The red flowers of Ukraine. Chatting with (artificial intelligence) ChatGPT.

My friend from Ukraine sent me this photo. The camera is iPhone 12 Pro Max.

My friend from Ukraine sent me a picture of some red flowers. I’m not sure if they are poppies or tulips. I waiting for a reply back from my friend. Not sure if he is alive? He sent the picture several months ago. UPDATE: These are poppies and my friend is alive!

But anyways have you heard of ChatGPT? It’s an artificial intelligence chat program that you chat with. Here is our chat:

(Me) Tell me about the red tulips in Ukraine.

(ChatGPT) I’m sorry, but I don’t have specific information about red tulips in Ukraine. Tulips are a type of flowering plant that are native to the mountains of central and southern Europe and Asia. They are widely cultivated in many parts of the world, including Ukraine, and come in a variety of colors, including red. Tulips are known for their bright, colorful flowers, which bloom in the spring and are often used as ornamental plants in gardens and landscaping. They are also a popular cut flower and are often given as gifts on special occasions. It is likely that red tulips are available for purchase and cultivation in Ukraine, although I don’t have any specific information about this.

(Me) Tulips in Ukraine remind me of soldiers blood spilled on the battlefield.

(ChatGPT) It is not uncommon for people to associate certain colors or flowers with particular themes or events. In this case, you are using the color red, which is often associated with passion, love, and also with violence and bloodshed, to describe the tulips in Ukraine. It is possible that you are thinking about the tulip as a symbol of the soldiers who have fought and died in battle, and are using the color red to represent the blood that has been shed. However, it is important to remember that tulips are simply a type of flower and do not have any inherent meaning or symbolism. The way that we interpret and assign meaning to different things, including colors and flowers, is often shaped by our own experiences and cultural context.

(Me) I’m not sure if the flowers are tulips or poppies.

(ChatGPT) Tulips and poppies are two different types of flowers that are often associated with different themes and meanings. Tulips are a type of flowering plant that are native to the mountains of central and southern Europe and Asia. They are known for their bright, colorful flowers, which bloom in the spring and come in a variety of colors, including red, white, pink, and yellow. Tulips are often used as ornamental plants in gardens and landscaping and are also a popular cut flower.

Poppies, on the other hand, are a type of flowering plant that are native to the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. They are known for their bright, showy flowers, which come in a variety of colors, including red, pink, orange, and white. Poppies are often associated with sleep, death, and Remembrance Day, as they are sometimes worn as a symbol of respect for soldiers who have died in war. The red poppy, in particular, is often used as a symbol of Remembrance Day and is worn by people in many countries on November 11th to honor the soldiers who have died in wars.

(Me) Do they grow poppies in Ukraine?

(ChatGPT) Poppies are a type of flowering plant that are native to the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, including Europe. It is likely that poppies grow in some parts of Ukraine, although I don’t have specific information on this. Poppies are known for their bright, showy flowers, which come in a variety of colors, including red, pink, orange, and white. Poppies are often associated with sleep, death, and Remembrance Day, as they are sometimes worn as a symbol of respect for soldiers who have died in war. The red poppy, in particular, is often used as a symbol of Remembrance Day and is worn by people in many countries on November 11th to honor the soldiers who have died in wars.

It was a cold day.

It was a cold day and I walked first to take a picture behind the dam.

Backtrack through the parking lot and take a picture of the EV charger.

Walking around the lake I thought this fallen tree was interesting. The bird flew away.

My fingers are cold and I put my hands in my pants pocket.

This rhododendron was peaking around the tree at me and enjoying the sun.

I spotted some ice on the lake and went to find some icicles.

On the way to my truck this dried flower was meditating.

Black and white seem to get along. Maybe we can be friends. I only have one lens for my Panasonic DMC-G6. The urge is to buy another. I will resist and master this one.

Nikon camera kit for 150 dollars. Strictly for beautiful photographs.

