Tag: flowers

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Bee Passionate

The crazy thing about San Diego is the way flowers, plants, and trees grow. Anywhere. Everywhere. Unexpected places. Along an alley across from fencing where grapes grow, I passed passion fruit today. That’s two different neighbors’ fence lines.

I initially whipped out Galaxy Samsung S24 Ultra for a shot of four fruits lined up. But busy bees brought my attention to the flowers, where luck delivered good-enough composition and a bee in flight. What’s not to like about that?

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Who, or What, Is Buried Here?

What an unfortunate day for me to run an errand out to Ocean Beach. Congestion and traffic marked the afternoon. Wonderful weather—sunny and 21 degrees Celsius (70 Fahrenheit)—was one reason. Kite Festival was another—and what a crowd! Then there was the Pro-Palestinian protest along Sunset Cliffs Blvd to the corner of West Point Loma.

While waiting in traffic on I-8, something odd piqued my curiosity. Where there was nothing but greenery along the highway, a mound rose covered in pink and white flowers. Why there and nowhere else? I wondered. The mound’s shape and size made me think grave—and the flowers, too. Dare I suggest fertilizer?

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Color Me Orange

Chill. Don’t complain about more flowers. Appreciate them—as do I. Walking along an alley today, I passed by clinging-vine Nasturtium that had taken over  a backyard gate and fence.

The simple, cheerful scene charmed me enough to pull out Leica Q2 and take a single shot. Vitals for the Featured Image, aperture manually set: f/4, ISO 100, 1/500 sec, 28mm; 3:17 p.m. PDT. I reduced orange saturation during post production.

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Pretty Poppy

The calendar hanging on our refrigerator correctly designates April 22 as Earth Day. I consider the celebration to be a year-long event. Our celestial home deserves more than 24 hours out of the 8,760 during a typical year.

So, commemorating today before you do tomorrow, I present the Featured Image, taken because of the California Poppy’s color. Unfortunately, breeze blew by just as I clicked the camera’s shutter, so point of focus isn’t exactly where intended but close enough.

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Fortnight Lilies

Being bored while our ginger Neko explored the apartment building courtyard late afternoon, I pulled out Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and turned it to some of the fortnight lilies lounging in the center space. The Featured Image and companion are among a total of seven captures.

Vitals: f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/240 sec, 13mm (film equivalent); 4:59 p.m. PDT. The other is same but 1/300 sec, one-minute earlier. Both photos are composed as shot and straight from the smartphone; no edits.

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Capturing Crown Daisies

When deciding whether to move from the Galaxy S23 Ultra to its S24 successor, I wondered if Samsung’s iterative design would be better enough. Yes! Display’s reduced reflectivity, 2600-nit screen brightness outdoors, insanely long battery life, and Galaxy AI are among the refinements that matter. That said, I am most satisfied with the photography experience.

Colors are less saturated and more accurate. Photos are no longer over-sharpened and, related, they are more natural looking. Clarity is improved, and often shots satisfy straight from the smartphone—little to no editing required. The Featured Image is an example.

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Lilac Wall

Four years ago, I shared with you shots of lively lilacs along a wall here in my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights. What those photos lacked was context, which the Featured Image gives quite dramatically.

This afternoon, while talking to one of my sisters by phone, I came upon a young woman shooting photos of something behind me. I turned to see. Lilacs. Sis loves lilacs. So I pulled out Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, pointed, clicked, and texted. She was delighted.

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Garden Supper

Among the many benefits of Leica Q2, or any camera from the series, are dedicated manual focus and macro modes—activated by turning dedicated rings around the lens barrel. I used the latter feature when taking the Featured Image and companion, which were close-cropped in post-production.

I captured the pair yesterday. Vitals, aperture manually set for both: f/4, ISO 100, 1/1250 sec, 28mm; 4:27 p.m. PDT. The second is the same but 1/1600 sec, two minutes later.

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What These Flowers Mean

The Featured Image is a memory marker. I shall explain. The grass on this property is rarely overgrown like this. But the woman responsible for tending things has lost the privilege of doing so. For reasons of protected privacy, I choose not to show the building.

One of my neighbors is in the process of losing her home. Supposedly she will be duly compensated, but what she wants is to stay in the neighborhood she knows and loves, living out her life in a house her grandmother once owned.

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A Rosey Outlook

Torrential rains fall this evening across San Diego County. Officials warn of flooding that will rival or exceed last month’s storm surge. When I checked the forecast before bed, last night, showers would start around 3 a.m. and increase throughout the day.

But the low pressure area either slowed or stalled, allowing my wife and I to walk about 4.2 km (2.6 miles) roundtrip to The Hub in Hillcrest for on-sale tuna fish at Ralph’s supermarket. Light drizzle started minutes after we returned to our apartment. Lucky.

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Rain Day!

Storm showers pelted San Diego on this mid-month Monday. My unofficial estimate here in University Heights is 7.6 cm (3 inches). Elsewhere, according to the National Weather Service through 3 p.m. PST: Point Loma, 11.04 cm (4.49 inches); Airport, 8.36 cm (3.29 inches); Fashion Valley, 7.32 cm (2.88 inches); Montgomery Field, 6.6 cm (2.58 inches).

In the Mountain View neighborhood, Interstate I-15 flooded out at 32nd Street. TV news footage showed city crews wadding through waste-deep water, trying to free up drains and release the unexpected river crossing the highway. Similarly, rising waters closed businesses along the main thoroughfare through Mission Beach.

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Seriously Spiked

Nothing about the Featured Image really works. Depth of field is too shallow. Overall quality is too noisy. Composition is cluttered. Light and shadows contrast too much.

But busyness also shows off Southern California climate and diversity: The funny spiked thing, maple leaves, palm trees, sunny skies and wide street—on Dec. 17, 2023. The photo also reminds that even a premiere full-frame camera, Leica Q2, will produce a shot someone might presume comes from a smartphone’s small sensor.