Wild Weds. 44/52 Halloween!

Copyright © 2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

#1 Grandson doesn’t think our patio/entry is Ultimate Spooky. He’s right, but I really like the scarecrow we assembled together. He named him Charles.

Happy Halloween!

…and here are a few of the Ghosts, and Ghoulies that I’ve seen from walks around the neighborhood this month.

Enter if You Dare!

Ghosts

Skeleton

Wishing you all a SPOOKTACULAR HALLOWEEN! ( she said in Count Dracula’s voice) 🧛‍♀️ 😜

Top image: Nikon D810| Nikkor 24-120mm f/4| Hoodman STEEL Digital Film| PS CC 2019

Bottom images: iPhone 7 Plus| PS CC 2019

more to come…

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Wild Wednesday 27/52 Happy Independence Day!

©Copyright Deborah M. Zajac, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Independence Day in the United States is today. On July 4th families and friends will get together to celebrate this holiday. Plans are being set in motion for pick-up games of baseball, volleyball, or swimming. There will be picnics, and barbecues/grills will be fired up. Dads all over will be grilling hot dogs, and burgers, watermelons will be split, seed spitting contests will ensue, and the colors of the day will be Red, White, and Blue.

When the sun drops beyond the horizon the celebrating doesn’t stop. Countless cities and towns will put on a great show of fireworks, and many families and friends will be gathered in their favorite viewing spot to watch the show, and many of us want to photograph them.

4th of July Fireworks

Settings for image above: f/10, iso 200, 14seconds-DSLR lens 18-200mm on a tripod

With just about any camera you can photograph fireworks.  I’ll share some tips for  getting the most out of your  DSLR or compact camera.

If you have a compact or Point and Shoot you might have a “fireworks” scene mode that you can summon either on the dial, or in the menu. Adding + 1 or +2 to Exposure Compensation will give you a longer shutter speed to add more colors, and longer fireworks trails. Then find something to stabilize your camera.  Most likely your shutter speed will be slow so, to avoid any blur you’ll need to have a solid base for your camera that doesn’t move while the shutter is released. A tripod is best, but a table, rock, ledge, or car hood works in a pinch.

Be sure to turn your flash off!

Night mode with Exposure compensation set to +1 or +2 to slow down the shutter will work pretty good too.  If you don’t know how to set that you’ll need your user manual.

Fireworks at Disneyland

Settings image above: f/8, ISO 3200, 1/4s, 35mm f/2 lens. Holding my DSLR over my head and shooting.

Using a SmartPhone-  Video is the best way to shoot the fireworks when using a cell phone. You can grab stills from your video. If you shoot a Time-lapse using your cell phone use a tripod!

Using a DSLR:

You’ll need your tripod, I recommend a cable release, or remote release, and full manual settings.

If you want foreground select a wide angle lens. On a Full Frame camera 24mm to 35mm in portrait orientation should be wide enough.

If using a Crop Sensor camera something in the range of 16mm to 18mm would be equivalent.

In Manual Priority choose an Aperture of F/8 to F/11, ISO 200, and a shutter speed of 8 seconds- you many need longer or shorter depending on the speed of launches, but 8 seconds is a real good place to start.

If you want just the fireworks in the sky select a lens with a range of 70-200mm.  If you have a 24-120mm, or super zoom like an 18-200mm lens that may be all you need for the night.

Once you have your camera set up with the settings dialed in you’re ready for the first launch. If you got to your location early you can sit back and wait. I hope you’ve packed something to eat! 😀

Once the sun goes down get ready for some fun! But, first we need to pre focus. When you hear the very first Whhomp! of the firework launch  follow the  contrail trail and when the firework explodes focus on the firework, and press your shutter release, or back button focus button if that’s how you focus to lock that in, and depress the shutter to make the image! In all likelihood that image isn’t very good. That’s okay, you’re just finding the place where the fireworks will explode and focusing there.  Now lock your camera down so it’s aimed in that spot, and switch your focus mode to Manual Focus! When it gets dark it may be too hard for the camera/lens to lock focus and it will hunt. You don’t want that. So, by using that first firework to pre-focus on you should be good to go the rest of night in manual focus.

Fireworks_20130704_4470

Settings for the image above: f/10, ISO 200, +1 Exposure Comp, 10 sec. DSLR w/ 300mm lens on a tripod

I release my shutter at the sound of the launch whhomp! If your camera is finished before the firework explodes and it blossoms to its full glory increase your shutter speed a bit.  Or if the firework is finished before your camera is decrease your shutter speed.  It’s a balance of timing and settings.  Within the first few fireworks you should be able to find the sweet spot of settings then you can shoot and enjoy the show.

I am planning to photograph the fireworks tonight with some friends. I hope you get out with your camera too! 😊

I hope this helps and if it does please post some photos, and tell us about your experience on your blog or photo sharing site,  then please share link here in the comments so I and others can see your images too!

I hope all my friends in the USA have a Happy Independence Day!

Cameras Nikon D700, and D300s.

more to come…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Motherhood”…

Copyright © 2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

“Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.”

