Along Swanson Creek

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

After all the rain we have had I’ve been itching to get out to Uvas Canyon to photograph the creeks, and waterfalls, but Uvas Canyon County Park was closed for about 2 weeks due to flooding, and high water. It just reopened on the 27th so, this morning #1 Grandson and I went up there for a little hike.

The creeks are full of rushing water hurrying down the hills, and the waterfalls are full and lovely.

I stopped along the creek to make some images on the way up the trail.


I really wanted to get in the creek and get to some better angles, but with #1 Grandson with me that wasn’t a good idea. He was wanting to get in to go for BIG rocks to throw. 🙂

Swanson's Creek

He was trooper and made it all the way up to Upper Falls, and back on his own two feet. Although while throwing rocks in the creek he waded in after a big rock and got his feet and shoes wet.  He said he had lots of fun today.

He did sit and pose for me, and give me a silly smile.  I’m crazy about this boy!

Jaxon Swanson's Creek Uvas Canyon

Uvas Canyon County Park

I am hoping to get back up there with my Wellies and maybe not #1 Grandson so I can get in the creek and head up and down a few more trails where there other little cascading falls to photograph.

I have several more images to work on I’ll share soon.

Nikon Df| Nikkor 17-35mm| Delkin Digital Film| PS CC 2017 & On 1 Photo 10.5

More to come…






Horsetail Fall 2016

Copyright 2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I shared with those of you who read this blog regularly that I was heading up to Yosemite National Park on Friday to photograph something other than birds. That something was Horsetail Fall.  If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile you’ve probably read about my past experiences trying to photograph it. The last few years during a major drought has been even more of a challenge.

This waterfall is fed by rainfall, and snow melt. Twice a year IF the conditions are just right magic happens. There are two conditions that must be present to make that magic. They are water flowing down Horsetail Fall, and Direct Sunlight.  If one of these two elements is missing there’s no show.  This phenomenon lasts about a week for the best lighting of the fall, but you can see it for about 2 weeks.  It happens in February, and again in October. October is a real rarity though because by then there usually isn’t any water flowing.

On Friday it looked iffy by the time we arrived in the park. Clouds began rolling in during the afternoon but, Golden hour looked great, and kept my hope alive that there was still a chance that the Sun would light it up and color it red.  We were already beginning to see a bit of orange minutes before it would be turning brilliant red!

Horsetail Fall February 19 2016
Copyright © 2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Do you see all those clouds behind the mountain? BTW-That’s El Capitan at the top left of the Horsetail Fall for those of you unfamiliar with Yosemite’s mountains.  I took this image at 5:26PM and at 5:30PM just when the color should have been turning a brilliant red like lava flowing down the mountain…the lights went out. Just as if someone had blown out a candle. POOOOF! All the light was gone. The sun had sunk into a low cloud bank and hundreds of us moaned in unison.

Yes, there are hundreds if not thousands of people who come to see this phenomenon each year.  We drove home defeated once again by Mother Nature and the low Cloud Bank.

Last year I was skunked entirely. There was water, but no sun at all. The clouds rolled in and foiled all hope the one day I had to go up to try to get the shot.

2014 I gave it a miss completely. There wasn’t much water at all flowing the week the sun lined up and the day  I could have gone there was no sun.

My friends and I looked at the weather, and cloud report for Sunday the 21st and thought it was worth trying again.

I spoke with the family about it, and they said it was perfectly okay if I left before Big Baby Boy and A. They had come up for the week-end to hang-out with us and #1 Grandson, and were leaving on Sunday.  I gave lots of hugs and kisses to the family and left to meet my friends to try again for that shot at Horsetail Fall.

On the way up the clouds started rolling in. I hoped they stayed high and no thick cloud bank in the west blocked up the Sun again!

We got to the Secret Spot only to find nearly 50 people!! My secret spot since 2010 is no longer such a Secret Spot! Many people are looking to get away from the maddening crowd on Southside, and Northside Drive.  So, my two friends and I set up our rigs and hoped.

We got color but not brilliant color like we got in  2012, and 2013 ,but at least we didn’t get completely skunked like last year.

