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…


Test Driving Adobe’s ACR 7.0

Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

I recently received the new version of Photoshop CS6. I downloaded it and had some time to play with ACR 7.0 today.

ACR is the acronym for Adobe Camera RAW. The latest version has had a total revamp. They’ve retooled all the sliders and the algorithm giving us more control to recover highlights, shadows the blacks, and whites.

They’ve replaced the Recovery slider with several new sliders.imagethey’ve given us a Whites, Blacks, Highlights, and Shadows sliders.

I’ve got quite a few files in my archives that I’ve been saving for the time my editing software would be able to recover the data and save the photo. Let’s look at what I’ve been able to recover today.

I took this photo in January 2012 while on a New Year’s Trip in the Eastern Sierras with friends. I haven’t done any retouching to it at all in this shot. I only added my tag, and resized it for the web.

It’s completely blow out in the upper left sky where the sun was shining, and a lot of the mountain range is lost in the shadow. I thought I used my 2 stop Graduated Neutral Density filter on this shot, but by the looks of it I grabbed my 1 stop by accident.

Here’s what I was able to recover using CS6 new ACR 7.0.

It’s amazing the amount of color  that I was able to recover, and there are even a few wispy clouds there that couldn’t be seen!

I made all the adjustments in ACR using the new highlights, shadows, whites, and black sliders. I also adjusted the contrast,  and exposure then I opened  it in Photoshop to remove some spots, add my tag, and resize it for the web.

ACR 7.0 made the upgrade worth it to me.



“I’m waiting for you Morning Star…herald of the dawn.” ~ Deborah M. Zajac

Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

“Rise quickly for I am numb with Winter’s morning chill.
My fingers ache for your warm embrace.”~

That’s my plea every sunrise shoot, and to be honest most nights too! My fingers are the first to go numb, and I’ve not found a hand-warmer or pair of gloves to keep me warm enough to thwart the chill.

This is a shot from Convict Lake taken the third morning of 2012.  Seeing sunrises like the one my friends and I saw on this morning make the early rise, drive time, and standing in the cold worth it!

Nikon D700| Nikkor 17-35@17mm| f13| 10 seconds| ISO200| Manual Priority| Tripod

Autumn in the Eastern Sierras

Copyright © 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

This is near the “Tree Tunnel” off the road to North Lake and Bishop Creek I believe. While my companions were photographing the “tree tunnel”, and the creek a little further down I wandered up the trail and found a boulder out in the creek- really this was flowing like a river, and jumped over onto the boulder and set up my tripod to take this photograph.
It was easier jumping on the boulder getting out here than it was getting back…the gap seemed a lot smaller when I jumped out here- why does that always happen? I didn’t fall in! Phew!

Exposure and PP- I used my Hoya warming 81A filter for this scene. I wanted to bring out those lovely reds, oranges, and yellows. I also used my B&W 0.9 Neutral Density Filter to cut the glare of the water and slow it down just a wee bit.
Vibrance, clarity, levels, played with the color adjustment- but liked it the way it was shot originally, and a little sharpening, and resized.

When out taking photos I like to zero in on the little details too. Here’s a little bunch of Aspen leaves. I liked the reds, and greens, and the vein patterns.

“Go, sit upon the lofty hill,
And turn your eyes around,
Where waving woods and waters wild
Do hymn an autumn sound.
The summer sun is faint on them —
The summer flowers depart —
Sit still — as all transform’d to stone,
Except your musing heart.”

~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

An Outdoor Café

Reynolds Mountain- Glacier National Park

© Copyright 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Wild Blue-Pod Lupine- McGuire Peak

© Copyright 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Olmstead Pt- Yosemite National Park

© Copyright 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

I hope you enjoy the view!

June Lake

June Lake, originally uploaded by dmzajac2004/.

Copyright © 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.
June Lake
Eastern Sierras
Hwy 395

On my first full day along the Hwy 395 corridor after sunrise a girlfriend and I headed north. We wanted to see Devil’s Postpiles but discovered they were still buried under snow so closed. At the Mammoth Lake Visitors Center we picked up tips on where the most scenic places were.
The Ranger suggested June, Gull, Silver, Convict, and Rocky Creek Lakes as well as Hot Creek Geological Site, and of course Mono Lake.

This wasn’t too crowded. The water was just a gorgeous shade of blue. More aqua than blue. The snow capped mountains ringing the lake was just as lovely.

More lake photos to follow as I visited 4 lakes on Sat. June 5th.

Nikon D300s
Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8 AF-S
PP- Recovery slider, vibrance, clarity, resized