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.


Prized $5.00 tool in my Camera Bag

This little tool makes a HUGE difference. What is it?

A Filter Wrench!


How many times have you found your filter “stuck” to your lens, or have you turned it one too many turns making it so hard to get off? It happened to me so often that I bought this set of wrenches about 6 months ago. I have been thrilled with this little wrench. Knock on wood it’s worked every time I’ve needed it, and it’s worked with ease!

This tool has found a permanent place in my camera bag.

Adobe Releases Camera RAW 6.4 & LightRoom 3.4

This new version of the Camera Raw plug-in replaces the original Camera Raw plug-in that was installed with Adobe® Creative Suite® 5 or Adobe® Photoshop® CS5 software. Windows Version here:


MAC version here:


Also released is Lightroom 3.4. The Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® 3.4 update includes these enhancements:
• Additional camera support for several new camera models including the Canon Rebel T3i, Nikon D5100 and Fuji FinePix X100
• Corrections for issues introduced in previous versions of Lightroom 3

Windows download:


MAC version:


H/T/ dpreview

PreOrder Nikon 50mm f1.8 G AF-S

For now it looks like only Amazon is taking PreOrders for the new lens from Nikon. Great price on this one. $219.00!



H/T Nikon Rumors