Wild Weds. 38/52 Lady Boot Arch and the Milky Way

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I mentioned in last week’s post here  that my friends and I had ventured a bit further south while in the Eastern Sierras over Labor Day week-end. We went very nearly to the farthest southern end to the Alabama Hills Recreational Area.  If you’ve ever watched any old Western Cowboy movies you’ve seen this area. It’s rugged, rocky, and beautiful.

Also it’s remarkable in that the road to this area is also the road that is known as Mt. Whitney Portal.  One takes this road up to the staging area to begin your trek up Mt. Whitney which is the tallest mountain in the lower 48 of the United States.

There’s a very famous natural arch among photographer’s in the Alabama Hills Recreational Area that features a very nice view of Mt. Whitney. I was blessed and fortunate to photograph the arch called Mobius Arch back in 2012 just before sunrise. Mt. Whitney is framed by the arch in my image seen here.  Back then no one read my blog.  I am thankful for those of you who have found me since then!

For this trip I suggested a less famous, less photographed arch called Lady Boot Arch, or Boot Arch, or…it has a few other names if you do a search on the internet for it.  My friends were open to the idea so we scouted it in the afternoon before the shoot, and were happy with it so we went back to town for dinner then met near the arch before sunset for an evening of photography fun.  We had plenty of time to get our compositions in focus, and set up the lights to light up the arch and foreground rocks.  Laura brought her warm tea lights to light up the arch interior, and I had my trusty flash light with a gel to paint the rocks in the foreground. I’m not that skilled at light painting so, I passed my torch to Laura who does have the touch, and skill in that area.

Here’s the image I made that I like best. It’s a two frame composite image.  I processed the sky/milky way image from the raw file to look very close to how it looked that night, and blended it with an image of the foreground light painted to highlight the rock formations and lighted arch.  I was hoping to get one image that had both sky and foreground close enough to what I saw to be able to edit and develop that, but sadly I didn’t have one with the foreground just right. Which is why you light paint more than you think you need, and plan on blending frames if needed.  I’m chuffed ( read delighted! for those that don’t get British English slang) with the result. It was super fun to shoot, and I would do it again in a nano second!  I hope you like the tale, and image nearly as much as I had fun making it.

Lady Boot Arch

Some technical stuff… Mars is shining brightest in the sky on the left of the Boot and Milky Way, and in the dark lane of the Milky Way very near the left edge  directly across from Mars is Saturn shining bright, out of frame was Jupiter too, but I cropped it out in favor of a stronger composition.  Thank you Peter! He was the best teacher I ever had on cropping for the composition.  When I got all my frames uploaded I saw that this one had several meteors or shooting stars in the frame. One heading into the Milky Way from the left, and one beside Mars, and two lower and to the right of Mars. They’re faint but there!

Did I tell you how chuffed I was?

The sky is filled with billions of stars out here. It’s breath taking, and I can’t explain in words how amazing, awesome, as well as beautiful it is, and just, How. Small. I. Felt while viewing it, and how just as I know it while standing on top of mountain that God is real and there. He was here too.  This is my chapel, my cathedral, my Holy Place. This. THIS Feeds My SOUL.

It’s mid September now, so this is the last image I’ll be making of the Milky Way until next April or May. The Galactic Center…that wonderfully rich milky bit very close to the tip of Lady Boot Arch’s top is headed to the southern hemisphere now. It’s their turn to see the richest part of the arm of our galaxy.  I will miss it, and yearn for its return as I do every year.

I am behind with emails, and blogs again, and I’m afraid I’m going to be behind for a bit longer. I will catch up!

I hope you’re all having a lovely week.

Nikon D810| Nikkor 16mm f/2.8 fisheye lens| Hoodman Steel Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://circadianreflections.com/2012/01/12/sunrise-in-alabama-hills/

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Wild Weds. 37/52 The Night was Still and Full of Stars

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Over Labor Day week-end myself and several friends were back in the Eastern Sierras. I love it over there. This time we ventured further south.

We spent our evenings photographing the stars.  This image I made on our last night there.

Windmill Eastern Sierras

I caught a shooting star above Mars, and Saturn is the bright star in the center of the Milky Way’s Dark lane about even with the top horizontal rung on the windmill.  I didn’t know I had managed to catch the shooting star in my frame until I got home and uploaded my images.

The light pollution on the horizon is coming from the town of Bishop I believe.

