Full Moon Over James Lick Observatory

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

This shoot was fun. We hiked out through some thick brush, and not much of a trail to get to this location.
Using TPE we got the angle and with a bit more math and thought we got the time right too.
I need to remember to buy bug spray and wipes they were eating me alive! We’re having a hot spell so the evening was gorgeous and warm. I didn’t need my wool sweater or jacket until the sun dropped.
I didn’t realize the little dome was open last night at all. It wasn’t until I uploaded my photos that I saw it open. It was only open for two frames then closed again.

Walking out of the location and back to our cars we were stopped by a Ranger who had been looking for us. Evidently we were parked in area that was closed after sunset. He told us he’d been looking for us for 45 minutes and he given all 3 cars citations despite our day passes and camping permit. He didn’t see our camping permit. We didn’t put it in the right spot. We left it on the dash of one car and it should have been dropped in a box at the entrance. We had been told we needed to buy a campsite, and a day pass per car two days prior to our going to shoot this by a Ranger.
Once we explained what the Ranger told us to do to be legal he said he’d remove the citations. What a relief that was!
I’m glad the group leader for this event called ahead to speak to a Ranger and made sure we would be legally in the park after sunset.

Nikon D300s
Nikkor 70-300mmVR

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

Tuolumne Meadows

Tuolumne Meadows, originally uploaded by dmzajac2004.

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

One of many pull outs along Hwy 120 that we stopped at on the way home from Bishop,CA.
This is a meadow again by July I’ve heard. I wonder if it’s covered in wildflowers right now.
I remember playing here as a girl.

PP- Usual ACR sliders plus a wee bit of sharpening. Shooting RAW I find I need to add it verses JPEG where I’ve added it in camera. Resized, and cleaned up a few dust spots.

Nikon D300s
Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8 AF-S

4,840 seconds

Star trails from Aug. 14/15, 2010 at Henry Coe State Park, California.

121 Frames @ 17mm, f/5.6, 40 seconds, ISO 400

Nikon D300s and Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8 AF-S

Stacked in CS5 and ran it through my standard ACR sliders, then tweaked then foreground a bit to bring it out more. Polaris the North Star is dead center.

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

Polaris Blues

A friend and I went south to the town of Morgan Hill about 30 mins. from me to Henry Coe State Park to shoot the stars for Star Trails, and we hoped for a nice sunset too.

Arriving early we scouted the area and found a couple of really beautiful oak trees that we thought would make a lovely foreground to our star trail photographs.

We set up camp which for me is a folding chair, tripod, and camera gear then waited for the sun to set.

The sunset was so golden, and even with my LB ColorCombo Polarizer and SinghRay2 stop soft edge Grad ND filter the sun was hot, and I had lots of sun flare. I actually think it came out cool looking in this photo.

© Copyright 2010 Deborah M. Zajac.  All Rights Reserved

After this we moved across to the opposite side of this hill to set up for the Moon Rise. The colors on this side of the valley were so much prettier

than the sunset.

I loved the bands of red and blue. One of the beautiful oaks made for a lovely foreground.

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

After the moon rise I moved locations to set up and start my test shots for my star trail sequence. Here’s the second test shot.

I was lining up the foreground and Polaris, the North Star.

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

We weren’t alone up there last night. There was also an Astronomer hobbyist taking photos of the stars and nebulae with his star tracking gear, and telescope mounted to his camera. It was such a wonderful evening chatting with him and looking through his large telescope at Jupiter, Venus, and the Moon.

I’m still working on my Star Trail  photograph. I hope to post it tomorrow.

Nikon D300s

Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8AF-S

At a Mountain Top Bistro

Mt Shasta , originally uploaded by dmzajac2004.

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

Driving up a road to look for a sunset location I spied this view and pulled over to take a shot or two. The volcano looks as if it’s steaming or blowing smoke, but those are just clouds.

It was so quite and beautiful up here.

Nikon D90
Nikkor 18-200mm VR 3.5-5.6
Singh Ray LB Color Combo Polarizer/Color Intensifier
Singh Ray Grad Neutral Density filter

Under the Canopy on a Sunday Morning

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

I headed out of my hotel early to do the mile hike out to Root Creek Falls that for me was easy rolling hills densely forested with pines. Here the trail ends. The fall is little now. The snow is nearly melted I guess. I headed back and caught Crag Trail hiking up a ways then turning back when it began to get too hot and I left the shelter of the trees. The high on this day was 100 degrees. By 11:00AM it was 80 already.
When I got back to the parking lot I met a Ranger and spoke to him about the falls, and other shooting locations in the park. He told me I really need to get back to Root Creek Falls in April when it’s gushing and huge. I hope to do that! He told me about a spot where the fall has a 500foot drop. I’d like to see it.

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

PP- Not a lot done to these. My standard sliders are vibrance, and clarity. No crop, but did resize them.

Nikon D90

Nikkor 18-200mm VR 3.5-5.6

B+W Neutral Density Filter

SinghRay LB ColorCombo Polarizer/ Color intensifier