Linda JeffersIn a world of so many great photographers and writers, I am venturing into some unknown territories, leaving comfort zones, finally very willing to practice the art of seeing. By maintaining the practice of posting daily photos, I hope to continue learning about the possibilities that I trust are out there for the taking.

Come join me on my journey!

Canon 70-200mm 2.8 lens practice photos plus Canon Powershot A650 shots while playing golf.

I recently splurged and bought an expensive Canon lens….the Canon 70-200mm 2.8 L series lens. It’s soooooo heavy. Two days ago I took this lens outside my backdoor and shot some of the shots below, hand holding this almost 4 pound lens (fitted with a Really Right Stuff L84 tripod bracket for collared lens attached.)

All of the photos came out “soft” – not in crisp focus. Bummer. I intended to post the photos anyway, but couldn’t. I was embarrassed. Here I spent all this money and couldn’t even shoot a decent in-focus hand held shot in good light.

After a little thought, I decided, I am going to post these photos for the reasons listed:

  • First reason – so hopefully, some day I’ll look back and say, “Wow, have you improved Linda.”
  • Second reason- to help keep me accountable to practicing. I don’t like looking bad in front of people, so I’ll be posting practice photos to keep me on track with this out-there-for-all-to-see stated commitment.
  • Third reason – I need to get over expecting to get better without putting in the time and effort. I posted a great blog entry in Facebook today by a woman blogger I so identify with. Her blog was titled: “Work First, Tools later.” My pattern is to buy the gear and believe by having the gear, I’ll get better. Silly, I know.
  • Fourth reason – To be an example to my ladies that I only ask of them, what I ask of myself.

Yesterday, after a frustrating round of golf, with many good shots, but lots of triples and a quadruple or two, I mentioned to Ray that maybe I should start posting my golf scores in this blog. “Why, he asked?” And before I answered, he said, “Yeah, you should.” He knows I try much harder and do better when I am accountable to people. Sooooo, I shot a 99 yesterday. Ouch!. More golf scores to follow in this blog as I play.

Ok, here is a photo I shot with the Canon 70 – 200 2.8, around 6pm. I had a lens hood on and was shooting almost in the direction of the lowered sun. What caught my eye, was the silhouette of the sunbathing bird in the reflected light on the water.

This egret flew as Ray hit his shot while playing on the Pete Dye course. Photo is shot with my small Canon Powershot A650, zoomed in some. As the bird flew off, I quickly tried to capture it by panning, following the bird with my camera. Obviously the shutter speed was too fast and didn’t blur the background, just my cute little bird.

Shot outside our back door with the large Canon 70 – 200 lens. I tried moving closer but I could tell the bird’s comfort level was decreasing with my approaching presence.

Canon 70 – 200 lens

Shot with my small Canon Powershot A650. Looked a lot better when I was actually seeing the reflection as we left the green.


Slowing down to enjoy my gifted life.

I started this blog entry last Thursday, but forgot to finish it. (A friend emailed me asking if I was OK, as I hadn’t written a blog in the last 5 days.) My confession……………I joined FACEBOOK and have been so addicted to it; I neglected my blog (which doesn’t make me, or probably you, happy.)


Since having recently canceled my month long July backpack, I know I made the right decision. Backpacking isn’t doing it for me. Not to mention that backpacking is getter harder and harder for me every year. I have also resented not having enough free time for photography (and now golf that I am playing again.). Now I have the time. I am excited again.

Fortunately I have been gifted with this freedom that I am enough….meaning, I am not defined by the oohs and aws anymore that I’d get when I mentioned that I long distance backpacked. I don’t have to prove my worth to anyone anymore. All I want to do is do what “I” want to do…And, finally I’m learning what I like, what brings me joy, what is fun. Cupcake once wrote in his CDT backpacking trail journal, “Where is the fun in the day?” I really want to slow down to find and enjoy the fun in my days. Only I stop me. I’ve always been graced with a life I could live anyway I wanted. I think I’m finally ready to retire, just like my husband did 3.5 years ago. Yeah, I too deserve to retire from my own self imposed, quilt driven, work ethic (to prove to you all that even if I don’t have a job, I work). Ray used to comment on my life by saying, “Linda, it doesn’t have to be hard to be fun.” I have raced through my life trying to be enough.

Even my photos record visually how I race through life. Below is an email I saved from my photo teacher, written after we’d worked together over a year or more. The email reflects her initial perception of me, before she knew me, after initially having viewed my Gottago’s Adventure website photos before we started our relationship as teacher/student. So here is the email my teacher wrote after she’d had me in a number of her classes.

“You know what’s interesting, Linda, is that when you signed up for

your very first online class and you gave me your website address, I

could tell IMMEDIATELY from your pictures that you needed to slow

down, to take a deep breath and think before clicking the shutter.

