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Copyright ©2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Daylight starts pretty early this time of year so we met our Boat Captain at 5:45am to get in as much morning light as possible. Soon we were sailing far out into the lake to find the Grebes. It wasn’t long before Faith our Captain spotted a large group and headed for them.

Twilight turned to Dawn then Golden Hour.  We were very lucky to have been able to see this set of Clark’s Grebes dancing across the water with their breast mostly exposed to us during Golden hour. The warmth and color wasn’t like this for long.
Gosh, they were beautiful! This pair had a rather long run too.

Most the morning the Grebes danced away from us. Though Faith gave the Grebes plenty of space and room to dance our way they didn’t.
This was the very first dance we saw that morning. It turned out to be my favorite image. It happened so fast that I nearly missed it. Thankfully, Faith’s skill at spotting pairs that might dance, and her fast reflexes to get the boat in the right position she was able to alert us in time to catch this run.

Nikon D300s| AF-S Nikkor 300mm + Tamron 1.4x TC| Hand-held| Hoodman STEEL High Speed Digital Film| CS6

More to come…

Copyright © 2015 Deborah M. Zajac  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Over the week-end several friends and I went up to Lakeport, CA to view Western and Clark’s Grebes doing their annual Mating Rituals. Part of the ritual is the Courtship Dance. It’s absolutely amazing to watch.  We went out on the lake with Eyes of the Wild Pontoon Boat Tours at 5:45am. We followed several large groups of Grebes and watched, and photographed their mating behavior.

The males and females come together talking then they get really low in the water face to face, and their voices/tones change then in an instant they’re up; dancing together across the water’s surface!

Monochrome Madness 2/12-Clark's Grebes Courtship Dance

Sometimes they come together low in the water, talk a bit then change their minds about dancing, other times one will get up to dance and find he or she is all alone in the dance. :)

It was a fascinating, and entertaining morning on the lake.

To see all the other entries to Leanne Cole’s week 12 of Monochrome Madness 2 click here.

Nikon D300s| AF-S Nikkor 300mm + Tamron 1.4x TC| Hand-held| Hoodman STEEL High Speed Digital Film| CS6 & Silver Efex Pro 2

More to come…

Copyright ©2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I’m a bit late posting my Project 52 image for this week, but I spent the week-end in Lakeport, CA with good friends. This is an image I made while birding at Clear Lake State Park. I can’t resist Teasel, thistles, and Flowers! :)

P52 21 of 52  Thistle

I can’t wait to show you the Clark’s Grebes doing the Courtship Dance that I observed there!

Nikon D300s| AF-S Nikkor 300mm + Tamron 1.4x TC| Hoodman STEEL Ultra High Speed Digital Film| CS6

More to come…

Copyright ©2010-2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Over the week-end I joined my friend Hai who was hosting a Meet-Up Photography trip to Point Lobos State Park in Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA.  A lot of people canceled at the last-minute so there were only 5 of us; which was a lot of fun, and made it easy for everyone to stay together. The weather wasn’t perfect, but there wasn’t a lot to complain about either. We had an overcast sky most the day with occasional bits of blue peeking out of the fog, and clouds, there was no wind, and the ambient temperature was perfect for hiking.

For Leanne Cole’s weekly Monochrome Madness2 this week I’m sharing an image I made of Whaler’s Cabin.

MM2-11 Whaler's Cabin Point Lobos State Park

It was built over 160 years ago by Chinese Fisherman. It overlooks Carmel Bay, and Whaler’s Cove.

My image shows the side of the cabin with a huge Monterey Cypress tree growing up against the wall of the cabin. I really liked how the branches frame the little window.   The upper branch framing the window looks as if it split, but it’s still alive! The Monterey Cypress trees, and the Cypress grove here in the park is one of two groves, and they are the only two that remain on Earth. The other grove is across Carmel Bay at Cypress Point.

Today the cabin houses the Whaler’s Museum which houses some Whaling Tools, and artifacts.  I made the image below of some of the things inside the Museum back in May 2010. Can you imagine how heavy that scuba diving suit must be?

Whaler's Cabin Museum

Outside the cabin there are whale bones, and the huge “try pots” that were used to boil the Whale blubber to render oil.

The Cabin is a Registered National Historic Landmark, and you can read more about its history here.

Nikon Df| AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm| Tripod| Hoodman STEEL Ultra High Speed Digital Film|  developed in: CS6, Silver Efex Pro 2, and Perfect Black and White

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Copyright ©2015 Deborah M. Zajac  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Checkermallow

Nikon Df| AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm w/ Canon Close-Up Lens 500D| Hoodman STEEL Ultra High Speed Digital Film|

More to come…

Copyright ©2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I made this image last week-end early in the morning. It was quite overcast and gray most the day, and this little Sparrow was inside the canopy making the shot a bit tricky. Since my extender is broken and I still haven’t sent it in I was using my old D300s for the crop factor and I don’t like to take my ISO up any higher than 500 on that camera, so the bird was a bit dark.

I opened up the shadows and exposure a bit on the bird using the adjustment brush in Adobe’s Camera Raw after going through my normal white balance, camera, and lens calibration, and noise reduction settings in ACR. Then I opened the image in CS6 for resizing, added my watermark, and web sharpening.

Golden Crown Sparrow

Using Actions in CS6 to add the final touches this image took me less than 5 minutes to develop.

I like that!  :)

Nikon Df| AF-S Nikkor 300mm| Hoodman STEEL Ultra High Speed Digital Film| CS6| Tripod

More to come…

Copyright ©2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

MM2-10 Sea Otter

Taken in Moss Landing, CA last Saturday while out birding.  He was alone  in the lagoon, just floating, grooming, and occasionally diving for food.

To see all the other Monochrome Madness2 posts for this week (wk10) click here!

Nikon D300s| AF-S Nikkor 300mm f4| Hoodman STEEL Ultra High Speed Digital Film| Tripod| CS6 & Silver Efex Pro2|

More to come…

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