Field Trip to Gubler Orchid Farm, Sep 13 2014

Field Trips

On a very hot Saturday in mid-September six LPA members ventured out across the desert past Landers to the Gubler Orchid Farm.  We had a grand tour of the orchid greenhouse replete with stunning orchids of all varieties. 

Carol Moss

Members were able to set up tripods and shoot in the showroom but shot hand held in the farming greenhouse.  After we had fully photographed the Gubler showroom we proceeded up the road to the Integraton and photographed the buildings and tried to catch their vibe.  Some of us concluded the trip with lunch at Panchos in Hesperia.  Look for orchid images this year.

View all the member images in the gallery.

San Fernando Mission Field Trip, June 12 2014

Field Trips

Dale Ware

On an early sunny Thursday morning nine of us gathered at Lucky Roxy’s café  (which was very good with prompt service and bottomless cup coffee) for breakfast before driving to the San Fernando Mission to join up with five more members. We took the obligatory group photo and then scattered to photograph the mission church inside as well as the grounds and historical artifacts.

Nan Carder and Sue Craft were available for individual questions about camera settings and composition. The church interior was very dark giving us ample opportunity for HDR shots. In addition to the church there were rooms in low light with historical artifacts including saddles and an ancient wine cellar. There were millwheels, an exposed original stonewall, a fountain and gardens in the bright sun as well as contemporary murals outside.  Tripods got a workout. All of us had a good time and a chance to exchange information about cameras and settings.

Check out all the member images in the gallery.

Moonset Over Mt. Whitney, Feb 16-17 2014

Field Trips

David Wilkins

Yes, it was magnificent!  David and Chris Wilkins led us on a field trip to capture the full moon setting behind the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States, Mt. Whitney (14,500 ft.).  February's full moon is traditionally called the Full Snow Moon because usually the heaviest snows fall in February.  Even though we are in the midst of yet another drought, Mother Nature provided a light dusting of snow on the High Sierra peaks the night before we arrived.

Sue Craft

Our group of 14 met on Sunday afternoon on Movie Road, in the Alabama Hills, so that David and Chris could lead us to a prime location for capturing the moonset over Mt. Whitney.  David used The Photographer’s Ephemeris (free download for desktop computers and inexpensive app for smart phones/tablets) to calculate the “prime” location and time the sun would hit the mountain peak, and the location of the moon as it would drop behind Mt. Whitney.

Once at our location, David talked about lenses, camera settings, and suggested various locations to capture the “big event” the next morning.  One needs to do a bit of preplanning to capture this type of event.   In addition to paying attention to sunrise, one needs to know that the sun takes a while to pop over the Inyo Mountains before lighting the Sierra.  Also, the moonset time is effectively earlier than listed since it is calculated for a normal horizon that is not obstructed by mountains.

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Fall Colors and Mono Lake, October 3-6 2013

Field Trips

Holly Peskin

Led by Sue Craft & David Wilkins

I started this write up on the last night of our field trip because, well, frankly, I was feeling inspired! This was officially my second “far from home” field trip with 10 other like minded LPA members. People motivated to drive hundreds of miles up Hwy 395 to Bishop and beyond to capture the gorgeous fall foliage of aspen and cottonwood trees, as well the mysterious techniques of “Star Trail” shots at Mono Lake.  The trip was everything I hoped it would be, and then some! Investigating “new territory” was thrilling, and of course learning from our resident expert David Wilkins on how to execute a great star trail shot is something every inspired photographer needs to get under their belt!

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Field Trip to Piute Ponds - July 12, 2013

Field Trips

Ten LPA photographers attended the Dedication Ceremony for Piute Ponds. It was a celebration of the completion of a new water control system, consisting of weirs and culverts to regulate the flow of water throughout the ponds. After the ceremony, a walking and auto tour were offered. The event was also attended by members of Ducks Unlimited, Friends of Piute Ponds, personnel from EAFB, and the Fish and Game Dept.

Piute Ponds is truly an “Oasis in the Desert” and we are so fortunate to have it right in our “backyard” and open to all photographers. It is a government protected wildlife habitat. Get out there with your camera and enjoy sunrise, sunset, and all the birds!   You will want to bring your longest lens.

Numerous birds can be spotted here, especially during spring and fall migration, but also coyotes, raccoons, muskrats, and even African Clawed Frogs reside there. Roger Day photographed a King Snake on event day. Even if you’re not a bird/nature photographer, it’s truly special mini oasis out in the middle of the hot dry desert, and worthy of a visit.


Permission is needed to visit the ponds. Email to apply for a one year pass to visit Piute Ponds

Field Trip to Bolsa Chica, April 28 2013

Field Trips

Sue Liberto

Six brave birders met at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve saltmarsh & breeding area to view shorebirds of many types.  Sue Craft, Sue Liberto, Ron & Linda Yagi and Bruce & Diane Cable were in attendance for the group picture at 11:15 A.M.   If anyone else was there, we’re sorry we missed you.

Excited terns screeched all-day long & flashed by like racing white blurs. We went to the footbridge area, which was saved from development (beginning) in 1976, and the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve is now a blessing to birders with cameras, binoculars and the naked eye.

Effort and persistence were the rules of the day, mixed in with a little "luck." The birds were reticent and you had to be quick to get some prize shots.  Fast shutter speeds of 1/1000 second  were used, and 400 ISO when the day finally turned bright and sunny.

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Field Trip: Bosque del Apache Feb. 2-8 2013

Field Trips

Anita Kratofil

Bosque del Apache Nation Wildlife Refuge is about 75 miles south of Albuquerque, New Mexico.  It lies on the Rio Grande River and is the winter home to thousands of Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese.  It’s one of the top spots in the nation for nature photographers.

The time was chosen in hopes of catching the Sandhill Cranes doing their mating dance, before heading north to Canada.  Birds begin arriving in November and peak numbers occur at the end of November and beginning of December.

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LPA Field Trip to Randsburg – December 16, 2012

Field Trips

Sue Craft

Douglas Wade organized a field trip to Randsburg.  Thank you!  Approximately 15 members attended and most of them met beforehand with the monthly Sunday LPA Breakfast group at 7:30am at Carrows.  We had a mix of the usual breakfast group, plus the field trip group.

The Sunday morning trip takers met up at 10am in downtown Randsburg, a “living ghost town” only an hour away from Lancaster.  The town is over 100 years old, and started out as a gold mining town.  When the gold ran out, miners concentrated on silver and then tungsten.  The hills are full of mining equipment, and old tailings.  The town itself is full of old relics, which make great photo subjects.  Some of the old homes have been restored a bit, and are residences.    Outhouses are still numerous!  There is one main street through town, and you can see from end to end.  Buildings include the old church, the opera house, the barbershop, the general store, saloon, and more!  It’s definitely a place where you can step back in time.  It’s a quiet place, where old timers who live there can often be seen sitting around, ready to tell a story.

Whether you go there as a photographer with a load of gear and shoot with a tripod or go there with only I-Phone camera, you are sure to get great photos!

Group photo by Paul Craft. Check out the other member photos in the gallery.

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