All the Pretty Cameras: The iPhone 12 vs. the iPhone 11 in the Mojave Desert

(This post is part of an ongoing review of the iPhone 12 Pro Max.) It was dark and getting darker as I drove away from the Teutonia Peak trailhead in the Mojave National Preserve. I turned right, heading away from my Airbnb in Baker, situated along Interstate 15, and drove south toward Kelso. I wasn't lost—I had spent four weeks last year in the Preserve as the artist-in-residence and for two of those weeks I had stayed with National Park Service employees in dorm-style housing just down the road from Kelso Station. I wasn't lost, I just wanted to drive through the park, to feel it again. In the light…

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iPhone 11 vs 12 In the Burned Joshua Tree Forest

(This post is part of an ongoing review of the iPhone 12 Pro Max.) When I first turned down Cima road from I-15 I was relieved. The news reports in August had been depressing, nighttime videos of firemen battling a forest of Joshua trees aflame, one clip showing what appeared to be a firefighter, fully geared up, crying at the loss. The Joshua Tree forest in the Mojave National Preserve is the largest in the world, larger than that in Joshua Tree National Park, and the most visually stunning part of that forest is upon the volcanic Cima Dome and the surrounding area. There is no lodging within the Mojave…

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Small Concussions In the Distance

  • Post category:NatureTravel

I've driven across the United States dozens of times, usually a round trip every year for the past sixteen years, and before this year I've never had trouble finding things to do. The trips I take take time, usually two weeks from California to Ohio to visit family, then two weeks back, stopping all along the way to see the country, to make contact with its people. COVID changed that, removing museums and restaurants and bookstores and thrift shops and anywhere there might be crowds and almost anywhere indoors from the list. My two daughters and my daughter's boyfriend are all biologists and are all interested in birding. We each…

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Glimmerglassed: The Fast Fuji 50 f/1.0 with Diffusion

If you hold it and shift it around so the light reflects off the glass, the surface of a Glimmerglass filter looks like it has been sprinkled with some sort of metallic dust, maybe gold. The particles aren't really on the surface, they are sandwiched between two thin layers of glass, and they probably aren't gold, though for the price of the filter I'm thinking maybe they should be. It's a diffusion filter, it goes on the front of the lens. You put it on your super-sharp, modern lens and you make pictures. Why would you do that? There are several things a diffusion filter will do but the primary…

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