Oh, the clothes I would have…if only I could sew

Copyright © Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

This is my first sewing machine. The Universal De Luxe Family Sewing Machine. My parents bought it for me second-hand the summer before I started 7th grade. Sewing was required the first semester that year. I had to make an entire garment for the final. I made a little cotton dress with long sleeves, and  a zipper up the back. I barely passed the class.
I’ve always wished I could sew. Alas, sewing takes an engineering mind. One must be able to think inside out, upside down, right side out, and a step or two ahead all at once. My seam ripper has seen more action and been more successful than my sewing machine.
Irony…I have 3 sewing machines.

I’m afraid I don’t know the history of this machine; age or where it was built. I  did have the case, but it didn’t hold up through the years. I had to throw it away a few years ago. I’ll have to try to find one for it.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 85mm f1.8AF-D @ f8| 1/10sec| ISO 200| Manual Mode| Tripod| Clamp light w/daylight bulb camera right| Texture by Muffet

Fill Me with Serenity

Fill Me with Serenity, originally uploaded by dmzajac2004-.

Via Flickr:
Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

While hanging out at home during the rainy week-end my mind turned toward “Still Life” photography. Something I don’t do often.
So I’m playing with some ideas, themes, and natural lighting. My favorite “go to” lens for this is my 85mm f1.8 AF-D.

Nikon D700| 85mm f1.8@ f5.6| 1/10 sec| ISO 160| Manual Mode| Tripod| Texture by Boccacino

He’s making a list checking it twice…

Via Flickr:
Copyright © 2011 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

“This Christmas song was written by John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie, and was first sung on Eddie Cantor‘s radio show in November 1934. It became an instant hit with orders for 100,000 copies of sheet music the next day and more than 400,000 copies sold by Christmas.” ~ Wikipedia

Santa Claus is Coming to Town
“You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town
He’s making a list
And checking it twice;
Gonna find out Who’s naughty and nice
Santa Claus is coming to town
He sees you when you’re sleeping
He knows when you’re awake
He knows if you’ve been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake!
O! You better watch out!
You better not cry
Better not pout
I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town!”

Nikon D700| Nikkor 50mm| f2.8| 1/80 sec| ISO 320| Manual Mode| Hand-held-

An ornament on my Christmas tree.

A new segment of Just be there…

…with  Diana Lee Angstadt.

I have been a long time admirer of Diana’s Still-life’s.  She has an innate sense composition which I envy.  She cleverly stages everyday objects into wonderful compositions that are both beautiful and timeless fine art photographs.

She shares with us how she created this beautiful piece she calls “Desk Corner”.

Photograph by Diana Lee Angstadt

Q. Tell us about this set up?

Diana: Setting up the still life is the biggest hurdle; trying to make sure it looks as natural as possible. Objects should look as though they have a relationship to one another in a natural way. For this composition I began with the flowers. Then I slowly added in other items. I do not really think about it before hand. It comes to me as I am creating it. I will remove, and switch items until I feel it is cohesive and in good balance. I always like to have the light as soft as possible to create a gentle softness and mood.

Q. How did you expose for this shot?

Diana:  I don’t have too much available light from a nearby window, so I used two lamps with natural light bulbs… one to be the main source and the other as “fill” light. They have bendable arms so I can position them easily in any direction.
My exposure was Shutter Speed 1/40 with an F stop of 8. I used a tripod with a cable release.

Q. What camera and lens did you use for this shot?

Diana: The shot was taken with a Nikon D300 with a 50mm 1.8 lens. After I upload the image, I also add “texture” by placing it over the entire image and then vary the opacity in certain areas to allow the photo to come through the texture.


To see more of Diana’s work visit her website here.



Sea Life

Copyright © 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Mother of Pearl
Sea Shells
Natural Light

A variation of the still life I did last year using a few added elements in the composition.
I used an 85mm f/1.8AF-D lens with a Kenko 20mm extension tube. No flash. I like this composition much better than the one I put together last year. I like the warmth and additional elements of the netting, sand, grass, and greenery.
Netting- saved from a turkey breast, and the greenery is from a package of California Rolls purchased “to go” from my favorite Japanese resto.

Exif: D300s/ 85mm f1.8AF-D with 20mm Kenko Ext. Tube/ f5  /  1/5sec / ISO 200/ Manual / No Flash/ Tripod used

PP- Vibrance, clarity, a bit of midtone contrast and resized