Tag: Leica Q

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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: 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: Wonder

Sunset was 7:25 p.m. PDT on April 24, 2018. Nearly 20 minutes later, what looked like a bushy-tailed black and white shorthair trotted down Florida between Meade and Monroe before scooting up some stairs to a row of apartments/condos. Two months earlier, I had seen the kitty nicknamed Mew in the same vicinity. Second-sighting? I’ll never know, because another beauty perched above and stayed steady for several portraits.

Because of fast-falling dusk, I carried Leica Q, which packs a magnificently detail-capturing, fast lens. I set aperture wide-open and shutter speedy, letting the camera auto-crank ISO for shooting along the dimly-lit street. Vitals for the Featured Image: f/1.7, ISO 16000, 1/250 sec, 28mm, 7:44 p.m. The companion, taken one minute earlier, is same except for ISO 2000. I manually focused both.

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The Cats of University Heights: Lucky

I can’t imagine why we have come to either the fourteenth or fifteenth black cat—depending on whether or not Betty and Betty, Too are the same animals—without one being named, or in this instance nicknamed, Lucky. The others: Black, FangFarfisa, Frenemy, MikaPee-Pee, PeoheSiestaSkull, Sky, Token, and Wink.

My wife and I encountered Lucky on April 11, 2018 by the same apartment complex where Blue Too and Chub hang out—and presumably live—along Campus Ave. beyond Madison approaching the overlook. I used Leica Q to capture the Featured Image at 8:41 a.m. PDT. Vitals, aperture and shutter speed manually set: f/5.6, ISO 320, 1/250 sec, 28mm. 

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The Cats of University Heights: STAR

This beautiful kitten earns nickname Blend for being somewhat camouflage-colored against an area in the neighborhood known as the Point. My wife and I encountered her quite unexpectedly on April 10, 2018, frolicking about and seeking attentive pats, which you can see Anne giving in the Featured Image and its companion.

We were both concerned about the calico’s interest in the canyon below. Anne and I have often joked about scaling down the hill to Wendy’s for a burger; the fast food place looks so close. There be coyotes, which wouldn’t bother us but could make a snack of our new-found friend. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Cali

Along Golden Gate between Cleveland and Maryland Avenues, on April 8, 2018, my wife and I met two kitties that appeared to be companions. I nicknamed the other Bushy. A neighbor says, and I can’t confirm, this lovely calico is Cali.

The shorthair was friendly enough with the neighbor—and her dog Shelly—but kept distance from me. I used Leica Q to capture the Featured Image and its companion, 8:29 and 8:37 a.m. PDT, respectively. Vitals for the first, aperture manually set: f/4, ISO 100, 1/500 sec, 28mm. The second is same, except for shutter speed: 1/400 sec. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Bushy

The day after seeing E.T. (for Exotic Tail), my wife and I returned to the same place, as I sought another portrait and maybe a name (from the owner). The kitty slept far back in a driveway, and unaccessible. We later came upon two other furballs, along Golden Gate between Cleveland and Maryland Avenues. The first is another tiger tabby with fluffy tail. What a lucky segue. I nickname him Bushy.

The other cat, a calico, will be the series’ next profile. Bushy kept his distance, flanking from the bushes along several houses, while his companion was fairly friendly. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Bob

The morning is unusually cloudy and damp here in San Diego as this otherwise fine Caturday unfolds. Meet Bob (real name), whom I encountered on March 7, 2018 along Cliff Street, where he lives. Initially, I thought he was the putty-tat I call Finny, from nearby Adams Ave., but closer photo inspection reveals they are not the same animal.

A woman taking her daughter to school gave me Bob’s name, and she said that he belongs to one of her neighbors. He surely is a friendly puss. Bengal Abby also lives somewhere on the street. She will appear in the series when I finally capture a portrait worthy of her beauty. Currently, I am zero for four attempts. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Charlie (the Third)

Add another furball to the number of Alabama Street sighted, and profiled; I have seen four or five others, which will appear when there are portraits captured. Charlie (name on tag) is the fifteenth featured in this series between neighborhood boundaries Adams and Lincoln. On no other street are there so many beasties, and for reasons I cannot explain. Those profiled (so far): Bella, Burglar, Cal, Goldie, Itchy Valentino, Laramie, LupeMr. Kitty, MonkeyNine, Penny, Smokey, Tipsy, and Willow. Monkey passed away on Feb. 24, 2018. 🙁

Charlie presents a quandary for titling this post, being the third cat with that name.  Three alike in the list of past putty-tats could cause confusion among them. Hence, “the third” added in parenthesis, and “Too” to the previous one.

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San Diego Bike Invasion

Like mushrooms suddenly appearing after the rain, ride-sharing bicycles are popping up all around my neighborhood (University Heights East) as well as North Park—and from two separate providers: LimeBike and Ofo. The sightings started several weeks ago, one or two, here or there. Now these things are absolutely everywhere!

The Featured Image makes the point. In the foreground, at Alabama and Madison, two Ofos are parked, while across the way—go ahead, count `em—another four can be seen. Out of view are two more further along towards Adams Ave. Photo vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/500 sec, 28mm; 8:31 a.m. PST, today. 

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Goodbye, Monkey

The day after we rented our apartment on the East side of Park Blvd., I encountered a friendly feline sitting in what would eventually be our parking space. There was something warmly foreshadowing about his presence, soon after emerging from under the gate leading inside the complex’s courtyard. I wrongly assumed he lived here. But Monkey’s home was the second house away.

He appeared in my “Cats of University Heights” series on Oct. 10, 2017. The Featured Image and its companions, shot with Leica Q on the Ninth, didn’t make the post. Vitals for the first: f/1.7, ISO 1250, 1/250 sec, 28mm; 6:38 p.m. PST. The other two are same except for ISO 3200.