Tag: flowers

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Hummingbird Visits

Patience pays, but I couldn’t wait to share the somewhat obscured hummingbird with you—four days ago. This afternoon, the same hummer, or another, frolicked about the Bird of Paradise outside my office window. These shots, all from Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and through the double-pain glass, are what I wanted on Nov. 20, 2023.

The Featured Image is the last taken of the set. Vitals: f/4.9, ISO 64, 1/120 sec, 230mm (film equivalent); 1:10 p.m. PST.

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Hummingbird of Paradise

During a break from sporadic showers on Nov. 15, 2023, I stood at my office desk surveying the street while studying. A bird of paradise, situated just outside the window, attracted a hummingbird seeking nectar.

Over the course of an hour, I made numerous attempts to nab a good shot of the hummer, which repeatedly flew off. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra shutter is plenty fast enough for the task. But movement, like lifting the smartphone, scared off the little bird. So I don’t have a full-feather shot or fluttering about.

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Mourning Rose

I don’t have much to say tonight. This evening, Eastern Daylight Time, there was a mass-casualty shooting at two separate locations in Lewiston, Maine. I lived in the state’s second-largest city during my latter teen years and graduated from the high school. While I haven’t been to Lewiston for decades, roots there and being Maine-native twist my gut thinking about this tragedy.

As I write, the city is under stay-at-home lockdown, and the shooter is on the loose. Police have released photos of the assault-rifle-carrying suspect and (escape) vehicle taken from surveillance video.

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Sapphire Showers Duranta

I let Google Photos stylize the Featured Image, which is composed as shot. You won’t see saturation like this naturally presenting in nature. This is what happens when some form of artificial intelligence does the job that you should do for yourself. I would never edit like this but must acknowledge to not disliking the photo, which isn’t the same as liking it.

Once again, Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra rises to the occasion. Vitals: f/1.7, ISO 50, 1/120 sec, 23mm (film equivalent); 11:50 a.m. PDT, Aug. 18, 2023.

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Strikingly Stylized

Android users should always back up their pics to Google Photos, and I do. This evening, rather unexpectedly, the service presented a stylized rendition of the Mimosa pom-pom that I shared on day taken: July 22, 2023.

Is this artificial intelligence’s idea of pretty? To my tastes, the Featured Image is way oversaturated. For sure, pink pops—and all the colors of everything blurred behind. I don’t dislike the rendering, or you wouldn’t see it to offer opinion. But I am not loving it either.

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Mimosa Moment

While strolling South along Maryland in my neighborhood of University Heights, today, I stopped to regard pink-and-white pom-pom flowers that blossom from Mimosa, which is also known as Persian Silk tree. I used Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra‘s Portrait mode to shoot the Featured Image. Vitals: f/1.7, ISO 10, 1/750 sec, 23mm (film equivalent); 11:20 a.m. PDT.

Trader Joe’s was my final destination, but I had ulterior motive. A few days earlier, I discovered that one neighbor’s house is for sale. I worried why. She grew up in UH, played in the canyons nearby, and graduated from San Diego High School. She lives in a generational home—one of just a few remaining here. She wasn’t there, but I got the skinny from someone else living nearby.

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Soaring Sunflower

In the same spot—seemingly so—as the “September Sunflower“, another rises but turned 180 degrees (e.g., facing the opposite direction). The Featured Image comes from Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, composed as shot using the 50-megapixel option (200MP is another). Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 10, 1/800 sec, 23mm; 4:06 p.m. PDT, July 16, 2023.

The captured detail is absolutely impressive. Zoom in and judge for yourself. I wonder why carry a fancy camera like my Leica Q2 when the smartphone delivers surprisingly high IQ (image quality).

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Rustic Rose

Walking along Campus Ave., yesterday, here in San Diego neighborhood of University Heights, a few properties past the Schoolhouse, I came upon some roses of similar—if not the same—variety as the ones shared with you a few weeks ago. I thought: They’re white. I’m carrying Leica Q2 Monochrom. Why not?

The Featured Image is the original, edited to taste but composed as shot. The companion is a close crop so you can see just how amazing is the dazzling detail that this camera can capture. Focus is spot on where I wanted it.

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Mommy Monarch

According to one of my neighbors, who tends a butterfly garden in her front yard, a female Monarch lays eggs on milkweed. As such, the mom-to-be stayed still long enough for me to shoot six shots, the last being the Featured Image.

This one is composed as captured and as produced by Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Meaning: No post-production. Vitals: f/4.9, ISO 50, 1/850 sec, 230mm (film equivalent); 11:25 a.m. PDT, today.

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You Fill Up My Senses

For a seeming paradise environment, San Diego air fills with bad smells: chemical (mostly from pesticides); exhaust (mostly from construction machinery and vehicles); rotting food (from compost and garbage containers); skunky stink (from pot smokers); and urine (from the homeless), among many others. (Got an hour to read? I can give a fuller list.)

So it was a surprise, and relief, when my wife and I hit a sweet smelling zone while walking on May 26, 2023. The Featured Image shows why: Hedge of Honeysuckle. Thank you, neighbor, whomever you are! At a time when more residences erect fortress fences around their properties, someone else chooses a natural barrier that delights the senses—eyes along with the nose.

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Ramblin’ Rose

I may regret the Featured Image tomorrow, but it looks pretty good tonight. Admission: My judgement cannot be trusted. Today’s routine eye exam included the dreaded dilation, which blurs my vision. My ability to appropriately assess composition or image quality is unreliable.

The wicked, but temporary, enlargement of my pupils obliterated any meaningful outdoor routine until early evening under a Marine Layer that never lifted. By 7:32 p.m. PDT, with sunset officially 14 minutes away, deep dusk had already set in when, finally walking, I passed the white rose bushes.

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The Flower Lady

Let’s start with a Happy Mother’s Day to the moms. Some of you work the holiday, as does this woman at her gift stand set up in my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights. She and her husband greeted me yesterday, and I had every intention of returning to buy flowers for my wife. But I waited too long. The lady sold out, and they were packing up when I arrived this afternoon.

I used Leica Q2 to take the Featured Image, which (sigh) is presented as composed, because I could create no crop that wouldn’t take too much context from the photo. Maybe you see something that I don’t. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/500 sec, 28mm; 12:36 p.m. PDT.