Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Testing posting from my cell phone.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, March 30, 2009

I miss Mrs. Hummingbird and her baby.

Last year's view out our front door.
This morning's view out the same door.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Saturday's hike photos. Eat your heart out.

I'm not complaining, I'm not feeling too sorry for myself, I'm not bragging..... but after getting home at 1:30am Friday night I got up at 5:30am to lead the 7 mile Mission Hills CC hike carrying a 26 pound backpack!

We 7 seven hikers on this hike decided this particular 7 mile section on the PCT is our favorite hike of all the hikes our Club has gone on.

Here is the link to photos from our four hour hike.

p.s. Once on Smugmug, after clicking the link above, you will notice another gallery has been added to my Smugmug photosite and I've posted to this new gallery the Debbie D. Talk photos from March 10th. Any of you who were at the talk and would like a photo, you may order photos from Smugmug.

I will be emailing out one group and one family photo in .jpg format to all who are in our family within the week.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Joe McNally is the "Wednesday Guest Blogger" on Scott's website.

I just have to post this link to one of my favorite photographer's sites, another site I follow daily - Scott Kelby. Scott had Joe McNally as his guest blogger on March 24th.

I love Joe McNallys photos and message....... Especially this last line: "What you shoot, what you know, what you have done, what you have seen—pass it on." Hmmmmmmm, sounds familiar.

I've never been into studying history but I did copy the list of photographers mentioned as Joe's mentors and have an interest in studying some of their photography.

I'll be out of town again, for two days. Back to this blog on Saturday or Sunday.
See ya.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Critique on Assignment #5 - Spirals

CRITIQUE: Linda Jeffers

Hmmmm . . . I'm thinking that
maybe you were a bit rushed
when photographing this, or your
head wasn't quite into it. This isn't
up to your usual standards, is it?
I'm not being snotty nor
condescending, but, knowing you
and how you work and what your
skill level is, this just isn't "you."
So shall I rip this photograph to
shreds? Yeah, why not!
First of all, let's look at the
composition. The focal point is
the dark center of the mat. Why? Because it's big and it's contrasty. The dark center against the
much lighter-colored coils really stands out and catches our eye. Where does our eye go from
there, however? My eye went up to the light spot at the very top of the frame. There wasn't
much to see there, so I began looking again at the center of the coil. It's hard to see inside that
coil because it's so dark, so I follow the repeating coils around to the lower right corner, where I
can see more of the mat, but not really because it's also dark there.
My point is that the focal point is weak, there's a competing focal point, and I'm not sure where
else to go in the scene. You're not alone, however, in doing this. I create a lot of photos that go
absolutely nowhere. I just don't show 'em to anyone. (Ha. Or maybe I DO and I just don't
realize how bad they are!)
Your concept, Linda, was great. Roll up a straw mat and photograph the end
of it. What did you in was contrasty lighting in the very center, which ruined
your focal point. Toss this one out. (Or, you could do what I used to do when
shooting slides -- I'd save the bad ones and call them "teaching slides," what
NOT to do!)

Your subject has strong, bold lines to it. Your lighting is rather dramatic.
Your background is a rich red. Your
exposure is good and so is your focus. You
did everything right. You shot this well. So
why isn't it a super wow sort of photo?
I think it's because once we see and
appreciate the strong form and the color, we
don't know where else to go. There's not a
strong focal point where we would begin and
end our visual journey around the picture.
There IS immediate impact when we first see
your shot, no question. We notice all three
highlights on the metal. We appreciate the
spiral form. But there's nothing else to keep
us hanging around. We take in the photo in
one glance and then we decide to move on.
This is a good depiction of what happens to
all of us sometimes. We see something
interesting, that has a strong shape, has color,
and we create a technically wonderful
photograph of it. But overall it lacks oomph
and substance. Remember your broom
photo? That had substance to it. Your cement
fish? Major movement and swoopiness (and
that was a monochromatic shot).
As an exercise, your photograph of the candlestick is wonderful. As a photo with staying
power, nope, doesn't work. But that is OKAY. We're here to try out different things, to exercise
our seeing capabilities, and to just become better photographers. No pressure. No competition.
So thank you for posting both of these. Now go delete them!
Carol Leigh
March 23, 2009

Here is the email I wrote back to Carol and the Class Group members (We all see each other's critiques.):

Well Carol, my father used to say, “When you are right, you are right.” I do take direction. The photos have been dumped in the trash, permanently.


