Wild Weds. 42/52 Withered and Tattered

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Normally we see gorgeous, perfect Monarch butterflies being shown on blogs, and photo sharing sites, but there’s another side of their lives that shows us just how amazing and remarkable these insects are in addition to beautiful.

This Adult Male Monarch Butterfly has survived the wind, rain, and maybe snow. It probably avoided predators along its arduous migration, and perhaps it lost some of its wings being snagged on thorns.

Monarch Butterfly-Male

The average lifecycle of a Monarch Butterfly is 6-8 weeks.  From the egg stage, then the catepillar stage, to the chrysalis stage is only 27-28 days. At 28 days the Monarch Butterfly emerges from its cocoon a fully grown monarch and lives 2-6 weeks.  That’s remarkable!  From that point its whole raison d’être is to mate so there will be eggs to lay so there will be the next generation of monarch butterflies.

I love how clever he is by landing here on this withered and tattered Showy Daisy-like flowers. He’s trying to blend in I believe.

I made this image in May in Santa Clara County. It’s back to my archives this week because I have been outside my box, and doing a bit of portraiture the last two week-ends.  Two weeks ago a girl-friend and I teamed up to do a Maternity Session for some dear friends, and I’ve been working on those images, and this past Sunday afternoon I did a Wedding Invitation/Save the Date session for Baby Girl, and the Handsome Surveyor.

I can’t show any images from the Maternity Session as the couple hasn’t seen them, and I don’t have their permission to share yet, but Baby Girl and The Handsome Surveyor said it would be alright to share one image; one that won’t be used on the invitation.

People photography really isn’t my thing, and retouching even less so, but I do like this image.  Of course, I am just a wee bit biased. 😃  I will probably go back and tweak this image after I get the Maternity Set done for my friends, and Baby Girl’s wedding invitation image done.  I’m not used to working on the clock so to speak, so I’m feeling the pressure!

Haakma Zajac Session 04

I hope your week is going well, and you all have a lovely week-end!

Nikon D810| top image shot w/ Nikkor 200-500mm| bottom image shot w/ Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D lens at f/5.6| Hoodman STEEL Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…

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Wild Wednesday 41/52 The Big Dipper and Bodie Chapel

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The Big Dipper over the Chapel in Bodie State Park

I made this image back in August when several friends and I went over to the Eastern Sierras for a long week-end.  Bodie State Park stays open at night several times throughout the summer so folks can enjoy the old Ghost Town at night.

Someone had put a light in the doorway to the Chapel and lots of photographers fanned out to photograph this iconic building in Bodie myself included, but seeing The Big Dipper above the Chapel is what caught my eye. The clouds were moving in fast so I acted fast hoping to get the whole constellation in my photograph.

The red light cast you see is a light spill from someone’s red headlamp behind me.  They forgot to shut it off.  This is the only shot of the Constellation I got over the chapel due to the cloud cover.

For the History Buffs:

Bodie was a mining town in the 1800’s.  It was booming for several years after Gold was discovered there.  What started with 20 people grew to 10,000 in just over 20 years!

It’s said there were once 65 saloons in Bodie. The town teamed with families, miners, farmers, robbers, prostitutes, and of course gaming halls, and opium dens. 

In 1898 the mill burned down, and in June of 1932, the second of two major fires destroyed more of the town leaving what we see today.

There are more than 100 buildings in a state of “arrested decay” one can see while in Bodie.  Interiors remain as they were left and stocked with goods. 

In 1962 Bodie became a Register National Historic Landmark, and a State Historic Park. 

For a timeline of Bodie’s History and more click the link below.

~https://www.bodie.com/

Nikon D810| Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G| Hoodman STEEL Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…

Wild Wednesday 40/52 Green

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I’ve been absent from the blog and reading blogs for more than a week because I was in Florida visiting my Mom and Step-Father, and touring around the state.  I haven’t even downloaded the images I made while on the trip yet.

We visited Epcot which was a first for me, then St. Augustine, and Tarpon Springs’ Sponge Docks; the Sponge Capitol of the US,  which is also it’s Greek community.  It was a good, but very hot trip.  It was the hottest September on record.   I hope there are a few good images to share.

Today I’m sharing an image I made of what I think is a Cabbage White Butterfly while walking around UC Davis Arboretum in July of this year.

White Cabbage Butterfly ?

I am always behind these days, but I’ll be catching up with your blogs soon.

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm @ 500mm| Hoodman STEEL Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…

Wild Wednesday 39/52 Yellow-headed Blackbird

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

While photographing Wild Mustangs one morning in August this little guy popped out of the grass almost beside me to grab an unsuspecting Butterfly for breakfast.

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm| Hoodman Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…

 

Wild Weds. 38/52 Lady Boot Arch and the Milky Way

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I mentioned in last week’s post here  that my friends and I had ventured a bit further south while in the Eastern Sierras over Labor Day week-end. We went very nearly to the farthest southern end to the Alabama Hills Recreational Area.  If you’ve ever watched any old Western Cowboy movies you’ve seen this area. It’s rugged, rocky, and beautiful.

