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!

Palm Springs, CA. Gay Pride Parade Weekend – Photos.

I’m headed off to Sri Lanka on Friday, traveling as light as possible. To lighten my load to carry on only I am not bringing my Canon 5d Mark III photography equipment. Because I would never feel comfortable being anywhere with only one camera, I recently purchased two new lightweight cameras: the Ricoh GR II (28mm) and the Leica zoom (25-400mm – fixed lens).


The following photos were shot in B&W mode on the Ricoh GR II and edited in Lightroom in B&W.

I’m hoping I will become more knowledgeable with both cameras sooner than later. The Ricoh GR II is much easier to learn and use than the Leica. Many of the most used modes are featured as buttons right on the backside of the camera. The Ricoh also is so small it looks like a toy camera and I found the people I photographed up real close today didn’t feel as uncomfortable as when I use the Leica or the even bigger Canon (with the big lenses). It isn’t easy for me to get up close to people with wide angle lenses but I’m going to walk through my fear and move in to the 3 foot range and photograph people before they know what I’m doing so I hopefully catch moments and not poses.

Here are some first attempts at moving in closer. No one got mad.

















Lightning and Very Interesting Cloud Colors!!!


The sprinklers and the sudden downpours soaked me, even using the umbrella to keep the moisture off my camera equipment.








Our home.







Yet Another I-10 Freeway Windmill Shoot.



Walking up to shoot I thought about what stood out about photographing the windmills last night. I usually just get excited and start clicking away. I did that last night too. Then I walked on down the road and started to think about what perspective might render a different interesting look. Get closer to the fence. Look through your lens Linda. What about the fence shot do you like. After many attempts I decided I liked focusing on the barbed wire loop. Then I thought….try putting the setting sun (in star burst mode, of course….because I can) and see how that looks. Well here you have it. Slowing down and looking. Asking myself questions about what caught my eye and why. I just need to do this more and more.


Since Jen and I shoot the sunset at the windmills off the I-10 Freeway often finding new ways to shoot here is always on our minds.

Since Jen and I shoot the sunset at the windmills off the I-10 Freeway often finding new ways to shoot here is always on our minds.


Jen walking back to the dirt road off the I-10 Freeway windmills to shoot a different shot.

Jen walking back to the dirt road off the I-10 Freeway windmills to shoot a different shot.


Invariably my shots of Jen are always my favorite when I'm out shooting landscapes.

Invariably my shots of Jen are always my favorite when I’m out shooting landscapes.


A Challenge From an Online Mentor….

This is a very interesting Challenge. Click on the link to read Otto’s Challenge if you wish.

Otto von Munchow offered up the following Challenge to his followers…….. https://munchow.wordpress.com/2015/08/30/another-challenge/

Below I am posting two photos of the many I shot attempting to break some of the 10 photography rules.
“In Photography and the Art of Seeing, Freeman Patterson recommends writing down a list of rules we assume to be true of photography… and then break them. Here are ten rules that recur repeatedly”:

1) Focus on the centre of interest.
2) Fill the frame with the subject.
3) Do not shoot between 10 am and 3 pm (the light is too harsh).
4) Don’t shoot against the light.
5) Hold the camera steady.
6) Follow the rule of third, e.g. 1/3 sky and 2/3 land or vice versa.
7) Obey the light meter.
8) Photograph children (or pets) at their own eye level.
9) Avoid lens flare when shooting against the sun.
10) Keep the camera level with the horizon.

Ok, here is my list I took outside with me and used to break these rules listed above.

I want to:

Shoot between 10 and 3.

Move the camera (up and down on trees). I didn’t move the camera but I thought to wait for the wind to move/blur the foreground pine branch a bit.

Shoot against the light.

Shoot with subject in center. (Actually my subject in mind was to have the exposure good enough to see detail in the tree bark and trees and not worry about anything else (Like I usually do!).

Create lens flare shooting into the sun.

Not have everything (the horizon, distortion) exact and precise. This shooting experience was painful letting go of looking for everything to be perfectly aligned etc.

Posted two photos because I couldn’t pick one!@!



Photo One



Photo Two – Lake George and the Mammoth Sierra Crest from cabin at Wood’s Lodge, Mammoth Lakes, CA.

Wrap Up Thoughts:

Just heading out to do this challenge was so informative. I hated having to go against the rules. I couldn’t even concentrate on what I wanted or what to do differently. But I shot some photos. I kept my ISO high so that I could see detail on the forefront subjects – cabin porch, trees etc. Typically I expose for the skyline using exposure bracketing. So having the entire background exposure blown out ……And having the starburst blown out went against my instinct. But I did it. Because it was so bright outside I couldn’t really see the LCD previews of what any of the photos really looked like. But I kept shooting. Again, making me feel frustrated.

When I got inside and looked at all the photos I was seeing a different kind of shot than I normally shoot. I was mildly enjoying the different exposures, the less than perfect composition and what showed up as the subject.

