Photo of the Week: "Yellow/Orange rose from my rose garden"  by Bob Crum. Photo data: Canon 7DMKII camera, manual mode, Tamron 16-300mm lens @92mm. Exposure; ISO 400, aperture f/13, 1/250 sec shutter speed.
Photo of the Week: "Yellow/Orange rose from my rose garden" by Bob Crum. Photo data: Canon 7DMKII camera, manual mode, Tamron 16-300mm lens @92mm. Exposure; ISO 400, aperture f/13, 1/250 sec shutter speed.
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Beware fake zooms
Bob Crum
Bob Crum

As the shelter-in-place order is extended, it's a great time to contemplate entering the wonderful world of photography. You're done with sissy cellphone photos and itching to act on your long-held secret to create awesome long-lived photographs. Here's some mental spinach to help you cast off the phonetographer shackles and become an grrrreat photographer!

Many photos I see of social media were shot with a cellphone. I know this because they're all awful. Relax, just kidding. Some are good. Even when I closely examine a Facebook photo, it's sometimes difficult to tell whether it's a cellphone or a camera photo. But I can tell!

We all know that present-day cellphone cameras perform quite well when abundant light is present or when the subject isn't moving too quickly. And in most situations, shooting family vacation photos with a cellphone might suffice. But when that cellphone is deficient, the magic of the moment is gone forever without a memorable photo. If that's not acceptable, you're ready for a camera!

Present-day cellphones are ubiquitous, and convenient, for instant social media snapshots. But for field sports, a rodeo, an air show or shooting wildlife, zooming is an important facet where cellphones can't compete with dedicated cameras.

The Samsung new S20 cellphone provides a hybrid optic zoom of 3x and 30x "Super-Resolution Zoom" (SRZ) with the telephoto lens. Impressed? Don't be. While the 30x super-resolution zoom (SRZ) sounds great, beyond the 3x optical zoom, the cellphone camera is not doing any zooming. Instead, it's heavily cropping the image to simulate zooming. A fake zoom! To get 'optically' zoomed 30x, you'd need a 7" long 200mm telephoto lens on your slim cellphone.

If you're ready to create 'real' photos, there are many delicious options. Camera technology has greatly improved lenses and internal processing. Remember, a camera is a computer with a lens attached. There are three categories of cameras: Compact & point & shoot cameras, bridge cameras and dSLRs - mirrored and mirrorless. Let's discuss compacts. Longer zooms, faster operation, better low-light capabilities, and better ergonomics, there are lots of good reasons to buy a state of the art compact digital camera, wrote shotkit.com. Note: the S20 costs $1295.00! That amount of $$ buys a great real camera!

Compact cameras utilize a 'fixed' built-in lens and on several models, the lens retracts into the camera. These cameras offer two substantial advantages: they're small and pocketable and you get real optical zoom for a lot less money. And cameras in this category produce very good quality photos in many situations!

Here are a few of smartphone-beating compact cameras: Fujifilm X100V, Panasonic Lumix ZS200/TZ200, Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III, Panasonic Lumix LX100 II, Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VI, Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III, Sony Cyber-shot RX100 IV and Panasonic ZS100/TZ100. I'll add Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II, & Ricoh GRIII. Check shotkit.com for reviews and camera info. https://shotkit.com/best-compact-cameras/.

First, prioritize your photographic/camera needs: size, zoom range, exposure controls. Then consider buying a brand camera: Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Fujifilm or Panasonic that's within your budget. If the budget is constrained, consider buying a pre-owned camera. I have purchased a used camera and two used lenses and happy with all three. Three reliable sources are https://www.adorama.com/Used, https://tinyurl.com/qr6vkb5 and https://www.keh.com/.

Being housebound, it's back to the rose garden for a photo shoot. The photo of the week is one of the beautiful flowers. See it in glorious color at: fillmoregazette.com. For entertainment: Sandpipers at Faria beach video #3: https://youtu.be/-6d3n3Li5Gs.

