Trillium Ovatum

Copyright © Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Spring is popping up here in Northern California. While in Muir Woods National Monument last week-end I saw quite a few Trillium in bloom. Did you know their common name is Western Wake Robin? I didn’t.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 180mm f2.8| f4.5| 1/10 sec| ISO 400| Manual Mode| Tripod| Muir Woods National Monument, California

A Sea of Orange

A Sea of Orange, originally uploaded by dmzajac2004-.

Via Flickr:
Copyright © 2011 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

I spent a long week-end up in the Sonoma Coastal area with Naturalist Jon Menard and 6 other hikers this was one of the first places we stopped to visit. I enjoyed the garden so much I didn’t have a chance to go in the house! You know what that means don’t’ you? Right! I must go back.

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 18-200mmVR @ 27mm| f8| 1/620 second| ISO 200| Manual Mode| Tripod

For the Historians:
The famed horticulturist Luther Burbank made his home in Santa Rosa for more than fifty years. On this garden site and in nearby Sebastopol, Burbank conducted the plant-breeding experiments that brought him world renown. His objective was to improve the quality of plants and thereby increase the world’s food supply. In his working career Burbank introduced more than 800 new varieties of plants- including over 200 varieties of fruits, many vegetables, nuts and grains, and hundreds of ornamental flowers.


Dogwood, originally uploaded by dmzajac2004-.

Via Flickr:
Copyright © 2011 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Another photo of the Dogwood blossoms taken while hiking on the Overlook Trail in Calaveras Big Trees State Park here in California.

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 17-35mm @ 17mm| f8| 1/250 sec| ISO 200| Manual Mode| Hand-held

A morning hike in Uvas Canyon

Myself and the Cheeky Monkey hiked in Uvas Canyon County Park this morning. To stretch out my legs, and continue training for a hike up to Cloud’s Rest in Yosemite this summer.

We picked the Alec Canyon Trail with a side trip up to Triple Falls.  The trail is steep in places, and there were a few fallen trees blocking the trail as we climbed higher. We had to crouch so low to get under one tree our backpacks got caught. I’ll feel that tomorrow in my quads I’m sure!

We saw a Common Star Lily about a mile up the trail. I don’t think it’s very common. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen this wildflower!

Other wildflowers we spotted along the trail were; Wild lilac, Monkey Flower, Thistle, I think I spotted some Trillium, Miner’s lettuce, and Leafystem Coreopsis that a Variable Checkerspot was warming up on. I used my Canon 500 D close up filter to try and get a good shot of him. I really do need to spend some more time playing with this. It’s neat, but does require some practice. The Depth of Field is very shallow as you can see on the butterfly, but I did manage a good close up the Leafystem Coreopsis.

Up at Triple Falls I worked a couple of areas, and nearly ended up in the creek when I slid down the embankment while on my way down to the photograph closer to the creek. The soil was loser than I thought it was.Thankfully it was a soft landing.

There wasn’t much color down where I was so I pulled myself back up the embankment after taking several shots of a little fall and pool. I moved over to photograph Triple Falls. It doesn’t look that big at first, but then you get to the observation fence and Whoa! It’s pretty high. It must fall 35 feet at least, but I liked the base the best today and the way it cascaded down a huge boulder.

After we left Triple Falls we headed back up to the end of Alec Canyon Trail. There were groves of Redwood trees, and the sound of the water cascading down the mountain, and chirping bird were lovely.  I tried to mimic one bird. I can do a Finch fairly well. We hiked up past the end of the trail deep into the canopy and found ourselves right on the creek, and to our delight there were lots of beautiful moss covered rocks and little spill overs to photograph. We worked this area for quite a while. I chose to use my B+W 3 stop Neutral Density filter today because it wasn’t too bright under the canopy, and I knew with that light it would be enough to slow down the shutter speed to get the look I was going for.

It was the first time I’d been to these sections of the park. I am looking forward to returning to them again in the future.

The hike details:

Total miles 3.54

Elevation gain: 900 ft

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 17-35mm & Nikkor 80-200mm| Canon 500D close up filter| B+W 3 Stop ND filter| Handheld and Tripod

All Photos are Copyright © 2011 Deborah M. Zajac.  All Rights Reserved.

Point Reyes and Inverness

Beached and Abandoned we found her- the Point Reyes her chipped white paint looking pretty clean in the late afternoon sun.

This boat is pretty famous to photographers. I think all in the Bay Area have shot her. My friend Alex and I stopped here in Inverness to take a photograph of this boat in the morning light and we stopped again on the way home to shoot it in the late afternoon light. I have a favorite shot from each shoot.

I’ll post the morning shot in a day or two. I didn’t use any filters on this shot. I used my Nikon D90 with the Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8 lens.

Copyright © 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

These stags on the hill we past on our way to the pond. These are younger males. Not Alphas. They were without harems. Only 5 pointers I think.

They looked magnificent standing on this hill.

This I shot without filters as well. I used my Nikon D300s with the Nikkor 180mm f/2.8AF-D and Tamron 1.4x extender.

It was a little soft so I used a little smart sharpening to bring out some more of the texture and details of the fur/hair and faces.

Copyright © 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

After Hours Photo-Walk

A friend and I went to Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont, CA for an after hours photo walk with a Ranger.

There were quite a few other photographers there. We were a 5 car caravan in all with Ranger Bev, Alex, and myself in the lead car.

We drove out to a creek to catch the last of the Golden Hour. Here we saw  white pelicans sleeping on a pond, the moon rising, and the most beautiful golden amber color on the sun dried fennel, thistle, and grass.

Copyright © 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

For this shot I used my Singh Ray LB ColorCombo/Warming Polarizer which really helped to make those golds pop.

I also thought to take my telephoto on my D90 just to be ready for any wildlife or birds. It proved to be a wise choice.

While shooting the creek several White Pelicans flew by me. I managed to get this one as it passed me. It’s lost its whiteness in

this evenings amber glow.

and a couple more,

While regrouping and getting all 5 cars ready to roll to the next stop I caught this shot with the Fennel in silhouette through the window

of the van.

Copyright © 2010 Deborah M. Zajac.  All Rights Reserved.

After this we drove around the mountain to the mud flats where we  parked then some of us climbed up a trail on foot about 1000 ft with at least a 20% grade- NO KIDDING! I’m going to look up the name of this hill, er Mountain!

The view was stunning. Here I got a great view of the lights just coming on in Eastern Fremont including the Moon on the rise.

Copyright © 2010 Deborah M. Zajac.  All Rights Reserved.

I turned around and got a nice view of the mud flats and sunset. As the evening wore on the colors in the sky got deeper and deeper.

I used my Graduated Neutral Density filters and polarizer, to cut the heat of the sky, and then found bracketing with 2 stops down really brought out those reds, and oranges.

Here is my last shot of the night. Bands of blue, red, orange, and yellow, and a bit of reflection in the damp mud flats. I used the middle bracketed shot EV 00. I ran it through ACR’s basic sliders, added a bit of sharpening, and resized it.

Copyright © 2010 Deborah M. Zajac.  All Rights Reserved.

It was a lovely Sunday evening spent with good people, a good friend, and beautiful views.

Nikon D300s

Nikon D90

Nikkor 80-200mm  2.8AF-D

Nikkor 17-35mm  2.8AF-S

” To live is to feel, to enjoy, to be constantly aware of the new that reminds us we are alive.”~N.I. Lobachersky

Blossoms from my Flowering Plum tree.

Photo Credit: Copyright © 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.