Tag: nature photography

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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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Midday Mourning Cloak

While Annie and I walked yesterday, she delighted about a butterfly fluttering by. It stopped long enough for me to get off a couple quick shots using Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. The Featured Image is best of the set.

I grew up collecting and studying insects and quickly recognized the Mourning Cloak. Certainly, I know the butterfly from Northern Maine and assumed that, like many other Lepidoptera, Mourning Cloak was limited to the East. Wow, my big mistake: The range is broadest among the block of 11 continuous Western states.

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Croak or Caw?

Along Adams Ave., at the end of the bridge above Texas Street, I spotted some huge birds in the trees below. The vantage point presented another opportunity to see how good (or bad) Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra could be shooting distant objects.

Unlike the S23 Ultra, which packs 10x optical lens, the newer model relies on 5x optical and in-camera close-cropping 50-megapixels to produce something that is supposed to be as good as, or better than, the last-generation smartphone. You judge.

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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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A Pair of Redheads Visit

The parrots sure are squawking this week, typically starting in the hours following sunrise and again before sunset. The closest coastal community to University Heights is 12 kilometers (7.5 miles)—less as the bird flies; Ocean Beach is better known habitat for the exotic fliers, so their presence is surprising but definitely welcome.

Late last month, I felt quite lucky to get photos of the birds on a neighbor’s roof. Today, a parrot pair presented in a palm that I happened to be nearby and angled into the morning sun. I pulled out Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, set the camera to 10x zoom, and started shooting. The Featured Image and companions are the result.

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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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To Everything, Tern, Tern, Tern

During the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns, my wife and I let expire our membership to San Diego Zoo. Reason: Hefty price increases.

For example, we paid $112 annually for a residential 2-adult pass six years ago, with no blackout dates. I grumbled when the price jumped to $149. In 2024, one-forty-nine is the cost for one adult membership, with blackout dates. Meaning: Twice as much, with restrictions, compared to five years ago. Ah, yeah.