How to enhance light at Mystical Slot Canyon?

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This photograph is a piece of artwork created by natural sand dust and sunlight. Our tour guide tossed the sand up into the air. The sunlight streamed through the slot canyon and illuminated the sand and dust to create this remarkable image. The sand and light create a smoky and almost ghostly image against the canyon’s golden colors. I quickly shot multiple images to capture the different images as the sand fell to the ground.

The hike was fantastic, and the temperature was not too hot in the middle of June.  Most of our walk was in the shade of the slot canyon. Our tour guide was great as he provided us with a interesting facts and history of this slot canyon. It was really nice as it was not crowded at all during this tour. We saw two other groups of people as we were finishing up our tour. I would highly recommend taking this tour if you are in the Kanab Utah area.

So next time you are in a location with interesting colors and light, try throwing some sand up in the air. Shoot a few photos and to see the interaction between natural colors, light, and sand.

 

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What’s in the Area 51 Alien Center?

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Our family went on a road trip 2 years ago and saw the sign to go to the Area 51 Alien Center. We had to stop. My brother and I enjoy a fascination about Area 51. This Alien Center is close to the freeway. So it was not a big detour as other Alien 51 attractions.

We went inside to explore. This was a fun store to see the various alien souvenirs to purchase. As usual, I can usually find something interesting to buy. I bought an Area 51 Security baseball cap. I also found a poster warning about the restrictions to stay out of Area 51.

Currently, anonymous users behind a Facebook page proposed a group invasion of Area 51. The Urban legend about Area 51 makes us all curious whether the Nevada US Air Force Facility is the location of extraterrestrial studies. Supposedly there are 1.4 million people who RSVP’d to invade Area 51. The invasion is scheduled on September 20.

I did not RSVP for this event.

Why such fascination with Area 51? We all want to believe there are other life forms outside our planet. We spend large amounts of time watching sci-fi movies. Disney has just opened the Star Wars land, and I admit I am excited to go.

I think we are fed up with all our earthly problems and want to find a place to run and escape. So we want to believe that Area 51 has the answers.

Maybe we need to look at ourselves to see how we could contribute to help solve our planet’s problems as well as our individual difficulties.

What We Discovered on the 4th of July?

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We attended a potluck picnic with our parents’ friends and their families. It is an annual event with a huge crowd.  This year, there were about 60 something people enjoying good food and friendships. It was a nice opportunity to visit with some of my parents’ friends and hear how they are doing.

We love to eat the variety of food – from the typical grilled hot dogs to Chinese pig feet. There was gourmet fried soft tofu with the Cantonese savory toppings. Somen noodles was good as well as the homemade sushi.  My mom was excited about the small fried corn on the cob bites from Wingstop which she purchased. The homemade lemon bars and almond jello were the perfect ending for a good lunch.

After a delicious lunch and fun conversation, my wife and I decided we should walk around the park area near the picnic tables. We were pleased to take a closer look at the peripheral flowers. We started watching the Bumble Bees go from flower to flower. We got excited watching the Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies fly and occasionally land on the flowers.

We decided to utilize our Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL cameras. I made the decision to purchase these phones since I was impressed with the cameras. I cannot carry my good camera equipment everywhere I go. I wanted a camera on my phone so I could easily take pictures even if I was not prepared to bring my heavy duty equipment. So we decided to shoot photos with our phones to see what is the photo quality of the cameras.

I knew my Canon cameras would surpass the quality of the Pixel 3 camera. But the results still were good from this photo shoot session.

As always the lighting is an essential factor for a good picture. I am trying to teach my wife how to take pictures.

The lesson I am trying to drill in her is to shoot as many pictures as possible. You can never be absolutely sure the quality of the photo in relationship to any movement and lighting on the object. So taking more photos increases your odds of getting the “perfect” photo.

We were trying to take photos with a bee in the flowers or a butterfly in the flowers. But we also took photos just of the flowers alone.

But by shooting an abundance of shots, you will be surprised at the outcome of your pictures.

The Pixel camera is very good. These photos we posted were among the better photos we took.

So what did my wife learn this 4th of July?

  • No matter where you are, take a look of your surroundings to discover things you never noticed. We’ve been to this park a number of times for picnics and gatherings. We never took the time to look at the flowers and plants.
  • Take lots of pictures. Do not be satisfied with just taking one shot for a picture. Increase your odds to get the perfect picture.
  • Learn to recognize the best lighting for a picture.

What did I learn this 4th of July?

