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!

Frank’s Annual Holiday Party Video.

Click the link if you would like to see an Animoto Video Show of some pictures I took at Frank’s 5th Annual Holiday Party.
“>

Share/Bookmark

All Salton Sea Photos From Last Weekend’s Photography Workshop.

If you have the time and interest, I’ve posted all my fav Salton Sea photos I shot last weekend here at this link: http://gottago.smugmug.com/Classes-Workshops/20141205-Salton-Sea-Keith-Skelto/

I’ve been sick with a cold since I returned from Keith’s California Photography Workshops at the Salton Sea. The upside of being sick is that I’ve spent the last two days completely going through the editing and posting of my favorite 88 photos! That’s a lot of keepers for me.
I can’t seem to stop going to the Salton Sea. I’m finding it is almost a sure bet I’ll come across some incredibly beautiful shots there. The beauty comes in all different forms, colors, shapes and sizes. I really never know what I’m going to shoot or what I anticipate seeing there. It is always different and a surprise! And I have come to realize I am never disappointed. So why not go back, right?
This past weekend even I surprised myself with how many varied shots I got. I’ve heard it said many times that if you get one good photo out of 500 that’s good. The more I shoot and the longer I shoot while I’m out there shooting, that percentage of good shots increases. I’m finally seeing my own progress, but not without the help of many friends, family and other photographers who have been very positively generous with their feedback on my photographs lately.
Enjoy and come on down to the Salton Sea with me sometime.

After dinner shoot on our way back home of some small town structures shot with shutter speeds slow enough to capture the car and truck headlights as they go through town.

After dinner shoot on our way back home of some small town structures shot with shutter speeds slow enough to capture the car and truck headlights as they go through town.

The Geothermal Plants make nice subjects in the morning and evening sunlight.

The Geothermal Plants make nice subjects in the morning and evening sunlight.

A quick trip to the Salton Sea Recreation Park at mid-day left us with few photo ops. This is not a high bird activity time as most of the migratory birds have gone south.

A quick trip to the Salton Sea Recreation Park at mid-day left us with few photo ops. This is not a high bird activity time as most of the migratory birds have gone south.

Salton Sea Photography Workshop Photos From This Morning’s Shoot.

I just got back this afternoon from a Salton Sea Workshop lead by Keith Skelton. I shot Thursday through Sunday and had a great time with the other photographers and also got some nice photos…..this is always a good thing!

I edited about 29 photos from today’s shoot and posted them all on my Smugmug Portfolio site. If you are interested in taking a peek, here is the link: http://gottago.smugmug.com/Classes-Workshops/20141205-Salton-Sea-Keith-Skelto/

Here is a teaser……

Arrived at the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge at 5:40am and we 11 photographers  all quietly waited for the action.

Arrived at the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge at 5:40am and we 11 photographers all quietly waited for the action.

 

More Practice With The Rented 14 mm Lens.

Jen ahead but not as far as this lens makes it seem!

Jen ahead but not as far as this lens makes it seem!

Thanks Jen for letting me post this pic of you:-) Must learn quickly how to shoot people with this lens or I'll lose my right to photograph Jen:-)

Thanks Jen for letting me post this pic of you:-) Must learn quickly how to shoot people with this lens or I’ll lose my right to photograph Jen:-)

Ben runs daily. Ben runs up and down and up and down. Ben RUNS. And he looks so cute in his winter running attire.

Ben runs daily. Ben runs up and down and up and down. Ben RUNS. And he looks so cute in his winter running attire.

Out The Door For What Shows Up.

Canon 5d Mark III
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM +2X
Focal length: 260mm
ISO 1250
Exposure: 1/500 sec at f/5.6
Manual exposure and Spot metering.
Handheld.


http://www.monarch-butterfly.com/
Interesting read.

Butterflies are difficult to shoot unless they are positioned exactly (head to rear) laterally, equaly distant to the camera plane. Even then the depth of field is so minimal I either get the legs in focus, the head in focus, the large eye in focus, or body in focus.

Butterflies are difficult to shoot unless they are positioned exactly (head to rear) laterally, equally distant to the camera plane. Even then the depth of field is so minimal I either get the legs in focus, the head in focus, the large eye in focus, or body in focus.
But when I go out to shoot, something always shows up…..if I’m present.

Out For A Recurring Thursdsay, 3:30pm Lap Swim and Glad I Brought My Camera!

Jen stretching following our 3:30pm 1/2 hour lap swimming at the large MHCC pool.

 

Jumped out of the pool, threw on my robe, picked up the 70-200mm lens, and didn’t worry what the other two swimmers thought about me shooting Jen playing for the camera.

 

Leaving the pool around 5:00pm this color appeared on the San Jacinto Mountain Range. Featured is Antsell Rock, the pointed rock.

