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Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Wishing all of you a very Happy Easter, and week-end!

Daffodils

Nikon Df| Nikkor 105mm| Delkin Digital Film| PS CC 2017

More to come…

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Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I’m posting this a bit early because He-Man and I are celebrating our 35th Wedding Anniversary this week-end.  No one is more surprised than us that we’ve been married this many years.  Time has just flown by!

Table Mt. Spring Lupine in Full Bloom

Regarding this image- I made it last March about this same time when the Lupine was in full bloom up on the mesa.

Our plans for this week-end? He-Man and I  are going to celebrate us, and wrap ourselves up in each other, and nature over a long week-end.  I’ll be offline until Monday.  🙂

May  your Easter Basket be filled to the brim with goodies and love. Happy Easter!

If you don’t celebrate Easter I hope you enjoy the week-end with those you love.

Nikon Df| Nikkor 24mm f/2.8af-d| Hoodman STEEL Ultra High Speed Digital Film| PS CS5 and PS CC 2015

More to come…

 

Copyright ©2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I had a fun night of imaging with my friends Dali, and Andy.

We had a few venues planned because there was a possibility of fog, and a partly cloudy sky.
Our Plan A was to shoot the April 4th Total Lunar Eclipse over St. Ignatius Cathedral in San Francisco since this Eclipse fell on Passover and Easter Week-end it would tie in perfectly.

Starting with Plan A. We arrived just before 2AM, set up, and began shooting our images. I had planned my shooting position so that I could capture the reflection of the Cathedral in the little pond, and the glass wall of the library, but they had left the Library lights on so the reflection wasn’t good, and I didn’t think I’d be able to get the Moon reflection, but one can always hope.   We were well into our series, and talking then shortly before 4AM the lights on the Cathedral shut off. We were disappointed when that happened so, we decided to move to our Plan B position for Totality since we still had an hour to go.

We figured we would be making  at least one composite image from all we had shot already so, if we shot Totality at our Plan B location we could composite it in to an earlier image(s) from St. Ignatius for our “What If we stayed” image.

So, we moved to Plan B:  The Palace of Fine Arts. To make this image I used my Nikon Wide Angle 17-35mm lens for the foreground, and just before Maximum I quickly switched lenses to my Nikon 80-200mm lens and made several images of just the Moon in Totality with it. This image is a composite with one frame from each lens. I resized the Moon from 200mm to look the same size it did to my eye at Totality or Maximum.

Totality-Lunar Eclipse over The Palace of Fine Arts San FranciscShooting with the Wide Angle lens the magnification is so little that the Moon looks tiny. For this 3rd Lunar Eclipse in the Tetrad I wanted to have a nice foreground interest along with the Moon at Totality becasue the two prior Eclipses I focused on the Moon and used only my Telephoto lens.

Earlier I mentioned that this was the 3rd Lunar Eclipse in the Tetrad. What is a “Tetrad” you may be asking?
Lunar Tetrad
“Total lunar eclipses are rare – only about one in three lunar eclipses are total. About four to five total eclipses can be seen at any place on Earth in a decade.

Lunar eclipses usually do not occur in any specific order. However, every once in a while, four total lunar eclipses happen in a row. This is called a lunar tetrad. The total lunar eclipses happen 6 months apart. There are at least six full Moons between two total lunar eclipses in a tetrad.~ TimeandDate.com

Here’s my “What if we had stayed” composite image from St. Ignatius. 2 frames Nikon Df one frame for the foreground and one for the moon. The Moon has been resized to look how it would have looked.
What If I had Stayed Total Lunar Eclipse over St Ignatius Cathed

Here’s a partial sequence of how the Eclipse looked over the Palace of Fine Arts- This is 8 frames of the The Total Lunar Eclipse from partial to a minute until Maximum. All 8 frames were shot with the same camera, lens, and settings. I was manually timing the frames at 2 minute intervals except the last one which is about a minute from the frame before.

Nikon Df| AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm f2.8@ f8| 8 seconds| ISO 400| Tripod.

You can see how small the Moon is when shooting this close to the foreground interest with a wide angle lens. This was shot at 17mm.  Knowing how tiny the Moon would be is why I wanted to use my Telephoto lens to shoot the Moon at Maxium and composite it in in development.  The way our eyes can see a scene like this is pretty amazing. My eye saw the Moon much larger than my lens can.

