Phone photos

Part of me would like to be low-tech, but when the WikiLeaks blast came out about how cell phones can be hacked and the best way to prevent it is to keep the operating system up-to-date, I had to make a choice: no smart phone or upgrade to one that can support the latest Android. I decided to keep up with the world.

As soon as my husband set up the phone ;–) I started experimenting with the camera. It has a fixed aperture of f 2.8. That seems pretty great; it’s certainly possible to get bokeh.

Having a good phone camera is incredibly convenient.


I’m finding I love all three of my cameras, my Panasonic DMC ZS40, my OnePlus 3 phone, and of course my Sony a300 DSLR with its many lenses.


There are so many times when a photo must be taken, and if I don’t have one of the cameras available, the phone serves quite nicely. Although I do want to start to leave out one of the cameras so it’s readily available for the great family shot, the phone is handy for things like an unexpected spectacular moon rise. You can pull over, grab the phone out of the purse or pocket, and snap a picture.


I find I’m doing posts when I have new photos rather than on Mondays and Fridays. It’s recommended to have regular days, but I’m going to try this for a while. When I have photos, I don’t want to wait for the designated day!

I hope you are having a good week and have nice plans for the weekend.


New York, Manhattan, Warwick, Bellvale and Greenwood Lake

I wasn’t in the city too much, but I did catch this shot of the George Washington Bridge on the way out.


I stayed with friends at Greenwood Lake outside the city. You don’t have to drive that far to be in a country setting. This shot is from Demarest Hill Winery in Warwick New York.

Demarest-wineryThe wine wasn’t to my liking, but they do appear to have good grappa and brandy, which I didn’t try. The scenery was stunning.

However, in the department of recommendations, I suggest The Creamery. Here you will get great views and fantastic ice cream!

The Creamery Ice Cream Cone Nia in front of The Creamery View from The Creamery

To burn off some of the ice cream, we went water skiing, or at least, my friends did. I used the opportunity to play with the Panasonic DMC-ZS40’s auto-focusing motor drive. It’s pretty easy to rack up about 300 photos in an hour that way! I liked that I could zoom in on the skier and then shoot continuously. For action shots you really have to shoot that way to get just the right shot. Here is my favorite of a friend of my friends.


Ochs Orchard in Warwick is a beautiful place to pick up some produce.

Ochs-farm FarmOverall, I had a great time with my friends. The meeting I had with Brenda Novak, her agent and one of her editors, Margaret Marbury, was very helpful to me. We had a good time and the conversation helped me sort some things out for myself about genre, direction, blogs, and commercial fiction.


San Francisco with the Panasonic DMC-ZS40

I went a little crazy today with the camera in San Francisco. We needed to go up there to get visas to visit Russia. I was happy it was a foggy day because I’ve needed some photos in these conditions for a project.

What follows is a chaotic sampling of San Francisco taken hanging out car windows, shooting through the windshield, or getting the hubs to stop for a moment while I clicked. I think they will give you a bit of a flavor of the city on this quintessential San Francisco day.

Before I get into it though, I have to show this action sequence. After I discovered what the creative dial on the camera can do, I said, “Wow, now I can take each picture on our trip a dozen different ways!” This was my husband’s reaction.


Oh, the travails of being married to a shutterbug. Okay, here are some photos. I deliberately went back to the spot I went last month with the Sony DSLR A300 just so I could try the same shots with the new camera. Here is a shot in Pacific Heights. It’s nothing extraordinary, but I like looking out over the city.


Here is that apartment building I turned into a pen and ink plus painting.SONY DSC

We had lunch on Union Street near the Marina District at Betelnut. I had Chilean sea bass on noodles.



I took this out the car window.Golden-gate-bridge-fog

Some shots out the window as we made our way down 19th Avenue out of the city.


19th-avenue-3-San-Francisco 19th-avenue-2-San-FranciscoP1000111


Agapanthus, Sony A300 versus Panasonic DMC-ZS40

This is a little sad. I am starting to wonder if I’m going to continue using the DSLR. I still like its color hues more, but I know I can adjust that in the Panasonic. In fact the Panasonic does bracketed exposure. And you can also adjust brilliance.

The first shot is with the Sony DSLR. I just couldn’t get it to focus any closer.


The second one is with the Panasonic. I learned how to adjust the depth of field. I had to do that after looking at the macros I took yesterday in which the only things in focus were the tips of the stamens. Wow, that’s powerful, but I didn’t want the stamens as the subject. (Although it is good to know it’s possible to get that tight of a macro.)

I did put that shot at the end so you can see. I think the f-stop was 3.3 on that one at the end.

Adjusting depth of field is very easy. I think this was about 4.5.


Here is yesterday’s shot at 3.3.


Here is a comparison of leaves: the DSLR first, followed by the Panasonic.



So, I’m having a crisis over whether or not I’m going to find myself ever using my DSLR any more. My husband says not to worry about it. It’s five years later and the technology has simply improved.


Flower, apple, Panasonic DMC-ZS40

My “out-of-the-box” experience of the Panasonic DMC–ZS40 is that it is optimized for zoom photography. This seems like the ideal camera for travel. However for around home base, I would definitely want to have the DSLR, just like Suz Jones said in a comment on my last post about the new camera (Butterfly bush), I’m going to love having both.


I had to do some work on the flower. The light was not balanced on it and still isn’t, however I’m sure that’s photographer error.

I didn’t touch the apple.


What is your out-of-the-box experience of the new photos?



Butterfly bush and look what the Panasonic DMC-ZS40 does

I was telling my husband how pretty I think the butterfly bush is now, but it doesn’t seem to attract butterflies. I was so wrong!

Yesterday I was outside trying to get good shots of the butterfly bush with my DLSR, when my husband came trotting out with the Panasonic DMC-ZS40, which we had just received in the mail. I decided to try it. Look with it can do.



Great zoom, great autofocus and auto functionality, very quick to use. Also it’s light. We bought it for travel.

Here is a shot using the Sony-A300 digital SLR:


I love the gorgeous color saturation in the Sony photos. I won’t be giving it up anytime soon, but I think I will be very happy with the Panasonic for travel.

I’m going to want to get a camera to convert for infrared photography after seeing the post on Leanne Cole’s blog by Infrared Robert. To me, that is really beautiful art. Check out this beautiful house and amazing river.