Leaving the pool around 5:00pm this color appeared on the San Jacinto Mountain Range. Featured is Antsell Rock, the pointed rock that PCT hikers walk around while hiking westward up and up and up after gaining the ridge north of Hwy 74 (Palms to Pines Hwy).

 

 

The Gay Pride Festival and Parade were well attended here in Palm Spring this weekend. For me it’s like I’m a kid in a candy store with all the fun photo ops. This year, last weekend, was no different.

Here are links to where you may see some of the shots I took.
Friday, The Gay Pride Festival – http://gottago.smugmug.com/Events/2014-Gay-Pride-Parade/

Saturday, The Gay Pride Parade - http://gottago.smugmug.com/Events/2014-Gay-Pride-Parade/

Totally in love!

Totally in love!

Wednesday, Sept. 10th – Zero Day in Pamplona.

Pat located a McDonalds on our day zero.

Pat located a McDonalds on our day zero.

Monday, Sept 8th Orisson – Roncesvalles

20140908 Monday

Orisson – Roncesvalles

I’m finally getting to write up this day’s blog entry from some bullet points I kept. There is very little down time here on the Camino. When our day of hiking ends we begin getting ready for the next day’s hiking, showered, fed and prepared with snacks for the next day

We left the Orisson Alburgue way before anyone was up. We hiked by the light of Pat’s headlamp. It was very windy and walking on the narrow road I was concerned with cars driving up behind us (there was no room to pass us off the mountainous road) and with the loud noise of the strong wind we couldn’t hear an auto approaching and because of the light from Pat’s headlamp on the road we also wouldn’t be forewarned by the head lights of an approaching car, so I asked Pat to turn her headlamp off.

The higher we walked the windier it got. We put our rain jackets on. I also put my backpack rain cover on as one of the many large clouds looked dark enough it might release some rain.

We passed a Pilgrim who had gotten caught in the evening lightening storm trying to hike to Roncesvalles around 10pm last night. He said he slept under an over hang and prayed for his life as the lightning landed all around him! yikes.

We’d been reminded that because of some Pilgrims and their not so nice manners Basque Sheepherders we not happy with the Pilgrims. Well we ran into a Basque Sheepherder and went over to talk to him. We were impressed with how he communicated with his dog and precise his dog was herding his sheep. Of course I took photos. The gentleman brought his dog over and let us pet him. It was a wonderful experience watching both the man and his incredibly we’ll trained dog work the sheep spot on moving them exactly where he wanted the sheep to go.

All along this mountain road we saw sheep, wild horses, hawks and farm horses. Bells hung from the animals creating all too familiar mountain music all morning. We stopped for a quick snack break and just after we were getting up to walk again, rain fell. The first Pilgrim to catch up with us had just said he didn’t think it would rain. I told Pat he’s not very experienced reading weather. We’d been watching the approaching cloud letting lose of rain as it approached. The hiker was wearing shorts and a tee shirt.

The dramatic black skies against whiter sky and a thin sliver of red sunrise hopefully will make for some good black and white photos. I was cold but loving this morning and all the photo ops. I walk ahead of Pat and then wait for her. This morning I got cold waiting. Sometimes I take lots of photos and then catch up to Pat. This seems to work but it is difficult when two people have such different paces. I now understand why some of my backpacking friends can’t backpack with me:-)

Right after our snack break while it was still raining we came up on a roadside snack truck. I bought some of the local sheep cheese made by the vender along with two slices of nice looking bread.

All the many Pilgrims started passing us after about 2 hours. We ran into Cate and her daughter, Erin who we sat next to at dinner the night before.

We ended our day’s 10.5 mi section at 2:30pm. This was Pat’s longest day ever hiking. My body and feet felt good. The Dueter pack works well.

There were no hotel rooms to be had in Roncesvalles. We tried the three hotels and asked a nice taxi driver to call the next little town for a room. No luck. So we headed over to the Alburgue, a massive one, clean, we’ll organized and MANY rules. Lights out at 10pm, no packs on our bed, no shoes anywhere inside, but free! Not coin operated 5 minute showers. They have a water spinner for your clothes if you washed them yourself. I washed mine and the lady helping in the laundry room said no when I asked if I could get my clothes dried in the dryer. The dryer is only available to use if one’s clothes had been washed in the washing machine there. Understandable.

We’d grabbed a quick bite to eat, a Spanish Omelete (like a quiche made Ali’s with potato) rather than make reservations at one of the 3 dinner settings for the Pilgrims staying at this Alburgue. All the other 3 restaurants required reservations and they were also full.

I was tired and got into my lower bunk at 7pm (the hospitalero had compassion for Pat and me and gave us lower bunks!). I got a lot of sleep.

