Monochrome Madness 2 28/52 Mono Lake Tufas

Copyright ©2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Monochrome Madness 2 28 of 52  Tufas South Mono Lake Area

This week’s MM2 arrived really fast!  I’ve selected another image from my week-end in the Eastern Sierras and Mono Lake.

I made this image while waiting for sunset.

To see all the images submitted to this week’s Monochrome Madness 2 click here.

Nikon Df| AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm| Tripod| Hoodman STEEL Ultra High Speed Digital Film| CS6 & Silver Efex Pro

More to come…

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P52 41/52 Aspen Leaves in Fall

Copyright ©2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

P52 41 of 52 Aspen Leaves in Fall

Posting this a bit late because I made this shot while in the Eastern Sierras over the week-end.

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

More to come…

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…

Watercolor Aspen at Rock Crk Eastern Sierras

c 2015 Deborah M Zajac alk Rights Reserved

IMG_2786

My Grandmother who died when I was just 13 weeks old could paint, and my Mother can sew. I have aspired and wanted to do both my whole life, and have failed miserably. Perhaps I should just stick to photography.

Iphone 5/ handheld/ winsor & newton watercolor paint/ strathmore watercolor cards

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…

Fall in the Eastern Sierras Day 1…

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED!

Myself, and  friends Rainey, Rene, Jonathan, and Nik got an early start on Day 1 of our trip to the Eastern Sierras. Our alarms were set for a  4:30am wake up so, we could shoot the Moonset over Convict Lake. Moonset over Convict Lake

We spent most the day in the Bishop Creek Area. The foliage there was very good overall. Some portions were stripped by the storm the week before, but for the most part it was full, dense, and pretty. I used my new Df, and had my D700 for back up.

I took only two lenses; my Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8, and Nikkor 180mm f/2.8D. I wanted to be fairly light, and not have too much stuff to worry about. My pack was still heavy!

Observing Color from a Ridge

Fall Color ICM Abstract

ICM- (Intentional Camera Movement) Nikon D700 w/180mm f2.8 lens. Getting pleasing blurs gets easier

the more you do it. The trick is slowing down your shutter speed then moving your camera up, down or zoom it!

On the one below I zoomed, and shook a bit. Does it make you dizzy?

ICM Aspens

Fall Color Bishop Creek

The Gate

I also took my LensBaby Composer Pro II with the Soft Focus Optic. I had fun playing with it, and used it more than I thought

I would. I even took an image of my friend Rainey. I’ll ask her if she minds if I post it later.

Rosehips

I think we had our timing just right for the foliage, and weather. It’s overcast, stormy looking, and windy in the Eastern Sierras now which will strip the leaves off a lot of trees. But Jeff Sullivan of JeffSullivanPhotography says there’s still hope! He writes, ” We still have the cottonwoods coming in the 5000 and under elevations, (Bishop to Lone Pine and many Nevada counties) so there will be another round of opportunities if we don’t have a deep frost that rushes them towards brown.

Let’s hope there’s no deep frost and there will still be some color to enjoy for a few more weeks!

More to come…

P52 42/52 Lee Vining Creek

Copyright ©2014 Deborah M Zajac  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

I’m back! I had a lovely 4 days in the Eastern Sierras with friends, Rainey, Rene, Nik, and Jonathan. We got lucky and went when the color was peaking in the spots we visited. I have quite a few images I like from the trip that I’m still rating and tagging, but here’s one image I made yesterday at Lee Vining Creek. It was so nice to see the creeks, and streams with water. All the creeks near my home are bone dry!

P52 42 of 52 Lee Vining Creek

I made this image with my new camera: The Nikon Df. I’ve been saving for it since I rented one back in February.

Nikon Df with Nikkor 17-35mm f2.8 mounted

I used it for 4 full days of shooting and it performed very well in daylight, and low light. I love how light it is compared to my D700.

Right now I only have two complaints:

1) Nikon did not provide a LCD screen protector with it, so I need to get one STAT!

2) The battery drained too quickly when shooting the last morning in 26º ambient temps. I’ll have to get a 3rd battery soon.

Other than those two complaints I’m happy with the camera. I hope we have many good years together.

As of now my D300s will either be passed down or possibly sold, and my D700 will be my back-up/second camera.

Image 1) Nikon Df| Nikkor 17-35mm w/B+W 6 stop ND filter

Image 2) Nikon D700| Nikkor 180mm f/2.8D

More to come…