What’s Blooming?

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Saturday a girl-friend and I went hiking up in the hills about an hour northeast from home. We were on the hunt for Spring wildflowers. We hiked just over 5 miles and saw so many beautiful flowers at peak bloom.

Spring and Winter Vetch, rose clover, and small head clover are abundant up there. It was lovely to see carpets of colors this year.  What to show you first? I’ll start here 🙂

This little cluster is not much bigger than my pinky fingernail. I haven’t identified it yet. It’s not in any of my reference books.  It’s a new flower for me.

Unidentified Spring Flower Western Region

Bee fly on Milk Thistle. I love Thistle.

Bee Fly on Milk Thistle

After hiking downstream a mile and quarter we hiked back and headed to Little Yosemite Gorge and Fall. There are several places to stop to take photos of the little rapids; we stopped at one after going up to the Fall which was packed with kids and adults climbing over the rocks and wading in the pools at the bottom of the cascades. We didn’t spend much time there. I need to head there first next time.

Alameda Creek

Bellardia- another new wildflower on my list. I think the rains awakened  seeds long dormant. It was so exciting seeing new flowers this year.

Bellardia Wildflower

and one last one for today…Elegant Clarkia. I haven’t seen this for several years. Isn’t it beautiful!

Elegant Clarkia-Macro Photography

I went on a little hike Sunday night too and found more wildflowers. It was really windy and cold so I didn’t take too many images of the flowers. I hope to get back up there when the wind dies down.  It was a good week-end for me exercise and photography wise.  I hope you all had a great week-end, and your week has started off good too!

Nikon Df| Nikkor 28-105mm macro lens + Canon 500D Close-Up lens| Delkin Digital Film| Hand-held and tripod| PS CC 2015

Lens choice reasoning- Since I would be hiking uphill, and a distance for 5+ miles I wanted to keep my gear to a minimum, because I had to carry extra water just in case. The place we were hiking didn’t have potable water, and I didn’t want to pack my water filter. I carried 32 ounces of water, my tripod, 5 filters, and my Canon 500D close up lens, my LensBaby, and a few other items I felt were necessary. Having a light weight macro lens option was my old Nikkor 28-105mm micro lens. It gives the ability to shoot both macro and landscapes which is a perfect solution for what I like to photograph when hiking.  It’s not a true 1:1 macro lens rather it’s 1:2, but with my 500D attached I can get closer to 1:1.  I realize I’m compromising image quality doing this, but with good technique, and post development I hope to make up for some of that.

Keeping my pack weight down on longer hikes is much more comfortable and enjoyable for me and worth the compromise.

More to come…

 

Embarcadero Center’s Christmas Lights

Copyright ©2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I met some photographers last night in the City (San Francisco) to photograph the Christmas Lights in Embarcadero Center. The Star of the show is the white light on the TransAmerica Pyramid Building and it’s blue reflection for me.

Christmas Lights Embarcadero Center San Francisco CA

Traffic was absolutely horrible getting into the city yesterday. What should have taken just under an hour took 2 hours! It was worth the drive though. It wasn’t too cold, and the lights are gorgeous.

On another note. I have not been successful with Adobe reactivating or fixing my CS6 photo editing software so, I bit the bullet today and subscribed to the CC Photography package. I have Bridge CC, Lightroom 2015  CC, and Photoshop CC 2015 all installed, and working. Now I’m trying to figure out how to get my plug-ins, presets, and actions installed into PSCC, and LRCC.  I’ve got two actions installed. There’s hope I’ll figure it all out! 🙂

Nikon Df| AF-D Nikkor 180mm @f18, 138sec| ISO 100| Hoodman STEEL Ultra High Speed Digital Film| PSCC 2015

More to come…

Amethyst Evening Rat Rock Island

Copyright ©2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I went out last evening with a small group of Photographer’s to Rat Rock Island for Sunset. The Belt of Venus was lovely and lent a beautiful hue to the sea and sky.

