Plants

Comet NEOWISE Tail

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When I searched up NEOWISE on Starry Night, I discovered that there were multiple sky objects named after NEOWISE, the project searching for “near-Earth objects and comets that could pose an impact hazard to the Earth.” The one that we are all excited about right now is C/2020 F3, which currently is visible in the hour or so before sunrise.

This photo was taken at ISO 100, 200mm, f/2.8 and 8.0s. At 200mm, I should have limited the shutter to 2.5 seconds to avoid star trails.

Comet NEOWISE

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Finally found the Comet NEOWISE (C/2020 F3) on my third attempt. I couldn’t find it when I was scanning the horizon, but it showed up in a wide angle photo I took.

Mount Umunhum

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Silicon Valley from Mount Umunhum

I visited Mount Umunhum for the first time this morning and it definitely exceeded my expectations. It was only 35 miles away, but took about an hour to get there because the last leg of the trip was up a winding mountain road.

From the top, the city of San Jose was spread out right in front of our eyes. As I peered further north, I could see buildings in San Francisco through the mid-morning haze. I could also see the Pacific Ocean from some vantage points.

Autumn Leaves

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I love this time of the year when the leaves change color. That last gasp of warm reds and calming yellows signal the imminent arrival of winter. Thanksgiving is just around the corner, yet we haven’t experienced our first major rain of the season. Soon, the weather reports promise. Soon.

Air Force One Panorama

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Took two panorama photos at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. The above photo was taken with the iPhone using the built-in panorama feature. The advantage was that this was easy to take, but the photo contains noticeable distortion and there were exposure issues from the wide dynamic range.

The second photo was stitched together from multiple photos taken by camera. The ceiling is not curved and the photo is better exposed particularly towards the right side by the large window.

Spring is Just Around the Corner

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It was only a few weeks ago that the local hills received a light dusting of snow. Now, even though the air remains brisk at times, the signs of spring coming arrival are emerging around us.

San Francisco Airport (SFO)

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San Francisco Airport

Yesterday was a remarkably clear morning. The past few weeks have been absolutely dreadful with poor air quality due to the smoke blowing in from the Northern California wildfires.  Glad to see blue skies and haze free mountains again.

St. Peter’s Basilica

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“Why are you shooting JPGs?” That would be the question I would pose to my younger self. If I had RAW copies of photos from half a decade ago, I could revisit some earlier adventures and see if I could improve the processing. I can still make some minor adjustments with JPGs, but RAW provides a greater latitude in the degree of modifications I can make.

The Rose

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The Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden offers a delightful eyeful of fall flowers, particularly for those resigned to drought-parched gardens at home. While I enjoy walking through the gardens, I must confess that I love looking at the flowers more…at home. In the quiet hours of the night, I can admire the curves and colors of the rose petals and gasp at the details not visible to the naked eye.

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Nikon D800, Micro-Nikkor AF-S 105mm f/2.8G, ISO 100, f/8.0, 1/320s

When viewing flowers at 100%, I often find small hidden insects or, in this case, a faint dusting of morning dew clinging to the innermost petals of the rose. Absolutely lovely.

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Stanford Dish

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I headed up to the Stanford Dish for a July 4th hike. I brought along the 28-300mm lens for fun. The side facing the mountains had clear blue skies. Along the bay, it was hazy and overcast.

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Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 100, 180mm, -0.3 EV, f/5.6, 1/1,000s

The last time I was up at the Dish was a year ago. I took a photo of this same tree. Retina version is a lot more detailed.

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Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 140, 48mm, -0.3 EV, f/8, 1/1,000s

Experimented with shooting into the sun, and trying to bring back the shadow details. Wasn’t in an HDR mood, I guess.

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Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 100, 50mm, 0 EV, f/16, 1/60s

If good fences make good neighbors, what about bad fences?

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Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 100, 230mm, 0 EV, f/5.6, 1/800s

The real treat of the hike was encountering this deer. It started on the other side of the fence, but easily ducked under and headed off across our path.

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Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 100, 300mm, 0 EV, f/8, 1/250s