Send comments, suggestions or questions to: focusonphotography@earthlink.net

 


 
Ventura County’s food bank is stepping up its operations to ensure that those in need have access to food

As an essential service, Food Share, Ventura County’s food bank, is not only staying open, it’s stepping up its operations to feed even more people in need. In addition to grocery stores, farmers markets, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants, food banks across the state are being asked to stay open by Governor, Gavin Newsom, even during the statewide stay at home directive.

Monica White, President & CEO of Food Share, Ventura County’s food bank, has a straightforward and positive message, “Keep calm and we’ll feed on! We are open for business and will continue to feed those in need in Ventura County. Our mission is more important than ever. We have asked our older volunteers to put their own health first and stay home, but we need help to meet the increasing need. If you are over the age of 12, are not in a vulnerable health group and have no symptoms of illness, please go to foodshare.com/volunteer and sign up for a shift. Our community needs your help.”

Food Share has stepped up its already rigorous food safety and facility sanitation practices to minimize any risk to food recipients, volunteers or employees. Everyone who volunteers will be asked to wash their hands thoroughly on entry to the building, will wear protective gloves throughout their shift and will work 6 feet away from other volunteers.

“We are working diligently with our food pantries and other community partners to implement new methods of food distribution, such as drive-through and drop-and-go models to ensure appropriate social distancing” added White. “We have also waived all delivery fees in addition to the shared maintenance fees to help our pantry partners keep the food flowing to those in need.”

For more information:

Up-to-date information on temporary pantry closures, pop-up distribution sites and emergency volunteer opportunities will be posted at foodshare.com/covid19/ and on Food Share’s social media channels.

For information on free Senior Food Kit distributions please go to foodshare.com/seniorkits

VCAAA also has information and resources for seniors at vcaaa.org/covid-19/

You can make a donation in support of Food Share at foodshare.com/give

About Food Share of Ventura County:
Since 1978, Food Share has been feeding the hungry in Ventura County. It all began when eight friends banded together to provide food to those in need in Ventura, CA. The early philanthropic movement started in a family garage, quickly outgrew a donated fire station in Saticoy and now operates in Oxnard, CA with two warehouses with a combined 36,000 square feet. Today, staff and volunteers distribute over 13 million pounds of food, or over 11 million meals, annually through its 190 pantry and program partners. As Ventura County’s food bank, Food Share provides food for 75,000 hungry friends and neighbors monthly. Food Share is a member of Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization, as well as the California Association of Food Banks. For more information about Food Share, visit www.foodshare.com

 


 
Community Memorial Hospital opens Donation Drop-Off Center for masks and other critical supplies

Ventura County - As Community Memorial Health System prepares for the challenges treating a growing number of patients with Coronavirus (COVID-19), increasing demands on the health system may eventually lead to shortages of supplies and important personal protective equipment needed to protect patients, physicians, and staff. Based on current supply, projected usage, and market demand and supply availability, Community Memorial Hospital anticipates it may face supply shortages of protective masks, protective gowns, face shields, and medical goggles.

For those who would like to donate to Community Memorial Health System, CMHS is accepting donations of the following items only: face and/or eye shields (single use or non-disposable), N95 masks, N99 masks, P95 masks, Standard Procedure masks, isolation gowns, Standard Procedure gowns, coveralls, respirator hoods or hazmat hoods, and reusable P100/N95 respirators and cartridges/filters.

CMHS is not accepting cloth masks. Supplies in original, unopened packaging are particularly useful and appreciated.

The CMHS Donation Drop-Off Center opened on Wednesday, March 25, at the park in front of the new Community Memorial Hospital. Please look for the white tent adjacent to the grass area to bring your donations. Community Memorial Hospital is located at 147 N. Brent Street, Ventura, CA 93003.

The Donation Drop-Off Center will be open Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. PLEASE DO NOT attempt to enter the hospital to make a supply donation as admittance to the hospital is restricted at this time.

CMHS appreciates the support of the individuals and organizations who have reached out wanting to support CMHS with donations of medical supplies.

For more information and updates on Coronavirus at Community Memorial Health System, visit cmhshealth.org.