Knowing that when I did, so early in the game, I feel I’ve been remiss

in not pointing it out to you often enough throughout the online

classes and in the two in-the-field workshops you’ve taken. Better

late than never, I guess, but yeah, I can remember the “this woman

needs to slow down” flash going through my brain from the very beginning.

This doesn’t just apply to you, however. We ALL need to slow down and

think before we shoot. Why are we taking this shot? What do we like

about the scene? What’s the light doing? Are there weird things in the

background? Are there ugly hot spots that will ruin the picture?

Where’s the movement in this scene? Am I including too much? Not

enough? Would this be better as a vertical? What’s my ISO? Is my

exposure compensation dial accidentally still set to 3 stops

underexposed from the last shot? And much, much, more . . . Sometimes

I’m amazed we ever get around to clicking the shutter!”

I need help in slowing down. It’s NOT easy for me. I just signed up for another online photography class with Carol Leigh. Hopefully this class with keep me accountable with taking time and seeing.


American Junior Golf Players at Mission Hills CC.

Ray volunteers each year at this AJG tournament. His job is the timer at the 16th hole of the Dinah Shore course.

Following the golf, we attended the dinner at the Club where the volunteers, MHCC members, AJG officials, the young golfers and their parents all gather. After dinner the junior golfers all go outside for their traditional water balloon fight. I missed it. Damn. But I did go outside and take some of these photos of the kids.

This photo was taken while everyone was in the buffett dinner line. These young players were very busy behind us on their cell phones playing some game that had them all giggling. Of course I was curious and after a bit asked if I could take their photo.

L>R Michelle Yang – shot a 74 , Demi Frances Runas – shot a 77, Rochelle Chan – shot a 77,
and Alison Lee shot a 74.

Michael Weaver, on the far left, was low scorer with a 65!
They are all looking left because another water fight had just occured.
I overheard these young girls excited about some text message that had just come through on one of their phones. The girl in the pink shirt is holding up the phone from the other girl.
And more phone related goings on. Almost every girl had a phone in their hands. I asked if they take photos of each other while they are playing and email them to their blogs. They said, “Yes.”

We had fun.


Working on my golf swing.


Happy Father’s Day!

This musician ( http://www.youtube.com/user/carlosian2 ) composed this video for his daughter because she loves Taylor Swift.


Golf and photo taking after dinner last night.

How I love these late night holes of golf on the Arnold Palmer course. We play without another golfer in view. I like the freedom to hit another ball so I can focus on practicing the swing changes I’m working on with Ray’s help. Mike, who teaches Ray and I, is out of town. I am finally getting a sense of where I’m going wrong with the basically flawed swing concepts that are well ingrained in my muscle memory do to many previous years of swinging incorrectly.

Concepts/beliefs are funny things. A teacher tells me to drive with my legs……I do but then spin out because my legs and hips are open and ahead of my upper body and arms….I hit from the top throwing my arms out away from myself because I feel blocked. Another teacher tells me to stay behind the ball…….I try this but now I rarely get to my left side anymore, and again feel blocked. I’m not saying it is the teacher’s fault, I’m saying my mind hears what it wants and believes I’m doing what I’m told. Geesh. I try hard, but if I can’t see that I’m not doing what someone wants then I’m reinforcing lots of bad moves at the ball unknowingly.

Ray has been great at trying to get me to see I’m not getting the club up in the correct plane on the back swing and, that in the down swing, I am still hitting from the top, not letting the club fall on its own, close in right by my right hip. I have so much trouble giving up control that my hands death grip the club. Somewhere in this flawed thinking, I believe hand and arm strength will make the club swing properly. No wonder I have knots on top of both shoulders and a stiff neck. Trusting is hard. The day I give up fighting physics is the day I know I’ll shoot in the 80’s again.

Good news is I am finally able to feel where I’m going wrong. Bad news is making the right moves after years of doing the wrong things in the swing takes time and PATIENCE.

I brought my Canon D40 fitted with the 50mm 1.4 lens. Once the sky started changing color I had trouble deciding which I wanted to do more…..hit the ball or click the shutter. I see it’s difficult with the wider open apertures and shallow depth of field to get a close up silhouette, like Ray, in focus. If I use a smaller aperture, I can’t hand hold the camera for an in focus shot. Hmmmmm. I need to experiment and learn more about this lens.

A quick shadow shot of myself in the golf cart. I wish I’d taken more time and included the golf clubs on the back of the cart and had more separation in my leg on the dash and the steering wheel.

The evening sprinklers came on or we’d kept playing until pitch dark.
I’m thrilled to be so excited about something again.


Discipline, Structure, and Commitment = Consistency.

