Photo of the cactus flower taken by Ms. Jen with her Nikon D800.
Sat 06.01.13 – Happy June and the start of the official June Gloom season here in Southern California, although we have had the inversion layer of clouds part day or all day since March this year. Or in your part of the world, it maybe the start of summer or winter.
The cacti in my brother’s backyard bloom once a year for approximately 24-48 hours. Yesterday’s amazing, extravagant, big blooming cactus flower is today’s crestfallen, squash-ed end of bloom.
There are a few more cacti who will bloom this week and I will trot over to document their once a year cacti-sex pollen festival.
In other news, I accompanied my brother and Christine to Bert’s Mega Mall in Azusa this afternoon and as usual, Bert’s Mega Mall was a very interesting place to people watch.
Tues 05.21.13 – My Grandpa has been in the hospital for the last 5 days and the way my Mom and I have been dealing with it is to go to Dog Beach after visiting the hospital.
The best thing we saw was a small pod of dolphins surfing the waves and the adults were teaching a young dolphin to surf in the wave. It was lovely. Unfortunately, due to sun glint on the waves from my angle (see Belle photo above), I was not able to get a photo with the dolphins in the waves.
It was a lovely late afternoon, dolphin photos or no.
Photo taken at Bolsa Chica Wetlands by Ms. Jen with her Nikon D800.
Thurs 05.02.13 – While all the other photographers out and about late this afternoon at Bolsa Chica Wetlands had DSLRs with Big Big Big prime lenses mounted (400mm+), I cheekily went to photowalk around the wetlands with my Nikon D800 with the Nikon 50mm 1.4G lens. The high resolution of the D800 plus the sharpness of the 50mm allows me to crop the photo and still get a good clear picture of the egret and the sunlight through it’s wings.
I am sure if I stopped traveling and started buying 400mm+ prime lenses, that I would have a clear photo of the mites on the egret’s wings, but I do have my priorities. ;o)
This great (white) egret was in the most lovely direct sunlight / backlit pond and then it took off in flight, off it went, but not before I took a few photos.
Photo taken on Tues 03.12.13 in Huntington Beach by Ms. Jen with her Nikon D800 and a 85mm f1.8 lens.
Tues 03.12.13 – For the last few days, marine inversion mists permitting, I have gone to a west facing beach or cliff to look for Comet PANSTARRS in the 30-45 minutes after the sunset.
This evening was the first evening that I was able to get a photo of the Comet, above just to the left of the moon. I was so excited to see the comet clearly on the view screen of my Nikon, as the comet was not visible to the naked eye but only visible through binoculars.
Saturday evening, my Dad and I went to the Point Vincente Interpretive Center in Rancho Palos Verdes. While we saw a few whales through the binoculars, listened to a wedding reception in progress, we did not see the comet at all as its position on the low western horizon was right in the marine fog bank off the coast.
Sunday evening, two nights ago, my Dad and I drove down to the Huntington Cliffs just above Dog Beach in Huntington Beach, and waited for the comet to appear a bit higher on the horizon above the shipping lanes just between the northwest end of Catalina Island and Point Fermin in San Pedro. We were able to see the comet just above a big oil tanker and passed the binoculars around for others to find it. I had no luck with getting any pictures, as I had my Nokias’s with 26mm lenses and a sharp 50mm lens on my Nikon.
Last night, I was very tired and just walked out to the River’s End here in Seal Beach and did not see any comet at all due to the big fog bank sitting off the coast that extended about 20 degrees into the sky. I could barely see Sirius the dog star in the southern sky through the fog bank and Sirius is our brightest local star.
Tonight, after a long day at Lukas’s first birthday lunch party and a slog through the 405 southbound traffic, I decided to not go out as I could see how misty the ocean air was. But just as the sun set, I noticed the mist cleared up here in Seal Beach, so I loaded my gear into the car and drove as fast as possible down to the Huntington Cliffs.
As I arrived in the Dog Beach/Huntington Cliffs parking lot, I saw that a lot of other folks where already there with binoculars, cameras on tripods, and one guy with a large fat telescope. I parked myself at the end of the line up of folks at the cliff’s railing, looked out saw a beautiful crescent / new moon, lifted my binoculars and there she was: Comet PANSTARRS!
After struggling to set up my creaky, elderly tripod, I started taking photos with my Nikon 85mm f1.8D portrait lens, and a fine portrait of the comet I got. I passed my binoculars to a family next to me so that they and the kids could see the comet, while I took another six good photos of the moon, the comet, and the shipping lane with San Pedro on the far right.
The above photo is cropped and a bit corrected in Lightroom. The larger, non-cropped, non-corrected version is up on my flickr stream.
If you want to try to see Comet PANSTARRS, go out tonight through Friday, to a western facing vantage point just after sunset, take binoculars, look for the moon and there will be the comet.
Photos taken by Ms. Jen this evening at twilight at Huntington Beach, near Tower 22, with her Nokia Lumia 920 (on the left) and her Nokia 808 PureView (on the right).
Mon 02.11.13 – Hello, February 11th. It has been two years. Platforms have been burnt to a crisp, the Arab Spring is still struggling valiantly to free itself from authoritarian rulers, and I am still trying to push the boundaries of camera phone photography.
As for the photos above, I have been hoping to get photos of this past weekend’s Mars and Mercury conjunction on the western horizon just after sunset, but due to Friday’s rain storm we have had clouds on the horizon for the last few days. Today was the first truly clear day and at 5:30pm I got in the car to drive as quickly as possible to a good vantage point with a clear view of the western horizon.
While I could not see Mars, I did see the brand new crescent Moon and Mercury just below it to the left. I did not have my camera phone tripod mount with me, so instead of using the tripod to steady the camera phones as I took these photos with the Nokia Lumia 920 and the Nokia 808 PureView, I wedged them into a gap in the railing over the south end of the Huntington Cliffs to get a more stable photo and a crisp crescent moon.
These photos are a part of my loose on-going series of mild comparisons between the Lumia 920 and the 808 PureView. Tonight was not a true comparison, as the 808 was set to full resolution and infinity focus in creative mode, while the Lumia was set to Automatic and I have yet to figure out if I can change the focus modes on the 920.
On the horizon where the sky meets the ocean from left to right we have on the far left Eureka the Oil Platform, Elly and Ellen, Edith (all on the left by Catalina Island), in the middle right horizon we have Huntington Beach’s near Emma and Eva the Oil Platforms, and finally on the far right is Seal Beach’s Esther, and then in the very far right horizon the line of lights at the edge of the photos is the Port of LA/LB.
Per usual, the Nokia 808 PureView is an amazing camera phone that can achieve clarity and true to life color even in low light, as the photo on the right is true to the color my eyes saw in the twilight. The Lumia 920 still took a great photo from the clarity side of things, but the color is lurid and a bit too candy-ish to what I really saw at the scene. Both phones did a great job at getting the delicate crescent of the new moon in sharp focus. Bravo!
On a completely different note, peace to Egypt and Syria, may they be free of their shackles.
Tues 01.01.13 – Photo of Aunt Dana, Timber, and Mom on New Year’s Day 2013 at Dog Beach by Ms. Jen with her Nokia 808 PureView.
Thurs 12.27.12 – Today’s adventures included dropping by to visit Earl at his canvas and sail shop, lunch with Mom, and then off to Dog Beach for a good walk.