Community Memorial Health System is a not-for-profit health system, which is comprised of Community Memorial Hospital, Ojai Valley Community Hospital, the Centers for Family Health, and various outpatient centers serving communities located within Ventura County, California.

 


 
On March 24th from Noon to 4pm, Piru Elementary staff handed out distance learning materials to students on Center Street. Prepared packets were created for each student and distributed to families who pulled up to the drive through. Staff did a great job handing out materials while maintaining good social distancing.
On March 24th from Noon to 4pm, Piru Elementary staff handed out distance learning materials to students on Center Street. Prepared packets were created for each student and distributed to families who pulled up to the drive through. Staff did a great job handing out materials while maintaining good social distancing.
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2019 Deputy of the Year Diego Estrada
2019 Deputy of the Year Diego Estrada

The Fillmore Community Awards Committee & Fillmore Police Department are proud to announce Deputy Diego Estrada as the 2019 Deputy of the Year!

Deputy Diego Estrada is a seven year veteran of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office. Diego is married, has three children and lives in Ventura County with his family. Diego began his law enforcement career by attending the Sheriff’s Academy, graduating with class #2 of 2013. After graduating from the academy, Diego worked the custody division prior to being transferred to the Fillmore Station and has been here for a little over two years. During this short time, Diego has risen to the top of his field. He is very active on patrol and has quickly become a strong “beat cop” and an asset to the department. Diego has held a collateral assignment with the Tactical Response Team and was recently selected to the Sheriff’s Special Weapons and Tactics team. Diego was recently selected as one of the station’s gang liaison deputies.

Diego is a military veteran, and prior to becoming a sheriff’s deputy, was enlisted in the Army. Diego served in the Army from 2006 to 2012, and was deployed in Iraq for 18 months during his service. Diego’s military service has in no doubt prepared him for his service on the Sheriff’s Office. He is committed to serving the citizens of Fillmore, and Ventura County with the same reverence as he did the country. While serving the citizens of Fillmore, Diego has committed himself to become familiar with the criminal element and keeping that element from victimizing the citizens of Fillmore.

Due to Covid19, we have, as this time, postponed the Community Awards Reception until mid-June. We will keep the public updated if this changes.

 
City of Fillmore
City of Fillmore

The City of Fillmore is asking residents to avoid flushing sanitation wipes even if the package states they are flushable. Other alternatives to toilet paper including paper towels and facial tissues also should not be flushed in local sewer lines as people practice guidelines to combat the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. While the "flushable" wipes concern is not new to wastewater facilities, there is an increased risk to our system due to the current shortage of toilet paper.

The City is working closely with Veolia North America, which operates and maintains the wastewater treatment plant, to educate people about the need to avoid flushing inappropriate items down their toilets.

We ask that our community members pay extra attention to what items they are using and flushing and remind you not to flush anything other than toilet paper, whether being used for personal hygiene purposes or for wiping and cleaning surfaces. Although many so-called "disposable" hand wipes are advertised as being safe for flushing, they can cause backups in the system and contribute to buildup of foreign materials. In some cases, they can attach to buildups of grease in the system and create large blockages called "fatbergs."

Here are some items that should not be flushed down sewer lines:
• Paper towels
• Napkins
• Wet wipes/baby wipes
• Facial tissues

As a general reminder, here are "Dos and Don'ts" for avoiding backups in the local sewer lines:
• DO NOT flush wipes, gloves, towels or other trash down the toilet, even if they're labeled flushable.
• DO NOT pour grease down kitchen sinks or toilets. wipes, tampons, sanitary pads and condoms in the trash. DO toss dirty baby, makeup and cleaning.

Thank you for helping keep our community and facilities clean and functioning.

