Monochrome Madness 2 24/52 Low Tide in Moss Landing

Copyright ©2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

MM2 24 of 52 Moss Landing Low Tide

My contribution to Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness 2 this week is an image I made a month ago or so.  There wasn’t much happening bird wise so, I switched lenses, and my mind-set to Landscape imaging.  I always carry a wide angle lens for this reason. I was packing light this week and carried my 24mm f/2.8 af-d Nikkor lens which fits in the palm of my hand. I love how small and light-weight it is, it’s just not as sharp in the corners as I wish it to be. The new lens that replaces this lens is bigger, and heavier so, I’ve not jumped on it. I just don’t want to carry the weight.

I am thinking about the new 20mm f/1.8 lens though! I may splurge on it. Time will tell. 🙂 Do any of you have this lens yet? What do you think?

There are some really talented photographer’s contributing to Leanne’s Monochrome Madness 2 each week. You can check it out here!

Nikon Df| AF-D Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 lens| Tripod| Hoodman STEEL Ultra High Speed Digital Film| Developed in Photoshop CS6 & Nik Silver Efex Pro

Crab Fest!

Copyright © 2015 Deborah M. Zajac  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I picked up a new Point & Shoot camera to take Kayaking since I’m too chicken to take my DSLR with me. I meant to go Kayaking yesterday, but it was windy there, and the water was a bit choppy, so I bailed. Instead I wandered around the slough using the camera getting used to it. I bought the Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ200 for it’s 25mm-600mm zoom  (35 mm equivalent),  its Fixed f/2.8 Leica lens, it shoots in RAW, and has  Manual controls.  Here are some of the first images I made with the camera. (Click on the image to see it larger)

Willet Adult: Winter

Willet with Crab -Winter

The Empty Slip

Moss Landing Marina

The Outpost

The Out Post

Clark’s Grebe

Clark's Grebe

The Lookout

The Lookout

It’s different, but with a little more time I’ll get the hang of it.

Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ200| Lexar Professional 600x Speed Digital Film| Hand-held

More to come…

An Otterly great morning on the Slough

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

I went kayaking for the first time Sunday morning in Elkhorn Slough which is in the Monterey Peninsula in a sleepy little coastal hamlet called Moss Landing here in California.
This is something I’ve wanted to do since I was out here on a Pontoon boat with a Photography group last year.  My friend Dali and I both signed up for the Basics Course at Kayak Connection which is located right on the Slough .The red kayak behind the blue  one was mine for morning. She’s sleek, quick, and her number is KC58. I had the good fortune of having a great instructor who got me through the basics in just 3 hours.

While we were practicing how to go straight, and proper paddle position  I got close to Dali  so I stopped , and thought to pull out my camera for a quick photo of him gliding through the water in his yellow kayak.

After learning how to paddle straight, turn, stop, and go backwards, and learning to quickly steer clear of obstacles with a maneuver called the “J move” it was time to venture further into the slough.  We rowed out toward the mouth of the harbor when two male otters came to play. They were so close to me. One swam under my kayak and started knocking his clam on the underside of my kayak to crack it open. It was so exciting! Just look how close this one was to me.

Our guide Courtland  told us this Otter’s red tail tag meant he’d been released from the Monterey Bay Aquarium for being too familiar with humans. Evidently he’s still quite fond of humans. He showed no fear of us at all. He was swimming right up to our kayaks and looking in, and all around them for food I think. This is what I wanted to experience while kayaking.

It was an exciting day! Dali and I are both stoked and looking forward to getting out on the water again!

Canon Powershot SD750, SanDisk Digital Film

A Visit to Moss Landing

Myself, and a photographer friend have gone over to Moss Landing a couple of times in the last few weeks in lieu of going further south to capture an annual solar phenomenon in Big Sur. The fog has rolled in diffusing or  blocking the sunlight needed to see it so, we switched to plan B which was to head to Moss Landing for some birding. Many species of ducks and water fowl are migrating from the north and I am near the Pacific Fly-way which is the migration route. Moss Landing is a stop for some of those birds.

Moss Landing, California located north-northeast  of Monterey, CA is little fishing village which started out as a wharf in 1895.  Today it’s still a small town with a population of 204. Its most notable landmark is the Moss Landing Power Plant. A natural gas plant whose tall smoke stacks are visible from Santa Cruz to the north, and Monterey, to the south on clear days*.

This once busy whaling port is still a busy place with over 600 berths, over 300 fishing boats, and hundreds of pleasure craft in the Marina*.  Kayaking, fishing, bird watching, and day trips to the State beach are some of the activities available in Moss Landing.

There are lots of antique vendors, and I can totally recommend the pontoon boat tour of Elkhorn Slough. Yohn Gideon the owner of the boat knew all sorts of interesting facts about the shore birds, otters, the Slough, and he’s funny!

I’ve been able to scratch off one bird from my “I want to photograph those!” list. The female Bufflehead. They are the smallest duck, and so cute! A couple of males flew in over the week, but they were being shy and stayed on the farthest side of the slough so I haven’t got a good photograph of the male yet.

Here’s a Willet in Winter plumage looking very serious.

There is quite a large population of Sea Otters in the Slough. They are cutest when they’re dry I think, but they are always entertaining to watch. This one was busy finding and eating food.

I’ve captioned this one, ” I could use a toothpick” Look at the size of that canine!

The Marbled Godwit is a winter visitor here, and the afternoon light was lovely on this one.

There is a coterie of Spotted Sandpipers. I just learned they lose their spots in the winter.

…and the usual characters one finds hanging around the Slough; The Brown Pelican. Here is one now flying  low, under the radar.

After all this birding you’re sure to get hungry then head to the Moss Landing Café. Mark, owner/chef is not only a great chef he is very friendly, and a wonderful host. I’ve loved everything I’ve eaten there. Dinner is served Friday and Sat. evenings only, but he serves breakfast and lunch the rest the week.

My dinner last night: Stuffed Chicken Breast w/tomato sauce- it was a cream sauce, served on a bed of rice, and the side was a steamed local artichoke with a dollop of Bearnaise sauce. Dessert,  that I didn’t take a picture of was Berry Mango Cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and dollop of whipped cream. I was good and didn’t eat the whole thing. I started this dinner with a cup of white clam chowder. It was so good and seasoned to perfection! I was stuffed when I left.

Fortunately the solar phenomenon I’ve been trying to photograph takes place over the course of several weeks so I have time to try it again, but if the fog rolls in the next time I go down there to shoot it, I wouldn’t mind making Moss Landing Plan B again.

*  facts gleaned from wikipedia

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

“There is nothing more musical than a sunset. – the book of Nature. ” Claude Debussy

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

Another photograph from my Elkhorn Slough Meet-Up on the 18th.

At the end of the day myself and two friends found this beach to shoot the sunset. The sun set right here. This was the best light and color of the sunset. I’m so glad we were here in time for this. After the sun set there was no color at all…the day faded into night. With it we headed north for home.

PP- Recovery, vibrance, clarity, resized
Nikon D300s, Nikkor 17-35mm f2.8 @ 17mm, f13, 1/8s, ISO 200, Manual Mode