Happy New Year!!

Copyright ©2021 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The snow plows, and crews were very, very busy this last week reopening all the major roads into and out of NV/CA. He-Man and I are so thankful for them!!! With their hard work and a break in the weather we took advantage on Christmas Eve day and went to Baby Girl’s for Christmas. Then we got stuck there for several days. We can’t complain!! 🥰 It was lovely hanging out with the them and boys a bit longer.

Yesterday our preferred route over Carson Pass opened up so we headed home.

I wanted to compose a new still-life for this year’s last post, but I haven’t had a chance this past week to do anything so I’ll end the year with an old image.

It’s been a year hasn’t it. Let’s hope 2022 is even better. I wish you all a very


Nikon D700| Nikkor 35mm f/1.8D| PS CC 23.0.0

more to come…

With a Thankful Heart I wish you…

Copyright ©2020 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Strathemore Watercolor Card stock 140lb paper| Turner Artist Watercolor| Nikon Df for image

more to come…

Tufted Puffin-Adult Summer

Copyright © 2013 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Tufted Puffin-Adult SummerThis is the first time I’ve ever seen a Puffin in the wild! I went on a Birding trip out to the Farallon Islands 27 miles outside of San Francisco in the Pacific Ocean. We weren’t allowed on the island-only Biologists are allowed on the island, but we cruised all around them and then we went out to deeper water from there. Along the way we saw 3 Tufted Puffin.

There are only 50 pairs of Tufted Puffin nesting on the Islands at this time, but there thousands of gulls, Common Murre’s, lots of Cormorants, seals, sea lions, and one lone Gannet. In deeper water we saw Hump Back whales, and a Blue Whale too.

I saw so many new birds on the trip, and the one bird I hoped to see was the Tufted Puffin. I went home a happy sailor just seeing one. I hoped I got one good shot.
The weather was overcast, and to get the shutter speed I needed I really pushed the ISO. Shooting from the boat was challenging. I would focus on a bird then the boat would go up or down and my focus point was off. I didn’t start to get the rhythm of the sea til near the end of the day, and then there wasn’t much to see as we were pushing hard to get back.
We were out at sea for nearly 9 hours.  I went with Alvaro’s Adventures out of Half Moon Bay. I would definitely go again.

Alvaro is a Biologist, and he had two expert birders along for the tour. One was on the starboard side calling out birds and mammals, and the other on the Port side doing the same. I don’t think we missed anything flying or swimming on our route.

I’ve not been able to spend much time online lately. #1 Grandson is very busy and takes all my attention these days. I’m looking at your  photos when I can and I’ll catch up soon!

Nikon D700| Nikkor 70-300mm VR@ 280mm| f9| 1/1000s| ISO 1250| Manual priority| Matrix Metering| Hand-held

Add a little Sparkle to your day…

Copyright © 2013 Deborah M. Zajac  All Rights Reserved

I had the whole day free so I played with my continuous lights and SB600 Speedlight. I bought a couple of pieces of jewelry recently  which started  me thinking about Jewelry Photography and lighting.  I am still trying to get more accomplished with external lights and photography and I hope this exercise will help me grow in that area.

After studying lighting techniques, and jewelry styling for a couple of days I got my props together and by  late this morning I was ready to start taking some photos.

Add a little Sparkle to your day

Sapphire and Diamond Pendant


Rose Gold Ear rings I still don’t have the lights quite right for the sparkle I want.  I’m looking into getting a Dazzle Bulb for the future.  I also need another high wattage bulb. I’d also like to add some plexiglass sheets to my kit as well;  I see a trip to the hardware store in my near future.

This is my tabletop set up. I set up on the kitchen table with a white sheet, white foam core board, and my lights. I had to hunt for something to tie dental floss on to be able to hang the jewelry and this is what I came up with. My daughters old high-school locker shelf. It came in handy after all these years of non-use.
I took the photo of the set up with a Nikon D300s and 24mm f2.8 AF-D and on-camera flash.

Camera and light set up for Jewelry ShootNikon D700| Nikkor 85mm f1.8 AF-D, and Nikkor 28-105mm AF-D| Continuous lights 1 full Daylight camera right, 1 soft light bulb camera left, SB 600 camera front

I did all the photo development/processing in Photoshop CS6.  All my processing starts in Adobe Camera RAW then I moved to Photoshop for levels adjustments, output sharpening, cloning out the thread that held the ear-rings and necklace, cleaning up dust spots, and adding my watermark then resizing for the web.

P.S. Several times today I wished I had a macro lens!

Canadian Geese and Goslings

Copyright © 2013 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

I went to a local park this morning looking for a small flock of Cedar Waxwings that I spied yesterday, and on the way I spotted two Canadian Geese Goslings.

They were adorable pecking along the grass looking for worms and grubs.

Here’s the only photo I was took with the parents fully in the frame:

Canadian Geese and Gosling…and here are the two little ones together:

Canadian Geese GoslingsSince these were born in the USA shouldn’t they be called United States Geese, or California Geese? 🙂

” Never yet was a springtime, when the buds forgot to bloom.” ~Margaret Elizabeth Sangster

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

Another Iris from Nola’s Iris Garden in San Jose’s eastern foothills.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 28-105 | Texture by Kim Klassen| James Beltz Glamor Glow technique


The Nature Trail at Villa Montalvo

Copyright © 2013 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved

I needed to get out and stretch my legs, but wanted to stay close to home so I went over to Villa Montalvo to hike up to Lookout Point.

Villa Montalvo located in Saratoga, CA  is now called Montalvo Arts Center. The 175 acre property was originally owned by James Duval Phelan (1861-1930), a 3 term Mayor of San Francisco, and later he became a Senator.  The house an Historic Landmark was built in 1912.

“At his death, Senator Phelan was explicit in his bequest of Villa Montalvo. “I would like the property at Saratoga, California, known as Villa Montalvo, to be maintained as a public park open under reasonable restrictions, the buildings and grounds immediately surrounding the same to be used as far as possible for the development of art, literature, music, and architecture by promising students.”~ Montalvo Arts Center

Today it offers art courses, performing arts events, gallery exhibitions, educational opportunities, artist residencies and hiking in beautiful woodland trails, or exploring the gardens.

Villa Montalvo from the great lawnThe trail-head from Parking Lot 3-This Pavilion is called  The Belvedere  is an original structure from the Senator’s days.

The Trailhead

At the beginning of the Nature you hike through Oak and Laurel woodlands

Nature TrailAlong this part of the Nature Trail there are signs of Spring. Indian Warrior, and White clusters are in bloom.

Tower Lousewort ? White ClusterSoon you begin a steeper ascent and enter the Redwood Forest

Seeing the trees_7295

…and before you know it you’re at the top at Lookout Point looking over Santa Clara Valley. There was Vog on this morning.  It’s only a 1.1 mile hike up to the Lookout Point from the Pavilion. It’s nice to have a beautiful trail close to home to stretch my legs.

Danbo Lookout Point Villa Montalvo

Danbo wants to head home and points the way.