I have avoided structure, discipline and commitment most of my life. I feared it. Hated it. And did what I wanted, when I wanted and how I wanted.

In the last twenty years I have made friends with structure, discipline and commitment beginning December 22, 1995 when I became accountable to a woman who is my sponsor. Evidence of consistency by being accountable to another person is all around me. I just don’t always pay attention to it.

Today I noticed I’ve posted 366 entries in this blog. I looked back and found my first post – September 26, 2007. Not bad. Yes, I intended to post every day, but I’m thrilled that I posted rather consistently over the last 1 year, 8 months and 18 days.

This awareness of how consistent I’ve been with my blog started me thinking about where else I’ve been consistent.

Here is a beginning list off the top of my head: (As I become aware of other areas of consistency, I’ll add them here.)

  1. I have not had any alcohol since August 28, 1987.
  2. I have been married to Ray since May 31st, 1990.
  3. I met my friend and financial adviser LR and we’ve have had a life changing relationship since September 5, 1997. So not only did I gain a great friend, I have been financially responsible.
  4. I have daily committed what I eat to a friend and have not had any sugar or white flour since December 4, 2008…..that’s 199 DAYS!!!!!!!!!

Any help on where you might see my consistency in action is welcome.

Some photos taken the last few days……

I’m putting on the 12th hold of the Palmer Course here at Mission Hills CC around 6pm. My favorite time to play….no one is on the course and the light is incredible.

View of Mt. San Jacinto while playing golf on the Pete Dye course another day last week.

Ray was speaking at a meeting last Saturday night and we’d arrived early. While driving around the neighborhood we noticed these coyotes crossing the street.


Photos over the course (no pun intended!) of the past week.

A few remaining photos from Woman to Woman last weekend…

Gina on our 6am hike up the fire road 6/7.

Quincy and me just before leaving Woman to Woman.

Can’t go to Pebble Beach and not take a photo in front of the pro shop. My clubs are on the left and Ray’s on the right. I’m becoming addicted to golf again. It’s only been 23 years since the last time I was a golf addict.

Ray with his driver.

Our caddy, Roy, took this photo of me and Ray just after teeing off on the 18th hole.

Our, way too expensive, room at the Pebble Beach Lodge overlooked the 18th green. At night, looking out our window, we were surprised to see the pretty little cyprus tree and 18th green lit by in-the-ground lighting to produce a special look.

Playing with my new lens. Ray is a much more willing subject when I point the camera at him lately.

Ray using my 50 mm 1.4 lens.

We stopped to see the elephant seals further south on Hwy 1.

These huge seals are fun to watch. I especially like seeing them during the birthing season, December to March.


Home from the W2W weekend.

I’m just back from a wonderful weekend at Woman To Woman in Brentwood. There were about 25 or more of our family lineage of friends who attended this workshop weekend. We laughed. We were silly. We shared. We ate. I hiked with Tina Saturday morning and Gina Sunday morning. I must say I think this was my favorite year of all the 17 or so years I’ve been attending the all women weekend workshop. Why was it the best year? Probably because I was in the now, I was ok with me, I was ok with everyone else, I didn’t feel the need to do anything but what I wanted to do. In essence, I was not in care taking mode. I was there for myself. I even took a nap…..wait….no, the nap took me. I passed out once my head hit the pillow around 2pm…..until Sandi came in my room to enter her room through our shared bathroom because she had locked her room door.

I enjoyed all the women I know and love who attended this year. I watched them all, young and older (20’s to 70’s!), have a good time with each other. Age wasn’t a factor in who spent time with whom. I was a happy mom. A proud mom. Not to brag, but I have the best family of friends and on down the family lineage ever. Sorry if this reference to family and family lineage doesn’t make sense to some of you reading my blog. I am trying to not reveal too much about how we all know each other. Anonymity you know.

So I bought a new Canon Lens. I took the photos below with this lens. I am not familiar with how to use the lens and not real clear what it does. I’m just shooting away trying to become familiar with it. I wish Carol Leigh lived closer. I do much better when someone is explaining things to me or I watch what they are doing.

Anyway, whether the photos are good or not, aren’t these ladies the most BEAUTIFUL ladies ever! Antonia wins the contest of easiest to photograph. She loves the camera and is completely comfortable having her photo taken. In the future, when I hopefully someday study studio lighting, I’d love to practice shooting her. I like photographing people.

Angie, Quincy, Sarah
Paula, Katya, Alima, Tina, Linda
Katya, Paula
Jaime, Katya, Antonia, Gina, Paula
Jaime, Antonia, Gina
Antonia, Gina
Annette, Milly
p.s. I’m off again tomorrow morning with Ray. We’re going to Pebble Beach. Next Thursday we return home after having attended our Thursday night meeting – JTBP.


View west from W2W.

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