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Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Chestnut-backed Chickadee

Shortly after the mornings began getting chillier here in No. California a pair of Chestnut-backed Chickadees showed up at my feeder. They make sorties for about 30 minutes or so in the mornings then I don’t see them again until the following morning. Since their arrival I’ve been trying to get a good image of them from my window, but I’ve not liked anything I’ve taken as they were too soft, or blurry, too noisey, or something so, I ended up deleting them all. I was quite frustrated I can tell you!

Thursday afternoon I was in the backyard with #1 Grandson who was busy getting into everything he shouldn’t…not being content with his climbing fort, toys, or sandbox as some toddlers are wont to be when a Chestnut-backed Chickadee perched itself on a tippy top branch of my Camellia bush!
Fortunately, I took my camera out with me just in case the Hummingbirds were brave enough to continue feeding with us in the yard. This is the best image of the Chestnut-backed Chickadee I’ve been able to make to date! I hope I’m ready the next time it makes an appearance.

Nikon D700| AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4| Nikkor 14eII Teleconverter| Lexar Professional Digital Film

UPDATE on the RUFF- A post by a birder on the birding forum reported seeing the Ruff in its favorite corner of the salt pond today. It had been flushed by the Harrier a couple of times. The Ruff is wounded on the wing, but it can fly without any apparent problems, and is eating.  Happy news indeed!

More to come…

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Greetings Good Gents, and Ladies!

I spent Saturday at the Northern California Renaissance Faire with friends. Attending this faire one steps back in time. The language, characters, and costumes are all in keeping with the period, and patrons often attend in costume. It’s a Photographer’s playground! I get such a kick seeing the elaborate and crazy costumes. The shows are fun, and the Joust is exciting, and  it’s great fun cheering on your favorite Knight.

I went gear light; only taking my D700 with my 85mm f1.4D lens, and for fun my LensBaby Composer II w/ Double Glass Optic. I took a lot of images and can’t share all of them in this post, but here are a few I took with the Lensbaby Composer Pro II.

I  just passed this little plot of lovely flowers while on my way to meet friends Theresa, and Glenn- we were car-pooling to the faire.  when Theresa called and said they ran into traffic and would be about 10 minutes late, so I turned around and went to take photos of these flowers. They were so cheerful on this gray, overcast morning.

Taken on the way to the Faire

Taken on the way to the Faire

I used an aperture of f11 in the LensBaby Composer Pro II, and for the portraits I used On Camera Flash using my SB910 to open up the shadows under the hats, and eyebrows.  I had it in iTTL balanced Fill Flash mode, and adjusted my Flash EV t/- anywhere from +3 to -1.7 depending on the light. The light was mixed; deep shadows when under the trees, and bright light when out in the open once the morning fog burned off. My goal was to balance the Ambient light and flash without blowing out the images and looking like I used flash. How do you think I did?

Tatiana, Queen of the Faeries

Faerie Queen,Titania

Bird Cages, and a Broom

Bird Cages and Broom

A Harp Player- Fantasy Character

Harp Player

A Cornucopia of Stuff

A Cornicopia of Stuff_3793

One last image of my friend T’s husband.  It’s Celtic Week-end at the Faire so there were lots of men in Kilts. Glenn wore his. I don’t know about you, but men in Kilts make me go week in the knees! HUZZAH!


More to come…

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

dedpxl06 The Egg

Nikon D700| AF-S 50mm f1.8g| SB910 camera left bounced off ceiling 45º, white reflector subject right, triggered via SU-800, Lexar Professional Digital Film

UPDATE on the RUFF! I read  a sad report on a birding forum that the Ruff was seen on the shore in its favorite corner of the salt pond this afternoon, but it has been wounded! The writer said blood was showing on both legs, and when it lifted its wings there was a wound under the wing. Speculation is the Falcon or Harrier that was seen there yesterday and this morning may have nicked it, his opinion is that the wound is fatal! Hoping that it will be rescued and nursed back to health.

Nature can be so cruel!

More to come…

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Ruff Winter Plumage

This was a very exciting sighting for me, and most other birders in the area. This bird is a rare visitor to North America according to my Sibley’s Birds of North America book! It’s been hanging around a local salt pond for over a week now. I had a bit of time yesterday so went over in hopes of seeing and photographing it even though I was going over rather late in the morning. I got lucky! It was there in its favorite corner of the pond, but only for about 5 minutes before it flew off.  Thankfully it was enough time for me to capture this image.  I haven’t seen any reports of it today, but hope it’s still here.

Now, I want to travel north in the Spring to see the Male in Breeding Plumage. It’s an awesome looking bird. Reminds me of an English Judge and the fashion trend during Renaissance Times.

If you’ve never seen an image of a Male Ruff take a look at Nat Geo’s photo here

Nikon D700| AF-S Nikkor 300mm f4 w/Nikkor 14eII Teleconverter| Lexar Professional Digital Film

More to come…

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Taken last Saturday morning in Carmel by the Sea, CA. It was still overcast, and a bit cloudy which provided a lovely soft light  on these two Sanderlings that were foraging up a little higher on the beach.

Nikon D700| AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4 w/Nikkor 14eII Teleconverter

More to come…

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Black Turnstone

This little bird is a first sighting for me. I think it’s a Black Turnstone which is in the Sandpiper family.
This one and several others were feeding on the rocks near the shore while some Oyster Catchers were preening or trying to nap.

Oyster Catcher

I always try to focus in on a small detail here and there while out shooting and yesterday the fallen feathers laying on the sand caught my eye~

Fallen Feather

It was a great morning to be on the coast birding.

More to come…

Taken September 13, 2014 in Carmel, CA- Nikon D700| AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4 + Nikkor 14eII Teleconverter

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Catch of the Day

The fish this Seagull caught was so big it kept slipping out of the Gull’s mouth onto the sand. It was still alive and flopping about too. Several times the waves came up threatening to pull the fish back to sea, but that Gull would grab a fin and pull it back to the dry sand and try to eat it over and over. Finally he managed to swallow it.

Carmel by the Sea-  Nikon D700| AF-S Nikkor 300mm f4| AF-S Nikkor 14eII Teleconverter


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