I was thinking if I only had 150 dollars to spend on a camera kit, what would I purchase in 2023, that I know would get me great photos. Now this would strictly be for photographs. I would probably buy a Nikon D60 (just because you get a little more pixels compared to the Nikon D40). I was searching for one (Nikon D60) on MPB.com and the shutter counts were really high. A shutter count of under 20,000 is what I would look for on these old cameras. So I would of bought a Nikon D40 on the current stock. Ken Rockwell recommended the D40 over the D60. But in 2023 the 10 mega pixels on the D60 would give you a little more cropping room, compared to the 6 mega pixels of the D40.

Prices on MPB.com

Nikon D40 Cost = 40 dollars (Shutter counts were below 10,000).

Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G cost = 109 dollars (in excellent condition).

This is image was taken with the old Nikon D60 that I once owned.

I’ve owned a Nikon D60 once and really regret selling it. I still have my Nikon D70 and love it. The only drawback to the Nikon D70 is the small LCD screen on the back. The Nikon D70 reminds me of a film camera, because you can’t really tell if you took a good picture until you open it on your computer, since the LCD is real small. You can see enough of the image to see if it was overexposed.

Really you could not go wrong with the Nikon D70, D60 or D40. The D70 does have an internal motor for lenses without motors. What’s great about the D70 is the battery life lasts forever. I’m talking weeks. I own a Nikon D7100 and the battery is dead in a day. Same with the Panasonic DMC-G6.

The Nikon D70, D60 and D40 are all CCD sensor cameras. Which can give you a film like look photo.

Nikon D70 image.

I would avoid heavy old Nikons like the Nikon D200. Great camera, but it never leaves the house, because of the weight. Weight really plays an important part in camera selection.

Nikon D200 images are great. Just really a heavy camera to carry. Definitely a film like image.

Now the Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G prime lens would give you great quality photos while learning about photography. Better to buy a great lens and a cheap camera.

But now would I really want a DSLR in 2023? Would I be better off at buying an inexpensive mirrorless kit? Maybe?

What’s great about carrying a cheap camera is if you lose it, break it or get robbed. No big deal. If that happens to your Leica, then it’s off to visit your local bank.

You could get a cheap Sony or Panasonic mirrorless kit for under 150 dollars. I’m pretty sure.

Panasonic LX3 traveled with me through Central and South America. Photo taken with a Nikon D60.

What’t nice about the Panasonic LX3 is it has a fixed lens. Years ago you could pick these up cheap on EBay, but the prices have gone up. Still a good choice and video capabilities are not bad. Before the pandemic I bought a Panasonic LX5 for 35 dollars, which I gave to my father.

Also, think about a Canon DSLR kit. I’ve never owned a Canon and would like to try one some day.

Now you might be thinking only really cheap people would look for a 150 dollar camera. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to try a Nikon Z9 and the latest lens for 7000 dollars plus. Sure, if I needed that to make money it would make perfect sense. I guess it would? I almost feel guilty posting this in our materialistic society. Like has he gone mad… send him to prison for thinking about buying an old camera for 150 dollars.

Using old gear is like going back in time. Say for instance a person who still shoots film and uses a dark room. Photos have a different look. Even some Hollywood directors still use film, because film has a magical look. Think of Eddie Van Halen that put together his own guitar and sound system. He admitted it was junk. He called his sound, “brown”. Putting an odd ball kit together and creating our own, “distinctive look”. I’m still searching for mine. 🙂

An old Nikon FE film camera I owned.

Is it only me that looks at these 7000 dollar mirrorless camera images and thinks, “it looks sanitary”. Almost to clean. Nothing left to reveal. The magic is gone. Imperfections add style, mystery and personality. For instance, even my Nikon D7100 CMOS sensor camera images don’t look as good compared to a CCD sensor image, in my opinion.

You might consider taking up a personal challenge and see what kind of images you can create with a cheap camera. The next time I’m at a thrift shop and see that 5 dollar digital camera lying in the heap of cables and old phone cases. It’s mine!

