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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!

Practicing With Two Canon 600 EX-TR Speedlites.

I have been trying to learn Speedlites and Speedlites with Pocket Wizards for over 4 years. I’ve never had consistent luck getting all the gear to work consistently with each other. I’d try to figure out where I went wrong. Sometimes they’d fire, and then stop. I’ve been frustrated beyond belief. Each year I’d pick up trying to get them to work, usually after I’d spend more money on newer versions of the same lighting gear. Insanity, I know. I just kept thinking I’d get different, workable, results. I never did. Until………I got the new Wireless 600 EX-TR Speedlite. I don’t need Pocket Wizards anymore when I shoot with 600 EX-TRs (thanks JJ for the loan of one of yours)¬† and the Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2.

Thanks to to JJ for this link to Syl Arena’s video tutorial on the Canon 600 EX-TR Speedlite. And……for coming over so we could practice with our 600′s.

I’m shooting a Family of 19 tomorrow. So thanks to Jen for coming over to scout locations with me, and thanks to Jen and Stacy who will be helping me at the shoot just outside my home on one of the golf course hillsides in between the Palmer 15th and 16th holes.

I’m open to any suggestions as to where I might sell some of my old lighting equipment.

 

Shooting some shots of Jen for her FB "Come to Yoga" posts!

Shooting some shots of Jen for her FB “Come to Yoga” posts!

Just before the second set of golf course sprinklers shot water on my light stands, Jen posed and felt comfortable (finally:-)) playing in front of my lens. And yes, I am very lucky to have this very willing model. Thanks Jen.

Just before the second set of golf course sprinklers shot water on my light stands, Jen posed and felt comfortable (finally:-)) playing in front of my lens. And yes, I am very lucky to have this very willing model. Thanks Jen.

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Evening Scout and Play.

Item #9 on my to do list today was to go outside around 5pm with my camera and scout out close-by shooting backgrounds for my neighbor’s family group photos I’ll be shooting in a week. I was not seeing backgrounds I liked. The light at 5pm was still too high. It was flat and lifeless. But I kept looking. Until……….., I got distracted by this Snowy Egret. I followed him. He pulled me right away from being serious about scouting for backgrounds. The light was still not great but I decided to underexpose these shots and then put Lightroom presets on them.

Snowy Egret got my attention and began the process of shooting birds tonight.

Snowy Egret got my attention and began the process of shooting birds tonight.

Got too close to these coots on the shoreline.

Got too close to these coots on the shoreline.

I had spot focus set on my camera and was happy so many of the birds in flight were in sharp focus.

I had spot focus set on my camera and was happy so many of the birds in flight were in sharp focus.

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Ray likes this shot the best.

Ray likes this shot the best.

 

I did eventually get back to looking for backgrounds for the 18 people family group shots. I need to find more locations and a variety of ideas on the groupings. I’ve included shots where I might have the family members group around trees and the tree limbs. Your thoughts???? I’m not very creative when it comes to posing ideas so if you have any ideas I’d sure welcome them!

And, yes Jen, we did have a nice sunset tonight.

And, yes Jen, we did have a nice sunset tonight.

Background #1.

Background #1.

Background #2.

Background #2.

Background #3.

Background #3.

Background #4.

Background #4.

Feet Make Good Subjects.

The ongoing quest for a better, lighter camera to use on my Camino de Santiago hike early September has me trying to learn the Fujifilm X-T1 that just arrived last Sunday. What appeals to me with this new Fujifilm is the Wifi, the quiet shutter, the articulating LCD and great quality photos.

While on this pilgrimage walk photographing many towns and many other pilgrims I hope to be as inconspicuous as possible when shooting in order to capture what I want rather than what my subjects want. I also don’t want to call too much attention to being a target for thieves as this camera has a much smaller profile than my Canon 5d Mark III.

I’ve read that this camera is easy to pick up and use but one of the most difficult to master. I definitely want to master this and any camera so I’m freer to be present for upcoming moments I want to capture.

Here are two links to Fujifilm X-T1 reviews I’m reading:

http://photographersbusinesscoach.com/2014/04/20/fuji-x-t1-one-month-in/ John Mireles

http://cameralabs.com/reviews/Fujifilm_X-T1/

 

Checking out how my new Fujifilm X-T1 camera performs.

Checking out how my new Fujifilm X-T1 camera performs.

Sunday Late Afternoon Play Day.

A much needed photo play day with Jen, first in Palm Springs and later by the windmills, 15 minutes west of Palm Springs, near the PCT I-10 underpass.

