Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Lena!

At El Rancho before dinner.

Great cake tonight Lena.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sitting at Borders.

So Ray and I stayed at the Marriott last night. Now I'm at borders for an hour. I turned on my computer and couldn't get wireless internet at Borders. Hmmmm. Funny I couldn't get internet at the Marriott last night. When my computer asked me if I wanted to repair the problem while at Borders, I found my wireless radio hadn't been turned on. So, no wonder I wasn't getting internet last night. I wonder how the radio got turned off. It's always something. Glad it's not my new computer.

Went for a hike up killer hill in Tarzana this morning with Craig, Ray and Alex. Oh it felt great to be back at my old playground, the Santa Monica Mtns. I'm still not over my cold but I enjoyed getting the exercise. Had nice talks with both Craig and Alex separately. I love it when someone wants to come hiking with me. I miss hiking Killer hill with Tina and Cindy like we regularly did before Ray and I moved.

While at PG last night, we think Ray's car was broken into. The driver side door handle had some paint chipped from where someone attempted prying open the door. Today when I went to look for my small evening handbag camera I couldn't find it. Ray couldn't find his overnight bag either. I think the thieves were kids because two packs of gum and a bag of fire Jolly Rancher candies is missing too. We still aren't sure anyone actually got into the car as both our memories aren't great and Ray might have forgotten his overnight bag at home. I'd decided not to put the small camera in my evening bag last night when I got out of the car and remember throwing the camera back in the car. Maybe when I opened the door after the meeting the camera fell out. And lastly, maybe we finished off the gum and candies! Anyway, this is still a mystery to us that we are both missing things and there definitely is damage to the driver door.

In a half hour I'll meet someone at El Rancho to go through the Book. Then at 5pm I meet two other ladies to read more of Chapter 7. Tonight is Lena's 13th Birthday. I'll see Lena and other ladies for dinner at 6pm, then the meeting, and then home and back to the desert.

No photos today. Sigh.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A 5pm walk around MHCC.

I'm feeling better today finally. I had to get out for a walk and Ray was up for it. I hadn't been outside for two days except briefly when I stepped outside to watch Ray and his golfing buddies play their 3rd shots onto the 15th green around 11am. This is the best time of the year down here in the desert. I'd guess the temperature to be around 80, most snow birds haven't arrived in town yet and it's just balmy and quiet. Very relaxing.....Why I don't go outside more, I don't know. It was a heavenly 45 minute walk we had around Mission Hills Country Club.

I snapped off this shot during our stroll. Holding the Canon Powershot 650 steady was impossible but I like shadows and I wanted to remember this relaxing walk with Ray.

Tomorrow Ray and I drive in to the SFV. We'll be staying over in the Marriott and returning home after our Thursday night meeting. Tomorrow night Jim H. is speaking at PG and a number of us are going to hear him.

This weekend and maybe early Thursday sometime, I want to spend time outside with my larger camera and tripod. I haven't taken one practice photo since I left Half Moon Bay. I don't want to stop the discipline of looking for and shooting photos.

While I've been sick I've not wasted this precious stay home time. I have been reading and learning some of the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 software I recently purchased. I'm in heaven trying to learn this way cool data base file management software. To be able to rate and keyword photos for easy retrieval once you pose a request of criteria will save me so much time trying to find photos. I only wish Cupcake were here with me. He learns so fast and I learn from him as he explains what he is learning. It takes me so long to understand something. But when I see someone working with the program and they watch and help me work with the program, I learn best. Where are you Cupcake? I think I need to find someone local who will come and teach me weekly. Wouldn't that be great?

Another learning curve starts as Thursday Scottie will bring me my newly ordered Adobe Photoshop CS4 software that was just released this week. My Photoshop 7.0.1 is so old, old meaning behind in all the newest technology.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Photos I took in Half Moon Bay and just submitted.

Last week Ray and I were on the go non stop. Wednesday we drove in to the San Fernando Valley where I spoke. We spent the night over and Thursday, also in the SFV, we attended our home group meeting. Friday we attended the Just the Black Print Meeting Ray and I started here in Rancho Mirage. Then after the meeting we had dinner with some friends who driven out to the meeting. And Saturday we again drove in to the SFV to attend a friend's 20th birthday. All last week I felt sick but now I'm home really sick with a full blown cold.

