Realization: Few things were actually essential

Like others during this global pandemic and the national emergency in America, I’ve been cutting back on non-essential activities and purchases.

In the process, I’ve started to realize that it’s all been kind of non-essential. So much that we’ve been spending our time and money and energy on, even much of the work and business activity has been non-essential.

Now we’re left with staying home reading books, painting, cooking, baking, gardening, composing music, and going for solitary walks in the park. Families are staying home and spending time together; playing board games, sharing meals, laughing. For those continuing to work, they are working from home.

We’re less ‘hurried’ and not so busy. Whatever it was we were doing that we thought was so important suddenly isn’t so important. Stress is relieved.

We’re acting like Scandinavians in our cleaning, scrubbing surfaces, and getting more tidy at home. There’s a city to the north of us that has instituted free public transit. Stores are dedicating special shopping times to focus on serving the elderly. Everyone is home schooling. No longer wasteful, at home people are becoming frugal and conserving on everything to make supplies last.

Somehow, overnight, America has become another country.

Is this how the world will be going forward?

For now, I’m heading out for my daily trail hike to take a few nature photos and reflect on this new world we live in.

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Below, the short film Happiness portrays the world we’ve left behind.

Saint Louis Art Museum (30 Aug 2019)

Here are some photos from a brief visit to the Saint Louis Art Museum. These don’t do justice to everything the museum has to offer. You’ll find several photos of a staircase which are experiments with shutter speed and exposure.

These aren’t my best photos, but mostly snapshots of impressions. These are reduced to 1280 width from the original images If you’d like something in higher resolution let me know. I’ve provided captions with titles and artist names where possible. Enjoy.

Rural Iowa Photos (9 Dec 2018)

Below are some photos taken in the Kent Park area on 18 Nov 2018. Here I’m sharing the 1920×1080 size versions of the photos for people use as desktop wallpaper or enjoy in other ways. They also make for fun tablet or smartphone wallpaper. If you’d like to use any of these for commercial purposes, if you’d like the originals, or have any questions about this collection of photos, feel free to contact me. Thanks!

20120224fr-greg-signature

Camera and Settings Used

I was using a Canon 6D Mark II camera. For the photos that seem to have more saturation, I had selected the Vivid or Intense options available in the CA camera setting. See page 102 of the instruction manual for further details about these features. I was using the 24-105mm USM lens that came with the camera. Although I didn’t have a tripod, the Canon Image Stabilization (second generation) seemed to work well enough.

I was able to use the automatic mode for most of the photos. The camera’s choice of aperture, speed, ISO, and focal point were acceptable. Sometimes I’d switch to manual focus and at times used Aperture Priority when I wanted more control over the shot. Learn more about Aperture Priority on page 238 of the Canon 6D II instruction manual.

The Intense color setting can result in photos that seem too dark. However, using Intense that then later using software to increase the exposure will result in photos that are less washed out than if the photo had been taken without these color enhancement options. The Vivid setting is a less saturated option, but sometimes isn’t enough.

Rural Iowa Photos

Here’s the gallery of rural Iowa photos. Click any image for a larger gallery view. Enjoy!

Kent Park Photos (18 Nov 2018)

Below are some photos taken in the Kent Park area on 18 Nov 2018. Here I’m sharing the 1920×1080 size versions of the photos for people use as desktop wallpaper or enjoy in other ways. They also make for fun tablet or smartphone wallpaper. If you’d like to use any of these for commercial purposes, if you’d like the originals, or have any questions about this collection of photos, feel free to contact me. Thanks!

20120224fr-greg-signature

Camera and Settings Used

I was using a Canon 6D Mark II camera. For the photos that seem to have more saturation, I had selected the Vivid or Intense options available in the CA camera setting. See page 102 of the instruction manual for further details about these features. I was using the 24-105mm USM lens that came with the camera. Although I didn’t have a tripod, the Canon Image Stabilization (second generation) seemed to work well enough.

I was able to use the automatic mode for most of the photos. The camera’s choice of aperture, speed, ISO, and focal point were acceptable. Sometimes I’d switch to manual focus and at times used Aperture Priority when I wanted more control over the shot. Learn more about Aperture Priority on page 238 of the Canon 6D II instruction manual.

The Intense color setting can result in photos that seem too dark. However, using Intense that then later using software to increase the exposure will result in photos that are less washed out than if the photo had been taken without these color enhancement options. The Vivid setting is a less saturated option, but sometimes isn’t enough.

Kent Park Area Photos

Here’s the gallery of Kent Park photos. Click any image for a larger gallery view. Enjoy!

Mineral Point, Wisconsin Photos (10 Nov 2018)

Below are some photos taken in Mineral Point on 10 Nov 2018. Here I’m sharing the 1920×1080 size versions of the photos for people use as desktop wallpaper or enjoy in other ways. They also make for fun tablet or smartphone wallpaper. If you’d like to use any of these for commercial purposes, if you’d like the originals, or have any questions about this collection of photos, feel free to contact me. Thanks!

