Tag: Halloween

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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.

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Pet Perhaps?

Who is this mysterious Pookie? I want to know. Surely the name refers to an animal. In summer 2020, I saw black cat Cocoa in the yard behind the fence where is this sign. Oh, so you aren’t confused, since San Diego is three summers long, I refer to the “mid” season. We’re in late summer now, with warmer-than-typical temperatures: 29 degrees Celsius (85 F) yesterday and 27 C (80 F) today and dry; low teens humidity.

For the Featured Image, I used Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra; today. Portrait mode produces bokeh—not sure if the blur is optical, digitally enhanced, or both. Vitals: f/1.7, ISO 10, 1/240 sec, 23mm (film equivalent); 10:21 a.m. PDT.

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For the Love of Pumpkins

The start of November ends the obsession of carving pumpkins for Halloween and begins pie prepping for Thanksgiving. My local Trader Joe’s—at The Hub Plaza in San Diego neighborhood Hillcrest—is all-holiday ready.

Bored, while waiting for my wife as she shopped inside the grocery, I stooped down with Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and captured the Featured Image. Vitals: f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/2900 sec, 13mm (film equivalent); 11:18 a.m., Oct. 27, 2023.

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Calming Halloween

What kid doesn’t like trick-or-treating? For Halloween, with all the crazy decorations outside University Heights homes and San Diegans of all ages marching the sidewalks, I had planned on posting something of a montage of the Macabre.

But instead, I share something simple and unbecoming. I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image on Oct. 19, 2023. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/1.7, ISO 500, 1/15 sec, 28mm; 8:04 p.m.

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The Cross Cat and Venom

At the house where lives Daniel Tiger, one of the “Cats of University Heights“, the kids have put up drawings for Halloween. I am a big fan of spiders and the black putty-tat’s expression is irresistible—as is the uninhibited artistry of a child.

The family also keeps chickens and puts out a jar of food for neighbors to feed them. There had been three birds, but recently only two roam the yard. What happened to the other one? I must ask sometime.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Hungry Eyes

Who could guess that we would return to the “1917 House” for another look (seriously, no pun intended; maybe) at Halloween peepers just four days later. My previous daylight shot simply misses everything that makes the scene in darkness. I unexpectedly happened by this evening; 8:27 p.m. PDT.

The Featured Image is the last of three and surprising choice from Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. I had expected to share the 50-megapixel capture, but the 12MP is more detailed and truer to color. Vitals: f/1.7, ISO 1250, 1/25 sec, 23mm (film equivalent).

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Eye See You

The “1917 House“—as my wife and I call it—is decked out big-time for Halloween. Passing by today, I stopped for a couple shots of the most mundane, but menacing, part of the display. The place was full of “Scaredy Cats” two years ago, and I may have breezed past them on this sunny Tuesday.

The Featured Image comes from Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, but too much is lost in the busyness. Zoom in and you will see ghosties and orange lights that showed up better to my eyes than they do from the digital capture. But I am pleased enough with the crowded composition. Vitals: f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/120 sec, 13mm (film equivalent); 5:04 p.m. PDT.

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Ghosts Light Up the Dark

Bouncing about San Diego, I am surprised to see some neighborhoods deck out for Halloween and others for Christmas—either/or and neither. Here in University Heights, the former is choice du jour and many residents rarely wait beyond mid-September to decorate their yards.

Yesterday, while walking after dark, I came upon ghostly decor outside an apartment building; this kind of showcase is common among homes but much less so before multi-resident dwellings.