Category Archives: Sunsets

Thirteen Minutes Of Flaming Sunset

From 16:46 to 16:59, we went from an orangish glow with potential to a pink and orange extravaganza to a fade to gray with orange hints.

Not bad for a Monday!

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Arc Of Planets

A spur of the moment, handheld photo with the iPhone, so it’s a touch blurry and all, but still…

(click to blow it up, it’s worth it)

And for those of you who aren’t current on your planetary alignments…

I’ve already got the good camera with the “light bucket” lens on the tripod for tomorrow night. The moon should be close to Venus for an even tighter grouping. If it’s clear out in your area, go take a look just after sunset.

Just make sure to remember to account for Daylight Saving Time in the US. And if it’s late in the Chiefs-Packers game, go out during a commercial. (Priorities, folks!)

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iPhone Sunset Panorama Surprise

Permutations. Combinations. Still playing around to see what happens.

The front edge of that desperately needed rainstorm is coming off the coast tonight for a couple days of drizzle and we hope a couple of actual bouts of rain over the next few days. I was checking out the fog and clouds rolling in and decided to combine a few settings on the new iPhone.

Panorama. 16:9 instead of 4:3. Wide angle lens.

It’s a lot more bowed, distorted, and fisheyed than I expected. (I didn’t do the whole 360º thing, cut it off early simply because I wasn’t trying to show our front door and roof, wanted to see the sky.) It almost looks like I’m standing on a corner, but all of those lines on the sidewalks and streets and power lines are straight. (Well, straight-ish. Close enough.) You’ve seen enough pictures of that view.

I’m sure that there might be times when I want to use those settings to deliberately get this effect – but this view might not be the time or place.

The “normal” panorama looks much better. Thinner. Those power lines are still bowed upward like the whole planet just went into freefall, but the warping of the street and the foreshortening of the cars is much less jarring visually.

Bring on the rain! Please?


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iPhone 13 Sunset Surprise

a.k.a., “What Does THIS Button Do?”

So the iPhone 13 will do a nice job on sunsets. This does not surprise me a bit.

Zooming in a bit, the silhouette of the tree against those orange and peach colored clouds is extremely wonderful. It’s got a true optical 3x telephoto lens in addition to the normal lens and a wide angle lens, all available at the touch of a button.

Buttons, buttons. What’s this one? It’s new…

Oh, my! There’s a whole little submenu that pops up. I can manually control effects, exposure, flash… And image size? So these are 4:3 images, 4032 x 3024 pixels… What does 16:9 get me?

Wonderful! Compare to the first photo, both at “normal” 1x zoom levels. This is shorter & wider, 4032 x 2268 pixels, actually a few fewer than the 4:3, which surprises me, but I love the widescreen aspect ratio!

What happens if I go to the wide angle lens at a 16:9 aspect ration?

That’s a thing of beauty.

Next time I get a great sunset like this I want to remember to also grab the Canon DSLR with that amazing wide angle light bucket monster of a lens and get some side-by-side comparison images. Should be interesting, to say the least.

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Apocalypse Light

Has the Sun started to expand into a red giant, its outer layers reaching out to engulf the inner planets, blowing away our atmosphere and leaving the Earth a scorched cinder?

Probably not, by which I mean, “No!” Probably a couple of billion years early for that, although if you stick around…

This is just the combination of the setting Sun, some leftover smoke, and a marine layer of fog and clouds starting to move in off the Pacific.

It just happened to come on a day when  the apocalypse might have been met with a comment of, “Eh? Cool! About time!” instead of all of that screaming and terror one usually imagines.

And then tomorrow’s Monday. So, screaming, terror…

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That Time Of Month Again

Two days past new moon, and the thin, bright, crescent moon is making the evening sky in the west extra beautiful.

Every month there’s a good chance that something else relatively nearby (on an astronomical scale) will be up there with it.

