Focus on Photography
Photo of the Week: "Rascal waiting for supper under a table" by Bob Crum. Photo data: Canon 7D MKII camera, manual mode, Tamron 16-300mm lens @ 238mm. Exposure; ISO 160, aperture f/6.3, shutter 1/200 sec.
Photo of the Week: "Rascal waiting for supper under a table" by Bob Crum. Photo data: Canon 7D MKII camera, manual mode, Tamron 16-300mm lens @ 238mm. Exposure; ISO 160, aperture f/6.3, shutter 1/200 sec.
Selfie euphoria!
Bob Crum
Bob Crum

Writer's block is a condition in which a skilled writer (me) with the desire to write finds himself (me) unable to write. Thinking only invisible thoughts produces nothing. I'm sitting here at my computer staring at the monitor. Unable to conjure appropriate words, a blank page stares back. Overwhelmed by the constant barrage of coronavirus (COVID-19) news, thoughts are ruthlessly suppressed.

Moreover, healthwise, I'm in the highly vulnerable group which keeps COVID-19 front and center in my mind. Hence, the subject of photography seems irrelevant, barren of importance. However, let's agree that doom and gloom serve no useful purpose so indulge me a diversion if but a couple of minutes.

Phonetographers: Samsung is taking a bite out of the Apple iPhone! Just as Canon and Nikon aficionados gather (illegally these days) around a campfire and argue the merits of their beloved camera, so do phonetographers debate iOS vs. Android cellphone operating systems. The debates, often reaching a fever pitch, are matchless silliness. No one wins their argument because the utterances are subjective. The only arguable difference between the two is the operating systems and cameras. Cameras!

Samsung robustly excited the cellphone market with its new Galaxy S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra. The Samsung S20 website says: "This is the phone that will change photography. A massive leap forward in resolution and zoom for mobile photography." BOOM! I'm preordering an S20+ and an Ultra model! Nah, just kidding. No psychologist could restore my sanity were I to rush to buy. On the other hand..... hmm, anyone interested in buying all my Canon photo gear?

It looks like cellphones have not escaped the megapixel race. Samsung proclaims 64 and 108MP depending on the model. Mr. Kelly of Forbes wrote: "Don’t worry, you aren’t going to get 64 and 108MP photos. Samsung has adopted ‘Pixel Binning, ’ which uses lots of smaller pixels to create one large 2.4μm pixel with a 12-megapixel final image size. The big benefits of this approach are dramatic improvements in low light photography."

Regarding the zoom ranges, he said: "Extreme Zoom - dubbed ‘Space Zoom’, delivers up to 30x digitally on the Galaxy S20 and S20+ and a mind-blowing 100x on the S20 Ultra. While an undeniably cool party trick, it’s hard to imagine a true real-world (legal) scenario where you’d need this. As such, the 10x optical zoom of the S20 Ultra is going to be more useful, which makes it a shame that the other models are stuck with 3x."

Another feature Samsung touts: "8K video recording. Wow! Wait! Impressive! Does anyone have an 8K TV or an 8K computer display? And considering the massive size of an 8K video file, it seems like I'd need 1TB of storage for a couple of minutes of video. I'll stick with ole 1080.

Narcissistic types will love the Galaxy S20 Ultra's 40MP selfie camera with phase-detection auto-focus. Repeat: 40MP selfies! Incredible! Think about capturing your gorgeous face in billboard-size resolution! Think about a gazillion Facebook 'likes'! Yep, I knew I'd get you itching to order one! Chop chop!

The photo of the week presented a dilemma. Being housebound, no new adventures. Rummage hard drive archives? Instead, I grabbed my camera (the real camera with dials) and went outside. There sat my buddy Rascal waiting for supper. Bam! Photo of the week. Rascal is one of my four rescue cats. So horn-mad cantankerous was he at the outset, it took me six months to domesticate this purrdycat.

For entertainment during these gloomy times, another video of the fascinating Faria Beach sandpipers scurrying around at supper time.

Send comments, suggestions or questions to: