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Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Bridge to the StarsThis image of the Milky Way is one I made several weeks back while on a camping trip with friends in Stanislaus National Forest in Northeastern CA. USA.
While imaging the sky I saw several shooting stars, and hoped I’d capture some on film. I got lucky and got one in this frame. You see it streaking down in the upper left of the frame.
The Bootes Meteor Shower was happening on this night, but don’t think this is one of those. This is coming from the wrong direction.

It was a gorgeous night, and the sky was gorgeous filled with so many stars.

Nikon D700| AF-S 17-35mm @ f2.8| 20sec| ISO 5000| Manual Priority| Matrix Metering| Tripod

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

UnfoldingI went on quick walk about in the neighborhood this morning with the Lensbaby Composer Pro and Macro converters, but didn’t stay out long because the wind picked up making it really hard to shoot the flowers.

This Bud didn’t take much post development. In ACR I used the lens correction filter, camera color settings filter, and moved it to CS6 to Nik Suite’s Viveza 2 where I applied some structure to the center of the rose and inside pedal then added a darken vignette around the edge of the image using Nik’s Color Efex Pro 4.  That’s it! Obtaining the dreamy look is just about effortless with this lens. I love that!

I also bought the Soft Focus Optic that I hope to get to play with today.

Nikon D700} LensBaby Composer Pro w/Double Glass Optic w/16mm and 8mm macro converters| f2.8| ISO 400| Hand-held

Copyright © Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I recently sold a lens I no longer use because I upgraded it to a better version. I put the money in the bank, then promptly

purchased a LensBaby Composer Pro with Double Glass Optic, and optional macro converter set.

There’s a bit of a learning curve, but I think I’ll get the hang of it with a little more practice.

These images are the first in what I hope will be a long love affair with this little lens.

This is my Hydrangea. I love this plant.  It’s taken a long time to get to this size. We’re having the front yard and driveway redone and I’ve been asked by every contractor if I wanted to remove it and pave over the area. I’ve replied, “No, it stays!” every time they ask.

I took this image with the LensBaby Composer with Double Glass Optic at f4

HydrangeaThis is closer look with the Double Glass Optic and 16mm and 8mm macro converters attached @f2.8

HydrangeaWhite Oleander- LensBaby Composer with Double Glass Optic and Macro Converters @ f2.8

White OleanderWhite Oleander- LensBaby Composer with Double Glass Optic and Macro Converters @ f2.8

White OleanderI am looking forward to having some free time to wander around the neighborhood looking for flowers to

photograph with the lens. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun to play with.

Nikon D700| Lexar Professional Digital Film| Hand-held

 

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Ring-necked Pheasant MaleThis one is from my Archives. I made this image in late May this year.  This was a really neat and thrilling experience seeing this male Pheasant. I see them so rarely, and most the time they’re on the run the instant they spot me. This male was so busy eating, and I think used to people being around so, he didn’t pay much attention to my presence or the sound of my clicking shutter button.

I really liked the light on his back and face.

Nikon D3oos| AF-S Nikkor 300mm f4| Hand-held

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Moon over City Hall San Jose CaliforniaI met my friend Alex downtown last night to shoot the Moon over City Hall’s Rotunda. City Hall is comprised of the Tower where the Mayor has an office on the top floor, the plaza, and the Rotunda which has council rooms, meeting rooms and a large space for events. The space and rooms in the Rotunda can be rented out for events such as weddings.

The Rotunda reminds me of an Observatory very much like those at Lick Observatory that sit high atop Mt. Hamilton which overlooks San Jose from the East side in the Diablo Range. Lick Observatory was the first permanently occupied mountain top astronomical observatory. Constructed between 1886-1887. I don’t know if that reference is what the architect (Richard Meier) had in mind when he designed the Rotunda though. I can’t find that information.

This new City Hall complex opened to the public in Oct. 2005, replacing the former City Hall complex civic center located on North First Street, which was used from 1958 until 2005. From 1889 to 1958 the city hall was located in what is now Plaza de Cesar Chavez in downtown San José.~Wiki-pedia

I shot the foreground then switched lenses then waited for the moon to rise above the mountains and buildings then I exposed for the Moon to make the second frame, finally in post development I blended the two frames together.

Nikon D700| Tripod
Frame 1- AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm @ 24mm
Frame 2- AF-D Nikkor 80-200mm @ 200mm

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

I made pizza from scratch yesterday; something I haven’t done in a while.

I made enough dough to roll out two pies. Both had fresh Mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese, but one had Kalamata Olives, and the other Black Olives for Baby Girl.

Kalamata Olive and Cheese Pizza_9817In the image above its ready for the oven. I had the pizza stone in the oven pre-heated; ready for the pie, but I forgot to pick up parchment paper at the store so the transfer from the baking sheet to the stone didn’t go smoothly. It ended up in a bit of a mess actually. It baked up fine. Just looked like a hot mess when it came out of the oven.

I didn’t take any photos of it don’t worry! :)

I did manage to cut a decent looking slice albeit slightly dinged at the tip.

Homemade Pizza_9825It tasted great, and it was just as good cold this morning for breakfast.

The dough is a basic recipe, and uber simple. I used Lidia Matticchio Bastianich’s recipe. (Lidia’s Italy in America)

Makes two pies or a lot of Calzones :)

6 cups of all-purpose flour

1 package of active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Olive Oil for the bowl

2 cups warm water (90ºF to 110ºF)

I used my electric stand mixer to make my dough.

Pour two cups of warm water into a bowl. Stir in the yeast and sugar until dissolved; let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Combine the yeast mixture with flour, and salt in the mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until the dough comes together. Switch to your dough-hook attachment. Increase the speed to medium-high, and mix until the dough comes together into a smooth mass, approx. 2-3 minutes. The dough will not clear the sides of the work bowl at this point, but should not be too wet. Add a little water or flour as necessary to get the right consistency.

Scrap the dough onto a floured work surface and knead several times, until the dough comes together into a smooth ball.

Oil a large bowl, then turn the dough into the bowl until it is coated with oil. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in size about 1-1 1/2 hours. Punch down the dough, divide in half, and let rise again.

Add your favorite marinara sauce and toppings, bake at 425ºF for 11-20 minutes, let stand a few minutes and serve.

Nikon D700| AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm| SB910 and SB600 speedlights

 

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

The Palace of Fine Arts San FranciscoI rose at 3AM this morning to head up to San Francisco to make some images. I was hoping for pockets in the fog to see the Moonset, or have thick fog in the bay so I might get the fog/ Golden Gate Bridge image I have in my head, but I struck out on both counts this morning. I couldn’t see the moon anywhere, and the pocket in the fog was in the bay with no fog at all on Golden Gate Bridge.

Trying to make lemonade out of lemons I made this image.  I’ve shot this location several times both at night and in the daylight, but not in the “Blue period” so, at least it’s a bit different from the images I’ve made before.

This is a 2 minute exposure taken with a Nikon D700| AF-S 24-70mm @f8| ISO 200| Matrix Metering| tripod| B+W 3 stop ND filter

I need a nap. I hope you have a wonderful week-end! :)

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