  • The Pixel 3XL takes good wide angle pictures.
  • There are limitations in using the zoom lense feature on the Pixel 3XL. If you zoom in too much, the picture is not as sharp.
  • When I was shooting the 4th picture with the red fuzzy bud, I shot lots of photographs. I wanted the camera to focus on the center where the bud was. I noticed the focus was not where I wanted it to be. I realize I could touch the spot where I want to focus. But I was also trying to quickly take pictures. So the focus was not always as precise as I would like.

In conclusion, I still like the photos from the Pixel 3XL. I cannot expect it to act like my Canon DSLR cameras. But it is a good substitute when I do not want to lug my heavy equipment.

What do you think of these Pixel 3XL photos?

 

 

How Can We Honor Our Independence?

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The Washington Monument

Washington Monument Surrounded by Flags!

I took this photograph of the Washington Monument in October 2005 during a visit to Washington D.C.

This monument was built to honor our first President – George Washington! Not only was he our first President, but he led Patriot forces to victory in the nation’s War for Independence. He was an American political leader, military general, statesman and Founding Father.  He played an important role in the adoption and ratification of our U.S. Constitution.

We have heard criticism how George Washington owned slaves for labor and trading. He supported measures passed by Congress protecting slavery to preserve national unity. But we do not always recognize that he freed his slaves in a 1799 will, since he was troubled with the institution of slavery.

If we study the George Washington’s life in detail, we would learn more of his character and principles. He fought for our independence.

Today we celebrate July 4th and our freedoms! We often do not appreciate our military and leaders for their sacrifice to secure our freedoms.

The Washington Monument is 555 ft 5 inches tall. It may not be the tallest building in the world. But it should stand tall in our hearts to remind us of the leader who is the Father of our country.

In the speech written for the dedication of the Washington Monument on February 21, 1885 by Robert Winthrop – One memorable line is —

“An earthquake make shake its foundation … but the character which it commemorates and illustrates is secure”

The monument endured a physical earthquake. It is important to be reminded about the true American spirit and character of George Washington.

To answer how we can honor our independence?

Live a life of honorable character with a deep appreciation of our freedoms!

Info about the Washington Monument

Info about George Washington

How to Experience Warriors Bling

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About a week ago, we went to a scheduled appointment for a Warriors ticket sales presentation at the new Chase Center offices.

We were not sure what to expect and or what they would show us.

The Warriors Representative led us to a huge room. We saw a large map of the area to illustrate the means of transportation to be available to get to the new Warrior Stadium. The new venue will also be used for entertainment events. Bart and Muni will be probably be the most popular ways to get to the Chase Center. There will be a shuttle from downtown. Also there will be a ferry that will dock near the stadium. And yes there will be an area for Uber and Lift drivers to drop off folks.

There was a nice display of each of the trophies, pendants and rings from the past victories of the Warriors. Everything was in a case or frame.

It was so nice the representative was able to let us try on the rings. Our friend got the good idea to ask to try on all 3 of the championship rings at one time.  They are pretty big and heavy.  This was a big highlight for us during our visit.

There is also a huge model of the stadium. It provides a good visual aid to see how the seating will be.

After we completed playing and looking at the memorabilia in the big room, we were led to a mock suite room. The room we went to sit in closely resembles the picture in the below link.  After walking past the dining area, there were 3 small rows of comfortable seats. The representative showed us various views of available seats to buy season tickets and the different pricing.

Chase Center Suite

Before we went to the presentation, we had lunch at SF Kabobs. It was a great meal. We ordered the Combo Platter for $22.95 for the 2 of us to share. The lamb, beef and chicken were all delicious. Also if you go in the evening to eat, the parking in the lot is free.

SF Kabab at the UCSF Mission Bay Campus

The Warriors Representative mentioned there will be lots of different restaurants inside and surrounding the new Chase Center. We were already happy eating at SF Kabab before our appointment.

It looks like to buy a regular ticket to attend a Warriors game will not be much difference in price than what we experienced at Oracle. We are looking forward to watching the Warriors at the new Chase Center and eating the good food in the area.

If you have a chance to go for a visit, try on the 3 Warriors Championship Rings at the Chase Center.

 

What is Inspirational at Oracle Park?

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Have you ever spent time looking at the statue of “The Say Hey Kid”?

Often times, we are focused on getting into the stadium and to our seats. We are excited of the prospect of the SF Giants winning. We are thinking about what we will eat or drink during the game. Or maybe we want to go to the Dugout store to see the new gear we could purchase.

