Category Archives: Sunsets

Cloudy Dusk

And so it was. After almost a week of 90°+ temperatures, it cooled off quite a bit yesterday, and tonight it was downright brisk, mid-50’s. With some coastal clouds and fog rolling it, it was lovely, and would have been more lovely if I had a sweatshirt or jacket instead of a T-shirt on. Good thing I wasn’t out there long, I’m not a fan of being cold.

I hope your upcoming work week is pleasant, or at least tolerable. Even when we have jobs which we enjoy and find fulfilling and people to work with who we find to be complementary teammates (a position I am fortunate enough to find myself in), there are still going to be days when you have to grit your teeth and just power through.

May your teeth this week be ungritted!

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Serenity, Courage, And Wisdom

I am quite vocally not a fan of organized religion and a card-carrying atheist, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t recognize anything good at all coming from various religions. Look through my past posts about cathedrals, church architecture, and pictures of stained glass, for example. I’ve also found a number of excellent intellectual and philosophical concepts that are expressed in religious terms. For example, the Serenity Prayer, which you are probably familiar with:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.

These days, with all that’s going on in the world, I’m struggling with all three segments of the assignment, but I think the most important is the third.

Without that wisdom it’s way too easy to just freak out about everything, while so much of “everything” we have so little control over. What I’m finding in my own frazzled nerves when I can step back, take a breath, and grab a glimpse of the bigger picture is that things I can’t control at all (i.e., the extent of Putin’s insanity, the future of COVID variants, etc.) take up way too much of my mental energy. This isn’t to say that there’s nothing that can be done about those threats, but that wisdom needs to be invoked so that intelligent, informed decisions can be made about prioritizing individual details into the first two categories.

MUCH easier said than done. I understand.

Just keep doing the work every day. Despite the almost overwhelming displays of evil and danger around us, there is beauty all around us if we remember to look. And there are good people out there to help. We are not alone.

As a side note, I think that I’ve referred to this prayer in the past as being from St. Francis of Assisi. That’s what I remember from my Catholic school days, and I’m apparently not alone with that mistake, but:

  1. There’s a different prayer that’s commonly called “The Prayer of Saint Francis,” and;
  2. It’s not from Saint Francis either.

The things I learn doing a bit of quick research for this site!

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Fog & Crescent Moon

Behind me to the east, the front that passed through with scattered rain and hail, snow down to 2,500′ in the mountains.

Ahead of me to the west, rolling in from Ventura County, a cold fog bank.

Caught in between, the three-day old moon, 7% illuminated, the other 93% glowing softly in Earthshine.

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Sunset – January 26th

The picture that comes in second best in capturing the colors…

…because the best one has a huge close-up of my thumb in the upper left corner.

Some days “good enough” just has to be good enough, and we’ll try again tomorrow.


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A Simple Sunset

Due to the holidays falling where they did, I ended up out in Camarillo at the CAF hangar late this afternoon. Unusual for a Sunday. The storms of last week are past and the storms of next week are still off in the Bering Sea, so it was clear and a million. No clouds, noting spectacular, but the color gradient was first-rate!

Tomorrow for most of us it’s back to work and school and into a whirlwind of activity after a long weekend, a week, a couple of weeks off.

Keep breathing. Try to keep smiling. I hope your re-entry into “life” is kind to you.

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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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