This week's schedule was on the heels of having been away 8 days up in Half Moon Bay attending a loosely structured class with 11 other students, Norm and our teacher, Carol Leigh. Our assignment was to photograph the character and feel of HMB. By the way, I had an incredible time setting up my tripod and camera at 5am to shoot the setting full moon and later rising sun. The Beach Hotel where I stayed had a balcony that suited my early morning shooting needs without having to go out into the scary dark of the morning on the beach or pier.

I don't know how many photos I shot. Tons. We were told to select 20 photos for submission to our teacher. She'll take 3 photos from each students' submissions and put together a book. Thank goodness my computer waited to crash until I was home. (I am now the very proud and happy owner of a new T500 Lenovo IBM, a 20" Mac external monitor, Lightroom 2.1 and am waiting for Adobe Photoshop CS4 which is supposed to arrive this week. Lots of learning curves.)

Here are some of the photos I submitted:

Out on the docks, looking at Pillar Point Harbor Pier.

Silver pumkin outside the Mill Rose Inn B&B.

An attempt at photographing color at a local pumpkin farm.

Looking back at the Beach Hotel where I stayed.

So many students photographed great shots at the many pumpkin farms. We had great sunny days, but had hoped for clouds which make for better photos. This was a another attempt at a pumpkin festival shot.

This was one of the first shots I took before sunrise. I'd never shot with so little light before. Pillar Point Harbor.

We all called this Norm's Pier. I don't know the real name of it. It's located at the northern end of the Half Moon Bay Beach. This was the first of two times I visited this pier for sunset shots.

Early morning shot looking north from my balcony at the Beach Hotel.

Reflections of dock pilings at Pillar Pt. Harbor.

A wider view of the dock.

An uninteresting boat that caught my eye because of the light on it.

First full moon rise I've ever shot. I was so excited and focused on the moon, I neglected to notice and avoid a big ugly dock feature in the lower right hand corner of many of the other photos.

First time I ever shot a setting moon. It's hard to not blow out the moon and retain detail.

A point at the northern most beach of HMB.

A view of the house at the end of 'Norm's' Pier.

Another moon shot over a hotel along the shore in HMB.

Pigeon Point Lighthouse. I arrived and started shooting a half hour before sunrise. As with all these shots, I used a tripod.

I turned around and shot the rising sun. Can you see two of my classmates?

A shot of the lights of the northern most land and naval equipment.

Ocean beach bluffs photographed on my return from Pigeon Point Lighthouse around 8:30am.

Shot seconds before the sun rose.

I was asked by my doctor if I'd bring in two framed photos from this class to hang in his office. Which two do you think would be best together?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I'm back. Here is a pick-me-up video.
I'm sure LR needs a break to watch it.
Enjoy, as I did.

p.s. Once you click on the link don't forget to read Matt's story linked on the blog.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Computer crash.

After telling my son Lane last night that my computer had crashed, he said that he knew something was up that I hadn't been posting anything. I feel so lost without my computer. The Lenovo IBM was over 4 years old. I"ve sensed the IBM was close to dying during the last few months. I was waiting to buy a new computer AND new photography software, Adobe Photoshop CS4 and Adobe Lightroom 2, in January. I'm trying not to spend too much money right now. Yes, I'm bummed with the crash but thrilled with the new equipment I'll have Friday. Right now I'm on an 8 year old Mac. This keyboard is missing a cover on the "u" and the keyboard is so overly sensitive the cursor rarely stays on the word on typing. BUT, I still am able to access the internet.

Hopefully by the weekend I will begin posting again. I'm waiting for the critiques on my 5th online photo assignment - Red, White and Blue, and 10 Santa Fe workshop photos I presented for review.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

4th Assignment - Office Art Critique

While up here in Half Moon Bay I went online and noticed I'd received the critique on Office Art. I did not like this assignment. I have trouble with setting shots up.

I'll be leaving Half Moon Bay where I've been for the last 5 days to head over to my sponsor's house in Concord, CA to attend her Baby Meeting on the Concepts. Tomorrow I return to the LA area and will be at my Home Group Meeting Thursday night and Ray! Can't wait. I've had a great time up here photographing Half Moon Bay but it's time to return home to Ray and my regular routine. I'll be posting some of my favorites I shot this last week in a day or two.

