Category: Media

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Louisiana Loafing

More manual focus practice is needed with the Leica M10. While walking late this afternoon, as such, I honed in on the Louisiana sign, where the street crosses Monroe Ave., in my San Diego neighborhood.

Taken with Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens attached, the Featured Image is composed as shot. I pulled back highlights to draw out the clouds, but otherwise contrast, dynamic range, are straight up; no adjustments, post-production. Vitals: f/4, ISO 100, 1/180 sec, 50mm; 5:53 p.m. PDT. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Donuts

Eleven days ago, I spotted for the first time a handsome, and lanky, tiger tabby resting in the driveway of a home on Louisiana between Adams and Madison. While we greeted one another on other days, he presented best profile opportunity—and our Featured Image—during that first meeting.

I wanted to immediately add the shorthair to the series but waited, hoping to get his name. For the next week, I purposely walked by the property in search of an owner, whose acquaintance I finally made on May 15, 2018. The eleven year-old cat is Donuts—yes, plural, which makes sense to me, strangely. Donuts’ dad also is from Maine, but down south in Bethel (I grew up in Caribou). It’s a cultural thing. Your sweet thing isn’t singular but in abundance.

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The Cats of University Heights: Ghost

Since April 4, 2018, I have sought a close-quarters portrait of a massive light-grey longhair that lives in the yard of a house along Florida Street near Adams Ave. The kitty earns nickname Ghost, by appearing for one meaningful moment—on the 12th, along with Coon—and not since. I delayed profiling both furfalls, and companion Wily, waiting for another opportunity. I haven’t seen Ghost since.

I used Leica M10 and Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens to shoot the Featured Image. Vitals: f/5.6 or f/8, ISO 100, 1/60 sec, 50mm; 8:13 a.m. PDT. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Coon

Along Florida Street, near Adams Ave., is a house with spacious yard where live at least three fairly large felines—and quite possibly, from reviewing photos, four, if not more. Two days ago, we met the tiger tabby nicknamed Wily. The second, I call Coon. If not a Maine Coon, the longhair is size of one.

Among the three different confirmed cats, Coon is the most frequently seen round about the yard. I have stalked the kitty for more than a month, seeking the right portrait—a task that distance and reach of the Leica Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens hampers. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Wily

For more than a month, I have stalked what looked like one large feline but turned out to be three in a lush yard near where Florida meets Adams. Finally, you will meet them, as they are presented consecutively.

We begin with the one seen first, crossing an alley around April 2, 2018. Two days later, I returned to the area, discovered the nearby lovely kitty habitat, and started shooting portraits of his compatriots. The Featured Image and companion were taken on the 28th, using Leica M10 and Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens. I nickname the kitty Wily, for avoiding my camera for so long and posing on his (or her) terms. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Stella

The next four featured felines are those for which I shot passible portraits that were held back with hope of making something better. Time is come to let them loose, like we did with Abby the Bengal, who was profiled one week ago. First among them is Stella—and that is her real name—whose likeness I captured with Leica Q on March 6, 2018 at 11:35 a.m. PST.

On other occasions, I had seen Stella looking out the screen door of a house on Monroe near Alabama but unsuccessfully captured the moment. On this morning, her owner was inside with her, and I asked about taking her photo. “Everyone does”, he answered, opening the door and trying to coax the fluffball outside. She wouldn’t budge. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Kitty

While walking from Adams Ave. along Mississippi, on May 7, 2018, my wife and I met a delightful—and chatty—woman originally from Uruguay out with her two small dogs, which had just returned from their weekly bath. What happy little pups were they! Blind, too, she told us—not that their handicap was obvious as they scurried about, tales wagging with enough swish to generate breeze. 🙂

Near the natural end of our conversation, a gorgeous long-hair tortoiseshell walked out from behind a car. Neighbors, including the friendly lady with the pooches, call her Kitty, but the owner might use another name. Kitty is good enough for today. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Abby

For months, I have pursued Abby, looking to capture a portrait worthy of her beauty. Time has come to go with what I have. She is too wily a rascal for my amateur photographic skills.

The Featured Image starts where sightings began, on Jan. 23, 2018, in a yard on Adams Ave. where she hangs out but doesn’t live. A resident confirmed her name. I captured the moment with iPhone X, using the second camera to 2X zoom. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/873 sec, 6mm; 12:47 p.m. PST. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Choontzy

I really shouuld spend more time looking for alley cats—those that wander along the parallel throughways behind most buildings in the neighborhood. Had I, Choontzy, who also goes by Chootzy, surely would have joined the series sooner than this breezy Monday.

He is the first invited cat, so to speak. Last week, on the NextDoor social network, someone posted inquiring about friendly Snowshoe Willow, whose December 2017 profile I linked to in the replies. Among the responses, Choontzy’s caretaker expressed appreciation for the series and desire for him to join it. So, of course, I went on the hunt for the elder tuxedo—eighteen years old, like Gracie and Precious

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The Cats of University Heights: Lucy, Too

For Caturday, we celebrate with the second Lucy to appear in the series—hence the attached “too”. The first lives on Georgia Street; my wife and I met her namesake on Florida, between Meade and Mission, last night. The 9-year-old beauty has a stub tail and sweet demeanor. You can’t not like her.

Lucy adopted her eventual caretaker, when the woman worked for a consignment shop. The stray came around and grew friendlier until she was transplanted from North Park business to University Heights residence—where she stayed without fuss. Lucy sticks pretty close to home, which isn’t surprising for a matronly kitty who chose her owner. 

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Moophie

The neighborhood’s boundaries are clearly defined, and the chosen kitties live within them. But for the fourth instance out of the 171 profiles posted since the series started in October 2006, we make an exception. Moophie (real name) joins outliers BuddiesChill, and Sammy.

The handsome longhiair lives on the same street where my daughter moved two months ago. I frequently see Moophie saunter across the road near the end of the block; in Hillcrest, which is adjacent to University Heights and a mere 2.3 km (1.4 miles) walk from my apartment.