I hope you’re all having a great week! Yeah, halfway to the week-end!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 16mm f/2.8| Lexar Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…

Wild Wednesday 36/52 After Dark II

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I thought I’d show you the front view of the old cabin since I only shared the side view and lightning last week.

I made this after the sun had gone down, but there was still some light in the East.

You can sorta see the fireplace I told you about here, and you can see where the other ladies place lights in some cracks, the doorway and window sills.  It came out really well I think…the light painting.

 

The Old Ranch Cabin Front View

I hope you had a lovely week-end. We in the USA had a long week-end celebrating Labor Day.  I spent the week-end with friends photographing the night sky, and the Wild Mustangs again.

I am once again behind with blogs, and emails, but I’ll catch up!

I hope you all have a lovely week.

Nikon D810| Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G| Lexar Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…

Thursday Doors – Mare Island Shipyard Doors

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I was poking around in folders of file images and opened one from this last March when some friends and I spent the day wandering around Mare Island which was the first Navy Base on the Pacific Ocean.  It’s been closed for a long time, but there’s some activity there, and lots of doors.

Here’s two images from that venture.

I love the arches framing the door and windows, and the color of the trim with the red brick.  The door is pretty meh, but oh the accessories! 😉

Arched Door and Windows

This one is for Dan.  It’s an At-At Crane!  This huge beast is outside of a Dry-Dock.  It even has doors.

At-At like Crane at the Dry Dock

This post is part of Norm 2.0 Thursday Doors. To see doors from around the world or add your own door click on over to Norm’s Blog and find the blue frog on his page, click that and you’ll be taken to links to some very cool doors.

Nikon Df| Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G| Hoodman Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…

 

Wild Wednesday 34/52 Rowing

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I met Gordon and some other friends early Saturday morning for a day of photography. We photographed the US Masters Rowing Championship meet at Lake Merritt in Oakland CA.

We got there as the sun was rising, and a little later we got golden-pink hue on the Alameda County Court House and lake.  This was the prettiest scenery I saw on Saturday.

Alameda County Court House

Then we waited for the races to begin. There were singles, 2 person teams, 4 person teams, 8 person teams, and mixed teams. Going in I knew absolutely nothing about rowing, but I did learn the difference between Sculls, and Sweeps on Saturday. It’s all about the oars.

In Sculling each team member has a pair of oars. Their boats tend to be smaller with 1, 2, or 4 rowers, and sculling boats do not have a coxswain.

Sweeps- each team member has one oar, and their boats can have 2, 4, or 8 rowers. Larger boats with 4 or 8 rowers will often times have a coxswain steering the boat.

The Coxswain is the member of the team that sits in stern of the boat, and steers the boat. The rowers have their backs facing the direction they’re going so having someone steer and call out what is needed from the rowers is necessary. They also coordinate the power, and rhythm of the rowers.  They are loud, we could hear them from clear across the lake.

2 man team- They’re sculling.  I tried panning. It wasn’t easy because they’re going slower than you think they are when trying to pan.

2 Man Team-Sculling

4 man team- Sweeps with a Coxswain

Sweeps 4 man team with Coxswain

The funniest thing I saw that day was a seagull trying to chase a drone out of its airspace.

The Drone was filming the races, and streaming a live feed back to a BIG monitor for spectators and teams to watch in the rowers staging area.  The gull never got any closer than this to the Drone during this territorial spat, but it squawked at the Drone the whole time it chased it.

Territorial Spat

A team headed to the staging area-

Rowing Team

Rowing shoes

Looking Up

Making some adjustments

Making some Adjustments

Rowing Oars

The starting line in the background

Wildflowers around Lake Merritt

It was a 3 day event. I have no idea who won in the end, but it was fun to hang out and photograph some of it, and learn a little something about rowing.  It looks like a fun sport.

I hope your week is going well, and you have a lovely week-end!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 300mm f/4 & Nikkor 24-120mm f/4| Hoodman Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…

 

 

 

 

 

Wild Wednesday 32/52 Flowers Plus One More

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I’ve been neglecting my flower images for oh, so, long!  Here are three from cultivated gardens, and my back yard.

Columbine- Blake Garden

Columbine

On approach-UC Davis Arboretum

Bee on Approach

Daisy of some sort- My backyard

Gerbera

I’ve been feeling a day off so far this week. I hope that gets straightened out today.

If you follow me on Instagram you know I’m painting rocks and leaving them on trails, and in some places I’ve passed by for a Summer Project.  I don’t leave them in State or National Parks because I think that’s a rule. Anyway, here are a couple of iPhone images showing some of the rocks I’ve painted to be left somewhere in the near future.  I’ve left quite a few in the wild already. I hope those found new homes.

