Cameraphoning Bluebonnets

Good Blues To Have

Guess what, my friends? The Bluebonnets are back! For about three weeks each year, they bloom their blue earth decorations around Texas. My yard in the past two years had huge thick patches of them. This year, we have only a few small thin patches. Nonetheless, I’m enjoying them through photography but in a simpler way than before.


Camera Necessity

Last year, my Nikon DSLR broke. I had used different lenses, even a borrowed macro, to capture the vibrant beauty of these flowers. I had also used my old-going-on-ancient Canon point-n-shoot with its close-up mode and more. But so far this year, I’ve not dug it out and dusted it off.

This year has been much more simple. I’ve only had my cameraphone. It’s a nearly 4-year old iPhone 7 with a single lens on the back. There’s no depth sensor. No portrait mode. Nothing but plain’ol wide angle shooting.

Despite that, it’s been really nice to shoot with. The quality of the regular photos is really great…I almost added, “for a phone” to that. Really, I’m impressed by my phone camera that debuted almost 4 years ago. Of course, I shoot bluebonnets in optimal lighting conditions: outside, full sun or partly cloudy in the golden hour near dusk.

Still, for a teeny-tiny sensor and itty-bitty lens, the iPhone 7 gives me pictures I really like to keep and to share. Maybe my wants and needs in photography have devolved. Maybe I’ve softened on the hobby. I no longer use Adobe Lightroom or a “real” camera! I use a smartphone and Google Photos. I don’t use Flickr. I hardly use Instagram. Mostly I share on Facebook.

But I like simple and convenient. Those have been the herald of smartphone photography. And quality has grown better over time. Of course, it’s been declared years ago that smartphones killed point-n-shoot cameras. I tend to agree.


The Coming Macro Lens

In any case, the Bluebonnets are here, and the best camera for them is the one I have with me. That’s my iPhone 7. But in two weeks, that is supposed to change! The Moto G Power is scheduled to arrive at my house, bringing with it three (3) lenses (!) on the back instead of one! And the lens I want to try the most with the Bluebonnets is the macro!!

I don’t expect super good resolution, but I’m eager to see what creativity I can push with a macro-lens-that-fits-in-my-freaking-pocket!

If the bluebonnets hang around long enough, I should be able to snap them with a new smartphone camera system. Maybe I’ll even try a new fancy photo app on Android to tweak them to new levels. Time will tell.


What camera do you love to use? Comment below, or write to me here! Thanks for reading!

From Flickr To Forever

Fading Flicker

I wonder, have you heard the recent news about Flickr? You’ve heard of Flickr right? The awesome photo sharing site before photo sharing sites were common, before social media was really a thing? In fact, two years ago, I asked “Is Flickr Still A Thing?” I wanted it to be; I found it mostly was. But my use of it never really resurged. Now the latest news has tugged on me to reconsider Flickr.


Fotos Forever

An email arrived to my inbox this past week. Read for yourself here. Basically, Flickr is operating at a loss, which is not sustainable. Thus, Flickr’s existence is in peril. It needs more people to sign up for Pro (paid) accounts in order to remain operational. It’s math. And it’s business. I get it.

This news roused my fond memories of Flickr, a good site that still serves many well. My honest reaction was thinking that I should and want to quickly sign up for a Pro account, even if I hardly use it, just to help keep Flickr alive. It’s something I’m considering, so I might do just that. But first, I plan to look into Flickr again, the site, and re-evaluate how I might use it more these days. In fact, I already reinstalled the Flickr app on my phone!


Flickr’s Future

My valuable time is limited. Flickr requires a little investment of my time if I use it, and that, I think, is the real issue here. A Pro account costs only a little bit of money each month – less, in fact, than what I pay each month for Netflix or Spotify. The cost of money is less a barrier than is the cost of time.

And with amazing “free” photo services like Google Photos, how can Flickr compete? That answer is in the features it has which other sites lack: an enthusiastic photography community! It’s not just pictures, it’s people! Flickr is about photography and the community which loves it. But therein is the other issue. When it comes to a community online, that’s where social media took over, along with its photo sharing experiences.

