Archivos de diario de marzo 2020

01 de marzo de 2020

Good Camera App

I have found it challenging to take good photos of plants using a mobile phone camera. The biggest problem has been getting in-focus shots of plants close-up. It seems like many phones are not able to handle macro shots very well and often focus on the wrong part of the picture (for example they may ignore a flower at the center of the screen and instead focus on leaves, stones, or debris at the margin).

If your camera app supports it you can try different focus modes such as matrix, center-weighted, spot, etc. However these may not be available or still may not solve focus issues.

There is a really excellent camera app available for Android called Open Camera which has no less than 6 focus modes: auto, macro, lock, infinity, manual, and continuous picture. Of these, the manual option can be extremely useful for taking macro shots of plants.

When selected, manual focus mode displays a slider on the screen which can be dragged to set the focus depth - to the right for close-up shots and left for distance shots.

Another extremely useful option for taking photos of bright flowers is the manual exposure setting. Often camera apps will over-saturate bright flowers causing detail to be lost. In order to correct this, you need to darken the exposure setting. This is done with a slider that appears on the screen - left darkens the image and right brightens.

One final option that is extremely useful for making observations is in the options menu under 'location settings": "require location data". For this to work "store location data" also needs to be enabled.

This setting will make certain that every photo taken will have geolocation data. Often there's a lag between when a photo is taken and when the geolocation data is available on the phone. This is because, as you move around, the phone is constantly re-acquiring and updating its location data.

You may notice with other camera apps that even if geolocation tagging is enabled it may still be missing from some photos. Fortunately Open Camera prevents this from happening. The tradeoff is there might be a slight delay of a couple seconds before you are able to take a photo..

Open Camera is free and can be installed via f-droid which is a repository of free and Open Source Android apps.

Here is the f-droid page for Open Camera:

To download and install f-droid on your Android device visit from a browser on your device and choose to download the app and then install it. It will ask for permission to install from "unknown sources" to which you can say yes.

Publicado el marzo 1, 2020 07:00 TARDE por xpacifica xpacifica | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

18 de marzo de 2020

A couple hotspots on either side of the Golden Gate

My latest bicycle sojourn yesterday took me past two really lovely wildflower spots on either side of the Golden Gate: Along the road between Warming Hut and Fort Point in San Francisco and, on the other side of the gate, the area on top of and near Battery Yates at Fort Baker. As you can see in my observations from yesterday afternoon, 17 March 2020, the former area is exploding with Coast Rock Cress and beautiful Douglas Irises, while the latter is exploding with Dwarf Checkermallow and California Goldenfields.

It's sad to think how beautiful it would have been before these areas were turned into military fortresses and roads were built.

I especially wish that the road between Warming Hut and Fort Point could somehow be torn up. Perhaps they could take out the asphalt and put in a simple dirt road and do more to restrict the traffic into there. Maybe even just get rid of ugly Fort Point entirely! Would you rather see Douglas Irises and Coast Rock Cress or old canons, bricks, and asphalt?

I also wish more areas around the base of Golden Gate bridge were accessible. They treat it like it's a high-security military compound.

Publicado el marzo 18, 2020 09:40 TARDE por xpacifica xpacifica | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario