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!

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!@!

 

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Photo One

 

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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.

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

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

 

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Walked outside for a little street photography:-).

 

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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.

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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!!!
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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.

 

Workshop Night Photo Pics.

My car after driving on muddy dirt roads this morning to Salton Sea locals we'll be shooting over the weekend.

My car after driving on muddy dirt roads this morning to Salton Sea locals we’ll be shooting over the weekend. Once home on Dec. 8, 2014, I had my car washed (first by hand/then by machine) at a car wash to the cost of $47 incuding a tip.

Our fearless workshop leader, allowing me for the first time to shoot him while he stood still for 5 seconds!!! Thanks Keith Skelton:-)

Our fearless workshop leader, allowing me for the first time to shoot him while he stood still for 5 seconds!!! Thanks Keith Skelton:-)

After sunset, before it gets too dark is always the best time to shoot this kind of shot.

After sunset, before it gets too dark is always the best time to shoot this kind of shot.

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JJ pretending to shoot something so I could take his photo and use the great light put out by the Geothermal plant behind him.

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It took two tries but Ken was willing to hold this pose for 5 seconds without moving. Thanks Ken.

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I cropped in on this photo for a composition I liked as the there was another tree that spoiled the look I was after.

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Jen wanted me to crop down on the Comorant tree so only some of the birds were showing and closeup.

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This is the look I like of the Comorant tree on Lark Street north of Westmoreland.

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This shot was a bit iffy but it is a reminder of a great evening meeting new friends in Keith’s workshop and reuniting with old friends from when I first took up Photography seriously 7 years ago. It was great seeing Judy and Teri again!!!

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A verticle of our tree. Keith always brings us back to shoot the Cormorants that are always in this tree. Thanks to the Comorants for staying perched as long as they did. Next time though Keith, please let us ALL know when you are going to walk up so close that the birds take off:-)

Out At 5:30am Before The Start Of Our Salton Sea Workshop At 3pm.

Geothermal plants everywhere make for nice dark photography shots.

Geothermal plants everywhere make for nice dark photography shots.

Lots of birds, no light!!! Boo hoo.

Lots of birds, no light!!! Boo hoo.

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Kept look back Northeast at this geothermal plant. So wanted this photo to have more contrast. Impossible.

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OOOh, did we get muddy walking around this morning. And driving is a little iffy on some of the dirt roads.

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Checked out a road in the Sony Bono Rec Area and found these guys. Too much mud to go further down the road. The hunters are camped here too.

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Leaving to go to have breakfast I couldn’t stop shooting away. Poor JJ. He was very hungry, but most patient with my obsessive photo taking.

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We really got skunked this morning on good light so trying to make a photograph without light is pretty difficult. Hence the enhancement border:-)

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I rented a wide angle lens….14 mm L series Canon and haven’t pulled it out to use it yet. This was taken from inside the car with my 16-35 mm L lens. I intend to use the wide angle lens low and close tomorrow!

One Day Early, Shooting Near The Salton Sea Before Workshop Tomorrow.

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Off Road Vehicles playing.

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We couldn’t walk in beyond the road in this area. So I went looking for a variety of shots other than shooting the same sand dunes.

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JJ shooting up a storm late this afternoon and getting some great sand dune shots at the Albondogones (sp) Dunes Wilderness east of Brawley CA near the Salton Sea.

JJ shooting up a storm late this afternoon and getting some great sand dune shots at the Albondogones (sp) Dunes Wilderness east of Brawley CA near the Salton Sea.

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Tractor tracks certainly made their mark.

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Shot some of these fellows trying to pan with their motion. Wish I’d gotten their email addresses so I could have sent them some of the shots.

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Duane is 63 years old. Still works. But finds time to bike 500 miles in a week doing sections hoping to soon complete his adventure to bike from the east coast of the US to the west coast. He began his adventure in 1997. Really nice guy. His wife shadows him while he rides.

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Quick grabs as these guys speed up the sand dunes.

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Twenty minutes before sunset, we were headed somewhere else but pulled over when we noticed the colorful reflections in this water source.

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Interesting sun setting tonight. Not a lot of color in the sky like I’d hoped but enjoyed this unique cloud shrouded sun setting.

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Day is done. We were going to continue shooting some night shots elsewhere but Carl’s Jr. and a cheeseburger dinner were calling out to us. Night.