1. CRITIQUE: Linda Jeffers
Office Art

Good idea for a photo -- lots of photos
of YOU! I like how you have them all
fanned out, and how you've created a
repeating pattern, not only of yourself,
but with all the words and letters and
the individual cards. You've effectively
pushed our eyes around the frame,
checking everything out. Well done. I
also like your limited depth of field.
There's just one "Gottago" that's in
focus while the rest blur out. It's a very
good technique -- shallow depth of
field so that everything's soft except for one little thing, or one little "slice" of a shot.
Your exposure, focus, composition -- all are good.
The only thing I'm wondering about is the bit of
background showing in the lower left corner. Is it a
distraction? Your picture's all about repeating
patterns, repeating words, repeating forms. To have
something completely different and unrelated lower
left could be a distraction. But, frankly, it's not a big
one. I just needed SOMETHING to talk about! :-)


This is interesting -- both you AND Bruce Lloyd
submitted pictures of old typewriters. (I'm
wondering if we've got any "feet on old typewriters"
waiting in the wings! There have been more feet in
this class than I've ever seen!) Look at the difference
between your old clunker and Bruce's old clunker.
His had boldness because of the red/black/silver
color combination. Yours has boldness because of
the strong stairstep forms you captured.
Let me talk about that a minute. Look at the three
triangles you put together in this shot. You've got one up top with the typebars, another formed by the "wedge" of keys, and then a third formed in the lower left
corner. Everywhere we have triangles we have diagonal lines (and perhaps everywhere we have diagonal lines we have triangles).
Wherever we have diagonal lines, we have movement. And you've got a lot of movement here.
I like the dust and weathered metal -- they create an ambience that really adds to the concept of
your photo. Naturally, I wish it were sharper, but I
understand the problems we have when shooting
through glass, especially at Bodie. So all in all, I think
you did really well with this shot -- especially with the


You had a lot of decisions to make when setting up this
shot. What do you put it on? What do you use as a
background? How do you keep the reflections from the
metal non-distracting (i.e., how do you keep YOU out of
the reflection?). And then, how do you crop this? Do
you include the entire trash can? Or do you (as you did
here) decide to clip off one side of it? Set-ups can be
difficult, and this is a good example.
Overall, I think you did a good job with it, especially
with the exposure and with the reflections. There's
nothing being reflected that catches our eye and makes
us dwell on the reflection rather than the shape of the
trash can. And your background is clean and simple.
You put the trash can on a glass table that creates a
mirror-like reflection, which I think is very effective, a
very interesting touch.
You clipped off part of the right side. Does that look
like an artistic decision, or does it seem like an accident?
To me, it seems kind of accidental. Usually, when we
chop off something, we need to make it a really radical
chop (like in half) or we need to chop off something on
the other side. If we don't, we run the risk of appearing
careless with our photography.
So then the question is, if we're going to amputate, how
far should we go? Or would it have been better not to
have amputated at all? I think perhaps if you’d been able
to include the entire trash can in the shot, it would have
been better. We could have seen the form better and
we’d be less uncomfortable about part of it being
chopped off. Maybe a wadded up piece of paper at the
bottom somewhere would be a good touch to give a sense of size/perspective.
Thanks for posting these. We're just three hours away from getting together here in Half Moon Bay -- I should have done this in person!
Carol Leigh

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Some photos from the last two days in Half Moon Bay.

Everyone in our class is here in town now. There are 12 of us students and our teacher, Carol Leigh. It's a good group.

At 2pm we met in Carol's room, discussed what we'd be shooting for the end product - a book representing Half Moon Bay. Thought I'd post some photos I showed today in Carol's room.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Yesterday's sunrise and sunset.

Kenny, Katie and Rick on our way up the Bump and Grind at 5:30am.

Rick and Katie.

Sunset taken on the I-5 near all the smelly cow lots.

I have been trying not to listen to the news. I don't turn on my car radio. I walk out of the room when Ray has the news on TV. I avoid reading the newspaper. It's the only way I seem to somewhat quiet my head and my heart.