Sure glad I didn’t have to critique my photos. That must have been tough What a job you have. I applaud you.


Carol was correct. I had not had time to shoot for the class this last month. No excuse, just the facts.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The PCT Class of 2009 bandana.

Every year following our Pacific Crest Trail 2002 through hike, three of us 2002 hikers representing the Class of 2002, Cupcake, Yogi and I have provided the current year PCT hikers a free bandana at the ADZPCTKO weekend the last weekend in April. This photo shows the bandana I just ordered for the PCT Class of 2009.

Here is a link, if you are interested in how this tradition of making the bandanas started and what role each of us hikers (Cupcake, Yogi and I) play in the gift of giving back with a bandana.(The new Class year yellow bandana has not been uploaded to the ADZ website Carl maintains yet.)

This year we changed from using three colors to two colors on the bandana. In previous years' bandanas we had filled the 3 states in with white. The bandana looked pretty that way as the states really stood out but Cupcake heard from a through hiker last year that the white color filling the states prevented one of the handy purposes of the multi-purpose bandana....to absorb the condensation water from inside the hiker's tents.

We had no idea when we first made the bandana this PCT Class bandana would become such a tradition. Every hiker is excited about getting their bandana. I noticed on the online PCT L digest forum there was discussion about what the color of the bandana might be.

I made up 708 bandanas (59 dozen). I decreased the number I'd previously made since this year Yogi, Katy and the other registration desk helpers are going to be vigilant about only giving out free bandanas to the 2009 hikers, ADZ organizers and trail angels. All others will pay $5.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Scott Kelby's featured guest photography guest blogger, Jay Maisel!

Scott Kelby writes tons of great books about Photography. He is a great communicator and writer, not to mention he is a great photographer. He is a silent mentor as I follow his blog and have his books.

Wednesdays are guest blogger day. I can't believe this week's guest, Jay Maisel, wrote what he did in this linked Guest blog. He eloquently describes what I was attempting to say in yesterday's post about what I learned after viewing my photo shoot..... how I really need to take time to see before I start clicking away with my camera.
It’s “Guest Blog Wednesday” featuring Jay Maisel!

Posted using ShareThis

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sick today. Some flowers I shot Sunday in Anza Borrego.

I suspected I wasn't feeling all too hot on Sunday. Today I know I'm sick with a cold or flu. Never got out of my jammies.

Sunday I shot photos with a 100mm macro lens and all shots were taken on a tripod. I kept shooting away. I knew I wasn't liking what I was getting. I hiked up the trail and found the little shade there was and set up. The only other time I used this lens I was on the ground with the camera. I could see better whether what I wanted was in focus or not and I was comfortable. Sunday, the rocky terrain had me standing, set up low and I just never got comfortable. Of all the photos I took, there were only a few that were in focus enough to keep just for this post.

What I learned this day:
-Go earlier before the wind picks up. Shooting macro with even the slightest breeze is almost impossible.
-Don't start shooting until I find something pleasing. Just take the time and keep looking for color, patterns, texture, etc.
-Don't go to a popular trail area. I had to be concerned about someone walking by and my being in their way or kicking over my tripod.
-I don't know much about macro photography.
-Setting the aperture to 32 isn't enough for macro photography unless the flower is on the same plane. Depth of field is only very limited.
-Basically know what I like about what I'm attempting to shoot and shoot for that.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

PCT Hiker sightings at Warner Springs!

At 7am this morning, Heidi and I drove through Anza Borrego State Park on a wildflower search. We drove south down past the Salton Sea but returned via S-22 to S-2 to 79 on past the PCT at Barrel Springs and Warner Springs.

On S-2 a few miles before heading north on 79 (which connects up with 371 and 74) I couldn't help but pull over and check out the PCT trail that goes by Barrel Spring, a welcome water source for PCT hikers. I've camped at Barrel Spring and have incredibly fond memories of this spot. Heidi and I walked over to the spring. Water was slowly dripping from the pipe into the trough, unlike the strong flow of water I'd remembered. But there was water and bees!