20120224fr-greg-signature

Camera and Settings Used

I was using a Canon 6D Mark II camera. For the photos that seem to have more saturation, I had selected the Vivid or Intense options available in the CA camera setting. See page 102 of the instruction manual for further details about these features. I was using the 24-105mm USM lens that came with the camera. Although I didn’t have a tripod, the Canon Image Stabilization (second generation) seemed to work well enough.

I was able to use the automatic mode for most of the photos. The camera’s choice of aperture, speed, ISO, and focal point were acceptable. Sometimes I’d switch to manual focus and at times used Aperture Priority when I wanted more control over the shot. Learn more about Aperture Priority on page 238 of the Canon 6D II instruction manual.

Mineral Point Photos

Here’s the gallery of Mineral Point photos. However over any photo for the caption or click any image for a larger gallery view with more details. Enjoy!

Iowa City Photos – 2 Nov 2018 – Canon 6D Mark II

Below are some photos taken in the Iowa City area during the week ending on 2 Nov 2018. Here I’m sharing the 1920×1080 size versions of the photos for people use as desktop wallpaper, presentation backgrounds, or enjoy in other ways. They also make for fun tablet or smartphone wallpaper. If you’d like to use any of these for commercial purposes, if you’d like the originals, or have any questions about this collection of photos, feel free to contact me. Thanks!

20120224fr-greg-signature

Equipment Used

I was using a Canon 6D Mark II camera. For the photos that seem to have more saturation, I had selected the Vivid or Intense options available in the CA camera setting. See page 102 of the instruction manual for further details about these features. I was using the 24-105mm USM lens that came with the camera. Although I didn’t have a tripod, the Canon Image Stabilization (second generation) seemed to work well enough.

Camera Settings

I was able to use the automatic mode for most of the photos. The camera’s choice of aperture, speed, ISO, and focal point were acceptable. Sometimes I’d switch to manual focus and at times used Aperture Priority when I wanted more control over the shot. Learn more about Aperture Priority on page 238 of the Canon 6D II instruction manual.

The Intense color setting can result in photos that seem too dark. However, using Intense that then later using software to increase the exposure will result in photos that are less washed out than if the photo had been taken without these color enhancement options. The Vivid setting is a less saturated option, but sometimes isn’t enough.

About Blurry and Abstract Images

In addition to traditionally composed photos where the subject and context are easily identified, I usually take some abstract photos as well. So, some of the photos in this collection were intentionally made blurry using manual focus to create an abstract image that could be used as a background. The in-focus version is also provided to show the subject used for the blurry photo. There are also some photos that are taken in such a way that the context is not provided, thus making the image difficult to identify. This is done intentionally.

Iowa City Area Photos

Here’s the gallery. Click any image for a larger gallery view. Enjoy!

Iowa City Photos – 27 Oct 2017 – Canon 6D Mark II

Below are some photos taken along bike trails on the west-side of Iowa City on 27 Oct 2018. Here I’m sharing the 1920×1080 size versions of the photos for people use as desktop wallpaper, presentation backgrounds, or enjoy in other ways. They also make for fun tablet or smartphone wallpaper. If you’d like to use any of these for commercial purposes, if you’d like the originals, or have any questions about this collection of photos, feel free to contact me. Thanks!

20120224fr-greg-signature

Equipment Used

I was using a Canon 6D Mark II camera. For the photos that seem to have more saturation, I had selected the Vivid or Intense options available in the CA camera setting. See page 102 of the instruction manual for further details about these features. I was using the 24-105mm USM lens that came with the camera. Although I didn’t have a tripod, the Canon Image Stabilization (second generation) seemed to work well enough.

Camera Settings

I was able to use the automatic mode for most of the photos. The camera’s choice of aperture, speed, ISO, and focal point were acceptable. Sometimes I’d switch to manual focus and at times used Aperture Priority when I wanted more control over the shot. Learn more about Aperture Priority on page 238 of the Canon 6D II instruction manual.

The Intense color setting can result in photos that seem too dark. However, using Intense that then later using software to increase the exposure will result in photos that are less washed out than if the photo had been taken without these color enhancement options. The Vivid setting is a less saturated option, but sometimes isn’t enough.

About Blurry and Abstract Images

In addition to traditionally composed photos where the subject and context are easily identified, I usually take some abstract photos as well. So, some of the photos in this collection were intentionally made blurry using manual focus to create an abstract image that could be used as a background. The in-focus version is also provided to show the subject used for the blurry photo. There are also some photos that are taken in such a way that the context is not provided, thus making the image difficult to identify. This is done intentionally.

Iowa City Area Photos

Here’s the gallery. Click any image for a larger gallery view. Enjoy!

Kent Park Photos

Below are some photos taken in the Kent Park area on 21 Oct 2018. These are 12 photos selected. Here I’m sharing the 1920×1080 size versions of the photos for people use as desktop wallpaper or enjoy in other ways. They also make for fun tablet or smartphone wallpaper. If you’d like to use any of these for commercial purposes, if you’d like the originals, or have any questions about this collection of photos, feel free to contact me. Thanks!

