Category Archives: Flowers

High Dynamic Range

One thing the “smart” camera on the iPhone is good for is High Dynamic Range photos, where there’s a broad range of light and darks in the image.

This is how the eye works, and the iPhone does a better job than most other phone cameras, and sometimes better than a DSLR, especially an older one like I have.

An extra ten years of better software and smarts in the iPhone can beat the crap out of a 2005 state of the art chip in a Canon Rebel XT. Big surprise, but it actually is a surprise sometimes I guess.

These are taken with my iPhone 8+ which is now three years old. It’s still a great phone and mini-supercomputer and camera – but if I really, REALLY was going to be taking photos with the phone and being SERIOUS about it rather than just having it with me and using as the best camera I have in my pocket 24/7/365, then I would be looking at the iPhone 12 Pro Plus coming out next month.

I’m not. This is just fine. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Especially at $1,400 or so.

Enjoy the really, REALLY purple flowers!

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Depth Of Field

It was a bit hazy and smoky, after sunset, so it was starting to get dark. That’s why the flowers were out.

I had the camera with the big lens, which was part of the problem. Basic optics say that with a wide open lens you get a much smaller depth of field, and the telephoto lens is worse than the “normal” lens. With the dim light, the big lens wide open, and being fairly close to begin with, it was a hat trick for getting a very shallow depth of field.

So I can focus on the big petals on the far side, but the near petals, which are only maybe three inches closer, are out of focus. Or I could do it the other way around. But I can’t do both.

To get better pictures, use the smaller lens. To get a bigger depth of field shoot it stopped down and take a longer exposure. To keep from blurring, use a tripod. To make it all work better, try to get it with more light, or maybe use the flash.

To play with all of those variables and get some practice taking better pictures, find an extra couple of hours a day that I don’t expect to have until about six months after I’m dead.

I knew there was a catch…

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Blooming Mexican Bush Sage

We’re into our third year in this house (time flies…) but I don’t remember this Mexican Bush Sage ever blooming quite this overwhelmingly before.

Maybe it’s been encouraged by all of the stinking hot weather?

Maybe the gardeners have fertilized it this year?

Maybe it was that “golden hour” light as the sun set? (This is where my money lies!)

The bees have found it in the past, but apparently not tonight.

Whatever’s going on, it was worth a trip back into the house for the good camera.

No aroma that I can smell, not like the roses (search the site, there are a gazillion of them) on the other side of the driveway.

Whatever’s happening, it’s worth a trip down to the mailbox when the sun starts to set! (Wear a mask!)

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Roses Vs 121°

It hasn’t been that bad here recently – upper 80’s, low 90’s. A dry, SMOKY heat, since we’re still getting a lot of it from the local fires, including the Bobcat fire which is threatening the world-class, historic astronomical observatories on Mount Wilson. As of last night, the flames were within 500 feet of the observatory grounds. You thought that I was worried and upset about Lick Observatory near San Jose when it was threatened a month ago? This one REALLY has me worried.

But a couple weeks ago, when it was 121° a couple miles from here and 117° here, I was out in the noonday sun (like an idiot, because… well, I’m an idiot) and noticed a couple of roses that had tried to bloom in the previous couple of days.

They were losing the fight.

As pretty much are California, Oregon, and Washington at the moment.

Good thing that we’ve got such a proactive, supportive, aggressive Federal assistance response going on to help us out! We can count on the White House and Congress!

(And I’ll leave it at that, leave this site relatively family friendly, and go back to Twitter to see what I can say about the GOP and President that might get me put into Twitter jail again.)

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The Final Roses

As the comet fades and vanishes from our skies (but remember, with binoculars you should still be able to spot it for a couple of weeks!) so do the roses that grow next to the driveway.

It’s gotten hot and dry in SoCal, and while these get some drip irrigation, they’re not going to be blooming much until it cools off and gets moist on a regular basis.

As always, I rather like these roses, not despite the fact that they’re imperfect and a bit ratty, but because of it.

They are fist-sized chunks of beauty and color in a year that is mountain-sized chunks of dreck.

From bud to bloom to blight in just a couple of weeks, but oh so glorious while they’re here.

And even when they’re gone, their memory lingers and brings enjoyment, while their spiky bushes promise beauty to come in days ahead.

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More Roses

It was a quiet Father’s Day. This is good.

There were calls from the kids, lots of Chiefs football repeats on TV, and a LOT of NOT thinking about work.

I hope you also were able to have some down time and relaxation. Perhaps even a touch of well-deserved sloth.

Plenty of time for stress tomorrow morning. Plenty of time next week for seeing how much the world we’re in is different from the world we WANT to be in, and seeing what we can do about rectifying that situation.

 

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Gladiolas & Roses

My thanks to Karen and Jemima who educated me on yesterday’s “mystery” flowers. Now I can show them in context in the garden.

Gives a whole new meaning to “GNR.” These must be the flowers they have in Paradise City!

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NOT Roses

I know far more about birds and critters than I do about flowers (which is not to say that I know much about birds and critters, just far more), but I know enough to know these aren’t roses.

Whatever they are, they’ve shown up in our yard at the edge of the rose garden down by the street. They’re stunning!

We’re just at the two year point for moving in here and this is the first time I’ve ever seen these bloom. Surprise!!

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Never Accept This As Normal

I fear that if I start ranting there won’t be any stopping, and there will so, so many obscenities used. I want this site to be a happy, goofy, thoughtful, occasionally joyous place. There are those who are trying to turn our society into a festering cistern of hatred and chaos, because that’s all they know. We can’t let that happen. So I’ll not start that rant. At least, not tonight.

But never, NEVER believe that my deferral from that rant in this forum in any way is a signal of acceptance or agreement. Just go look at my Twitter feed.

Never accept anything that’s happening now or what I fear might be to come as normal. NEVER. Fight it, always.

And remember to smell the flowers.

You might be seeing a lot of them in the weeks to come. I’m finding less and less to say that isn’t existential screaming.

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Beauty On An Ugly Day

The news is ugly. Our country is being ripped apart. The death toll continues to rise. Too many people continue to be more stupid by the day. Our “leadership” is actively evil and treasonous.

But these orange-ish roses are still beautiful.

I guess no one told them.

I’m not going to be the ones to break the news to them. Besides, there’s a nice new crop of fence lizards living out there.

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Filed under CoronaVirus, Flowers, Photography, Politics