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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!

Until Next Year Wood’s Lodge.

One of the cubs from last night’s midnight visit. The mom had just come up the tree for a visit. The two cubs then come for their visit. I didn’t know where mom was and Ray was sleeping, so I didn’t open the door to shoot. Hence the flash glare on the windows.

Late afternoon light, with the sunlight coming in behind squirrel at about a 10 degree angle. I have to shoot backlit subjects for a Unit Three NYIP lesson but don’t think this qualifies.

Tomorrow we are leaving our heavenly cabin at Wood’s Lodge in Mammoth Lakes, CA. I’m sad. Ray and I both love it here. Our three weeks at the cabin every year are always the best three weeks of each year. I am mind altered when in the mountains.

When we are not outdoors this is our view outdoors from inside the cabin we rent.

We each have our own area in the cabin. Anyone who has seen us here knows Ray sits at the dining room table, just like he is here. I make the couch my area. No one sits on the couch without an invitation as this is my office where I have all my techie equipment set up on the couch table.

This is one view from the bridge where I typically shoot sunset photos. Only this morning when Ray and I were on a walk, while crossing the street to Lake Maimie, I looked back at Crystal Crag and took this one last shot of her.

10 am reflections in Lake Maimie.

Boats on the ground at the boat dock we walk by most days.

And last but not least, a first, seeing a ground squirrel run to the lake edge for a drink of water. When I stand still, things come to me.

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There Is Always Something To Shoot.

I went down to Lake Maimie early tonight, hoping to hang out and look around before shooting what I had hoped would be a colorful sunset because all day we’ve had big puffy clouds.
This lady fishing and I started talking briefly. She said, “Isn’t this just the best?” I had to agree. We were both out doing what we wanted to do in one of the prettiest places ever. Oh, I have lots of gratitude.

Slowly walking from Lake Maimie to Lake Mary I ran right into this deer. He was not the least bit phased by me. I stopped, moved my camera to my eye and shot away and he kept calmly walking past me.

This is Lake Mary. I chose a different place to shoot from. This is the view looking up to Duks Pass some 4+ miles in the distance. Down from Duks Pass you reach the JMT/PCT.

I was basically looking for things to shoot, just hanging out. I’d put on a longer lens, the 70 – 200mm lens, while waiting to shoot some great sunset color.

By now I had moved to get some of the orange mountain shots. The color started, but not never quite got going. As a matter of fact, the light fizzled, and all went dark and cold. This shot was one of only a few I got that had color.

I shot this when there was little to no color and turned it into a black and white using Nik Silver Efex Pro. This could be the Fine Arts preset.

Ray had texted me earlier and said to let him know if I wanted him to pick me up when I was through. I was through and getting cold when I walked up from the shoreline to the road to start walking when I noticed this man and his dog walking down to the lake. I grabbed my camera and shot off two shots. I had a feeling I would like them when I shot them even though the light was terrible.
As soon as I reached the road and had been walking a couple of seconds, guess who pulled up for me! My hubby.

Oh my goodness, the bear is here!

Weather Is Coming….Bring It On.

Ray read in the local newspaper we would have clouds today, and possible thunder storms Thursday and Friday. I like going to shoot Bodie when there are clouds in the sky. We haven’t had any clouds lately so we took off for Bodie. As we got drove along 395 near Mono Lake there were no more clouds. All the clouds were over the Sierra.

We decided not to go to Bodie and I am so thankful we made that decision. I knew the clouds over our local lakes were going to provide an incredible sunset. I was not disappointed. Following an early dinner, Ray dropped me and my photography gear off at Lake Mary.

What a nice surprise it was to hear a quick little honk from a car nearby around 7:40pm. Ray figured I’d be about done shooting and drove down from the cabin to pick me up. I usually walk up the hill. And it wasn’t even my birthday anymore:-)

The following 3 photos are 6 shot panos merged in Photoshop, then worked in Adobe Lightroom 4. The color was not boosted.

Wood’s Lodge, Mammoth, Ca.

Took this tonight as Ray and I were coming down from a late afternoon hike. Three bracketed (1.5 stops) merged to HDR in Photomatrix Pro software.

Everyday Is A Bear Day Anymore.

It was windy today. Neither Ray nor I wanted to go out an hike. We stayed in. Until 5pm, when I knew I had to go outside. If I was going outside, so was Ray. We talked about going for a walk around Lake Maimie. Ray asked, “Are you going to walk or stop and take photos? Silly man. If I’m walking with my camera, I’m going to stop and take a photo or more.

I told Ray one of my photo assignments was to use “open shade” to photograph a person outdoors. Let me just try taking a few photos of you in the “open shade” down by Lake Maimie. He agreed.

It’s difficult for us to remain serious too long.

After a number of different not so great poses, Ray raised his voice and pointed. “There’s the bear.” Spotter is what I call Ray since he always sees things I don’t see. Spotter got off the hook with the “open shade” shots.

Sure enough, across the narrow span of outlet water, near the bridge, our bear was intently looking at the water, probably for some dinner. I’d secretly hoped we’d run into a bear when I chose to put the 70-200mm lens on my camera.

Shortly after Spotter spotted Mr. Bear, Mr. Bear rock hoppped across to our side of Lake Maimie, walking in and out of the bushes. Mr. Bear soon walked right by me without much concern.

