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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!

Never Give Up.

It was 2:45pm. I hadn’t picked up my camera today. The sun was going to drop below the mountains in over an hour+. I could tackle some of my to-do’s. Make calls. But it was the second day I had the lenses I’ve rented for two weeks. I hadn’t exercised. How could I not go out. I could kill two birds with one stone (well not really when I have a camera in my hand!).

Without much more thought, I put the camera card in the camera and put the EF 14mm 1:2.8 L II USM on the Canon 5d Mark III. Yesterday I’d been reading a bit about really wide angle lenses on a site I use as a resource for learning: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/how-to-use-ultra-wide-lenses.htm . Ken Rockwell writes a lot explaining things I wasn’t aware of….this is only a fraction of what Ken explains that the wide angle (the 14 I’m using) does well AND what to watch out for…….: “All that most people get with ultrawide lenses are parking lots in the bottom half of their image, and nothing anywhere except for the center. Worse, ultra-wides see all the distracting junk on the side of your subject and weaken the shot.

“Get Close!

The hardest part with ultra-wides is getting close enough.

You can never get too close!

You have to push yourself to get and stay close enough.”

So I went out and got shots that were for do-do. I tried this shot and then another. I just wanted a sampling to look at on the computer. Of course, I hoped I’d get one shot I’d like. But I was getting a lot of trial and error shots. I wasn’t learning a lot. And I wasn’t even getting any exercise. Not getting exercise is OK if I get some good shots!

The sun was low and casting my shadow on most of what I was shooting because the lens was so wide. So I got sucked into shooting my shadow, which is my favorite thing to do:-). My shadow is my signature photo. I don’t go on any trip without coming home with a few shadow shots.

On the way back to my house I noticed a garage door beautifully lit with great light. I stopped and walked closer to the door. I positioned my shadow, and shot it. Boring. I started walking home when I noticed the same light shining on another garage door, but on this door there was the shadow of a tree……and in the middle of the tree shadow was an open well lit area large enough that I could place my upper body and arm in that space. After getting my upper body where I wanted it, I also placed my outreached arm in the open space so as to mimic the tree branch’s shadow. The last picture helps make sense of what I’m trying to relate here:-)

The point of all this? I GOT a photo I loved. I didn’t give up. I kept looking, I kept shooting…..I went out with my camera!!!

Below are a few of many photos showing what I’d been shooting. The last photo is the photo I liked.

Right outside my back door.

Right outside my back door.

A few hundred yards down from my home.

A few hundred yards down from my home.

This is a very large crop of the center of the previous photo. Not an in-camera shot with the wide angle lens.

This is a very large crop of the center of the previous photo. Not an in-camera shot with the wide angle lens.

On my way back home.

On my way back home.

The first garage shot I took.

The first garage shot I took.

The garage shot I love!

The garage shot I love!

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A Quick Shoot Outside The Back Door.

I wasn’t going to shoot tonight, thinking I might be a little out of balance in the area of photography but Jen was doing her training laps in the Club’s pool here, AND she is going out of town tomorrow. So, when she texted, I texted back, “Did you bring your camera with you.” She had brought her camera, so I suggested we go shoot a bit. Below are some of my shots. My neighbor Jerry was out walking his two dogs and was kind enough to throw the ball in the lake so we could get some action shots.

One of my neighbor Jerry’s dogs.

Nik Software treatment.

Jen with her new Canon 50 mm 1.8 lens.

Walk Around the Block (Course).

I ask, “Do you want to go for a walk?” Ray says, “Ok”. He sees I’m carrying my camera but doesn’t say anything, yet.

Ray indulging me (surprisingly without too much resistance).

Shot as we walk by the MHCC Club House. We are now 20 minutes into our walk.


I stop to shoot this shot but Ray keeps walking. I ask him to come with me as I walk maybe 100 yards off the road to get a better shot. He ignores me and keeps walking. I hate that he does that. He hates that I stop and shoot (when we are supposed to be taking a walk:-)

We are now about 25 minutes into our walk. I have asked Ray to stand and catch the light off the lamp post. He doesn’t want to but does stoop over in front of the light but I’m taking too long with the camera settings and he says his back hurts. I say just one more. He hears this all the time and knows I mean I’ll shoot until I get the shot. But I’m surprised and happy I still have his attention.