Back in our car and having driven about 7 miles, I spotted my first PCT 2009 hiker 500 feet before Warner Springs Resort. I was thrilled and quite jealous at the same time. I introduced myself and Barney (trail name - Be Hope) said, "I know of you Gottago. I'm pleased to meet you." My friend Heidi was quite surprised I'm sure that a fellow hiking along the road knew me. Be Hope left on his PCT hike at the US/Mexico border, March 11th, Wednesday night, and hiked a few miles before camping. He'd been leap frogging off and on with another young, fast, PCT thru hiker named Alex who was a bit ahead of him.

I gave Be Hope my card in case he needed to call for anything. Tonight, seven hours later, I heard from him. He requested I post to the online backpacking forum a question about snow conditions north of Warner Springs and higher up in the San Jacinto mountains, as well as the San Bernadino mountains.

Here is a photo I took of Be Hope that I'm posting (with his permission).

Having left Be Hope, I drove 500 feet before another PCT hiker sighting. Kamlin, a young boy, was waiting outside the Warner Springs Resort. I made a U turn, parked and went over to say hi, when his father came out of the Resort and said, "Hi Linda!" I was surprised. Kevin reminded me we'd met about 2 years ago when I was speaking at a meeting. What a small world.

Kamlin, and his dad, Kevin are out section hiking the PCT for a couple of weeks. They both look pretty happy. Again, I'm jealous. I miss the PCT.

Leaving Warner Springs, heading north, I spotted smoke in the distance. Hopefully, this is a prescribed burn as it seems way too close to the PCT.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Murray Hill/Peak Saturday 9 mile hike.

I lead hikes for the Mission Hill CC Hiking Group. I post photos from each Saturday hike on my Smugmug website. I haven't figured out how to link the Smugmug photo site with this blog yet. I don't use Flickr anymore.

Actually, I see I do have this Smugmug website listed and linked in the right hand side menu under My Other Personal Weblinks/Linda's Photos.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Interesting bear warning sign.

(Click photo to enlarge for easier reading.)

This .jpg was sent to me by my hiking partner. We will be hiking in grizzly territory mid July!

Thanks for the reminder to buy some pepper spray Commander!

Friday, March 13, 2009

A gotta watch, from GottaGo

A friend of mine sent me an email with this message below: (Note.....I normally do not like and do not want forwarded emails AND never open them. Thank goodness I opened, read, and followed the YouTube link on this one.)

Life's for sharing by T-Mobile. Last Friday Jan 16, 2009, T-Mobile launched their new commercial. It was shot at Liverpool station in London .. They used 400 dancers and 10 hidden cameras. No one but the station employees and dancers knew what was going on... it was aired on YouTube and TV and you can see the number of passers by that shot what they could with their mobile phones. It has to be the best commercial yet.... enjoy!!!!!


Three photos from Tuesday night of our family lineage that was able to attend Debbie's Talk.

Our group shot of Ray's family and my family.

Ray's family.

Linda's family.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Debbie, Milly and Linda - 3 generations

Last night Ray and I hosted a 12 Step Talk given by my sponsor, Debbie, at the Just the Black Print meeting room in Sherman Oaks. Before the meeting, I asked to have my photo taken with my sponsor and grandsponsor, Milly. They are both my verbal, visual and emotional examples of how I want to be when I grow up.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

3 photos taken over the past 3 weeks while out of town.

Hopefully this coming trip to LA for 3 days will be the last in a back to back travel phase.

Quincy's children,Sienna and Nicholas at the mall 3 weeks ago in the San Fernando Valley. And no, I did not have ice cream.

Me and my sponse, Debbie two weeks ago in Concord, near Oakland.
Tina seated next to me, in my attempt to capture a motion photo to submit for the last assignment in the online photo class. We are on the plane, headed home from a weekend in Oakland at PRAASA.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Back in town to find this photo of Milly, my sponse and all her sponsees.

It was my sponsor's 33rd Birthday! Debbie's blue nails matched her blue outfit.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ray's flowers turned the day around.