Jen and I were invited up to a Hookah Lounge in P.S. This charming Palestinian man, only here in the US 1 year, spoke to us about his 6 year imprisonment. He is showing us scars from having been tortured by electricity.
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Jen came over and had been holding a flower up and photographing it. I tried it too!
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Jen’s jumps make any photo so much better.
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Fleeting but intense red San Jacinto.

Off in a while to Tejon Pass for a one day photography workshop with Jen and JJ to a workshop lead by Keith Skelton.
He’d been hoping for snow on the pass but we’re probably not going to have any snow even though there has been rain in the LA area. But this workshop is about making something out of nothing. Keith is good at that so I’m hoping I’ll learn some knew ways of seeing creatively.

Thanks to Ray coming in and telling me I might want to get up as the color is exceptional this morning, I got to see some brief, intense color on Mount San Jacinto.

Thanks to Ray coming in and telling me I might want to get up as the color is exceptional this morning, I got to see some brief, intense color on Mount San Jacinto.

Framed Lake.

Shot on the way back from 4 holes of golf. West view over the San Jacinto range. Hoping for some snow or rain. We've had so little. The PCT hikers will probably have to avoid many a fire this hiking season.

Shot on the way back from 4 holes of golf. West view over the San Jacinto range. Hoping for some snow or rain. We’ve had so little. The PCT hikers will probably have to avoid many a fire this hiking season.

Salton Sea Photo Ops Are Limitless.

Here is our Salton Sea Workshop Group photo, taken by our workshop leader, Keith. Here is the link to his website: http://www.keithskelton.com/.

Here is our Salton Sea Workshop Group photo. Group photo taken by our workshop leader, Keith Skelton. Here is the link to Keith’s website: http://www.keithskelton.com/.

Below is my favorite photo from our workshop weekend 12/6/13. To see lots more of the photos I shot, click here.

Salton Sea.

Salton Sea.

Morning Hikes and Photography. It Doesn’t Get Any Better!

Silhouette preset in Nik's Silver Efex Pro 2. Even though the original photo had pretty sunrise color in the sky, I think the color detracted rather than added to the photo.

Silhouette preset in Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2. Even though the original photo had pretty sunrise color in the sky, I think the color detracted rather than added to the photo.

Nearing the top of the first part of our hike, San Jacinto had some fierce cloud forms.

Nearing the top of the first part of our hike, San Jacinto had some fierce cloud forms.

Some 30 seconds of intense color while at the low angle just above the horizon.

Some 30 seconds of intense color while at the low angle just above the horizon.

This is called trail graffiti. The theme in this one location changes according to the whim of the artist who changes things up quite often. Jen says this is a Snowman.

This is called trail graffiti. The theme in this one location changes according to the whim of the artist who changes things up quite often. Jen says this is a Snowman.

Jen and I love our sunrises and sunset landscape photos but need a new subject to shoot. Hence we picked "motion" to do on the downhill portion of the hike.

Jen and I love our sunrises and sunset landscape photos but need a new subject to shoot. Hence we picked “motion” to do on the downhill portion of the hike. Like the other black and white, the overhead light now higher in the sky left the dull colored background undesirable. I like how Jen pops out more in the black and white version of this photo.

This color rendition is per LR's request.

This color rendition is per LR’s request.

Unexpected 60 Seconds Of Light.

Just when I thought we had a fizzle of a sunrise on the Bump & Grind hike a couple of days ago, Jen and I were given 60 seconds where we experienced the payoff of a special light show.

Don't blink or the light changes.

Don’t blink or the light changes.

One minute light show.

One minute light show.

Just before the light left the mountain beyond the golf course. Love the heart!!!

Just before the light left the mountain beyond the golf course. Love the heart!!!

It’s Tarantula Mating Season.

I had no idea September and October is Tarantula mating season. It was one year ago at this time Jen and I ran across another tarantula.

I told Ray about how we’d come across a Tarantula on our Whitewater River hike and he mentioned he’d just heard on the TV this was mating season for them. I Googled Tarantulas and their mating habits and found the following link. http://blogs.kqed.org/science/2013/10/11/californas-tarantulas-are-on-the-move-during-mating-season/ I feel sorry for the males. What a solitary life male Tarantulas lead before they finally leave their burrows where they’d lived for 5 – 8 years to look for a mate and then die six months later. Females live for 25 years!!!

I was close to this guy…..maybe 2 few away. He didn’t seem phased by me. I had no idea at the time he was on a serious instinctual mission.

Jen spotted this male Tarantula two weeks ago near the Whitewater River while we were hiking near dusk.

Jen spotted this male Tarantula two weeks ago near the Whitewater River while we were hiking near dusk.