My New Lens Is A Phone

I was going to buy a ultra-wide-angle lens for my Fuji XE-1 that I used to use as a carry camera. But the 10-24mm zoom lens is quite large, which makes it not as desirable to carry when I’m also carrying the Bazooka on a 7D Mark II body, and the 70-200mm zoom lens a 5Ds body. I have been using my iPhone XE for all street photography and wide-angle photos, stitching together panoramas for ultra-wide-angle shots. I finally decided that since an iPhone 12 Mini was the same price as a Fuji 10-24mm lens, I might as well upgrade my iPhone to the iPhone 12 Mini. The 12 Mini is the same form factor as the old iPhone 5, which is my favorite style of iPhone case, and the camera has wide-angle and super-wide-angle. The iPhone 12 Pro has telephoto, also, but I have the Bazooka and the iPhone 12 is bigger than I like.

What’s really nice with the iPhone 12 Mini is the “Portrait” setting works for any abject or critter as you can see in the photos of the kitties and the America Rose above. The “Portrait” setting on my iPhone SE only worked on human faces. When I tried using it on the cats, or anything else, it said “No faces recognized” and would not take a photo. I’m really happy with the camera on the iPhone 12 Mini.

All photos below were shot with the Bazooka 400mm lens on a Canon 7D Mark II body.

Tiny butterfly.


There seems to be all kinds of challenges in the blogosphere, mostly photo challenges, and writing challenges. Here are a few challenges I recorded.

The first challenge was the song that started out as a drum track that Joel put together. He sent me the track and gave me the challenge to make a song out of it. I laid down a bass track, followed by a rhythm guitar track. I made up a vocal track on the spot, so I have not written down the lyrics, then I laid down the lead guitar track. One take for each track. I named the song  Joel’s Beat.


The second challenge was when I was finally able to get my car washed (car washes had been closed under the lockdown). I washed my car and what did I get? Dust and muddy kitty prints all over the lid.



The third challenge was for Big Baby Owl who had flown over to another branch on the cottonwood tree, then decided to climb the trunk of the tree to get up where Mama Owl was perched high above her. Big Baby Owl climbed and climbed, flapped her wings over the more difficult parts, and finally got into a fork in the tree about 10 feet from Mama Owl. She looked up at Mama Owl and Mama Owl flew off. Big Baby Owl was devastated. She just stood in the fork of the tree with her head bowed (click on the photos for an enlarged slide show).


The fourth challenge was photographing black Irises that are bleached purple in our intense sunshine. The irises look almost black to the naked eye, but properly exposed photos show how purple black really is.


The fifth challenge was doing super wide-angle photos of Spunk and living to write about it and post the photos.


Asses & Molasses @ Las Golondrinas


This is a demonstration of how farmers made molasses from sorghum cane in the 18th Century at las Golondrinas: 1) They prepared the sorghum cain by cutting the seed heads off the ends of the canes. 2) They harnessed their ass to a long pole connected to a big iron crusher. 3) They walked their ass in circles turning the crusher, while a person fed sorghum cane into the crusher to extract the sugary juice from the cane. 4) They cooked the sorghum extract and reduced it to molasses.












Quarai is about 10 miles straight north of Abó, and about 20 miles from Abó by taking Hwy 60 east to Mountainair, and then Hwy 55 north to Quarai. Quarai was a thriving village when the Spanish arrived at the end of the 16th Century, and was the seat of the New Mexico Inquisition during the 1600’s. Records show that the Inquisitioners in New Mexico at that time were fair and compassionate, and used the sophisticated Spanish legal system to protect the Indian’s civil and property rights.

Like Abó, the church at Quarai was oriented on a north/south axis and there is a Kiva on the east side of the church. Unlike Abó, the Kiva is square. The design of the church at Quarai has a traditional layout, but still had a flat roof. Its ruins look very much like a castle standing on the east side of the church, looking toward the west. The last photo is of a sketch on the site that depicts what the Pueblo would have looked like in the 17th Century.