How I got Ray to smile when he was sooooo done with me asking for one more shot is beyond me. But I love his expression here……and only I know he was less than thrilled to stand for the shot……well, now you know too.

Thirty five minutes into the hike we are 10 minutes from home. I spot a neighbor’s plant throwing some mean looking shadows. Ray has no part of my stopping and keeps walking home. He is not even answering my pleas to wait. I spend a couple of minutes and now have a challenge to see if I can catch up to him before he arrives home. I did! I love challenges.
I ask, “Do you want to go for a dip in the pool?” I jump back with shock when I hear, “Yes.”
The pool felt great as the temperature and humidity were unbearable.
Thanks for the walk……..rather photo shoot, as you call it, Ray.

Good Morning.

I haven’t gotten out early with my camera in a long time, but this morning, after having seen some color in the dark morning sky while saying good bye to Quincy, I went back inside the house, picked up the camera and walked out the back door, wearing the pjs I slept in, to shoot this little gem of color, before I headed back into the house after noticing neighbors walking towards me on their morning dog walks.

Fifteenth/Sixteenth Arnold Palmer morning lakeside sunrise at the Mission Hills Country Club.

One Stop Bracketed Shots To HDR.

Out for a morning shoot and some first HDR later in the day.

5D Mark II, EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
Manual mode, ISO 100, focal length on both 16mm, f/18
Metering Mode: Spot (forgot to change it to evaluative)
Shutter cable release
Time 7:08am

Sundown calm.

Outside at 8:05:26pm tonight, in our balmy Palm Springs temperatures, I had my 400mm lens set to ISO 3200, 1/1000sec, f5.6 in manual focus when I fired off this shot.

Miss-timed green shot, but this golfer didn't mind getting wet while running through the water to get his golf ball off the green.

Out to look for letters. There are no letters in Rancho Mirage.

I have an upcoming photography class beginning January 1st. 26 in 26. Photograph one letter a week with hopefully some creative value. My head tells me I should back out of this class. Those enrolled are all “artists”, you know creative types. I am not. Visualizing anything is something I have never been able to do. If I see “it” I can tell that I like it, but I am incapable of closing my eyes and trying to visualize anything. I’m supposed to come up with a theme for the photos I’ll be shooting. Ha. A theme? I’m still working on trying to get the aperture and shutter speed and ISO right in the camera.

I signed up for the class hoping I could learn more about how to be creative.

Walking around the block in Mission Hills CC, looking for letters is like looking for snow in the desert. Everything is new, clean, uniform and not very interesting. So of course my head is saying trying to do the weekly 26 in 26 assignment I’m going to have to drive around and look for letters and that’s going to take more time than I have. I’ve been back and forth about whether I should call Carol and tell her I’m going to back out of ANOTHER class I’ve signed up for because I don’t have the time I’d like to have to do the assignment so I don’t feel like I’m just turning something in to turn it in. I keep signing up for classes with Carol because she is the best teacher I’ve ever had. I want what she has, except, she IS an ARTIST, so how the hell am I going to get what she has?

My head tells me those in the class know photomontage, know photoshop techniques, can draw, paint or carve a letter. Great, now I’m aware of my fear of what “they’ll” think about the simple stuff I would turn in.

I’ve thought about backing out of this class for the last two weeks. I’d feel better if I knew much more about photoshop but I don’t and I don’t have the time to sit uninterrupted and learn it.

I think it’s time to come to a decision and tell Carol as there might be others on the wait list hoping to get into her class.

Tomorrow, I’ll call her.

An art piece in the neighborhood I've photographed, but not before in silouette.

Looking for shots and getting silly like this art piece.

Looking for light at night.

I’d never seen, nor heard of, the TV series 24 before. It was either my sister Leila, or Yogi, who told Ray and me about the popular series. A couple of weeks ago we bought 3 season’s worth of the series at Costco. Yesterday we made the mistake of watching the first of a two day run of watching the show. When I say two day run, I mean we could not get up from the TV for 12 hours yesterday! Today was only a little less watching. TV is a drug and 24 hours is addictive.

So……long story short, Ray and I got out for our walk only after it got dark. I brought the Canon Powershot A650 compact camera and looked for light in the dark of the night.