Welcome!

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!

Texting while at a light.

Took this photo with my compact camera while stopped at a signal. I actually took a few photos and this pretty girl never looked over at me. Intense.

There is a wonderful photographer I follow online named Emon Hasson. He’s a photojournalist. People ask me all the time, “What do you like to photograph?” or “What type of photography do you specialize in?” I haven’t a clue. I just shoot friends or whatever it is that’s in front of me that catches my interest. I haven’t thought about whether there is a common thread in what interests me. I know morning and evening light on subjects gets me excited. I like reflections, shadows and pretty colored playful vertical or horizontal motion blur.

When I look at Emon’s photos I realize how stuck I am in what I see and what I photograph. All my photos seem to have the same look. There is little variety in position of subject, angle of shot, stopped or blurred subject motion, varying depth of field, etc. Emon shoots everything. Emon seems to know what to shoot. Emon doesn’t look like he worries about what he is shooting or what anyone will think of his shots. When I look at his photos I see a photographer experimenting, exploring, enjoying, seeing and creating. I like how I feel when I view his work. I really like learning from others. The internet is great for someone like me. I appreciate everyone who posts their photographs. Today, I especially thank Emon.

Here is a promise of more photojournalist shots to come. I am busying learning what a photojournalist is.

Unknown texter.

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MHCC hike today.

I am the Saturday hike leader and was thrilled to see how many hikers came out to hike today. Where we hiked, Mission Creek Preserve, is about 45 minutes from where I live. You can see that when  hiking there you might feel you are  in the wilderness miles from home. From where we started hiking, it was only 1.9 miles to access the PCT north of the Whitewater Cyn area.

I’ve uploaded and captioned lots of photos from the hike. They are viewable here.

This is a 2 shot handheld pano of where we hiked. Snowy San Bernadino mountains are the back drop.

Mission Creek Preserve

11 hikers in all.

Yesterday in LA.

Looking back at the JTBP meeting room around 5:45pm last night.


Andrea in Barnes and Nobel parking lot.

A neighborhood photo walk.

This week’s Photomotivation assignment is Faces in Unlikely Places. I was having trouble seeing any faces. Mary Kay came over yesterday. I’d previously asked her to look out for Faces. Before MK left yesterday, she said that she’d seen eyes and a nose on the Museum a mile and a half away on Gerald Ford.

I decided to kill two birds with one stone and went for a different neighborhood exercise walk, outside our MHCC complex, on Gerald Ford. There it was, eyes and a nose as clear as day. I can’t believe I pass this Museum every day, many times a day, and never notice the eyes and nose in the photo I took below. Mary Kay, you get the credit, but I still posted the photo assignment in my class online group.

Children's Art Museum, Rancho Mirage, CA

On the way home from the walk, just inside our Mission Hills CC gate, I stopped to photograph some ducks. I looked up before leaving this spot and noticed this great reflection in the Arnold Palmer 4th hole lake. The time was about 3pm. I want to remember to go back there around this time again as I haven’t seen better reflection possibilities in some of the other golf course lakes. The angle I was shooting was 90 degrees south to the west sun.

Arnold Palmer 4th hole lake and green.

An overcast, but happy day for Ray.

Ray's golf area got a good cleaning earlier in the day.

Ray’s new golf cart was delivered last night.

Ray's best buddy, Jim, hitting the shot.

Jim and Ray posing for this requested shot.

This is one happy man.

The weather is coming, again.

I’m having trouble getting it together today. I’m all over the place, still in my sweaty hiking clothes from this morning’s Bump & Grind hike. My attention has gone from trying to figure out some older light stand and reflector holders (I have a call into Photoflex) to shooting the back of my hand as a subject metering device for some manual practice with the 580EX II, to thinking about making lunch for Ray and me before his NEW golf cart arrives this afternoon.

This shot got me up out of the computer chair:

The clouds are building and some more weather is on the way.

We do live in a beautiful place.

Saved by the setting sun.

Each week for 3 months, we who have signed up for Carol’ Leigh’s online Photomotivation Class, receive a new subject to shoot for the week. This week our shooting assignment is Faces in Unlikely Places. I had no luck seeing anything late this afternoon on a walk in the neighborhood.

I went into the bathroom to get ready for the evening meeting. Leaving the bathroom, I was blinded by this sky that had probably reached peak color a minute before. I only broke one nail racing to get out the glass slider with my tripod.

Almost missed seeing this tonight at 5:20pm.

What a difference a day makes.

Yesterday morning.

Yesterday afternoon.

6:50am this morning.

Taking the bit between my teeth.