Friday, September 5th AND Saturday, September 6th

Sept 6, 2014, Sat

The fact that Saturday is an important day is that Sunday all stores are closed. That means food stores too. Not having food when I want to eat is scary than anything else. We begin the Camino tomorrow and our guidebook says there are no cafés or places to eat or buy food along this beginning section to Orrison. So Saturday it’s important we not forget to buy food for breakfast and lunch. We get dinner at the hostel we have reserved two beds in. Not only did we not forget to buy food today I ate like it was the last day I’d ever eat again.

Woke up late this morning we knew we would. I didn’t get in bed until 3:30 am Friday night. I’d been warring with posting problems with WordPress, the slow internet in general, getting my wireless camera photos available to post on my WordPress blog and password problems for every site I use to blog and upload photos to. I finally got so mad and my mind was gone from jet lag that I really couldn’t think and was making more problems for myself. I was spending too much time on troubleshooting and needed my sleep. I’ve kept brief notes of what we did Friday and Saturday because I’d had similar internet posting problems on Friday too. Basically I just stopped blogging (to get back at the internet) and now Sunday morning, after only 1 and a half hours sleep, I woke up knowing I needed to get something of what I did today and yesterday or the days would run together and I’d never remember what I did, saw or felt.

So, I’m going to write up from a few listed bullet points from those almost lost days:

Sept. 5, Friday

“We coined the phrase, “it is what it is”. Pat and I like to have all our ducks in order. We are anal about knowing what is coming up. Worrying about the what’s ifs is hopefully going to change. (We’d been discussing the fact that the stores may be closed for siesta time when I needed to get my SIM cards for the iPhone and iPad.)

We met our first Perigrinos. Pat today brought up I had said Peligrinos (like the bottled water) instead of Perigrinos while talking to our first Camino people we met, Keith and Linda Smith from Portland.

We amazed ourselves with how well we were doing finding our way around, especially with the train situations. Pat is very good at this.

A highlight in a negative sense of this day was when it took almost two hours to get me hooked up with a Spanish SIM card company. Pat practiced patience beyond her comprehension unlike the long unhappy line of customers behind me! If it hadn’t been for a beautiful young Spanish/English speaking couple who took me on as their own personal project communicating non stop with the salesman I’d still be there! I gave she and her husband (who had just said to his wife, “honey we have I go now” two Starbucks gift cards as a thank you. I’d bought about 5 cards before I left on this trip to give as gifts when giving a tip would be awkward.

We were really hungry after the SIM card experience and stopped for a bite. Well that’s all we had was a bite. Our ordered hamburger was raw! But the upside was I got to photograph a gorgeous in love like devouring each other with their hands, expressions and eyes at the next table over. They had to be having a new affair. Hot, hot, hot.. Pat was afraid they’d think I was a hired private detective for one of their mates and come take and break my camera!

We got a great room at the Hotel Pamplona Plaza only blocks from where our afternoon train dropped us off. From the train depot we had no idea where to go to find an area with hotels. After heading out walking to see if we could find something with no luck in the direction we were heading I stopped a girl walking her dog to ask if she knew of any closeby hotels. She did and personally offered to walk us over to it. Wow!!! Miriam the really helpful front desk person was also great in getting me the name and address of an Apple store in Pamplona. They are called K-tuin not Apple. I’d lost my iPad camera card uploader.
The night from hell with internet stuff!!! Bed 3:30am after I said, “I give”.

Sept 6, Sat

Up at 9:45 am. Apple store opens at 10 am. No need to hurry. Took taxi to store and then had breakfast at a table with a lady who was neither Spanish nor French. She kept talking to us but we couldn’t understand a word. She just kept speaking louder and louder thinking maybe we’d get it.

Back to the Apple store to ask questions about transportation to St Jean Pied de Port. Taxis were ridiculously costly so she recommended the very closeby bus station where we could buy bus tickets for $20Eu. After a two and a half hour wait we boarded the bus for the 1.5 hour drive to our Camino starting town with about 25-30 other Pilgrims (Camino walkers). That bus driver was excellent at maneuvering the single lane windy road that would scare anyone.

We headed straight to the Pilgrims office we’d read and heard so much about, where we got our Pilgrim Passports. One needs to get this Passport stamped daily to prove in Santiago you walked the entire trail or section as the case may be to receive papers at the end. Very exciting.

Next I bought trekking poles and a small knife. Couldn’t bring those in my carry on luggage. The rest of he day we walked around looking for a hotel not hostel. We eventually checked in at the Arrambide Hotel, a very luxurious hotel when we found most hotels had no vacancies. We don’t love the price but love the hotel.

Did I forget to mention the chocolate crepe we ate earlier? Oh we’ll..

We also walked up the beginning of the trail so we’d know where to go in the wee dark hour of 5:30am when we depart on the Camino! Yes. It does begin. On the way back I stopped and shit some photos from the bridge over the Nive River (not sure of name). Have mostly been recording rather than being creative with my photos.

And now maybe I can get in 2 more hours of sleep before my alarm goes off!