I am on the road, headed to Half Moon Bay to meet Carol Leigh and 12 other photography students for a 3.5 day shoot for a book Carol is publishing depicting Half Moon Bay. Last night I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express 2.5 hours from Half Moon Bay. This morning I ate their complimentary breakfast in front of the large screen, high volume TV. I'm back in my room, with my friend, my computer, trying to numb out from the news of other nightmare day in the stock market. are a couple of photos I took yesterday. The first two I took on yesterday's morning Bump and Grind hike with 3 very special people. The last photo I snapped while driving on the I -5 last night.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tonight's attendees at the BM.

A new teleconference machine's short cord kept us from having our meeting in the living room. So we all squeezed into Milly's dining room. Five out of town ladies were on the phone. What a powerful meeting. Powerful women!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A great link

Scott Kelby is my newest read.

Reading his links in this link kept me up too long.

Santa Fe Group Photos with our teacher, Carol.

At the end of our 3 and a half days of workshop shooting, Carol set us all up and evidently gave us very specific directions on how she wanted us to pose for a memorable group photo, directions I obviously didn't understand. I've included the email Carol just sent to us all regarding the photos she linked us to:

I put both versions of our group photo in my album. What I want to know is, who is that standing behind Chris? Notice, too, how Linda Jeffers did NOT put her camera up in front of her face. And notice, too, that she's the only one with her lens cap still on! Tsk, tsk! Carol de Leigh

Here is the email I sent back to Carol and the group:

Carol, > > Ok, ok. At the time I think I heard the hold your camera part up (of > your directions for the photo) but I think it must have been Lori's > fault that I missed the rest of those directions. Lori must have been > talking to me during the last part of the photo directions.. > know, when you might have said something like.... hold the camera up > to your face and hide your face for the photo AND don't forget to take > the lens cap off. Darn Lori. (just kidding of course.) > > I'd like files of the two group photos please Carol. I know you are > probably thinking...."RIGHT. After you screwed up my shot? I don't > think so." > Well, I sorry. Really. See, this is just another example as proof as > to why I never got good grades in school. I've always had trouble > hearing directions the way everyone else does. Some things never > change. Now do you feel sorry for me? > > Now may I have the two files of the group shots????? > > Linda

And part of Carol's email response back to me and the group:

Excuses, excuses. But I applaud your blaming Lori for your not following directions. That's something SHE would do to you, so kudos for one-upping her.


This is a fun group and I can't wait for the Half Moon Bay workshop next week.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A few new great blog links....

My photography teacher's new photo montage blog.

AND......Katie has started an unbelievably good daily blog. Ray is addicted to reading it. I see by a comment left from Joanna that she is following Katie's daily journal as well. Here is the blog.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My 3rd online class assignment with Carol Leigh - Twos and Threes.

CRITIQUE: Linda Jeffers
Twos and Threes


Woof! What a terrific photo,
Linda. I'm not sure what I'm
looking at, or looking through, or
looking into, but it doesn't matter
and I really don't want to know.
What you've created is an abstract
image with a lot of mystery, a lot
of drama, and a lot of power. You
lined things up just right. Your
exposure is just right. I love the
little highlights running along the
horizontal elements in the shot. I
like the grainy look to the scene.
And I like how the cars are so out
of focus yet sharp enough that we
know we're looking at cars.
Your three lights set the scene beautifully. The two cars?
Perfect. The grids that form a frame? Excellent. Do I have
any suggestions regarding how this picture could be any
better? Not a one. Major kudos, madam.


This one's good, too. I like how
you've got a lot of depth of field, a
lot in focus from front to back.
Usually this is the result of
selecting an aperture that's quite
small -- the smaller the lens
opening or f/stop, the more will be
in focus.
Your lighting is good in that it's not
overly hot; there aren't any distracting hot spots. Yes,
there's glare on the glass, but it's not overexposed and
we EXPECT glass to have reflectivity.
I especially like how you put the vases on the diagonal.
There's also a diagonal line behind them, running in a
different direction. Those two diagonal lines give your
photo movement. We begin with the foreground vase,
move into the frame, and then the background diagonal
encourages us to move back toward the left. The vertical
nature of the vases and the reeds or stems within them,
give your photo a lot of height -- yet another direction
for our eyes to go. Lots of movement here, and done in
an orderly fashion.
Interesting photo, well-composed, well-exposed, well


