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Copyright © 2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Pigeon Guillemot/cepphus columba

Pigeon Guilemot

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 300mm f/4| SanDisk Digital Film| PS CC 2017

More to come…

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

This past week-end it rained. A lot. So, in between storms He-Man and I headed to the nearby hills for a much needed walk. Sticking to the paved roads avoiding the muddy trails we walked up the hills and down to stretch out our legs a bit. Elevation gain was about 250 ft, and mileage was only a couple of miles, but it felt great to stretch our legs, and be outside.

The grass on the hills is tall and green, and there are spring flowers popping up here and there. I saw clover, wild mustard, and even some droopy, rain soaked Daffodils.

Sunday I was a bit stir-crazy so set up to shoot waterdrops again.  This time instead of using the faucet which was hard to regulate I set up my C-stand and boom arm and taped a medical dropper to it filled with water.  It presented its own set of issues to deal with.

Once the eye-dropper ran out of water it had to be refilled and taped back on the  boom arm. I marked the spot with tape, but it didn’t always line up with my pre-focused spot so, I had to refocus every time I filled up and remounted the eyedropper.  Also there was a bit of wiggle room with the taped eyedropper so the drops didn’t always land in my pre-focused spot.

I didn’t get many keepers, but it was a fun way to pass a couple of hours on a rainy Sunday.

Plip Plop Drop

Waterdrop

Nikon Df| Nikkor 105mm macro lens| SB600 Speedlight @1/2pwr low, camera right| Delkin Digital Film| PS CC 2017

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Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

It was quite a weekend for me with two back to back trips to Yosemite National Park.   We begin on Saturday Feb. 11th; my friend Dali, and I headed out early for the park traveling route SR120 which was open when we left the Bay Area but, when we got near the gate to the park there was an electronic sign saying there was no access to the valley from that entrance due to a rock slide.  The Ranger told us there was an alternate route into the valley but it was a 2.5 hours journey from there to the valley. Unfortunately, that would have put us in the valley after 5pm and we needed to be in place, camera set up, and ready to start photographing  by 5pm or hours sooner knowing what the crowds can be like at this time of year.  So, disappointed we turned around and headed back home.  That was 8 hours on the road and nothing to show for it.  It’s not the first time!

Not totally defeated, and ever the optimists we knew we still had Sunday! We met earlier Sunday morning the 12th, and drove the slightly longer southern route to access the valley. The southern route is lower in altitude and usually open all year, but even this year with all the rain there were rock slides, and it was closed for a day the week before, and on “call ahead” status for days after before we left!   Fortunately, Sunday morning the road condition site said Open so, we forged ahead ever hopeful.  With a stop for lunch, and gas we made it into the valley without any delays, and hiked to our spot in plenty of time to set up and photograph what we had planned.

What would entice us and hundreds of other people to spend 16+ hours driving back and forth to Yosemite National Park in two day you may be wondering? If my post’s title didn’t give it away… Horsetail Fall!  🙂

In mid February for about two weeks (give or take a day or two) if the conditions are just right the sun will shine on the waterfall and light it up orange-red. It’s amazing it looks like lava flowing down the cliff face.

What are the perfect conditions to see this? There has to be water flowing. This waterfall is fed by rainfall, and snow melt, and there has to be sun to light up the waterfall.

In February having sun isn’t a given. I’ve been skunked in years past waiting and hoping the sun would peek out from the gray clouds to light up the fall only to be totally skunked. No light what-so-ever hitting the cliff face or waterfall.  It was still fun waiting and anticipating the event with hundreds of other photographers, and vowing to be back next year to try again. I did show up the following year, after year, after year.

Having water hasn’t been a given these last 6 years either. Being in California with the drought there were years it was just a trickle. This year with all the drought busting rain, and snow up in the mountains we knew there would be more than a trickle of water flowing but, we had to have sun too.  Thankfully, we had perfect conditions Sunday. Water flowing and Sun!

Here is an image from the peak of the phenomenon.  This is very nearly straight from my camera. I ran  this frame through Adobe Camera Raw for Lens and Camera Corrections, and I did correct the sky.  To capture the true color of the fall my camera washed out the sky. I added the blue back in the sky, and removed my dust spots, and I opened up the shadows a little bit.   Overall very few post development adjustments were added to this image.   This image was shot at 120mm.

Horsetail Fall February 12, 2017

I thought I’d try making a Timelapse from the stills I made.  It’s crude, and a bit jumpy as I zoomed in and out a few times to get a closer look, and I change the angle of my camera once during the shoot in the beginning.

Timelapse made with 145 still images.

If I’m going to do more Timelapse videos I’ll have be more disciplined about my set up and shooting.  I hope you enjoy it despite my shortcomings as a videographer.

This is the 7th year I’ve been photographing this phenomenon. So, was it worth the 16 hours on the road? OH YES! I’d do again. “)

Nikon Df| Nikkor 80-200mm| Delkin Digital Film| PS CC 2017

More to come…

 

 

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm| Lexar Professional Digital Film| PS CC 2017

More to come…

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Le Danseur/Ballerino

Lower Manhattan, NYC

Nikon Df| Nikkor 28-105mm| Delkin Digital Film| PS CC 2017

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Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I’ve been painting Roosters to celebrate in my own way the Chinese New Year.

I was born under the Fire Rooster sign and I am hoping that this is going to be a good year for me.

The first rooster I painted was in my Stillman & Birn watercolor journal with my new M.Graham watercolor paints. I bought Steve Mitchell’s favorite 8 colors since this paint is one I’ve been longing to try. I love the paint. I think this is going to be my go to paint.

I don’t like the way the waddle came out, or my text on the page. I really want to take a calligraphy class. Perhaps this is the year I finally do that.

2017 Year of the Rooster

So, take II- Instead of drawing the Rooster freehand like I did for the painting above  I set up the light table He-Man gave me for Christmas and traced the image of the rooster from an image I made in 2016 while on a doorscurion in Maxwell, CA.

Take II

I don’t like the tail so I covered up the worst bits with the mat board. The text is boring as well. I really am making a case for a calligraphy class aren’t I? “)

Year of the Rooster

Take III

I let loose a bit, and used my white gel pen, and black micron pen to add some details.  Again  wasn’t really happy with the tail feather ends, but love the way its head and breast came out.

Fire Rooster 2017

Some traits of the Fire Rooster for those with inquiring minds:

2017 The Year of the Rooster-

1909, 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029

“I am alert

Ready to take action

The first on the scene

The last to leave

I take chances

But I am precise

I know where things belong

I am orderly and fastidious

Nothing escapes me

I am always prepared

I never give up or in

I AM THE ROOSTER”

I can’t say I meet all these traits, but some fit. 🙂

I’m not sure there will be a Take IV (oh man, I had to look up the table to make sure I recalled the correct letters for roman numeral 4) SAD! I did but still! It’s so true what they say about losing it if you don’t use it!

A note regarding the 8 paints and paper I used:

The 8 colors of paint I purchased are: Ultramarine Blue, Prussian Blue, Paynes Gray, Sepia, Azo Green, Indian Yellow, Quinacridone Red, Red Iron Oxide.

I really like how vibrant, and transparent they are. They mix well, and don’t make a muddy mess.  I’m looking for a little palette to put some whole and half pans in to be able to carry it out and about.

I used Arches 9″X12″ 140lb Coldpress paper for the 2nd, and 3rd paintings.

I wish you all Gung hay fat choi!

iPhone 7 Plus| PS CC 2017

More to come…

 

 

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Banded-tail Pigeon

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 300mm f/4| Lexar Professional Digital Film| PS CC 2017

More to come…

 

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