Tag: decor

Read More

The Lamp’s Shadow

This evening, while standing in our living room, I marveled over the shadow cast by the hanging lamp, which we bought with IKEA’s NIPPRIG collection nine years ago. Handmade from natural fibers,  the furniture and accessories are lightweight and durable—and were amazingly affordable. For example, we paid $125 for each of the two sofas (see link above for glimpse).

I used Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra to capture the Featured Image. In post-production, I cropped 3:2, which removed top of our TV from the frame. Then, in post-production, I pushed dehaze slider, which amped shadows and darkened the overall photo.

Read More

Misfit Inflatables

Christmas may be oh-so last year, but some of my San Diego neighbors let the holiday spirit linger on their lawns. Today, I came across some inflatables that are familiar and memorable—from stop-motion special “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, which first aired on television in December 1964.

Abominable looms large over a collection of misfit toys; somewhat cut-off, gold-digger Yukon Cornelius stands behind the snow monster. Creatures, people, and things that don’t fit in is the underlying theme of the perennially-broadcast holiday classic. Festive decorations are misfit, too, with Christmas past and their summer-like setting. Nuclear winter would have to come before snow fell in this part of Southern California.

Read More

Less is More Christmas Decor

Wow, we had thunderstorms overnight, as heavy rains pounded San Diego County. I love it, but expected a drab, dreary day today. Oh, no! The clouds parted to blue skies and some sun. Air temp touched 15 degrees Celsius (61 Fahrenheit) but seemed warmer when walking under the yellow rays.

My wife and I stepped out a few times to relish the crisp air and sidewalks refreshed by nature’s hand. Californians are absolutely dog crazy. The mutts pee everywhere, without restraint. Because rain is so infrequent, dry urine pollutes surfaces. You will never see me sit against a tree, as such. Yuck.

Read More

Rest in Peace, Santa

There is moaning and wailing at the North Pool tonight. Who will drive the sleigh and deliver presents to all the good boys and girls (if there are any) on Christmas Eve? Santa somehow got himself tangled in a sticky web and a spider sucked all the fluids and organs out of his body. Chris Kringle is crumpled.

I used Leica Q2 to capture the tragic Featured Image today. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/640 sec, 28mm; 9:37 a.m. PST. My wife and I came upon Santa’s remains in the Campus-North perpendicular alley that is parallel to Meade in San Diego neighborhood University Heights.

Read More

Pretty, Yes, But What About the Electric Utility Bill?

I want the Featured Image to better, but the discards from last night’s Christmas decor photo walk are worse. This house has beckoned my camera for years. The property, on Florida near Howard here in University Heights, is brazenly lit every December. I must return and seek skills redemption.

Vitals, aperture manually set: f/1.7, ISO 1000, 1/15 sec, 28mm; 7:33 p.m. PST; Leica Q2.

Read More

Hanging Houses

A quick, placeholder post replaces the one previously planned. In uncharacteristic fashion, Cali made a bed out of my lap tonight—and I let her. The other musing, dealing with today’s experience at the San Diego Library book sale, must wait.

These bird houses hang from one of two young trees planted where were a magnificent pair of Canary Island Date Palms. A few years ago, the city chopped down both, after the dreaded South American Palm Weevil infected them. Causalities are too many in my neighborhood of University Heights. I still mourn the palm that had been across the street from my office window and which similarly had to be destroyed

Read More

Witchy Where?

What’s the remedy when a photo doesn’t come out as expected? Experimentation is one answer. When shooting Halloween decor on Oct. 31, 2023, I was sure the eye would follow the line of witches hats—and/or their shadows on the sidewalk. But the late afternoon sun, shining behind me from the West, glared and the hats lacked the contrast to stand out against the busy background of grass, houses, and street.

Tonight, for the first time, I fired up Analog Efex Pro 3, which is part of the DxO Nik Collection. Mucking around, I came across Camera profile Multilens 1, which separated the photo into three panels. A few perspective adjustments later and separation moves the eyes left to right, drawing more attention to the flow of witchy wear. The effect is a workaround. I remain dissatisfied with the result, but use the circumstance to show off the editing tool.

Read More

Don’t Bite Me

I shot the Featured Image using Leica Q2, today, as my wife and I returned to University Heights from grocery shopping in Hillcrest. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/250 sec, 28mm; 11:39 a.m. PDT.

Spiders hold a special place in my heart, and something about the giant fake one demanded photographic attention. I considered close-cropping but the entire holiday decoration display deserved showcasing. So here we are.

Read More

Monster Mash

Since moving to the San Diego village of University Heights 16 years ago, I have given little attention to Halloween decorations. But in 2023, they are everywhere—and in exponential numbers. Some neighbors seemingly try to outdo others. Ostentatious, expansive, nightly-noticeable are the prevalent themes.

But a few seasonal adornments stand out for being tastefully austere, like these in the windows of a house along Lincoln. Coincidentally, in January, I wrote about the property then being the most costly rental ($5,950) in the neighborhood.

Read More

Is That a Threat or a Promise?

As Halloween approaches—and the number of ghoulish yard decorations explode like no other year—we return for more. I used Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra to capture the Featured Image, last night. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 1000, 1/8 sec, 70mm (film equivalent); 7:52 p.m. PDT.

The grave stones are quite elaborate, running outside the cement enclosure and facing the sidewalk. I returned about an hour ago, with Leica Q2, for a sharper shot—but illumination is orange and nowhere as striking as the blue. So I passed the opportunity.

Read More

Now That’s Frightening

Welcome to another blast from the past. I captured the Feature Image on this date in 2012, using Galaxy Nexus, which was codeveloped by Google and Samsung and manufactured by the latter company. Vitals: f/2.75, ISO 50, 1/115 sec, 3.43mm; 3:40 p.m. PDT.

Location: Monroe, between Cleveland and Maryland, in University Heights. The property is good measurement of San Diego’s changing housing market. The place sold for $520,000 in June 2011. The family living there moved to a larger home and put this place on the market, where it went for $617,500 in September 2013.