Twilight Clear Lake

Copyright © 2016 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

An evening on the lake from my Grebe trip earlier this month.

Clear Lake

Nikon Df| Nikkor 20mm f/1.8g| Delkin Digital Film| PS CC 2015

More to come…

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Draw-a-Bird-a-Day:June 2016

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED!

I wasn’t motivated to paint for the longest time. I was planning my trip to NYC, then  while in NYC all I wanted to do was take photographs. At the end of each day there I fell into bed exhausted from walking and touring, then when I got home my son: Big Baby Boy and his lovely finance the Dark Haired Beauty came home for a long week-end , so instead of wanting to paint, or develop images I wanted to hang out with them.

…and just like that May was gone! Who wants to paint when all that is going on?

Okay, I know real painters would! Just like I was making photographs the whole time. I get it! 🙂

Late this afternoon the image of a Killdeer I took back in April of this year called me to paint it.  I don’t have clue how that happened because, my focus today has been on the letter A, and the Number 7.  For the next 25 days we’re coloring and wearing Alphabet wristlettes…a letter a day…and I’ve added a number a day to that.

I’ve been teaching #1 Grandson who is already 3 1/2 years old his letter sounds, along with letter recognition, number counting and recognition, living science, earth science, literature, manners, and appropriate behavior in our house and in public since he was born, but it’s been getting more intense the the last year. I’m so ready for this kid to read and do kindergarten math!

Phew, is it any wonder I’m exhausted when Baby Girl gets home from work?  He knows his alphabet from A to Z,  and some numbers and letters by sight, but not all the sounds, letters, or numbers by sight. It’s time to step it up! Add this to a very busy boy who wants to play and be busy with his toys, inside and out all day!

Seriously, at the end of the day uncork a bottle of wine! I’m ready to unwind! 🙂

Armed with a glass of slightly chilled Zin I began to draw my second attempt at the Killdeer. The first attempt had too many issues.

Those issues were mostly proportion, shape, and size related, and color mixing. Sigh! If I could draw all my problems with art would be nil! Seriously. NIL!  I WISH I COULD DRAW!

This is my second attempt: Still with issues related to proportion, shape and size, but much better than the first attempt.

Killdeer in Watercolor

The image is taken from a photograph  I made in April 2016. This painting isn’t nearly as cute as my photograph is.  Sigh. Perhaps a few more tries drawing it will achieve that.

I hope so!

The inspiration image here.

Oh, I forgot to add that I used my new Sennelier watercolor paints for this painting. He-Man gave me the 12 + 6 tin for my birthday last month. It’s the first time I’ve used them to paint anything besides a color chart.  I love the way the colors look on paper. There’s a wonderful vibrancy to them. I need to add a couple of greens to the kit though.

I used my Escoda Reserva #6 rd, and Mimik Kolinsky #12 brushes, and painted this in my Strathemore Mixed Media Journal.

This is part of Draw-a-Bird Day over at Laura’s Createartevery.com . To see all the bird art posted today click here.  Scroll down to the comments to see the links to all the posts shared this month. 

To read the original story of how Draw-a-Bird Day got started click here

The post is also part of Charlie O’Shields doodlewash #NatureDoolewash

Lumix FX200| Lexar Professional Digital Film| Handheld| PS CC 2015

More to come

 

 

 

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…

 

Sunset Martin’s Beach

Copyright © 2016 Deborah M. Zajac
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I had the pleasure of joining a favorite Meet-Up group at Martin’s Beach near Half Moon Bay Saturday evening. The waves were amazing. They crashed against the rocks with fantastic booms, and they made cracking sounds as they came rushing toward the shore. I’d never heard that before. It was like ice cracking. Have you heard that sound in the ocean before?
The waves were higher than I expected;  I got soaked up to mid calf. My high top hiking boots, socks, long underwear and pants were soaked.
I took off my boots and socks and spent the rest of the shoot barefoot. I should have taken my Wellies! I was quick to get my camera/tripod rig up above my knees more than once during our time here. 🙂

The atmosphere was incredible while we were there. When we arrived the sun was hidden behind thick clouds, but trying so hard to burn a hole through them, then the fog rolled in, bringing more wind, and a light rain of sand and spray. It was take a shot, clean the lens, cover the camera, and lens, take a shot, clean the lens over and over again.  Then about 20 minutes later the fog mostly cleared out leaving a thin layer of damp and mist in the air.

This was taken right before the sun set completely. I was hoping for more color, but I won’t complain. It was beautiful, and really nice to hang out with friends I hadn’t seen in awhile.

 

Sunset Martin's Beach Half Moon Bay

I got my tripod in the shower and cleaned off straight-away, but I’m off now to clean my filter, lens, and probably my sensor since I have more spots of dust I’m cloning out than I like.

I hope you’re all having a lovely Sunday!

Nikon Df| Nikkor 24-70mm| Tripod|B+W 6 Stop Neutral Density Filter| Delkin Digital Film| PS CC 2015, LR CC, On1 Photo 10

More to come…

P52 39/52 Banded Garden Spider

Copyright ©2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Banded Garden Spider I can’t say positively this is a Banded Garden Spider since I didn’t see its top side. It’s web was huge! I found this spider on the side of the house when I went over there to turn the wagon around for #1 Grandson. The Spider was in the middle of its orb shaped web which spanned from one side of the fence to the house wall on the the other side; over 4 ft!  The spider itself was about 2 inches long. Its head pointed down.

P52 39 of 52 Spider

#1 Grandson was fascinated with this spider so he kept going back to see it all afternoon.  Later we tried to identify it, and learn about them.  By the size and position of this spider I’d say it’s a female. I didn’t notice a male anywhere.

Nikon Df| AF-D Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 macro lens| Hoodman STEEL Ultra High Speed Digital Film| CS6

More to come…

Golden Crown Sparrow

Copyright ©2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I made this image last week-end early in the morning. It was quite overcast and gray most the day, and this little Sparrow was inside the canopy making the shot a bit tricky. Since my extender is broken and I still haven’t sent it in I was using my old D300s for the crop factor and I don’t like to take my ISO up any higher than 500 on that camera, so the bird was a bit dark.

I opened up the shadows and exposure a bit on the bird using the adjustment brush in Adobe’s Camera Raw after going through my normal white balance, camera, and lens calibration, and noise reduction settings in ACR. Then I opened the image in CS6 for resizing, added my watermark, and web sharpening.

Golden Crown Sparrow

Using Actions in CS6 to add the final touches this image took me less than 5 minutes to develop.

I like that!  🙂

Nikon Df| AF-S Nikkor 300mm| Hoodman STEEL Ultra High Speed Digital Film| CS6| Tripod

More to come…

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…