Cat and the Moon

Palm Tree Reptile Mandala

I hope you’re having a good week, and I wish for you a wonderful week-end!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 105mm macro lens, Nikkor 24-120mm| iPhone 7 Plus| Photoshop CC 2018

more to come…

Wild Wednesday 31/52 The Moon, and Mars

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The 27th was the Full Buck Moon, or Blood Moon because there was a Total Lunar Eclipse that night, unfortunately, not seen here in North America.  I just went out to my backyard to photograph it.  It wasn’t red by the time it rose over the mountains and I was able to see it from my yard, but it had a lovely warm glow.

Full Buck Moon

The 28th, Saturday, several friends and I met in Santa Cruz, CA to photograph the Moon and Mars from a favorite “go to” spot; Walton’s Lighthouse.

I was watching the fog/cloud weather report all day, and it looked good until 5pm just when we were meeting. We met at Marianne’s Ice Cream parlor. Another “go to”, “must stop” , “it’s tradition” places while in Santa Cruz. They have 105 different ice creams to choose from. It’s not easy picking just one! I had a Jr. cup of Banana, Almond ice cream. It was good, but I wish it had more banana in it. No pictures I’m afraid. I always forget to do that!   Despite the low fog we continued on and photographed sunset-it was one of those soft pink evenings. This is looking/facing ESE more or less.

Belt of Venus Surrounds the Walton Lighthouse

We didn’t think there would be much hope of seeing the Moon rising just above the lighthouse because of the thick band of fog behind the lighthouse so we moved to higher ground and hoped for some breaks in the fog/low cloud band.

In the image below: Mars (right of and higher than lighthouse) rose higher than fog band first, and I think that other tiny bright object to the right of it near the edge of the image is part of the constellation Sagittarius. Or Spica? I’m not sure.

I love that Bonfires, well, not huge ones are still allowed at this beach. A lifeguard came out to make a group put out a large one in the black spot in the lower right of my image. I’m sure they were not happy about that.

Mars Shines Red over Santa Cruz CA

We  walked north and set up on higher ground; a cliff overlooking the beach and while we were shooting Mars a teenage boy asked me what we were photographing, and as I was explaining about Mars, and hoping the Moon would rise above the fog I looked back toward the lighthouse and saw the Moon, it was above the lighthouse as we planned it to be, and it was RED! Then I excitedly pointed that out to him, and my companions.  The boy said, ” Coool!” So, did I! 😊 This is my favorite of the images I made of the scene.

Waxing Gibbous Moon and Mars over Walton Lighthouse

I have no idea who the person with the spot/flash light in line with the lighthouse below on the beach is, but their alignment is nearly perfect right?  That’s Mars to the right, higher than the Moon. Not so red in this image though…the Moon was stealing that color.

Anyway, we all were thrilled after thinking we’d not see the Moon above the lighthouse at all.

When we all had our fill of the Moon, Mars, the Lighthouse, and beach we went to a diner for a quick, late dinner then headed home. Traffic hit a snag near Los Gatos and we crawled for miles. There was no wreck or construction Thank God! Just going home from the beach, Summertime, Silicon Valley traffic all reaching the bottom of the Santa Cruz mountains at the same time.  I got home just about Midnight tired, but very happy with the photography and spending time with good friends.  Though some were missed! You know who you are. 😉

He-Man had the light on for me, and was waiting up for me sorta, kinda snoozing on the sofa in the family room.   I know he’s a Keeper!  He went to bed, and I got my images uploading then got myself ready for bed, and lastly I checked to make sure all my images uploaded sans problemes then Diva Dog and I joined He-Man for good night’s rest.

I coulda slept til noon I’m sure Sunday morning, but Diva Dog, and Box the Guinea Pig were not having it.  There’s a down side to being an early riser normally when you have pets. They’re never. sleeping. in! Evah! LOL! Since we were up He-Man and I had really nice bike ride around the neighborhood together. That has only happened a few times in our 39 years together! He’s the cyclist. I’m the sluggish hiker, and his cheerleader.  We may do this again. It was pretty nice.

We’re halfway to the week-end! I hope you all are having a good week.  I have nothing. NOTHING planned to photograph this week-end.   I’m going to think of something. What do you have fun/good planned? Anything?

Nikon D810| Nikkor 24-120mm f4, and Nikkor 200-500mm| Hoodman Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…