Mono Lake: Morning Civil Twilight

Copyright © 2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I spent the week-end in the Eastern Sierras photographing Sunrises, Sunset, and Fall Color.  I left my home in Silicon Valley at 4PM on Friday to meet a new friend/member in the Photography Group I was going with.  Anyone living in Silicon Valley knows leaving after 3PM is a nightmare! Traffic is awful.  It’s congested with get-away travelers and commuters. Unfortunately, even in mid-October that’s true! It took me over an hour to travel 11 miles to meet her!  Cindy parked on a residential street hoping her car would be fine for the week-end b/c my house was out of the way, and me going to meet her would have beem backtracking and mean we’d lose 1-2 hours in traffic.

I picked her up, and we got back on the freeway where we crawled at about 30 mph for 2 hours. Finally the road opened up and we were off and onto the Eastern Sierras. We arrived at our Motel just about Midnight. After checking in we both unpacked the bare necessities then fell into our beds knowing the alarm would be ringing in just 4 hours!

We were meeting the rest of our group at 6AM. We had a 30 minute drive from our Motel to the meeting spot. That meant a 4:40AM wake up call for me! I had a quick shower, and we managed to get out the door at 5:20am and arrived at the meeting spot 5 minutes early.

We were a group of 20 in all. We drove to Mono Lake ( Moe-Noh) and found the parking lot was already full of cars! Fall in the Eastern Sierras is getting more and more crowded. There was a faint light in the East signaling the Sun was in a hurry to greet the Northern Hemisphere so, we gathered our gear, and walked-ran to find our spots as quickly as we could.

We went left away from the horde of other photographers; I found a place I thought made a good composition, but I sank ankle deep in the muck to get there.

Experienced Photographers have a good feel for the outcome of the sunrise or sunset, but I’ve never bet on it.  Mother Nature has fooled me a few times! Okay, I won’t lie more than a few times! This morning however, had great potential, and fortunately, The Belt of Venus showed up and lent the morning a beautiful pink hue.

These formations you are seeing are salt and mineral deposits that formed over thousands of years. They’re called Tufas (too-fahs).

Years ago the lake water was re-routed to the south to give water to Southern California’s agriculture belt and residents.

As the lake got lower, and lower these remarkable formations were exposed.

A couple of decades ago a conservation group was successful in their appeals to let Mono Lake (Moe-Noh) return to its natural state. They are no longer diverting water from this basin which means one day all this will be under water again.

Each time I visit this lake I am acutely aware that I am seeing something wonderful, beautiful, and unique. I hope this image is able to convey just a hint of that wonder and beauty.

Morning Twilight Civil Mono Lake

In desperate need of a caffeinated drink, and food we headed for breakfast right after the light went flat.

For more information about Mono (Mo-noh) Lake click here.

I’m really behind on all your posts. I will get caught up this week!

Nikon Df| AF Nikkor 24-70mm| Hoodman STEEL Ultra High Speed Digital Film| Tripod| Developed in Photoshop CS6

More to come…

P52 28/52 No Boil Spaghetti

Copyright © Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I wanted to make #1 Grandson spaghetti because he asked me for it, but thinking about it I wasn’t really comfortable using a whole stockpot of water to boil the pasta then dump the water down the drain. Since I live in CA and we’ve got mandatory water restrictions in place it just seemed wasteful to me.  I couldn’t think of anything else to do with the used water.

But,  I thought, ” I’ve tried a No Boil Lasagna recipe and liked it, so why not try Spaghetti too?”

I dug out my crock-pot which is my favorite method for making sauce and crumbled in some leftover meatloaf, poured in 2 jars of my favorite sauce, doctored it up with some Italian herbs, and a half cup of so of water, and set the crock-pot on low to cook all afternoon.  40 minutes before the sauce was done I added a pound of raw spaghetti broken in half to the crock-pot along with another jar of my favorite sauce and enough water to clean out the jar. Stirred in the pasta so it was well coated  in the sauce, replaced the lid and let it cook for 40 minutes more.

No Boil Spaghetti

It’s delicious! The sauce is super thick, and the pasta was cooked through.  He-Man, and #1 Grandson loved it. Both had seconds!

I had some for lunch today and as you  would hope it’s even better today.

I’m glad that worked out, and I saved some water too.

Nikon Df| AF-D Nikkor 105mm| Hand-held| Hoodman STEEL Ultra High Speed Digital Film| CS6

1 more…

Baked Smores

I made #1 Grandson his first smore- I baked it in the toaster oven rather than a campfire. He loved it too, and was a right mess after eating the whole thang! . 🙂

More to come…

Camera Raw 7.4 and DNG Converter 7.4 Now Available!

Image representing Adobe Systems as depicted i...
Image via CrunchBase



Camera Raw 7.4 and DNG Converter 7.4 Now Available


“Camera Raw 7.4 is now available as a final release through the update mechanism in Photoshop CS6.  The goal of this release is to provide additional camera raw support, lens profile support and address bugs that were introduced in previous releases of Camera Raw.  Customers of previous versions of Photoshop can utilize DNG Converter 7.4 for raw file support for newly added cameras.” Adobe Systems


Update through the Updater in CS6


For more information on what this update covers click here.


Adobe has also issued a final release update to Lightroom 4.4  This  release adds more camera and lens support, and it fixes quite a few bugs.


The Windows download page is here.


The MAC download page is here.



Related articles



Adobe Updates available Lightroom 4.3 and ACR 7.3

Adobe issued two new updates today. Lightroom 4.3, and Adobe Camera Raw 7.3.

Here’s what Adobe says about the 4.3 update

“The Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® 4.3 update includes these enhancements:
• HiDPI support within the Library and Develop Modules. HiDPI provides support for Retina-enabled Macs.
• Additional raw file support for 20 cameras including the Canon EOS 6D, Nikon D600 and Olympus PEN E-PL5.
• Corrections and bug fixes for issues introduced in previous versions of Lightroom.”

Windows download here.

MAC download here.

Adobe Camera Raw 7.3 added quite a few new camera profiles

Windows download here

Mac download here

P.S. If you use Windows you can download Microsoft’s new Codec pack which allows viewing of many new device specific file formats.

Camera Raw update to 6.4.1

Adobe issued an update to the list of supported cameras within  Camera Raw May 24, 2011.

Upload page for Windows here:

MAC users here:

An update you may have missed for Photoshop CS5

“The 12.0.4 update enables specially designed apps on tablets, smartphones, and PCs to communicate with and control interaction with Photoshop CS5 (Located in the Edit menu: Remote Connections). Now you can be creative on other devices and instantly incorporate what you create into Photoshop. You must install the 12.0.4 update to activate a remote connection between Photoshop CS5 and any apps that Adobe or third-party developers create to interact with Photoshop. For example, Photoshop CS5 must be updated to 12.0.4 to interact with three new iPad apps that Adobe has designed to work with it – Adobe Nav, Adobe Color Lava, and Adobe Eazel. These apps will be available in the future on the App Store. ” ~Adobe

Links are here:


MAC users here: