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My Leica M (Typ 262) Adventure Ends

This afternoon, a film student from Los Angeles bought my first digital rangefinder, acquired in early March 2018 as part of the Oberwerth Set. He graduates from the M6 film camera, which he plans to continue using.

His interest in the Leica M (Typ 262) matches the manufacturer’s purpose: Provide an experience with digital benefits that is barebones close to using a Leica film shooter. The M262 is super streamlined, with mostly manual controls, two main menu pages, and no frills. That means no video, no Live View, and no connectivity (Bluetooth or WiFi). The shutter sound is smoothly soft, making the rangefinder more discreet on the street. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Vivienne

Our first feline of June is Vivienne, who adornes this fine Caturday with her loveliness. We met on May 31, 2018 along Meade between Campus and Cleveland. Coincidentally, she resides in the same house as Sophie, who moved away with her owner around Sept. 1, 2017.

In the adjacent property, feral kittens and their Momma briefly lived before being trapped by neighborhood teens and taken to the local animal shelter for adoption. They joined the series in mid-August 2017. 

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Envy

The one-hundred eighty-first profile in the series is the fifth where we take liberties with the neighborhood’s boundaries. One-half block beyond, along Mississippi between Lincoln and University, the juxtaposition of squirrel outside taunting its freedom before an indoor kitty was just too timely to resist. So here we be, with a shorthair I dub Envy. The rodent remains nameless.

I shot the Featured Image with iPhone X on May 22, 2018 at 4:06 p.m. PDT. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/417 sec, 6mm. The companion comes from Leica M10 and Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens, one minute later. Vitals: f/8 or f/11, ISO 100, 1/45 sec, 50mm. The original camera capture is more color accurate than the handset; however, I changed contrast and hues to make the animals more obvious. 

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Panorama Fire

This morning, someone posted to the NextDoor social network about an overnight fire and explosion in a garage behind a house on Panorama Drive, which is along one of my regular walking routes. My wife and I were going that way anyway, so we joined other University Heights rubberneckers taking a peek at the dramatic aftermath.

For the record: I have never seen so many residents roaming that part of the neighborhood on a Saturday morning. We’re talking exponential increases, folks. 

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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, etc. 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.