Just when I thought we had a fizzle of a sunrise on the Bump & Grind hike a couple of days ago, Jen and I were given 60 seconds where we experienced the payoff of a special light show.
I had no idea September and October is Tarantula mating season. It was one year ago at this time Jen and I ran across another tarantula.
I told Ray about how we’d come across a Tarantula on our Whitewater River hike and he mentioned he’d just heard on the TV this was mating season for them. I Googled Tarantulas and their mating habits and found the following link. http://blogs.kqed.org/science/2013/10/11/californas-tarantulas-are-on-the-move-during-mating-season/ I feel sorry for the males. What a solitary life male Tarantulas lead before they finally leave their burrows where they’d lived for 5 – 8 years to look for a mate and then die six months later. Females live for 25 years!!!
I was close to this guy…..maybe 2 few away. He didn’t seem phased by me. I had no idea at the time he was on a serious instinctual mission.
Jen and I went out for a 3:15pm hike tonight, hoping for some majestic skies. I threw my Speedlight into the camera bag, just in case. It came in handy. We didn’t get lots of color but we got lots of contrast. We both were so excited we didn’t even notice how cold it was.
Once down from our hike we decided to see how much color we could see in the almost black sky. Setting the camera up on a rock with the two second timer engaged we got what we hoped for……color.
It’s getting to be that time of the year again. A time of light show surprises.
Tonight I was at a meeting for the Mission Hills Country Club Hiking Club Group that Bonnie, the other leader, set up. This is a hiking group I started up for Mission Hills CC members in 2007. I lead Saturday hikes until last season. The purpose of the meeting was to get other hikers willing to be leaders. I don’t know what will happen to the hiking club but it’s time for me to make more time for myself and for my husband.
It’s been difficult for me to let go of this commitment. Tonight sitting in the bar/lounge area with the other 19 members I started to doubt my decision to stop leading the Saturday hikes………until I looked out the floor to ceiling west facing room’s wall of window and was rocketed back to reality by the color over the San Jacinto mountains.
I’d brought my camera (presumably to shoot some of the hiking club members….which didn’t happen), picked up my camera, pushed my chair back from the large round table filled with the hiking members and raced outside. I made it to peak color in time and didn’t even worry what the others who were wrapping up the meeting thought. I knew the incredible color in the sky was a message. I quickly forgot about the self doubt I had about leaving the hiking club.
As I was shooting a group of female golfers who’d been in the bar walked outside. I heard them say, “There’s a professional photographer, let’s ask her to take our photo.” I saw they had their iPhone in hand. I said, “Sure, I’ll take your photo. Wait here, I’ll be right back.” Ever-ready photog that I am, I ran in and grabbed the Speedlight Flash I just happened to threw into the bag with the hiking books and maps!
I took 2 shots of the ladies and promised to email them their photos. Then they asked me to take a photo with their iPhone of course.
On my Canon 5d Mark III, I had the Flash on Evaluative Mode (on camera) of course, but hope the ladies will like the photos I just emailed them.
This morning, like other mornings before I leave to go hike at 5:20am, I look up at the dark sky to see if there are clouds. If there are clouds (which there haven’t been over the last number of months) I bring the Canon 5d Mark III on the hike (rather than the Fujifilm or iPhone camera).
This morning I brought the 5d Mark III. There were lots of clouds.
I was hopeful for some good morning color. The moon was still up. I was excited. But it was one of those mornings I call a fizzle. The light just didn’t manifest the way I wanted it to. Until…….minutes before the end of the hour long hike hike, the sun rose above the horizon and illuminated the San Jacinto range for 30 seconds or so.
The light came and went but my excitement remains. It doesn’t take much to make me happy!
I had a feeling tonight’s clouds might produce a colorful sunset so I parked myself by the lake shore and waited.
When I looked at the sunset shots I’d taken once back home I wasn’t thrilled. So I took this photo into Topaz and jazzed it up a bit with Topaz Adjust 5.
I like the red and black moody look.
This is what the photo looked like before I took it into Topaz and treated it.
Jen and I wanted to move forward today on completing Unit 4 of the New York Institute of Photography course we are taking. I was really looking forward to getting back on track with studying, shooting and completing the course. So when JJ was here last week talking about an upcoming photo shoot he had and needed tips on portraiture photography I invited him to join me and Jen today.
Boy did we have fun using the small green guest bedroom for our home studio. It was cramped but we made it work. It was great learning from each other. And did we laugh a lot? Yes we did!