Dawn in the Marshlands

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Saturday morning was another very early 4A.M. wake up for a sunrise shoot with friends a little further north of me at Don Edward Wildlife Refuge.  The plan was to arrive early and photograph sunrise then go birding.

We met at 6AM et Quelle horreur! The gate was locked! It didn’t open until sunrise which wasn’t until after 7AM. Once the gate opened we drove out to the marshes/ponds and I raced to set up my rig to catch the colors that were unfolding in the Eastern sky.

The power towers run right through the marsh so I composed this image with them as a focal point and interest rather than trying to avoid them.  I also discovered that while packing my gear bag I inadvertently grabbed my 50mm lens rather than my 20mm lens!  They’re both small, and have the same make-up, and I wasn’t wearing my reading glasses. Sigh.

I rarely use this lens so, composing was a bit of challenge for me. I like a wider view, or a much tighter view, but I am happy with this composition.

Dawn in the Marshlands

Then I went birding but found very few birds on the marsh. The Winter migrants have pretty much left, but there were two pair of Canvasback ducks swimming in a stream which I was excited to see. I’ve been trying to be close enough to photograph one since I first saw one many years ago. Unfortunately, they weren’t any closer on Saturday so I still don’t have a decent image of one.  Maybe next year. 🙂

The tale doesn’t end there though. No. It turned out to be a very exciting birding day, but I went to another refuge, and I’ll tell you about that later this week. I was out all day Sunday too, and haven’t had a chance to work on the many bird images I made this past week-end; between Saturday and Sunday I shot 1,100+ images.

Happy First Day of Spring!

Nikon D700| Nikkor 50mm| Lexar Professional Digital Film| PS CC 2017

More to come…

Eastern Sierras Day 2- 21 minutes in Nirvana

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

We scouted a few areas for Moon-set/Sunrise and we all fell in love with Intake Lake 2. We were planning to camp on Night 2 and instead of camping a little further north we change plans and camped at Intake Lake 2, and we all agreed it would be a great location for the morning’s shoot. We could sleep a few minutes longer, and be in our chosen spots well before the fishermen arrived.  We set up our camp, made dinner, and shortly after dark I crawled into my tent and bag and fell into a deep sleep. My alarm was set to 4:30AM again.  I didn’t even take pictures of the campground!

I slept pretty well. I only stirred when my hip started to ache. My pad wasn’t as full as it should have been. When my alarm went off I turned it off and dozed in my warm bag, dreading getting out of it, and facing the cold morning, and dressing, before making the trek up the bathroom.  I should have dug out my slip-on pair of shoes the night before, but forgot to do that.  Jonathan was out of his tent first and came by mine and rattled it, asking if we were up. Rainey had bunked with me since I have a two person tent. We both murmured, “yes, I’m up.” Next, I heard Rene unzip his tent, and then Jonathan’s car alarm went off, no doubt waking the whole campground! Nik was sleeping in the car and when he got up to exit he set off the alarm.

Someone set the alarm after Nik got in to go to bed. 🙂 As if the alarm going off once wasn’t bad enough somehow it got triggered a second time! I got up and out of my bag and tent after that. I’m sure the whole campground was ready to stone us to death! Hopefully they all were able to get back to sleep.

We dressed, grabbed our bags and headed for the lake for the Moon-set/ Sunrise as quietly as we could.

I found the spot I had chosen the day before, but I was so far from everyone else so I moved to the beach with Rene, and Rainey.

I was very glad to have the company. Daylight was coming fast, and for  21 minutes I was in Nirvana!

Moon-glow on the Eastern Sierra Peaks

Moonset over Intake Lake 2

Pink clouds and Moon-glow on the Eastern Sierra Peaks

Moonset over Intake Lake 2

Alpine Glow on the Eastern Sierra Peaks

Alpine Glow over Intake Lake 2

It’s not often one gets Moon-glow, Color, and Alpine Glow all in one morning! I couldn’t have ordered a more perfect morning shoot. There were even Trout jumping high out of the water to catch breakfast. I wish I timed my images better to have caught just one, alas…I didn’t.

Shortly after the color faded we were packing up when a group of fishermen came to fish where we were. We welcomed them with open arms, and wished them well with their endeavors, and went on our way to find other photographic jewels around the lake.

Rainey, Rene, and I hung out together while Nik,and Jonathan went their own way. Rainey, Rene, and I went around the lake to try and find a Grebe that was swimming around the lake. We weren’t able to get the second inlet to find it, but we did find a lovely little cascade of water we stopped to photograph, and along the way we found a memorial.

Memorial at Intake Lake 2

Intake Lake 2 hike

I used my Lensbaby Composer Pro II with Soft Focus Optic to try some landscapes. I like the dreamy, painterly

feel the images have.

Fallen tree on Intake 2

Fallen Tree on Intake 2 Lake_5384

Fishing

Fishing

The color of the morning was gold

Autumn Gold

Intake 2 was my favorite location this trip.  It’s a great place to camp, and there is plenty to photograph

here.

Cameras: Nikon Df, Nikon D700

Lenses: Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8,  Nikkor 180mm f/2.8d, LensBaby Composer Pro II w/Soft Focus Optic

More to come…