20120224fr-greg-signature

Camera and Settings Used

I was using a Canon 6D Mark II camera. For the photos that seem to have more saturation, I had selected the Vivid or Intense options available in the CA camera setting. See page 102 of the instruction manual for further details about these features. I was using the 24-105mm USM lens that came with the camera. Although I didn’t have a tripod, the Canon Image Stabilization (second generation) seemed to work well enough.

I was able to use the automatic mode for most of the photos. The camera’s choice of aperture, speed, ISO, and focal point were acceptable. Sometimes I’d switch to manual focus and at times used Aperture Priority when I wanted more control over the shot. Learn more about Aperture Priority on page 238 of the Canon 6D II instruction manual.

The Intense color setting can result in photos that seem too dark. However, using Intense that then later using software to increase the exposure will result in photos that are less washed out than if the photo had been taken without these color enhancement options. The Vivid setting is a less saturated option, but sometimes isn’t enough.

You’ll notice several similar photos showing a grove of trees. These photos were taken using slightly different framing of the shot, and also different exposure levels. It’s interesting to see how the mood of the photo changes depending on the settings.

Kent Park Area Photos

Here’s the gallery of Kent Park photos. Click any image for a larger gallery view. Enjoy!

Lake Tahoe Photos – Oct 2018 – iPhone X

Below are some photos taken in the Lake Tahoe area while visiting there in early October 2018. This group of photos were all taken with the 2017 model iPhone X. In another post I’ve shared some photos taken with a Canon 6D Mark II full-frame DSLR camera.

For some photos, the iPhone X produces a broader dynamic range than the 6D, so bright and dark aspects of an image are better rendered because smartphones have additional software to produce high dynamic range photos.

If you’d like to use any of these for commercial purposes, if you’d like the originals, or have any questions about this collection of photos, feel free to contact me. Thanks!

20120224fr-greg-signature

Locations Visited

During this trip, we mostly stayed in the South Lake Tahoe area. The higher altitude phots with a view of Fallen Leaf Lake and Lake Tahoe are from a hike up Mount Tallac which is an ascent of about 3,290 from the trailhead to reach the 9,739 ft peak. We only climbed about 1,400 feet and turned back so we could get some sunset photos near the lake. Because of the steep ascent I burned about 2,000 calories round-trip on that hike according to my Apple Watch.

The Echo Lakes Trail at about 7,000 feet was another nice hike. At these higher altitudes the air is very crisp, dry, and fresh which is invigorating and energizing. Heading south from Tahoe, we found some nice trails and views along Highways 88, 89, and 50.

Tahoe Area Photos

Here’s the gallery. Enjoy!

 

Lake Tahoe Photos – Oct 2018 – Canon 6D Mark II

Below are some photos taken in the Lake Tahoe area while visiting there in early October 2018. These are 218 photos selected from about 1,400 total. Here I’m sharing the 1920×1080 size versions of the photos for people use as desktop wallpaper or enjoy in other ways. They also make for fun tablet or smartphone wallpaper. If you’d like to use any of these for commercial purposes, if you’d like the originals, or have any questions about this collection of photos, feel free to contact me. Thanks!

For additional photos, see my iPhone X Tahoe Photos gallery from the same trip.

20120224fr-greg-signature

Locations Visited

During this trip, we mostly stayed in the South Lake Tahoe area. The higher altitude phots with a view of Fallen Leaf Lake and Lake Tahoe are from a hike up Mount Tallac which is an ascent of about 3,290 from the trailhead to reach the 9,739 ft peak. We only climbed about 1,400 feet and turned back so we could get some sunset photos near the lake. Because of the steep ascent I burned about 2,000 calories round-trip on that hike according to my Apple Watch.

The Echo Lakes Trail at about 7,000 feet was another nice hike. At these higher altitudes the air is very crisp, dry, and fresh which is invigorating and energizing. Heading south from Tahoe, we found some nice trails and views along Highways 88, 89, and 50.

Equipment Used

I was using a Canon 6D Mark II camera. For the photos that seem to have more saturation, I had selected the Vivid or Intense options available in the CA camera setting. See page 102 of the instruction manual for further details about these features. I was using the 24-105mm USM lens that came with the camera. Although I didn’t have a tripod, the Canon Image Stabilization (second generation) seemed to work well enough.

Camera Settings

I was able to use the automatic mode for most of the photos. The camera’s choice of aperture, speed, ISO, and focal point were acceptable. Sometimes I’d switch to manual focus and at times used Aperture Priority when I wanted more control over the shot. Learn more about Aperture Priority on page 238 of the Canon 6D II instruction manual.

The Intense color setting can result in photos that seem too dark. However, using Intense that then later using software to increase the exposure will result in photos that are less washed out than if the photo had been taken without these color enhancement options. The Vivid setting is a less saturated option, but sometimes isn’t enough.

About Blurry and Abstract Images

In addition to traditionally composed photos where the subject and context are easily identified, I usually take some abstract photos as well. So, some of the photos in this collection were intentionally made blurry using manual focus to create an abstract image that could be used as a background. The in-focus version is also provided to show the subject used for the blurry photo. There are also some photos that are taken in such a way that the context is not provided, thus making the image difficult to identify. This is done intentionally.

Tahoe Area Photos

Here’s the gallery. Enjoy!