Flowers for the Urban Landscape

Dentist day is an opportunity to walk home—8.5 kilometers (5.3 miles)—from College Area to University Heights. My wife dropped me and then drove into Mission Valley for some errands. With no cavities, and quick cleaning, I started pounding the pavement within 30 minutes after arriving at the office.

On El Cajon Blvd, approaching 58th Street, I spotted a crimson-colored flowery-plant standing alone along the sidewalk. So out of place in the urban sprawl of retail, traffic, and wayward homeless, the thing demanded being photographed. Before leaving our place, I strongly considered carrying my camera to the dentist but refrained. So iPhone XS produced the Featured Image and companion, instead.

I gave the Apple device’s Portrait mode a go for the first of the two. That bokeh looks awfully artificial to me. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/826 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 10:58 a.m. PDT. While not as pronounced, blur in the second shot is more natural, even if the background is more distracting. Vitals are same except for 1/749 sec. I wanted to get closer for both, but Portrait mode required farther distance. Each is cropped 3:2 but otherwise unaltered.

My regret: Not stepping back and capturing the full plant in context. If my online image search is accurate, I came upon Crepe Myrtle.

About 20 minutes later, Annie rang and offered me a ride, rather than drive directly back to our apartment. I couldn’t refuse; that removed 3.5 km (2.2 miles) from my scorching jaunt; 28 degrees Celsius (82 F).