Super Moon Rising November 2016

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I mentioned in yesterday’s blog post here that photographing November’s Super Moon was N° 1 on my photography list of things to do this past week-end.

Quite awhile back I made plans to shoot it with with friends, and a photography group we’re in in central California at a Sandhill Crane Refuge called Woodbridge Ecological Reserve aka Isenberg Crane Reserve.    The Sandhill Cranes Winter here, and in November both Greater and Lesser Sandhill Cranes are on the Reserve.

The goal was to photograph the Sandhill Crane’s evening Fly-in and rising Super Moon.

Here is a series of images I made.

It was hazy and a little cloudy, but here is the Moon just rising above the mountains. You can barely see the mountains.

Rising Super Moon

…some Sandhill Cranes making their way into the Marsh.

Sandhill Cranes and the Super Moon November 2016


Two Sandhill Cranes flying in high in front of the Moon.

Sandhill Cranes and the Super Moon

Once the sun went down it was pretty tough shooting. I really pushed the ISO to keep my shutter speed up so the Sandhill Cranes wouldn’t be too blurry, but I failed for the most part. I also focused on the Moon and not the Cranes which didn’t help keep the Cranes sharp.  Still. I would do it all over again. It was an amazing evening hearing and seeing the Cranes coming in with this year’s special Super Moon, and the company was the best.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm| Lexar Digital Film| PS CC 2017 & On1 Photo 10.5

More to come…

Sunset on Mt Diablo Range

Copyright © 2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I went for a short hike Sunday evening with friends, and found it super cold and windy up in the mountains above the valley floor.  There were so many beautiful wildflowers up there, but it was so windy I only made a few images of flowers. Macro photography and wind just don’t play nice with each other.

Nothing to do then, but find a composition and wait for Golden Hour, and hope that the clouds that rolled in don’t block up the sun and we get some color.

My fingers got so cold I couldn’t feel the heat from my hand warmers, and I was having trouble feeling my shutter button. After Golden Hour myself and a friend called it and started back down the hill to the car.  About halfway down the colors in the sky popped. I had to stop to photograph it.

Landscape Photography

I hiked down pretty fast after the sun sunk behind the mountains, and once in my car I cranked the heater as high as it would go, and waited for another friend who drove up with me. She and several others braved the cold and wind further up the trail.

I’m glad I didn’t hike back to the car earlier. I would have missed this!

Nikon Df| Nikkor 17-35mm| Delking Digital Film| Tripod| PS CC 2015 & On1 Photo 10| Single exposure

More to come…



“Did you finally get the chance to dance along the light of day ,and head back to the Milky Way?”Train – Drops Of Jupiter

Copyright © Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

"Did you finally get the chance to dance along the light of dayAnother image from my week-end with friends camping in the Stanislaus National Forest in North Eastern California. We had great weather, and two nights of gorgeous dark skies.

Here in the Northern Hemisphere the constellation Sagittarius rises in the southern sky bringing with it a very dense part of the Milky Way: a large plume of white milky gas, and dust, and running through it a dark lane called the Great Rift with all its tributaries standing out marvelously in the night sky.

We scouted for locations during the afternoon and found this location off trail. We hiked through a hillside full of mesquite, and low bushes keeping an eye and ear out for Rattlesnakes then we climbed on top of a huge granite slab to get a higher perspective.
It was wonderful to be under such a dark sky and see so many stars, the Milky Way, and a few shooting stars, and it was really great having Marsha for company. It had been a long time since we’d been out shooting the stars together.
We’re making plans to return to this area for more night imaging.
You can see Marsha’s work here.

Nikon D700| AF-S 17-35mm @17mm| f2.8| 20 seconds| ISO 3200| Manual Priority| Tripod

P52 26/52 Milky Way Rising and Falling Star

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

P52 26 of 52 Milky Way  Rising and Falling Star Stanislaus NatioSome friends and I went camping in North Eastern CA over the week-end to take advantage of the Moonless nights, and get away from light pollution which is ideal for night sky imaging. I got lucky and saw quite a few falling stars throughout the week-end.
The sky was so dark that ISO 3200 wasn’t enough to bring out more of the Milky Way’s light. I made adjustments the following evening. In this image the Milky Way is just rising above the mountains and was still too light out to get the rich detail of the gas, dust, and dark vein of the Great Rift, but I want to share the falling star that was streaking along the MW that I captured. Though faint I thought it was neat.

Nikon D700| AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm @17mm | 20 seconds| ISO 3200| Manual Priority| Tripod

Travelerette enjoying the view of the Stanislaus River. This was right behind our campsite.

Travelerette on the  Stanislaus RiverOur campsite was in a Walk-in campground.  There were 10 campsites, with one Vault toilet, no potable water, and tent camping only. Fortunately, we were able to get a spot with shade and on the river. No reservations; this campground is “first come-first serve.

Campsite No 4My tent is on the left under a big pine tree. It’s a Big Agnes 2. I have plenty of room for me and my stuff.  The tent set up is color coded so, it’s a breeze to set up.

I took my old Red Rider wagon which made hauling our gear to and from the campsite a piece of cake. The hike in was about an 1/8 of mile…maybe a wee bit less. The days were hot, but not unbearable, sitting in the shade I got chilly, the nights, and mornings were chilly, but by 8AM both mornings I was shedding layers. We met some lovely people all were also from the Bay Area.

more to come…