For the next hour and a half Ray and I followed this bear as he walked a bit of the Lake Maimie shoreline before turning and walking up the hill to Lake George. We watched Mr. Bear catch two fish by the boat dock at Lake George. Then we followed him down the shoreline where he stopped and dined on a family’s food by their fishing gear on the lake shore. I’d been closely following the bear shooting the whole time. Trying to stay ahead of the bear. I let the fishermen know a bear was approaching. Most picked up their belongings and left the area. Not one fisherman though. He was more concerned with getting his 3 kids away from the shoreline and left all their food containers and backpacks. The bear was most grateful. Mr. Bear stayed there eating away for the longest time. I was about 15 yards away shooting him. He would have stayed there until all the food was gone except a brave man came over and started yelling at the bear and chased the bear off. The bear was scared but not scared enough to forget to take one of the backpacks filled with food with him as he ran off about 50 yards before settling down to some more dinner in the backpack.

Here are a few of the zillions of shots I took:

Lake George boat dock.


Moving towards the fishmen.

A Beary Good Birthday.

Happy 68th Birthday to Ray today! The bears gave you a nice gift.

First nightly bear visit:

John and Teresa came for a short visit tonight, bringing Ray and Me gifts. Too bad they didn’t stay 2 minutes longer. They would have seen this bear climbing up the tree.

Ray wasn’t home or this would not have been allowed.

It was about now that Ray returned and the door was closed.

Second bear visitors:

I’ve got to figure out why my focus is off.
Settings on the EF 24-105 $L IS USM lens:
1/200 sec (I don’t know why I had this set at 200th) at f/6.3
ISO 320
focal length 50mm
Speedlite 580 EX II attached atop camera, on manual mode, 1/16th power, flash flipped and pointing directly at bear.
This was obviously shot through the glass door. But even when, in other bear photos, I shot with door open, the dof was so limited I couldn’t get the bears face in focus. Ah, I think I just realized what happend. I was in Evaluative mode, center focus used, but evaluative mode and not spot focus mode. Anyone, help.

Mom going down. Then babies move in.

So cute.

It Was A Beary Good Day!

Bear sighting #1. 6:45pm.

I went down to Lake Maimie to photograph some pre-sunset reflections earlier tonight. I was alone. I noticed this bear on the other side of the 20 feet of water that separated us just before I shot this photo. I quickly changed to the 70-200mm lens (surprisingly without too much trouble, as I was so excited). Right after this shot the bear jumped in the water with a big splash, crossing to my side about 10 feet away from me. He was so close when I shot photos they came out blurry because the lens couldn’t focus. I followed the bear as he walked back through the forest towards Woods Lodge. Fishermen from a boat 300 yards away, yelled, “The bear is on the shore.” I gave them a thumbs up and kept shooting. I kept wanting to turn to someone and say, “Isn’t this incredible?”

Here the bear is just getting out of the water, far enough away now that my lens could focus.

This is the last of the bear at Lake Maimie. Now I walked back to the campground near our cabin to show some friends who were camped nearby the bear shots.

Bear sighting #2. 7:30pm

John wasn’t at his campsite but I noticed him 50 yards away intently watching something in the direction of Lake George. He said, “Bear.” I said, “Hold my tripod.” As I approached the bear, I turned my ISO up to 2500. For what seemed like 10 minutes I followed the bear along water’s edge as he looked for stringers with fish attached.

Suddenly the bear turned leaving the lake shore and walked right in front of me. I kept shooting until I realized I might be in big trouble. But I was in the trouble and decided to take the camera down from my eye, keep my eyes down and look submissive right after this shot.

Well, maybe one more photo.

Ray playing bear last night as I was testing camera settings before any nighttime visitors.
So there should be another set of bear photos, as I had 3 bear encounters today. But the last sighting, maybe an hour ago, left me swearing at my camera when I tried shooting the mom, and then her two cubs who climbed up the tree and onto the porch. I couldn’t get the flash to go off and the few times it did the photos were blurry beyond recognition of what I was photographing.
I could tell Ray was disappointed I didn’t get any shots. He also reminded me that when I had placed the camera and flash on the table in ready position for the possible bear arrivals that I had not tested the settings to make sure everything was set correctly.
I know what I did wrong. I kept my finger down on the shutter button (my shutter button is separated from the normal front metering button) while trying to shoot. Focus couldn’t occur and either the camera didn’t know what to do (in the dark scene outside) or it shot belatedly and hadn’t really gained focus. I need to use the back focus button to focus and then let go of it before I depress the meter button in front which actually takes the picture. This is probably more info than anyone needs to read, but I need to see it in print. Settings for tomorrow night: manual focus at a preset distance (no auto focusing), 1/60th sec, f/4, ISO 250.
Flash set to manual at 1/32 power, zoomed to 50mm.

Damn, all this photography study during the day and I go and blow it.

A Day For The Birds.

I was off today. After heading into town to do some errands and make phone calls, I spent much of the day reading about lighting and practicing on with Speedlites and Pocket Wizard Plus 11s. The birds were my subject but I think some other people are feeding birds now because the feeding frenzy that makes for exciting photos wasn’t happening.

What I learned today: Pay lots of attention to backgrounds.

What A Difference A Few Minutes Makes.

We almost told ourselves (Jen and me) we’d photographed and backpacked enough today and were too tired to head on down to Lake Mary for some sunset shots.

We missed the vibrant rainbow by 5 – 10 minutes.

Mammoth Monsoon.

Hiking back down from Mammoth Crest after having been caught in a storm that was just now breaking, we were presented with this view of Lake George, ony 10 minutes from the cabin.