This month it’s Venus, up there to the left. (Ignore the lens reflection of the moon up there on top, it’s an illusion.)

In theory, Mercury’s there right below the moon, about a smidge above the mountain in the lower right corner, but you won’t see it in these images. It’s still way to close to the Sun and will set before it gets dark enough to be seen. If you want to see it, go look back in May when they were all there together and a little higher and closer together.

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Random Old Photos – August 27th

February, 2010. Marina del Rey, CA.

Specifically, at the California Yacht Club. I had attended the christening of my boss’ racing yacht, specifically built to win the TransPac race to Hawaii. (Spoiler: it didn’t.)

There with a whole slew of very rich folks wandering around in bare or stockinged feet because we weren’t allowed to leave any scuff marks at all on the virgin, white, unmarred deck. I was more concerned with the glass shards everywhere after the giant magnum of champagne was broken across the mast. I’m thinking that a fair amount of blood might have been a bigger mess to clean up than a couple of scuff marks, but what did I know?

The party was going strong but I was getting massive fish-out-of-water vibes, so as soon as it was politically correct I excused myself. On the way back to the car the sun was setting and I snapped this with my pocket point-and-shoot camera (too early for iPhones, my cell phone just made phone calls) and it turned out to be one of my favorite pictures I’ve ever been lucky enough to take.

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No Perseids For You

The Perseids meteor shower peaked tonight. (As always, it started a couple days ago, it will go for another couple of days, tonight was just the peak.)

We’ve got clouds. Middle of a freakin’ drought where it’s clear and a million about 99% of the time, we get clouds. But no rain.

The gods hate me.

On the other hand, we did get some very nice crepuscular rays at sunset due to those broken clouds, so it wasn’t a total bust.

The two day old crescent moon is behind those clouds somewhere, as is a very bright Venus, so maybe tomorrow night we’ll be able to go back to conjunction photos.


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Sometimes It Gets Orange Outside

Last Friday I noticed that the light coming through the living room drapes was looking very orange. This could be very good, or very very bad.

Good is a colorful sunset, somewhere on the colorful scale between “Cool!” and “HOLY GUACAMOLE, BATMAN, THAT’S SPECTACULAR!!!

This would have been probably just below the mid-range on that scale. Definitely worth grabbing the camera for and watching while it unfolds.

Bad, of course, means something very near by is burning. We’ve seen that in this neighborhood, and at this second there are plenty o’ places on the West Coast that are seeing that in spades. We, however, are not in that crisis today.

So after busy weeks trying to cram work in so I can go on vacation with a calm mind, a busy week of vacation, a busy busy week back from vacation catching up on work, an extremely busy weekend taking care of one (figurative, not literal) brush fire after another, now it’s time to dive into a new month and a new busy busy week with more deadlines and projects and tasks and pressure than I can keep track of.

So watch the sunset, check for new lizards under the car (one was there, we had a nice talk – it wasn’t the teeny tiny one from Friday, nor Doctor Lizardo, but a new, smallish but not skittish one – warned him about the birds and the raccoon), see if the next round of roses are coming back in (not yet), and fantasize about days to come (which aren’t coming, let’s get real) where I can just read, relax, listen to music, watch movies, and do it all without a deadline or responsibility in the world.

Welcome to August. Wear a mask. Get vaccinated. Stay safe.

So I’ll wat

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Sunset Panorama

We were watching the ballgame and coming out of commercial they had a gorgeous shot of the sunset from Anaheim. So I stuck my head outside – we’re about 60 miles away, but maybe ours looked like that too?

(As usual, click to enlarge and see the full-sized image.)

Maybe not quite as good – but it’s also possible that they were enhancing their image just a touch for the Chamber of Commerce. Ours was pretty good, and got better as it went along.

Not a bad way to enter into the long, holiday weekend. Stay safe, watch out for fires, watch out for lunatics, and enjoy the days off if you’ve got ’em.

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