Panasonic DMC-G6 & Lumix 14-42 3.5-5.6 OIS

Since it is rather cold outside I decided to take some snapshots around the house in aspect ratio 3:2 (which is similar to a 35mm camera) and monochrome. In the menu you can choose different aspect ratios. The Panasonic DMC-G6 was released around April 2013. I bought mine in 2021. For the camera and lens the cost was around 300 dollars (used) on MPB.com. Used camera prices have gone up quite a bit in price since the pandemic started. It’s a sellers market right now in cameras.

Here she is in her full glory. I took this photo with an iPhone 8.

The theme is Christmas 🙂

I’m pretty happy with this camera. This is the only Micro Four Thirds camera I’ve ever owned. The advantage in the beginning was the low weight for M4/3 cameras. Now the newer ones are getting pretty heavy.

Often I choose this camera to carry, because of the weight. This lens (Panasonic Lumix 14-42 3.5-5.6 OIS) is not very good in low light. In fact Micro Four Thirds cameras are not a very good choice for low light or speed. Also, there is no weather proofing on this camera or lens. I just carry a small dry bag in case I get stuck out in a rain storm. I’ve used it in damp climates and freezing temperatures with no problem.

I blew the candle out and caught the smoke drifting away.

In my opinion 300 dollars is a pretty good price for a lens and camera. You might be able to save some dollars on eBay, but then you do not get a warranty. If price is your main concern then there are cheaper alternatives to choose from and still get outstanding results. Kits under 150 dollars are possible.

If you are getting into photography for a hobby you might consider inexpensive used quality gear. Of course you can always use your phone. Personally I like a viewfinder. I’ve tried using my iPhone, but the fun isn’t there for me. Apple iPhone pictures seem to me to have a certain over-processed look.

The final photo I turned the color back on for the Christmas tree.

Transportation for the poor to fight the wars.

What was I thinking when I took this picture of the hummer? Definitely that this is a cool vehicle. Then when I wrote the title to the blog, I thought, it’s just a vehicle for the poor to fight the wars.

I often rode in these vehicles many times during my time in the USMC. Often times during training I would see a Marine driven around in a hummer with his pants pulled down and a thermometer sticking out his ass. You might say, “paraded in front of the battalion” for failing to complete a march during training. Oh how I loathed the USMC, but I signed on the dotted line, so had to do my time.

The military–industrial complex was not even registered in my brain. I was a complete idiot. Interestingly, slowly, I realized the way the rich elite use our children to start useless wars around the world. Maybe in the last 3 years I had this realization. Yeah, I guess I’m rather slow.

I look at the crime of war happening now in Ukraine and it just disgusts me. All soldiers should just refuse to fight and go have a beer. You might say have a world mutiny against the “so called” elite. Calling them elite is really doing humanity a disservice. We should call them ignorant and greedy. Thats who they really are.

But I must admit the Nikon D70 can take some good pictures.

In the beginning man created god.

When I’m on my death bed, you can bet I’ll be praying to god for mercy. But do I believe in the bible. Not really. Do I believe in any deity? Not really. But I’ll pray with people. I don’t really want to be labeled as an atheist.

I do feel some sort of spiritual connection with the planet.

When I read some sort of religious text it always feels like man created the diety.

Yeah, I do believe Jesus, Buddha and Mohammad existed, but not that they had any super power. Spiritual teachers.

Enlightenment sounds plausible if I lived in a cave for 12 years.

Then again when I look at the picture above. The stars in the night and planets floating about.

Yeah, I definitely believe in something. Just not sure what.

You assume that bridge is safe?

Did I ever tell you I explore under bridges? This bridge is being repaired thankfully! You can see lots of neat things under bridges. Litter, people, graffiti and stuff that falls off vehicles.

The crack under this bridge is pretty scary. Lets hope it holds until the repairs are done.

Milkweed seed pods.

During World War II, the regular material used to stuff life jackets was in short supply, so milkweed floss was used as a substitute—it is about six times more buoyant than cork. Milkweed plants support 12 species of butterflies and moths, including the Monarch butterfly.