What was most important in this challenge was doing what was against my nature. I am such a robot, doing the same thing over and over again. Just going out when I didn’t want to, shooting how I didn’t want to shoot, opened my eyes to the importance of doing this exercise more and more and seeing what comes to me from doing it. Practice brings change and I am definitely interested in seeing what change will come.

Thanks Otto for this challenge.


A Spontaneous Visit To Pappy and Harriett’s Last Night.



Meet the musician’s in the band, “Slam Dunk”.









Walked outside for a little street photography:-).










Out For A Day Somewhere New: SJ Wildlife Rec. Area, and Night Shooting on Hwy 74.

Jen and I went out to The San Jacinto Wildlife Recreational Area yesterday based on a friend’s recommendation. July really isn’t the perfect time to go there as most of the ponds are depleted of their water, yet we still found much to shoot. Can’t wait to go back in September and October and then again in Spring when the wildflowers abound.

Before we arrived at the Wildlife Area, on the Romona Expressway, just a few miles before reaching Davis Rd., we found some water and birds to photograph.




Starting here are photos shot at the SJ Wildlife Area…..










Shooting as the cars are headed down and up Hwy 74 in Palm Desert, CA. It was a balmy night and even though we were tired we enjoyed the meditative couple of hours depressing our cable releases and hoping we’d get the white head lights and red tail lights in each shot. When this happens, that the timing is just right, it feels the same as when you catch a fish or win a jack pot. Luck does have something to do with the success of a photo!




July 4, 2015 Fireworks Shot With and Without Zooming The Lens.

Monterey Country Club, Palm Desert, CA

Thanks Matt for letting me use the Monterey Country Club to shoot the Palm Desert fireworks. The last (16th) photo was shot 5 minutes after the fireworks ended. Many of the photos were shot while I zoomed the Canon 70-200mm lens.

I know JJ likes to know the equipment and camera settings:
Canon 5d Mark III (two bodies); one body fitted with the Canon EF 70-200mm 1:2.8 L IS II USM lens, and the other Canon 5d Mark III fitted with the Canon Zoom Lens EF 16-35mm 1:2.8 L II USM.
I was in manual focus set at infinity.
I was in bulb mode.
I used a shutter cable release.
Settings didn’t change. I was at ISO 200; f/5.6 for a few and f/8 for most.
Focal length was typically between 70-100+.
When used zooming was one direction (not back and forth) and slowly.
Bulb time was a guessing game depending on how white and bright the fireworks were. Sometimes a second and sometimes longer up to 3 seconds or so.

I started shooting the fireworks with the 70-200mm lens but feared I was to zoomed at 70mm and after 10 shots switched to the 16-35 camera/lens. But I felt too far away from the fireworks and switched back to the 70-200mm. I really wanted to get some good firework shots before all the smoke accumulated, but missed the mark using that initial shooting time changing camera and lenses.



































A Spontaneous Photo Outing To The Salton Sea Last Night.

Yesterday the sky was filled with interesting clouds. I had just finished shooting a baby shower and wanted to shoot for myself. Jen was up for the 40 minute drive to the Salton Sea, with the hope that we’d get a phenomenal sunset. Driving in to the Salton Sea Recreational Park we were surprised to find we were the only people there except for two fisherman on the opposite side of the inlet, where we ended up parking. No people. Very few birds. And….a ever growing dense cloud cover that would prevent any kind of sunset color. Oh, it was 100 degrees, humid like sticky and wet even standing still. But we stayed. And we even stayed when we got out of the car only to be attacked by flies that covered all the moist parts of our bodies (which was everywhere). Swatting the flies didn’t work. We stayed, occasionally forgetting the irritating, sometime biting, flies by throwing myself into trying to find something of interest to shoot.
As evidenced by some of these photos I shot, photographs were there for the making.

The best photos came long after the sun set….when it looked dark and drab. But if the exposure is long enough, there is always light. And there was.












Free Day Shooting The Streets Of NYC Following Steve Simon’s Workshop.

I’m home from having spent the most wonderful experience at the Steve Simon NYC Street Photography Workshop. Following Steve’s workshop Jen and I used our planned extra day to see MOMA, the Museum Of Modern Art, Central Park, before taking a bike driven buggy ride over to the 9th street area where after walking the streets, we had a wonderful Thai dinner at Yum Yum.
I shot over 8,000 photos in the 8 days. Below are a few of the photos I shot the day after the workshop. I am happy to report even I see a big difference in what I’ve captured. My mind has been opened to so many new thoughts and desires with so many new photographic ideas and plans. I feel excited again! I was getting a wee bit bored with what I was doing photographically. Like Frank says, “Oh, another sunset???”

I will be posting more of each day’s best photos from the workshop, hopefully sooner than later:-)
Re-entry ain’t easy!!!
























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.