Too much of my life I didn’t do something I wanted to do because I didn’t know how to do it on the first attempt. I’ve spent most of my life believing learning like others was beyond my ability. So what did I do? I’d read (NOT studied) about the things I wanted to learn. I’d take classes. But I’d avoid actually doing any practice on my own. The truth is, I’ve had a long standing belief that I couldn’t learn something without someone else nearby helping me.

What I’m referring to now is photography lighting. I really want to learn it. I bought Zach Arias’ One Light DVD tutorial last July. I watched it briefly right after I received the DVD. I knew so little about my camera and everything else; I couldn’t follow along and got frustrated. I took the DVD out and told myself I’d watch it later. I didn’t watch the DVD later, even though I carried the DVD in my computer bag, always intending to watch it when away, out of town. But I never did watch it. I didn’t watch it again, until, last week, the day before I drove to Syl’s Off Camera Flash Lighting Seminar.

Then again today, after I was relaxed from the 1.5 hour long massage, I watched Zach’s One Light DVD again. I’m getting it. More and more is beginning to make sense, a little. I see I really need to learn, like the back of my hand, how to use and understand aperture, shutter speed, ISO, flash power settings and flash to subject distances. I need to know these things so I don’t have to think so hard about how to get an exposure that works. This is the bad news and the good news. Faith without works is dead.

I noticed during Syl’s lighting seminar last week how helpful having watched Zach’s DVD the day before was in terms of my being able to follow along, because I was more familiar with the names of all the equipment involved in lighting. I get lost when I’m being taught if I don’t understand something. I can’t hear or learn anything after I freak because I don’t understand the terminology or concept. There is no catching up.

Interestingly, today, when watching Zach’s DVD again, I noticed how much more I comprehended the concepts Zach was teaching since having learned more about the lighting process during Syl’s lighting seminar.
Somehow I have had this belief that I should get something without having to do the work.

An interesting aside (to me)……..Since I got Adobe Photoshop CS4 last year I have not been able to use the burn/dodge tool on a photo. I for the life of me couldn’t get it to work like all the tutorials I was watching. I got frustrated and turned off CS4. I’d revisit trying to figure out why my copy of CS4 wasn’t working like it was supposed to based on all the tutorials I kept watching, hoping one of the tutorials would talk about the one thing I was overlooking that prevented my dodge/burn tools from working like they are supposed to work. I was defeated and just stopping using CS4. Until yesterday. Yesterday the mystery was solved when I realized that my Wacom Tablet mouse (when I right clicked) would not work when I used the mouse. I tried the pen and guess what, I now can start using Adobe Photoshop CS4 again.

All this above was written to prove just how delighted I was with myself, when today, I ventured into the scary world of actually setting my Canon 40D up with the Canon 580EX II flash on the new Really Right Stuff’s WPF-1,Wedding Pro Flash Bracket. I set both camera and flash on MANUAL too. My god all the camera functions are totally different in manual mode. I did it. I took the first step. I was willing to not know and I didn’t even get a migraine. This is the beginning…..the beginning of really trying to learn photography. I’m very proud of myself and not too embarrassed to let you know how very little I know.

Here I am playing with my gear. The five different photos are me changing the aperture. (Trying to figure out how to open up and set up the Wedding Bracket was hilarious. I had to go to Really Right Stuff’s website and watch the tutorial, again!)

ISO 250, 1/60 at f/13, subject distance 2.0mm, 1/1 flash power

ISO 250, 1/60 at f/8, subject distance 2.90mm, 1/1 flash power

ISO 250, 1/60 at f/6.3, subject distance 2.0mm, 1/1 flash power

Hamming it up. ISO 250, 1/60 at f/6.3, subject distance 2.0mm, 1/1 flash power

ISO 250, 1/60 at f/5.6, subject distance 2.0mm, 1/1 flash power

Just in, Stacy’s latest video.

OMG, Stacy made this video for her grandchild Riley. Stacy and Jim (Stacy’s husband) couldn’t attend Riley’s upcoming cowboy themed birthday party held out of state. So Stacy, in very little time, created this short birthday video with Jim for Riley. Jim was really a sport.

Last summer Stacy took a short video course in Colorado (that LR’s son Ryan taught), but other than what she produced during this course, Stacy really has limited experience shooting a video. You have to watch this video when you have about 9 minutes. It is hilarious and very creative. Great job Stacy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jm_MTs02Cqk

Don’t forget to watch the outtakes. They are even funnier.

As I’m writing this blog entry, Ray’s cracking up watching the video for the 2nd time.