 
Despite some hoarding, Vons Market, Super A and Fillmore’s many smaller markets and convenience stores can meet all your shopping needs. Grocers’ associations across the nation are encouraging shoppers to buy just enough food and supplies for a week. The shelves will be restocked as usual and there will be no shortages if the community will shop as it usually does. The run on grocery stores, empty shelves and long lines are all unnecessary, according to the California Grocers Association (CGA). “We have dealt with fires and earthquakes and natural disasters so we are set up in such a way that there is an abundance of freight and supplies in our distribution centers,” said Ron Fong, President and CEO of the CGA. Stay calm, keep some distance and remember other people need supplies, too.
Despite some hoarding, Vons Market, Super A and Fillmore’s many smaller markets and convenience stores can meet all your shopping needs. Grocers’ associations across the nation are encouraging shoppers to buy just enough food and supplies for a week. The shelves will be restocked as usual and there will be no shortages if the community will shop as it usually does. The run on grocery stores, empty shelves and long lines are all unnecessary, according to the California Grocers Association (CGA). “We have dealt with fires and earthquakes and natural disasters so we are set up in such a way that there is an abundance of freight and supplies in our distribution centers,” said Ron Fong, President and CEO of the CGA. Stay calm, keep some distance and remember other people need supplies, too.
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City of Fillmore
City of Fillmore

Courtesy City of Fillmore https://www.fillmoreca.com/Home/Components/News/News/3207/18

Post Date: 03/18/2020 9:57 PM

To our Active Adult Center Seniors, due to the growing concerns about the COVID-19 Virus and the closure of the Active Adult Center, the City of Fillmore will be providing meals to those who are in need and qualify under the guidelines established by the Ventura County Agency of Aging listed below:

Congregate eligibility requirements for the Senior Nutrition Program:

A. Congregate Meals

Individuals eligible to receive a meal at a congregate nutrition site are:

1. Any older individual;

2. The spouse of an older individual;

3. A person with a disability, under age sixty (60) who resides in housing facilities occupied primarily by older individuals at which congregate nutrition services are provided; and

4. A disabled individual who resides at home with and accompanies an older individual who participates in the program.
Definitions. “Older individual” means a person sixty (60) years of age or older.

If you would like to request a meal or know someone in the community who is in need, please contact Marie Garfio at 805-524-3030 or Julie Latshaw at 805-524-1500 ext. 234 to request a meal. Please note that if you are not part f the County’s database, you will be requested to complete an intake form. If you would like to get a head start in completing the intake form, please download, print, print and return the form to marfio@fillmoreca.gov. Intake form. Deliveries are expected to take place next week.

For more information concerning the Active Adult Center please call 805-524-3030.

 
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.
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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. https://youtu.be/qsO5bMkRS8A

Send comments, suggestions or questions to: focusonphotography@earthlink.net

 
Fillmore Unified School District
Fillmore Unified School District

March 18, 2020

Fillmore USD Families

The purpose of this message is to provide Fillmore Unified School District families with an update for March 18, 2020 regarding district actions to address COVID-19.

Today our Board of Trustees directed the closure of all Fillmore Unified schools and offices through Friday, May 1, 2020. All district and school events, meetings, activities, athletic practices, and athletic competitions have been cancelled thru May 1, 2020.

This closure is in support of the recommendations from public health officials to encourage “social distancing” to slow the spread of the virus. It is strongly recommended that individuals stay home during the closure as much as possible, and do not gather in public places.

A decision to reopen schools will be made in close consultation with the State of California, Ventura County Public Health, and the Ventura County Office of Education. We hope to reopen on Monday, May 4, 2020, but that decision will depend on the circumstances at the time. District families will be provided with notice prior to May 4, 2020.

We are aware that this closure has resulted in a loss of time spent learning in the classroom and are working to create educational opportunities for students while schools are closed. It is our intent to provide an update to families during the week of March 23rd regarding the district approach to distance learning.

We understand that school closures have significant impacts on our students and families, and we hope to resume normal operations in the future. Thank you for your understanding during this challenging time.

Respectfully,
Adrian E. Palazuelos, Ph.D.
Superintendent
Fillmore Unified School District

Additional Information
World Health Organization Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19)
https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses

VC Emergency (Official Ventura County Incident Information Source)
http://www.vcemergency.com/

California Department of Public Health website:
https://www.cdph.ca.gov/

CDC website:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html