Ha! I wish I could say you're the first to feature feet
in these classes, but Rebecca Ford (once of San
Francisco, now living in Mexico) beat you to it. She
would be pleased to see yours, however!
What makes your photo particularly compelling is
the lighting. The way the light is hitting your feet
and accentuating the texture of your skin and
creating shadows that set your toes apart is excellent.
What I also like is the combination of the bluishcolored
fabric at the bottom of the frame and how it
makes the warm golden tones of the background
look especially good. Complementary colors.
You created movement in
your shot by having a
long diagonal line lead us
up and into the frame; the diagonal line of your toes leads our eye
down to the foot on the left. Again, well done.
You should be INCREDIBLY pleased with these three photos.
They're not the sort of thing you usually photograph, and I hope you
had a fun time doing it.
Carol Leigh

I am so surprised by the Woof! I got in the critique on the first photo - Three on Two. I had read tonight's email I'd received while I was away in LA today. My friend Carol D. sent me the following email. I had not read my photo critique yet.

Linda -

I hope you know about a "woof" from Carol Leigh. It is like winning an Oscar. She rarely gives a woof and when she does, we covet them. In six years I have had One (1) "woof".

So, CONGRATULATIONS!!! Your photos are great and the "woof" is well deserved. You should be proud.

Good stuff, Linda.


Funny thing.... while driving home from the meeting tonight I told Ray I wasn't feeling very good about my photography.....that yes I was learning a lot, enjoying what I was learning, especially since the Santa Fe workshop.....but I don't feel I have had the time to practice and digest what I have learned.

In about 9 days I am going away with my teacher, Carol Leigh, and 11 of her other students to photograph Half Moon Bay. The photos we all take will be featured in a book our teacher is going to publish. Many of the other students going are much more experienced than I and some are professionals. My mind has been telling me I shouldn't go. I should give up my spot as I know many of her other students wish they were going....wish they had read the email Carol sent out before all the spots were filled.

I am not going to listen to my mind. I'm going to go.

I am thrilled and surprised with the critique of my Twos and Threes photos. I did have fun with this assignment even though these are not things I would normally photograph.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Just in! Lesson #2 Alphanumeric Critique from my teacher, Carol Leigh.

1 CRITIQUE: Linda Jeffers

This is a very cool "C," Linda. It's got a sort of
primitive look to it that's enhanced by all the grunge,
goop, drips, drops, splats, and splatters surrounding it.
The "1932" is a nice little touch, too.
I like how you composed your shot, with the vertical
aspect of the "C" enhanced by your choice of a
vertical format. (So many times we mindlessly hold
our camera up, in a horizontal format, click, and don't
consider how simply changing to a vertical format will
make already-vertical subject matter look even taller.
But I digress . . .)
The ONLY thing that could make this picture better
would be if it were in focus . . . You're KILLING me
here! The shot looks really soft to me; if it had been
sharp, you would have nailed it.


Yay! It's in focus! What a cheerful, splashy,
jubilant "J" this is. It's all about boldness and
complementary colors (orange/blue) and the
entire shot just jumps out at us.
What makes your "J" especially interesting is
that it's on a surface that has some shading and
texture to it. If the background had been a
plain, smooth orange color, it wouldn't have
the same impact. It would border on boring.
But the background here is excellent for setting
off the "J."

'Tis a jaunty little "J." It's got personality. You
done good.


I have such a love/hate relationship with
graffiti (I feel like it lowers our overall quality
of life, yet the colors and designs can be
spectacular). In addition to the emotional
aspect of it, I also find it really hard to shoot.
The letters often merge into one another,
preventing me from isolating one particular
letter or number, which is frustrating. But I
think you photographed this "S" fairly well.
You've isolated the letter. You centered it in
the frame, which is fine, and the left-hand
black vertical thingie and the right-hand wood
act as internal frames, setting off the "S"
The only thing I'm wondering about is your
shooting angle. It looks as though you were
standing off to the right, so the horizontal lines
of the cinder blocks are skewed at the bottom
but level at the top. Would the letter look better
if you'd shot straight on?
I brought your photo into Photoshop Elements
5 and, using the Transform/Perspective tool,
tried to tweak the picture so that it looked like
you shot from straight on. But my Photoshop
skills aren't good enough to show you what it
would look like -- it didn't work at all. Sorry.
Good color, good focus, lots of drama. You
should be pleased!
Carol Leigh
P.S. The better the photos, the shorter the