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Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Project 52 17 of 52 Spring Morning SunIt’s been sometime since I last made an image of the Sun so, I thought I’d dig out my Solar Filter and capture the Sun while it was still fairly low in the morning sky for this week’s Project 52 image.

There are two nice Sun Spots showing up in this image; one in each hemisphere. I’ll have to look at NOAA’s image and see how many they see with their bigger lens and better filter.

I had a nice surprise when I opened the Solar Filter’s box. I discovered the B+W ND Filter I’ve been looking for. I couldn’t remember where I put it, but knew I put it somewhere safe when I was boxing up the house to have new carpeting and flooring put in last October. I have been looking for this ND filter for months. I’m happy to have found it. I will use it next month when I return to Yosemite for my birthday hike.
Nikon D300s| AF-S Nikkor 300mm f4@ f20| 1/30s| ISO 200| Manual Priority| Matrix Metering| Tripod| Orion Solar Filter

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

At the Tunnel View CafeThis is the “cool” version of Sunset that I took while at Tunnel View in Yosemite a couple of weeks ago. I used a Singh-Ray LB ColorCombo Filter to enhance the colors and reflecting light.

The haze in the image is moisture from the low clouds, and smoke from camp fires down in the valley. I hoped to get Alpine Glow on both Cathedral Rocks and El Capitan, but it didn’t happen while I had my Singh-Ray filter on. You just never know what it’s going to be like. It’s never the same twice.

Nikon D700| AF-S 17-35mm @ f11| 1/10s| ISO200| Manual Priority| Matrix Metering| Tripod| Singh-Ray LB ColorCombo filter

Yosemite National Park, California, USA- sunset


Copyright © Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

A month or so ago I was inspired by my friend Anne to join her on Saturday April 19, 2014 in Walnut Creek, CA to participate in the Diablo Trail Challenge. It would be her Birthday and she wanted to do something fun and athletic for it. I read about the event and wanted to join her.   There were four events going on; a 50K, Half Marathon, 10K, and 5K.  Anne is a runner; she signed up for the 10K, and I hike/walk signed up to do the 5K. I thought we’d finish about the same time.

I asked He-Man if he wanted to do it with me and he said he would.

The Diablo Trails Challenge is a fundraiser to protect, restore  the land, trails, and build new trails. This event started and finished at Castle Rock Recreation Park in Walnut Creek, CA.

The whole event was really well-organized from start to finish. Overflow parking was at local High School. Since my event was last I knew parking in the park would be full, so I went straight to the High School where I found plenty of parking.

Free Shuttle buses were running continuously between the Park and High School.  There was a line for a shuttle bus when I got there, and Anne had sent me a text message telling me it took her awhile to get on a shuttle. The volunteers at the Shuttle bus waiting line were very “time” conscious . They walked up and down the line asking if anyone was doing the 10K?  If they found any they were quickly sent to the front of the line.

Once we got to the Starting area I found the check-in process well-organized and well manned. Then all we had to do was people watch while waiting for the 5K to start. As it got closer to the start time people started gathering near the Starting Line I went up in front and grabbed a quick photo.

4 Minutes til Start Time

Then I went to the back of the pack, raised the camera over my head and tried to capture the 5K pack-

Minutes before the Start of the 5K Save Mount Diablo Run April 1When the Gun went off to begin our event I crouched low and slowed my shutter speed to capture the motion of the runners/walkers feet-

They're Off!The trail started off on flat sandy/rocky soil then quickly we started going up.  Several men runners from earlier events passed us. About a half mile into the hike I saw a woman running down the hill wearing a 10K bib. She was the first woman we’d seen returning. She might have been the first place 10K woman.

First Woman I saw coming down the mountainThe trail was mixed terrain; flat and easy or rocky and tricky. The trickiest place was the creek we crossed.

There was big puddle  that was too deep to run/walk through so everyone went around it, which caused a bit of a bottle neck. We let returning runners/walkers come across first. There’s He-Man with his back to me in the blue T-shirt carrying a black camera bag.

5 Crossing the creek_4944We got to the 5K turn-around point but, I hadn’t seen Anne coming down yet so we decided to wait a bit for her. 8 minutes later Anne; the Birthday girl/woman turned the corner with a friend (Bill).

It's my Birthday!Anne and Bill left us shortly after saying Hello to keep their pace and time. We’d meet them at the Finish.

There were lots of cheering volunteers and staff along the trail. This man, a photographer, and female volunteer not shown were just past the 5K turn-around point where we waited for Anne.

Staff on the trail cheering on the runners_4950This couple was having a lot of fun, and look like they have plenty of energy to finish.

7 Man and Woman just past the 5K mark on their way down_4956a male runner on the way to the Finish Line- he might be a Half Marathon Runner.

8 Runner Male Will on the way down near 5K mark_4948Photographing the photographer

Photographing the Photographer_4961v2The Finish Line in my sights!

Nearing the Finish line

After crossing the Finish Line I collected my Finishing Metal, and T-shirt then grabbed a snack then we headed to the Shuttle.  I couldn’t find Anne to say Good-bye, and I didn’t have cell service, but tried sending her text message anyway. Anne found us in the Shuttle waiting line. We all left together. We all agreed it was a fun morning with great weather.  I’d do this event again. Maybe next time Baby Girl, and #1 Grandson will do it with us too.

All images taken with a Nikon D700 w/AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G  using Lexar Professional Digital Film, developed in Photoshop CS6



Copyright © Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

P52 16 of 52 Keeping an Eye on the Sky                                                            Acorn Woodpecker-Male

Nikon D300s| AF-S Nikkor 300mm f4 lens at f/8| 1/1250s| ISO 500| Manual Priority| Matrix Metering| Hand-held

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Northern Flicker-MaleI’m so excited-this is the best Male-Northern Flickr image I’ve made to date!  It is also the closest I’ve ever been to a Northern Flicker.
My friend Rainey and I had been shooting wildflowers up in the mountains when we were descending we spotted him pecking at the road. He flew up to this perch and stayed just long enough to capture two frames. Both were a bit over exposed, and not as sharp as I would have liked as I was shooting on the fly from the passenger side of the car through the window. Thankfully Adobe Camera Raw, and a bit of sharpening in Photoshop saved the image.

I am not happy about cutting off his tail though. So, while I’m happy to have made this image there is a better one still to be made. The chase continues. :)

Nikon D300s| AF-S Nikkor 300mm @ f4| 1/200s| ISO 500| Manual Priority| Matrix Met| Hand-held| San Benito County, California, USA

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

P52 15 of 52  Carnivorus Pitcher Plant

Sarracenia leucophylla Carnivorus Pitcher Plant

Sarracenia leucophylla Carnivorus Pitcher Plant

Nikon D700| AF-D Nikkor 105mm micro| Hand-held| Berkeley Botanical Garden, Berkeley,CA, USA

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Sunset Los Gatos, CAIt was a gorgeous sunny day yesterday. The temperature was in the low 80′s. Late in the afternoon I noticed clouds forming and thought the sunset might be a colorful one, so I packed up a light-weight kit and headed over to Vasona Lake.

I had another view framed, but the  clouds and color didn’t drift that way, so I turned around and found the color there.

Nikon D700| AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G @ f8| 1/15s| ISO 200| Manual Priority| Matrix Metering| Tripod


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