Also it’s remarkable in that the road to this area is also the road that is known as Mt. Whitney Portal.  One takes this road up to the staging area to begin your trek up Mt. Whitney which is the tallest mountain in the lower 48 of the United States.

There’s a very famous natural arch among photographer’s in the Alabama Hills Recreational Area that features a very nice view of Mt. Whitney. I was blessed and fortunate to photograph the arch called Mobius Arch back in 2012 just before sunrise. Mt. Whitney is framed by the arch in my image seen here.  Back then no one read my blog.  I am thankful for those of you who have found me since then!

For this trip I suggested a less famous, less photographed arch called Lady Boot Arch, or Boot Arch, or…it has a few other names if you do a search on the internet for it.  My friends were open to the idea so we scouted it in the afternoon before the shoot, and were happy with it so we went back to town for dinner then met near the arch before sunset for an evening of photography fun.  We had plenty of time to get our compositions in focus, and set up the lights to light up the arch and foreground rocks.  Laura brought her warm tea lights to light up the arch interior, and I had my trusty flash light with a gel to paint the rocks in the foreground. I’m not that skilled at light painting so, I passed my torch to Laura who does have the touch, and skill in that area.

Here’s the image I made that I like best. It’s a two frame composite image.  I processed the sky/milky way image from the raw file to look very close to how it looked that night, and blended it with an image of the foreground light painted to highlight the rock formations and lighted arch.  I was hoping to get one image that had both sky and foreground close enough to what I saw to be able to edit and develop that, but sadly I didn’t have one with the foreground just right. Which is why you light paint more than you think you need, and plan on blending frames if needed.  I’m chuffed ( read delighted! for those that don’t get British English slang) with the result. It was super fun to shoot, and I would do it again in a nano second!  I hope you like the tale, and image nearly as much as I had fun making it.

Lady Boot Arch

Some technical stuff… Mars is shining brightest in the sky on the left of the Boot and Milky Way, and in the dark lane of the Milky Way very near the left edge  directly across from Mars is Saturn shining bright, out of frame was Jupiter too, but I cropped it out in favor of a stronger composition.  Thank you Peter! He was the best teacher I ever had on cropping for the composition.  When I got all my frames uploaded I saw that this one had several meteors or shooting stars in the frame. One heading into the Milky Way from the left, and one beside Mars, and two lower and to the right of Mars. They’re faint but there!

Did I tell you how chuffed I was?

The sky is filled with billions of stars out here. It’s breath taking, and I can’t explain in words how amazing, awesome, as well as beautiful it is, and just, How. Small. I. Felt while viewing it, and how just as I know it while standing on top of mountain that God is real and there. He was here too.  This is my chapel, my cathedral, my Holy Place. This. THIS Feeds My SOUL.

It’s mid September now, so this is the last image I’ll be making of the Milky Way until next April or May. The Galactic Center…that wonderfully rich milky bit very close to the tip of Lady Boot Arch’s top is headed to the southern hemisphere now. It’s their turn to see the richest part of the arm of our galaxy.  I will miss it, and yearn for its return as I do every year.

I am behind with emails, and blogs again, and I’m afraid I’m going to be behind for a bit longer. I will catch up!

I hope you’re all having a lovely week.

Nikon D810| Nikkor 16mm f/2.8 fisheye lens| Hoodman Steel Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://circadianreflections.com/2012/01/12/sunrise-in-alabama-hills/

Wild Weds. 37/52 The Night was Still and Full of Stars

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Over Labor Day week-end myself and several friends were back in the Eastern Sierras. I love it over there. This time we ventured further south.

We spent our evenings photographing the stars.  This image I made on our last night there.

Windmill Eastern Sierras

I caught a shooting star above Mars, and Saturn is the bright star in the center of the Milky Way’s Dark lane about even with the top horizontal rung on the windmill.  I didn’t know I had managed to catch the shooting star in my frame until I got home and uploaded my images.

The light pollution on the horizon is coming from the town of Bishop I believe.

I hope you’re all having a great week! Yeah, halfway to the week-end!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 16mm f/2.8| Lexar Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…

Wild Wednesday 36/52 After Dark II

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I thought I’d show you the front view of the old cabin since I only shared the side view and lightning last week.

I made this after the sun had gone down, but there was still some light in the East.

You can sorta see the fireplace I told you about here, and you can see where the other ladies place lights in some cracks, the doorway and window sills.  It came out really well I think…the light painting.

 

The Old Ranch Cabin Front View

I hope you had a lovely week-end. We in the USA had a long week-end celebrating Labor Day.  I spent the week-end with friends photographing the night sky, and the Wild Mustangs again.

I am once again behind with blogs, and emails, but I’ll catch up!

I hope you all have a lovely week.

Nikon D810| Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G| Lexar Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…