~Robert Browning

I want to wish all Mothers a very HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

Rose

Nikon D810| LensBaby Soft Focus Optic @f/4|1/20s| ISO 640| PS CC 2018

more to come…

Wild Weds. 7/52 Wild 4 You!

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

For Valentine’s Day. “)

Wild 4 YOU

I composed and shot this image back in 2014.   Since I hadn’t thought of anything else to compose for today I thought why not publish it for Wild Wednesday?

I did change what the Sweetheart said to fit both of today’s themes using Photoshop CC.  Here’s a quick run down on how I did that in case you’d like to know how I did it.

Firstly, I created a new layer then I grabbed the spot removal tool and erased what the Sweetheart said.

Next, I grabbed the Horizontal Text Tool and switched my paint/text color to bright pink, changed the font size to 6pt I think it was then I typed the first line WILD. Then I summoned the Free Transform Tool to turn the text to the right direction, then summoning the move tool I moved it into place.

I did that two more times for the number 4, and word YOU!. Then I saved the whole thing as a PSD file.  After that I added a new layer and cleaned up a few specular highlights on the ceramic figures then I merged the layers, resized it for the web, added my watermark, and saved it as a JPEG.

There is more than one to change the word on something like this, and probably an easier way too, but that’s how I did it. 🙂

I hope you all have a sweet day!

Nikon D700| Nikkor 105mm| Lexar Digital Film| Continuous Lights right and left with light modifiers| PS CC 2018

more to come…

Merry Christmas!

Copyright © 2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I just wanted to take a moment to say MERRY CHRISTMAS! to all of you who celebrate it. I hope your holiday is wonderful, and filled with love, and lots of laughter.

Having a little one in the house has given me an opportunity to watch a favorite Holiday movie.  Frosty the Snowman.  I enjoy this movie and song so much I had to add the ornament to tree.

So, what’s going on at my house besides watching the old Christmas animated movies?

I’ve shared with some of you about my tradition of putting my collection of stuffed bears, and animals around the tree as soon as the tree goes up in December.  Part of that tradition is that the bears and animals leave sometime before Christmas. They leave a note on the tree telling us that Santa really needed their help to get all the final things ready for his most important flight of the year.

I woke up yesterday morning and they were gone. The note was on the tree saying they’d gone to the North Pole to help Santa Claus and Elves make ready for Christmas.  They thanked us for understanding, and assured us they’d be home soon, and signed their note with lots of ♥ and paw prints. 🙂

#1 Grandson who just turned 5 this week is a bit concerned about their departure and is anxiously waiting for Santa and the Bears, and other animals to return. He is worried about the Bear Cookie Jar that went too. He’s worried it might get broken.  I hope it doesn’t, but I’m sure Santa can fix him if it were to get broken. 🙂

Big Baby Boy, and the Dark Haired Beauty flew in last night. We’re all excited to have them home for Christmas.  Dark Haired Beauty is the reigning 2016 champion of the game  Mexican Train a family favorite.  We’ll see if she can be unseated this year.

Baby Girl’s sofa, Coffee, and end tables arrived yesterday.  She’s very  relieved that we all won’t be sitting on the floor while she hosts her very first Christmas in her very first apartment.

Our new house has a renter. I’ve still got mixed feelings about that as I’d love to be living there; we can’t right now, but things are lining up.

While I haven’t been too chatty with my posts this year good things are happening here.  He-Man and I are beaming with joy, and feel very blessed for it’s been a really great year so far. (knocking on wood!) 🙂

I’ll be back next week with Wordless Wednesday, but will be on a wee break til then spending time with my children, and Grandson.

If you don’t celebrate Christmas I hope you find some delight in the Holiday joy, lights, decorations, and enjoy a day off. 🙂

MERRY CHRISTMAS! xx

Nikon Df| Nikkor 105mm| SanDisk Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…

Wordless Weds. 48/52 Christmas Union Square San Francisco CA

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Nikon Df| Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G| SanDisk Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…

Memorial Day 2017

I’m sharing the post GP Cox put together. It’s a beautiful and poignant post today in Remembrance of Memorial Day, and all those who served…for us.

Never forget!

Pacific Paratrooper

MEMORIAL DAY.

WHO DO YOU SAY THANK YOU TO?

Should you care to see Memorial Day posts from past years ____

Michael’s Tree – planted by Lavinia & Rick Ross in honor of my son, Michael USMC.

2016

2015(1) and 2015 (2)

2014

2013

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Farewell Salutes –

Jacob Baboian – Watertown, MA; US Army, WWII, ETO

Thomas Coughlin – Portland, OR; US Army, WWII, Corps of Engineers

Lamar Day – Salt Lake City, UT; US Navy, WWWII, PTO, USS John Pope

Edward Flora – Mishawaka, IN; US Army Air Corps, WWII, A/674th Artillery/11th Airborne Division

Earle Garlinger – Roswell, NM; US Army Air Corps, WWII, (Ret. 21 years)

Harold Kline – Charlotte, NC; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, 737th/454/15th Air Force

James O’Leary – Manchester, NH; USMC, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Cuban Missile Crisis

Michael Sadlo – Hollywood, FL; USMC, Pfc

Everett Smith – Broad Channel, NY; US Army…

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