This was my last image of the evening.  I was using my 6 stop Neutral Density filter to slow down the water and create a dreamier scape. This is a 2 minute exposure.

Amethyst Evening at Rat Rock Island

Nikon Df| AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm| Hoodman STEEL Ultra High Speed Digital Film| Tripod| B+W 6stop ND Filter| CS6| On1

More to come…

Prevailing Winds

 

Prevailing Winds, originally uploaded by dmzajac2004-.

Via Flickr:
Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Please click on photo to view larger.

I’ve been wanting to do some Night Industrial photography this year and have stopped by here numerous times looking for steam. Last night there was finally steam, but a good wind too which unfortunately for this area is normal. I will be going back to photograph this again. I think at night this plant transforms into a sparkling beauty.
I also think it looks futuristic. I am reminded of Aurthor C. Clark’s book Earthlight. I can imagine the Republics he created on Mars, Venus, and the Moon looking like this.

Earthlight was one of the first Sci-fi novels I read back in late 70’s. I still have that book. The price tag says it was $1.50.
Nikon D700| Nikkor 24mm AF-D @ f10| 25 seconds| ISO 200| Tripod|

 

There is something about the stars that set the Gypsy blood astir…

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

I am inspired by William Bliss Carman’s thought about things that stir the Gypsy blood for the title of this piece. The stars do stir my blood and I wish I could travel up there. Perhaps someday we will.

This tree was absolutely gorgeous, and in a perfect location for shooting a star trail at the end of a day of shooting wildflowers, creeks, and a waterfall in Northeastern California. I’d gone up with some friends to meet more photography friends in a Meet-up group we’re in. While we set up for the shot and finished up we listened to little frogs croaking, and following them were crickets. A lovely round of natures music that I’m sure continued long into the night.

My battery died short of where I wanted it to for this sequence of star trails. A lesson learned! I will insert a fresh battery from now on.

Nikon D700 Nikkor 18mm AI-S| f5.6| 211 seconds| ISO 200| Manual Priority| Tripod| 29 frames stacked with Photoshop CS5

A Nocturnal Adventure

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

I finally got this shot! I’ve wanted to take a photograph from here for over a year. Last year my friend Dali and I did some recon trips to get the logistics worked out.  It’s a tricky place to get to, and a rare view I believe. We’ve kept this shoot on our “short shot list” but haven’t been able to fit it into our schedules until now. It was well worth the effort, risks, and steep climb to get it. The weather this evening was perfect. It was warm, with a slight breeze, and the fog was thin and stayed outside the Bay while we were here. I don’t know if I’ll ever get back here to photograph this view again or not, but I do hope so.

San Francisco, California, Bay Bridge, Pacific Ocean

Nikon D700| Nikkor 18mm Ai-S| f11| 30 seconds| ISO 200| Manual Priority| Tripod

First Photo of the New Year

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

I spent the first few days of 2012 photographing parts of the Eastern Sierras with dear friends. This was our 2nd Annual New Years Photo Trip.
There wasn’t much snow in the high country so we were able to cross Tioga Pass to get to our base camp which was in Bishop, CA. From there we were pretty central to everything we had hoped to photograph. We roamed from Mammoth on the northern end to Alabama Hills in the south.
Sunrises, sunsets, and a bit of scouting during the day was on the agenda, and on our first night we had a clear sky so we drove south to Ancient Bristle Pine Cone National Park and shot in the Patriarch Grove.  The elevation is between 10,000 and 11,000ft.  Because the air is so thin up here these trees grow slowly.  This  harsh environment makes their wood denser and stronger to resist pests, and disease. The oldest tree is 4600 years old! Their twisted limbs and odd shapes make great subjects and foreground for star trails.

Once you get the focus sharp, your settings selected, and your intervelometer set up you can sit back and watch the sky, or  do what we did; go back to the car and turn on the heater. It was 26 degrees outside!

This star trail is made from 82 frames each were 58 second exposures. I cloned out 6 airplanes and 1 shooting star.
The trip was great fun, and I’m looking forward to our 2013 New Years Photo adventure.