I'd told Ray what a hard day I'd had and an hour later he came home from errands with this thoughtful, mood altering "Love" bouquet. See the black vertical letters spelling out LOVE? That's my husband. I love you Baby.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Fourth online class photo assignment critique by my teacher, Carol.

CRITIQUE: Linda Jeffers
Photo assignment: GARAGE ART

1. Aaaaaaaa!
Ha! Why do we think this is funny? Because
we're so stupid that we need a warning label
that we might fall off a ladder?
I'm quite impressed with your photo. For
starters, our eye immediately goes to the bright
white label on the left. We then follow the
guy's ladder up to the word "DANGER" and
then (and this is so cool) our eye notices the
three bolts in the upper right. The movement in
your photo goes from the warning label, up to
the bolts, then down, across the aluminum step,
back to the label again. Our "ride" is a big
triangle. Ta da!
The other thing I'm impressed with is your
choice of depth of field. You selected an
aperture that would put the top part of the label
in focus, yet still enable us to read the bottom
of the label. Your depth of field is relatively
shallow, but it is such that the top part of the
label is sharp. The rest of the photo is blurred,
but that's okay because we know what we're
looking at.
Most importantly, you created a solid, very obvious focal point -- the label.
By throwing everything else out of focus except the top part of the label,
you concentrate all of our attention on the sharp part, just what you wanted.
How have you gotten so clever with photography in such a short time?
You have gone from snapshots to photographs in what, less than a year or
so? Amazing. You're scary.

Oh, baby! This is so very cool.
We could almost be looking at a
waterfall here. Once again you've
used selective focus/shallow
depth of field to focus our
attention right where you want it
— where the bristles leave the
The only part of your photo that's
sharp (at first glance) is that little
triangular bit of space in the
upper left. So naturally, that's
where our eye goes. Once there,
we follow the gently bending repeating patterns of the bristles. They
take us diagonally through your picture, and then we have a triangular
bit of red bristles in the lower right. And those bristles look relatively
sharp! They therefore echo the triangle you created upper left. Wow.
Okay, so here's my question. If you're working with a relatively wideopen
aperture for very little depth of field, very little in focus from front
to back, how did you keep the red bristles sharp? We would expect the
top left part to be sharp. Everything goes soft as we leave that part of the
shot. Until we hit the red triangle lower right. That, too, should be out of
focus. But nope, it's sharp.
I'm thinking that we could do this by taking two exposures -- one where
the top left is sharp, another where the bottom right is sharp. Then we combine them in
Photoshop and blend them so that just the sharp red bristles down below come through.
Enquiring minds want to know, so give it up, Linda! Let us know how you did this!

Carol Leigh http://www.photoexplorations.com/
March 4, 2009

My response to Carol on my critique:

Thank you for my critique Carol, your compliment about moving from taking snapshots to photographs in a year means the world to me. Yeahhhhhh! Ah oh, pressure is on.
The Aaaaaaah photo.
I actually spent lots of time and took about a hundred different shots of each of the two photos I submitted. Nothing looked right, nothing felt right. I didn’t like the ladder and the background. I used late afternoon light, before the sun went down behind the San Jacinto mountains. I was in my front patio. I put on a 100mm macro lens and found I could eliminate the ugly background. I just kept trying to frame the ladder this way and that hoping I could find a way to make the ladder look like some form of art. I knew I wanted only 3 of the 5 bolts in the upper right hand corner and I knew I wanted the white ladder “danger” sign as the main focal point. I selected this photo as it was the best of the many, not knowing whether you would like it or not. What I did know was that I had learned a lot from spending that much time taking and viewing so many photos.
The Bending bristles photo.
Again, I used the 100 mm macro lens. The propped up broom in the front patio looked stupid. So I kept shooting… trying this and that angle and settled on a wide open shutter on a small portion of the broom where the bristles exited. I liked the tight waterfall look and I liked the triangles when I reviewed the photos on the LCD. But trying to get the focus looking ok because the focus was so shallow generated many more clicks of the shutter. You asked if I did anything tricky in Photoshop. Nope. I don’t even know how to take 2 photos and put them together I still don’t know how to take a good moon shot, cut it and paste it in another photo to replace a blown out moon. I believe the focal plane was the same distance away on the top left and bottom right red bristles and that’s why they are both in focus.