause I really have enjoyed the past several years at Dreamstime.

-Susan L. Pettitt

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June 12, 2008

Thanks. The Waterlily I worked at going at all angles to get the right shot. The Gorilla I always enjoy taking pictures of him because he is so photogenic and he will normally sit in front of me to let me take his picture as long as no one else is around :)


June 12, 2008

Thanks everyone for your comments. The nice thing about being a housewife is that it lets me go out at least 2 or 3 times a week to explore the city and search for new things to photograph on my own. I make sure I at least hit the zoo once during the week but then my other day that I set aside for photography can be some thing totally different then the zoo which lets me explore more of my local area. Now that I am exploring the area I am seeing that there is more to the Bay Area then I imagined. :)


June 12, 2008

Your gorilla and water lily images are absolutely incredible!


June 12, 2008

great article, i was just thinking about this the other day.. what i drive by every day and do not even take a second look at..someone else thinks is amazing and wants a picture of it!


June 12, 2008

There are plenty of people who travel around the world to search for beautiful sceneries, landscapes, animals, people, etc., but they don't realize that their close surrounding provide, too, countless opportunities for great images.


June 12, 2008

You are very fortunate to live in such a wonderful area.