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!

Happy Halloween scary? shots.

On our hike………

Even though there had recently been discussion about our hikes taking longer than usual due to an increase in my photo taking, at a point on this morning’s hike, Jen and I both thought we’d like to take 5 minutes for a couple of staged photos with the morning red sky looking so pretty. We wanted the shoot to be brief, ie: quick, so as not to make our hike end up taking too long so Jen can get to work on time.

I say, “Ok but let’s quickly think of something different to do in the shot setup. I’m tired of the shots we’ve been taking lately.”

We talked about today being Halloween and came up with the idea of doing a scary shot where one person is strangling the other. Sounded ok I guess. (All the while my head is thinking about what others would think seeing, yes, another shot of Jen and Ann, on our hike, using the same setup, with the same silly poses (that I love, but I’m sure others are rolling their eyes in the back of their heads saying, “There they go again.”).

With no time to do much, I try to direct their positions, their characters, etc.
“Open your mouth, give me your profiles, and let’s see some action.”
“Look like you mean it.”
“Stop thinking about how you are going to look and get in touch with the character you are portraying.”
“No, you’re smiling. “(I’m a mean director.)

All the while trying to gain focus in the dark.
Trying to keep only half of the on-camera flash from firing. (holding my finger horizontally over the lower part of the flash, hoping to stop the flash from lighting the ground, only lighting the girls from their ankles upward.)

Anyway, I shot about 7 frames and say, “That’s good.”

Later in our hike after Jen and Ann had been sharing some behind the scenes thinking, driven by pride, that needed to be discussed to clear away some misunderstanding during our hike, I shared some of my secretive prideful thinking after I viewed the photos we’d taken.

Here it goes:
Some of the people that follow my blog are REAL photographers.
They’re going to see these photos and see all the light spilling on the ground where it shouldn’t be spilling.
They’re going to realize I was shooting with on-camera flash. On NO!
They’re going to comment on why I didn’t angle the camera down more and include more in the lower third of the photo.
Why does she keep shooting the same shot over and over again.
And I could go on and on with what my head says.

Truth be told I’ve been reading a book that David duChemin recommended titled, The Passionate Photographer. Ten Steps Toward Becoming Great by Steve Simon.
On p. 28, in trying to determine your artist statement, Simon writes, “If you haven’t come up with your own artist statement yet, take some time and find a quiet place for a brainstorming session with yourself. Jot down the common adjectives that describe why you like to shoot with your camera and why. These words will give you the skeleton of an artist statement, which will evolve over time.”

I am evolving over time and having fun with my camera. Learning how to have fun and not worry what others think has been a 21 year long journey.

Why do I keep shooting the girls? Because it’s fun. It makes me happy that they are happy posing, and later happy seeing themselves in the photo. Making others happy, makes me happy, is fun.

Why do I have such a love of photography? Because it’s fun for me.

Too much laughter for a serious shot:-)

Much better acting!


Back door sunrise shoot.

I’m going to start listing how I shoot and treat photos with the hope that this repetitive noting will help me learn more.
This morning after Jen texted me the sunrise was exceptional (I think I got outside after the color she was seeing) I threw on some clothes and walked over to the 16th/17th hole lake. I shot using a tripod. I shoot photos in Raw rather than jpg and I shoot in manual mode using selected spot auto focus, when possible.

The 3 photos were shot using:
Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Canon Zoom Lens EF 16-35mm 1:2.8 L II USM

Not today, but I hope to start mentioning what caught my eye that caused me to click the shutter, something about my choice in composing, and the settings I choose. Again, I’d like to do this with the hope that I will learn more and be clear about my intent when taking a photo.

This morning at 6:46 am. Camera settings: 1 sec, f/19, ISO 125, focal length - 35mm. Treated photo with a Lightroom Preset, OnOnePerfectPresets Vol 1: Wow-c_HSL-only-orange and other LR exposure settings.

This morning at 6:50 am. Camera settings: 1 sec, f/19, ISO 125, focal length - 35mm. Treated photo with a Lightroom Preset, OnOnePerfectPresets Vol 1: Wow-c_HSL-only-red and other LR exposure settings.

This morning at 7:08 am. Camera settings: 1 sec, f/19, ISO 125, focal length - 35mm. Treated photo with a Lightroom Preset, OnOnePerfectPresets Vol 1: Wow-d_BnW_02and other LR exposure settings. I wasn't thrilled with the original colored capture. However when applying various LR presets, this preset created an emotional impact on me.


Less exercise, more shooting.

Starting our hike in the dark we all had our cell phone flashlight apps shining out in front of us. The idea came to me that since it's close to Halloween a ghoulish looking photo would be fun.

The girls were trying to look scary. Not. Stacy joined us this morning.

Ann and Jen.

Stacy. Stacy and I hung back from continuing the hike to shoot some color.

Climbing looking for more photo ops.

For anyone who knows me, shadow shots are my signature shot. Linda and Stacy.

Backlit shrubs.


Last Monday’s sky. How could I have forgotten to post these.

Last Monday's view looking back down on Rancho Mirage 15 minutes into our regular 5:45am hike.

The color in the sky took my breath away. This is really how the sky looked.

I never know until I wake whether there will be clouds in the sky. We’ve had cloudless skies for far too long. This morning’s continuing changing color and lighting made me quit hiking with my buddies. I climbed off trail, parked myself on a high point and spent the next 40 minutes in absolute heaven shooting the light as it changed with each passing minute. (Posted some of the landscapes Monday.)

Jen capturing the sky with her iPhone (only days before she bought her new iPhone.)

Darkened the lower right part of the photo where my on camera flash blasted the landscape.


More early morning hike photos…..

Jen expressed she was looking for some photos for her blog.

Jen and Melissa. They both have new iPhones and were taking some morning light poses. I then had to shoot too.

Further on in the hike. Jen, Ann and Melissa.

The jump actualized and the action of the jump stopped with the on camera flash unit engaged.


Timelapse In Joshua Tree.


This morning.


Lane posing and meditating.

Early morning meditation shot of Lane in Joshua Tree.


Nightscapes in Joshua Tree.

Lane using his iPhone LCD for lighting.

Stacy. We reluctantly stopped shooting at 12:30am. We were having too much fun.


My son Lane.

Stacy, Ann and I had a blast with my son and his two friends in Joshua Tree yesterday and today. More photos to follow.

Lane, early this morning.