So, can Flickr survive? And if so, will it? Those are tough questions. I could do my part and sign up for a Pro account and become somewhat active there again. But would that be enough? And then, would I eventually need to say good-bye to Flickr? I would hope not.

We’ll see.


Do you still love Flickr? Would you reconsider using it? Comment below, or write to me here! Thanks for your time!

Canyon Of Rugged Wonder

Hey There

We’re already half-way through November! I’ve missed blogging lately because, as I expected, my focus on writing a novella for NaNoWriMo has taken up my limited writing time. In fact, I almost decided to abort the novella, not wanting to sacrifice my investment and enjoyment in the blog. But I’ve stayed the course and continue to make tiny but sure progress in typing the story. This post, however, is about pictures, not words.


For Now

To kick off November, rather than writing on day one, I headed out for a family vacation to The Grand Canyon of Texas – Palo Duro Canyon. It’s one of our state parks. In August, I shared photos from my first visit to the canyon. This post is for my recent pictures, all from my little iPhone 7.


Till Later

Enjoy the pix! That’s all for this post. I’ll try to get back to more words on the blog. My plan is to keep plugging away on my novella until December 1, then I’ll regroup and get back to more blogging.

I hope all is well with my readers, take care!


How’s your November going? Comment below, or write to me here! Thanks for reading!

Assassin Bugs Take Flower

Smart Cameras

The iPhone 11 and Google Pixel 4, among others, are the latest smart cameras that happen to also make phone calls. Their sample images in reviews look fantastic! But picture this, not long ago, cameras didn’t have phones built into them. My first digital camera was a 3.2 Megapixel Canon PowerShot A400. It wasn’t much, but I was able to take a shot with it that, to this day, is still one of my all-time favorites.


Shooting Bugs

One day, before the iPhone existed, my wife and I visited Maas Nursery in Seabrook, TX. The place was huge, full of pottery and plants and photographic opportunities. I happen to like macro shots with flowers and bugs, so that’s what I aimed for.

Of the many pictures I captured with bugs on flowers, one takes the prize for me. I don’t know what kind of flowering plant this is called, but the insects are Assassin Bugs. This image is awesome to me because of the composure of the bugs within the full framing of the flowers, the pose of the main bug, and the secondary color complements of orange, purple-ish, and green.


Smart Photography

Given this example of a photo made with a low resolution, tiny sensor in a “dumb” camera, it goes to show that specs and hardware are not the most important parts of the art of photography. A good subject with good lighting and good framing is what counts the most.

But imagine if macro lenses became standard on the newest smartphones! My wallet is ready to open.


What was your first digital camera? Comment below, or write to me here! Thanks for reading!

Favorite Fall Fotos

Welcome To The Fall

We made it, y’all! It’s finally here, the first day of Fall!


Autumnal Affections

Like many of you, my favorite season is Fall.

Traditionally, it’s a time of harvest when you reap the bountiful blessings sown in Spring and Summer.

But my favorite reasons for loving Autumn are the cool relief from the scorching Summer heat and the multicolored leaves.

The Fall also excites me because it’s the build-up to “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” – Christmas! And lest I be accused of ingratitude, let’s mention Thanksgiving too.

Yet there’s two more personal pluses for my Autumnal Affection: my birthday and my wedding anniversary occur in October and November. How’s that for celebration?

The only real drawback for Fall is the overabundant proliferation nigh infestation of Pumpkin Spice – it gets into everything! Too much of a good thing…

But who can resist a steamy cup of your favorite flavored sugar and caffeine beverage on a crisp overcast Autumn afternoon?

Texas Trees

Here in Texas, we don’t have the amazing plethora of color-changing trees as New England does. But we do enjoy some yellow, sometimes orange or red, leaves of Autumn.

Over the years, I’ve tried to capture some of the beauty of Fall in my neck of the woods. I’m sharing a few select samples here to celebrate Fall 2019. Enjoy!


Hope Harvest

Here’s to hoping this Fall season 2019 will be one of the coolest in a long time and as enjoyable as ever.

By the way, there’s another special something coming at the end of Fall this year: Star Wars Episode IX!


What’s your favorite time of year? Comment below, or write to me here! Thanks for reading!