Tag: landscape photography

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False Horizon

To mark the first day of Summer, last night I stood outside my apartment and pointed Leica Q2 towards the setting sun. Scattered clouds caught my attention, set against a view rapidly changing as existing homeowners and investors build new structures—smaller within backyards, larger replacing homes destroyed to make way for multiple-unit residences.

In post-production, I throttled up dehaze setting and punched blacks, highlights, and shadows to produce the Featured Image, which is composed as shot. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/8, ISO 100, 1/80 sec, 28mm; 7:53 p.m., or eight minutes before sunset.

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Rainbows

About 50 minutes before the fire brigade incident on March 4, 2022, a rain shower brought forth a double rainbow—and you will need to look closely at the Featured Image to find the faintly-visible second one. Vitals: f/1.5, ISO 50, 1/5852 sec, 26mm; 9:06 a.m. PST.

I happened to be out without a camera, so this capture comes from iPhone 13 Pro. The later false fire alarm occurred a few buildings down on the same street. Across the way, Jasmine, who I coincidentally watched, walked casually about. She is profiled in my “Cats of University Heights” series.

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The Overlook, Revisited

Where Madison Avenue ends, an expansive view begins—across Mission Valley below to the Pacific Ocean on the horizon. In the Featured Image, left of center, on the coastal area before the water, some of the rides at Sea World are visible.

The 95-percent crop won’t win awards for clarity; the task is beyond Leica Q2‘s reach. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/11, ISO 100, 1/80 sec, 28mm; 10:21 a.m. PST, Dec. 11, 2021. Location: San Diego Community of University Heights.

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What ‘Shot on iPhone’ Means to Me

The Featured Image demonstrates some of iPhone 13 Pro‘s photographic limitations. I used the telephoto lens for this pic of surfers and the San Diego coastline from Ocean Beach Pier, today. The small sensor simply can’t capture crisp detail the way a real camera can. For comparison, consider this surfer shot, which I took using Fujifilm X100F on April 1, 2017; see post “A Day at the (Pacific) Beach“.

The X100F packs an APC-S sensor and my Leica Q2 a full-frame, which capture greater detail, more light, and superior dynamic range. Apple promotes “Shot on iPhone”, which is a clever marketing campaign. Unquestionably, capable hands can produce some stunning photography from the smartphone. But the physics favor the cameras. Biology is analogy enough. Someone 2 meters (6 feet, 6 inches) tall could easily outplay someone my height—1.7 meters (5 feet, 6 inches)—on the basketball court. Height and reach are advantages, like larger electronic sensors.

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Flickr a Week 46a: ‘Rainbow’

Here’s some Leprechaun lore to celebrate the second Friday the 13th of the year: Should you ever get to the end of the rainbow, the pot of gold will be at the other end. So much for the luck of the Irish—or anyone else. We commemorate the day with self-titled “Rainbow“, which Alexander Kozik captured on Feb. 21, 2017, using handy compact Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 80, 1/640 sec, 4.7mm. Composition and perspective make the moment a keeper.

He says about the shot: “Rainbow break at the lab meeting. We were lucky to be at the 5th floor, probably, with the best available viewing point. My excitement was doubled when I discovered that the rainbow ends fitted into the camera frame. Windows were washed and cleaned by recent rains and showers. Right place and the right time. It would be different from the ground level”.

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Flickr a Week 37a: ‘Aerial View of New York City, in which the World Trade Center Twin Towers is Prominent’

About a month before Sept. 11, 2001, when terrorists used hijacked commercial airliners as missiles, Carol M. Highsmith captured self-titled “Aerial View of New York City, in which the World Trade Center Twin Towers is Prominent“. According to the Library of Congress, to which she donated this photo and others from across America, Carol produced a digital image “to represent her original film transparency; some details may differ between the film and the digital images”.

The link from her name goes to the LoC page; that in the credit to Rawpixel Ltd., which posted the public domain cityscape on Dec. 9, 2018. Carol is the photographer but not the Flickr account holder from where she joins the series. Camera and other information is unknown.

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Flickr a Week 33: ‘A Life Worth Living’

Some people are genuinely too modest. Peter Kurdulija describes himself as an “amateur photographer”. I could say the same about myself, but the measure of my talents are minuscule compared to his. The man is an artisan, with an astute eye for composition. Any selection from his Photostream would be more than worthy of this humble series.

I chose self-titled “A Life Worth Living” for composition, serenity, and storytelling. “A picnic at the end of the jetty by Lake Mahinapua, just south of Hokitika, epitomises New Zealand way of life—slower pace of the West Coast, a connection to nature and to each other”, he explains of the landscape portrait captured on March 31, 2019, using Nikon D7100 and 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. Vitals: f/9, ISO 125, 1/320 sec, 44mm.

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Flickr a Week 1: ‘Fairfield House 1078 D’

The new series starts with a gorgeous, prairie landscape taken by Jim Choate on May 13, 2017. He explains about capturing the moment: “What a lucky evening. I had spent several hours on backroads south of The Dalles, Oregon, unsuccessfully looking for photo opportunities, when I turned a corner and unexpectedly came across the lovely and often-photographed abandoned Fairfield house. The day had been dreary, gray, and drizzly, but the clouds in the West cleared for about 15 minutes while I took this photo”.

Jim’s perseverance preserves something that no one else can ever see. “This homestead burned to the ground in July [2018] in a huge prairie fire that devastated 78,000 acres”, he explains, referring to the Substation Fire. “Oregon lost one its most famous and loved abandoned places”.