Total Eclipse partial sequence over The Palace of Fine ArtsOne last image of the Moon/Eclipse at Maximum- Nikon Df| 80-200mm @200mm| f8| 0.8 sec| ISO 1250

Totality Lunar Eclipse April 4, 2015 at 200mm

Not only was it a fun night, but we were really lucky with the weather. It was windy, and chilly, but the fog stayed at sea, and there were no clouds, and I learned some things too…

-I wish I hadn’t switched lenses  just before Totality and stuck to my original thought of taking at least one image with my wide angle lens  of Totality before switching lenses so, I would have had a complete sequence to stack at the Palace of Fine Arts.

-If possible take 2 rigs and shoot long and telephoto, and/or a time-lapse.

-The lights finally clicked in my brain about focal length, and distance and how it effects the size of the Moon in the image. This knowledge will be used again, and again when I make images of the Moon in the future.

-Determine my shooting position at the venue and don’t move unless absolutely necessary. ( I moved while at St. Ignatius which messed up my sequence)

…and last but not least …we could have stayed at St. Ignatius. Our lighter images in the beginning of the series would have kept the image from being too dark once stacked into the final image.

I’m hoping we can turn all these lessons into something good in September for the fourth and last Total Lunar Eclipse in this Tetrad. That date is September 28, 2015, but for me on the West Coast (California) it’s September 27, 2015.

You can see Andy’s images from the night here, here, and here.  Dali hasn’t posted his images from Saturday night yet, but you can find his other work here. 

More to come…

Copyright © 2011 Deborah M. Zajac.  All Rights Reserved.

The Dogwoods are blooming in the mountains so a friend and I went on a day trip up to see and photograph them.

Our journey took us to Calaveras Big Trees California State Park. The ranger told us the North Grove was probably at peak bloom, and the South Grove was already showing signs it was past peak, so we went straight to the North Grove.

I hadn’t been to this park in many years. It’s a beautiful park with a lovely ancient Redwood forest with Giant Sequoia, and Coast Redwoods. There is a very famous tree stump here it’s as big a room. These colossal trees can reach up to 325ft tall, and have a diameter of 33ft! Some of these trees are thought to be 2,000 years old.

Growing all around these beautiful trees are Dogwoods. The forest floor is full of new Dogwoods with their slender trunks and delicate branches.

We didn’t find many low blossoms on the day we went. The blossoms were high in the canopy where the sunshine hits the trees first.

Our explorations took us up to the North Grove Overlook trail. We hiked up about a mile, and it was here we found some new blossoms which were low enough to photograph some close-ups.

There is a Christian legend about the Dogwood tree, author unknown, is as follows:

In Jesus’ time, the dogwood grew
To a stately size and a lovely hue.
‘Twas strong and firm it’s branches interwoven
For the cross of Christ its timbers were chosen.
Seeing the distress at this use of their wood
Christ made a promise which still holds good:
“Never again shall the dogwood grow
Large enough to be used so.
Slender and twisted, it shall be
With blossoms like the cross for all to see.
As blood stains the petals marked in brown
The blossom’s center wears a thorny crown.
All who see it will remember Me
Crucified on a cross from the dogwood tree.
Cherished and protected, this tree shall be
A reminder to all of my agony.


Additional Tree Facts:

The species of dogwood tree that is native to California is the Pacific or Western dogwood (C. nuttallii). It is one of the tallest of the dogwoods and one that produces the most blooms. Its natural habitat ranges from southern British Columbia in Canada to the southernmost parts of California and as far as 200 miles inland.

Features

The branches of the Western dogwood, which can grow horizontally as well and vertically, form a thick crown that can be round or cone-shaped. The tree can grow from 15 to 40 feet tall, or be trimmed to grow as a hedge. It produces white flowers that can have a touch of pink and are larger than the flowers of other dogwood species, and orange-red berries. The green leaves turn yellow/orange in the fall and then fall off.

Uses and Benefits

The California dogwood will attract birds and wildlife. It can be used as a standalone lawn plant, grown as a hedge or as part of a wind break.

Tree facts obtained from Sunset Garden Books

 

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