Waning Crescent Moon and Saturn over Vasona Lake

Copyright © 2015 Deborah M. Zajac ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I usually check out the sky first thing when I wake up so, this morning when I raised my blinds and saw the Moon with Saturn shining in the cloudy sky I realized they would be lining up high over the lake, and footbridge.
So, I got dressed, grabbed a quick cup of tea, and slice of toast and headed to the lake.

It was still dark when I arrived. The Geese weren’t even up yet! I kept my eye on the sky and clouds. It didn’t look too good when I got down to the lake. The Moon was completely blocked by the clouds, but I hoped for pockets, and breaks and just after dawn the clouds cleared enough.

Waning Crescent Moon with Saturn over Vason Lake Los Gatos CA

I used a wide angle lens to be able to capture this whole scene so the Moon, Saturn that little white dot to the right of the Moon, and the fainter Antares below the Moon to the right are really teenie.

I was thrilled there was color this morning too.

This is a single frame processed in Photoshop CS6.

Nikon Df| AF-D Nikkor 24mm f/2.8@ f16| 15seconds| ISO 500| Manual Priority| Tripod|
Hoodman STEEL Ultra High Speed Digital Film

More to come…

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September Super Moon

Copyright © Deborah M Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Taken from my backyard…September Super Moon

Nikon D300s| AF-D Nikkor 80-200mm @ 200mm w/crop factor= 420mm| cropped 100%| Tripod

August Super Moon over the Giant Dipper, Santa Cruz, CA

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

August SuperMoon over the Giant Dipper Santa Cruz CAThis isn’t exactly the image I had in my head, but it’s close. There is a telephone pole on the left I wish wasn’t there, a light pole on the right that is spilling light, and flare into the image, and the train which is just about to the top of the hill hasn’t any running lights so, no light trails from it. I did get light trails from passing cars though.

I cloned out several wires that were running through the sky, but left the telephone pole because that’s beyond my Photoshop skills, and… it is what it is. I really dislike wires, traffic lights, signs, and garbage cans right in front of Historic, and beautiful buildings, and things!

One thing I am happy about is that this isn’t a view you see often in photos of the Giant Dipper.

This is my favorite Roller Coaster. It took me a couple of years to get the courage to ride it. I’ll never forget that first ride. I was 12 yrs old. That hill is STEEP and it scared the crap out of me, but it was fast, and thrilling!  I still love riding it.

If you’re anywhere near Santa Cruz in the Summer I recommend giving this Coaster a ride. It’s fun, fun, fun!

For the History Buffs:
The Giant Dipper is a historic wooden roller coaster located in  Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, an amusement park in Santa Cruz, California. It took 47 days to build at a cost of $50,000. It opened on May 17, 1924 and replaced the Thompson’s Scenic Railway. With a height of 70 feet (21 m) and a speed of 55 miles per hour (89 km/h), it is one of the most popular wooden roller coasters in the world. As of 2012, over 60 million people have ridden the Giant Dipper since its opening. The ride has received several awards such as being named a National Historic Landmark, a Golden Age Coaster award, and a Coaster Landmark award; it has been ranked annually in Mitch Hawker’s Best Wooden roller coaster poll.~Wiki-pedia

Nikon D700| Tripod| Manual Priority|
Frame 1) AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm @ 25mm| f11| 4 seconds| ISO 250|
Frame 2) AF-S Nikkor 300mm w/Nikkor 14eII =420mm |f11| 1/400sec| ISO 400
Both frames taken the same night from same location.

P52 29/52 Moon over San Jose, CA City Hall

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Moon over City Hall San Jose CaliforniaI met my friend Alex downtown last night to shoot the Moon over City Hall’s Rotunda. City Hall is comprised of the Tower where the Mayor has an office on the top floor, the plaza, and the Rotunda which has council rooms, meeting rooms and a large space for events. The space and rooms in the Rotunda can be rented out for events such as weddings.

The Rotunda reminds me of an Observatory very much like those at Lick Observatory that sit high atop Mt. Hamilton which overlooks San Jose from the East side in the Diablo Range. Lick Observatory was the first permanently occupied mountain top astronomical observatory. Constructed between 1886-1887. I don’t know if that reference is what the architect (Richard Meier) had in mind when he designed the Rotunda though. I can’t find that information.

This new City Hall complex opened to the public in Oct. 2005, replacing the former City Hall complex civic center located on North First Street, which was used from 1958 until 2005. From 1889 to 1958 the city hall was located in what is now Plaza de Cesar Chavez in downtown San José.~Wiki-pedia

I shot the foreground then switched lenses then waited for the moon to rise above the mountains and buildings then I exposed for the Moon to make the second frame, finally in post development I blended the two frames together.

Nikon D700| Tripod
Frame 1- AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm @ 24mm
Frame 2- AF-D Nikkor 80-200mm @ 200mm

Morning Moon

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Morning MoonWhile waiting for the sun to crest the mountain tops to the East I turned to look southwest and captured the Moon shining down on the little tree that sits atop the summit of The Steep Hill.

Nikon D700| AF Nikkor 28-105mm micro| Hand-held

February’s Full Moon over the South Tower of the Golden Gate Bridge

Via Flickr:
Copyright © 2013 Deborah M Zajac. All Rights Reserved

I met a group of Photographers early this morning to photograph the Moonset and I hoped I’d get my timing right so I could get this shot lined up.
It’s been really, really great the last week having clear skies in the city.

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 80-200 + Tamron 1.4x 280mm| f11| 1/3s| ISO 320| Manual Priority| Tripod| Singh Ray 2 stop GND