Horsetail Fall 2016

I’m so grateful for an understanding family! Without their love and support I wouldn’t

have been able to spend 16 hours on the road trying to get “the shot”.  I love you, and thank God for you everyday. ♥

It wasn’t the shot I was hoping for, but it was fun trying, and if you don’t try you don’t get the shot!

I’ll be trying again next year for the shot I have in my head…if the conditions are right.

Nikon Df| Nikkor 28-105mm @ 105mm| Delking Devices Digital Film| PS CC 2016

More to come…



3 Things that make me Smile in Spring

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

1) Waterfalls

A little Spring Waterfall on Swanson CreekWe had a little rain a week ago which we really need here in the Western U.S. These little waterfalls flow best after rain.

There wasn’t as much water as in past wetter years, but it was still peaceful and beautiful.

2) The Ice Plant in bloom on the coast

A Spring afternoon at Pigeon Point LightstationThis is Pigeon Point in Pescadero, CA.

3) Fledglings

Bewick's Wren FledglingThis Bewick’s Wren was making quite a fuss yesterday afternoon in my backyard. I opened the patio door and saw him and another little chick near the fence yelling for their Mother. She was in the Flowering Plum tree hissing at me.

The nest is in the Oleander Bush in my yard. I had no idea she had babies! They must have just Fledged yesterday. They flew off soon after I took this image. I hope they come out again today.


Images 1, and 2 taken with a Nikon D700, Image 3 taken with a Nikon D300s

Mossbrea Falls

Mossbrea Falls, originally uploaded by dmzajac2004-.

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

One from my archive. This fall is in Northern CA. It’s quite an adventure to get to it. There is no trail to the fall. One must walk along railroad tracks for about a mile. Trains still use the track so you might have to jump out-of-the-way and wait for the train to pass on your way to or from the fall.

Once there if it’s been a wet season you’re rewarded with a wall of water cascading down the mountain. I believe the length of the wall or mountain side that the fall cascades down is as long as a football field. I had to shoot it in bits and pieces To take it all in at once was a bit overwhelming at first. The only way I could “see” to photograph it was to break it down into manageable frames.
I’ve looked at my photos off and on since I took them never being motivated to process them beyond a few basic adjustments then I saved them as PSD’s, closed the file and moved on.
I took another look at the “works in progress” over the week-end because I’m planning to pass this way again next month and I’d like to revisit the fall on my way north.
While looking at them again I finished a few photos here’s the first.

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 17-35mm| B+W Neutral Density filter 0.9


Horsetail Fall 2013

Horsetail Fall 2013, originally uploaded by dmzajac2004-.

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

This is the 4th yr I’ve gone up to Yosemite trying to capture the natural light show that happens when conditions are just right. For a week or so in February and October during sunset the sun lines up with the fall, and if there is water running down the fall the sunlight will turn the water red like lava or fire.

This year we had more snow on El Capitan than last year, and the day was sunny, but it was cold up there, and it’s been rather dry with no rain for awhile so there wasn’t as much water as we hoped for.
We did get some lovely color and the wind kicked up a little so we were treated to the mist lighting up at the top of the fall.

Every year it has looked different, and I’m hoping one year the fall will be spewing tons of water, and the sun is shining brightly.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 80-200mm| Tripod

Granuja Falls

Granuja Falls, originally uploaded by dmzajac2004-.

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

My mind turned to photographing waterfalls when we had several days of rain in Silicon Valley. I knew the falls around the Bay Area would be running full. The day was supposed to be partly sunny/cloudy, and not too cool. Since it was a week-day there probably wouldn’t be too many others around. I hadn’t been shooting long or got very far up the trail when it started to sprinkle. I hadn’t packed my rain sleeve so it was time to head back. Before reaching the parking lot the cloud overhead opened up and just poured!

I’ll have to get back soon.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 2470G@ 50mm| f5.6| 25 seconds| ISO 200| Manual Priority| Tripod|B+W 1.8 ND filter

At a Yosemite Rest-Stop

Here are a few more photos from my Dave Wyman Workshop. These are more from day 2 our first full day of being together. May 11, 2010

We were 18 all together. I had a great time. The views were stunning. I hope you are able to feel and see some of that through my viewfinder.

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

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

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

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