Next time, take time and look at Willie May’s statute.

It is interesting to see what the plaque says on the statue –
“One of baseball’s most colorful and exciting stars excelled in all phases of the game”

Willie Mays’ accomplishments are amazing.

I love the expression on his face. He is smiling and looking up. You can see how he just hit a ball and is looking at where it flew.

Maybe this is how we should approach life. We may not be able to hit multiple home runs. What are we trying to accomplish in life? What are our goals? Do we have goals? We should create goals that make us smile with hope.

Can we try to smile and look up to accomplish something which would be beneficial to our world? Don’t underestimate what you can accomplish with your goals.

Willie Mays’ smile inspires us to hope!

What is the Warning at Oracle Park?

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Recently, I went to another one of the bad games at Oracle Park where the SF Giants lost big time. 

As my custom, I went early to take pictures of the stadium. I went roaming around the peripheral of the stadium and shot these photographs.

It is pretty amazing to me how they switched the front signage from AT&T Park to Oracle Park so quickly. But I guess since Oracle paid a pretty penny for their long term naming rights for the stadium, it is a small drop in the bucket to quickly change all the signs to the new name.

It is pretty nice how this stadium provides a free viewing area for fans to casually watch the SF Giants play for a short time.

So what is the warning at Oracle Park? I took a picture of the warning – “Watchout for all flying objects not limited to baseballs and bats”. I thought this was pretty amusing and never noticed this sign previously.

This is a good warning when hanging out around the Arcade area since it is a prime area for our friendly seagulls to fly around. 

It is always a good idea generally to this about the warning signs given to us in life. Nobody wants to be hit with an unexpected bomb on our heads. Any hints we can notice in life to help us avoid a bad occurrence is worth noting – whether in our relationships, business transactions, or health issues. 

Heeding warnings in life to avoid problems can also help us focus on the positive aspects of life – like “We Are SF We are Giant” seen on top of the High Wall and Arcade Section. 

Go Giants!

 

Happy Birthday to Hall of Famer All-Time Great Willie Mays!

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These pictures were taken at AT&T Park on May 12, 2006, as part of the pre-game ceremony for Willie Mays’ 75th birthday. Willie Mays is one of my all time favorite players. It was great to watch the festivities for his 75th birthday.

It is a great blessing that Willie Mays could celebrate his 88th birthday this week on May 6. Willie Mays has been retired for 46 years – after the 1973 season.

Birthdays are a reminder how fast time goes. It did not seem that long ago I was at AT&T Park watching Willie Mays stand on the field and be honored by all the fans. We need to honor those whom we respect in our lives.

Who in your life can you show respect today? Make someone’s day by showing respect.

The Phone to the Bullpen at Candlestick Park

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This was the scope of the technology for the phone to the bullpen at Candlestick Park. When the manager or pitching coach wanted to call down to the bullpen so a relief pitcher could start warming up, this wall telephone was it. This photograph was taken in the late 1980’s.

I’m sure there are some younger folks or children who never saw one of these old phones. It is interesting to contemplate the evolution of the telephones. At least, this one had push buttons instead of the old dial.

Now practically everyone is carrying some sort of smart phone with the ability to surf the internet, call folks, text contacts, stream media, listen to music and whatever functionality an app can provide.

It is nice to reminisce about the old fashioned phone – when a phone was just a phone. Candlestick Park represents a simpler time. We could enjoy a baseball or football game and just focus on the game. We could enjoy a good time with those who attended the game with us. We did not look at our cellphones to see our emails, look up something on the internet or text other friends.

What is our lesson from Candlestick Park? Maybe we should try to focus a little more on the primary task at hand. Can we just focus to watch the SF Giants play baseball now without looking at other distractions?

Let’s try it and see what it is like to focus only on the SF Giants play baseball.

What is the Glow behind the double doors?

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This place does not exist anymore in physical form. It does exist in our memories and pictures.

The Glow is back-lit sunlight streaming through the door windows and cracks of a set of double doors to a lost ballpark that was demolished in 2015.

This is the entrance to the lower reserve and lower box section behind home plate at Candlestick Park. This was about two hours before game time for a SF Giants game.

My wife said this photo reminds her of something from the “The Twilight Zone”. It makes you curious and a little afraid to find out what is on the other side of the double doors. The glow makes you fearful to discover the cause for the glow.

A good photograph causes people to think and use their imagination when contemplating the meaning of the image. It should make people think beyond what they physically see in the image.