Sunset Santa Cruz, CA

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved

We had some amazing clouds yesterday which I wanted to shoot over at the coast. Fortunately, my friend Dali was thinking the same thing. We met up then headed over the hill. Which in local speak means going to coast. The hill by the way is actually the Santa Cruz Mountain Range that those of us in San Jose cross to get to Santa Cruz.

The amazing clouds got all mixed up with the fog and blocked any color that might have been, but it made the sky dramatic and moody. Walking back to the car we were stopped by this scene. The Sun was a gorgeous ball of orange that dropped into a small pocket just above the cliff which framed it beautifully.

It was a lovely end of the day.

Sunset Santa Cruz CA

Nikon Df| AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm| Hoodman STEEL Ultra High Speed Digital Film| Tripod

More to come…

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.

Ebb and Flow

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

It’s time to head to the coast! My friend Dali and I headed up Hwy 1 to look for a nice spot to photograph the Golden Hour and Sunset. You can’t go wrong driving Hwy 1. There are hundreds of beautiful beaches to see.
Here’s last night’s Golden Hour. The tide was rising. I loved watching the ebbing tide drape/cascade over these rocks. The Golden Hour really brought out the red in the rocks as well.
It was pretty, and very relaxing listening to the pounding surf.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 18mm f3.5 AI-S| f16| 3.0sec| ISO 200| Manual Priority| Matrix Metering| Tripod| B+W 6 Stop ND|

An Ice Plant Sunset

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

I decided to spend the night in Santa Cruz the night before shooting the Moonset at Pigeon Point Lightstation. I would be able to sleep in an extra 40 minutes. Which meant I could sleep until 3:45AM and only drive 30 minutes to my shooting location, and I would get to spend some time with my friend Rainey.  We met at the University of Santa Cruz Arboretum to photograph the Allen’s Hummingbirds that return each February to the succulent garden at the Arboretum. They are so cute, and very active. This guy hardly stayed still 2 seconds together.  He looked kind of cross about me taking his photo a few times. You don’t suppose he’s sticking his tongue out at me do you?

We stayed at the Arboretum until closing time then we went to Vasili’s Greek Restaurant on Mission Blvd. for dinner. We shared an order of SPANIKOPITA: Spinach and Feta Cheese Baked in a Filo Dough Triangle which was served with fresh sliced lemon to squeeze over the warm filo triangles, and an order of KEFTETHAKIA: Greek Meatballs. These were served sitting in a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil, and garlic vinaigrette.  These were to die for! We both wished we had ordered these for our entrée.

We both ordered the HORIATIKI SALATA for our entrée.  A salad of  Capers, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Bell Peppers, Red Onions, Feta Cheese, Pepperoncini & Greek Olives, tossed with a light vinaigrette and topped with a slice of fresh French bread for dipping into the vinaigrette. They offer 2 sizes small and large. The small was  more than plenty.

Neither one of us had room for dessert. I will definitely be returning to Vasili’s.

From here we went over the Natural Bridge State Beach to shoot the sunset. (See 1st photo) After the sun went down, and the color faded we began to pack up and call it a night, when a woman who parked in the spot next to me asked,” Are you taking photos of that thing in the sky? What is it?” I looked up and saw what looked like a rocket streaking across the sky heading southwest with a long contrail then at that moment something broke off the contrail and it fell toward the sea.

and the end of the contrail with the little piece falling off …

Then it just disappeared. Poof. It burned up. A meteorite? Space junk? We have no idea. There was nothing in the paper. Perhaps it was  just a flare? It made for an interesting end to our afternoon and evening.

Rainey and I went for a coffee, then said good-night  as we both had early wake-up calls. Her’s for work, mine for a Moonset.

Santa Cruz, California, Natural Bridges State Beach, Nikon D700| Nikkor 17-35mm & 80-200mm| Induro Tripod| Dinner photo taken with my iphone