Tag: Leica Q

Read More

The Cats of University Heights: Stride

Two mornings ago—Memorial Day—my wife and I walked down Campus between Monroe and Meade, when she spotted a grey and white crossing the street. Whoa, two new sightings on the same block about 18 hours apart. The other: Siamese seen at dusk on May 28th. I also ambled to the other sidewalk, and there captured a series of sequential stride shots as the feline approached before turning into a yard (Featured Image). The other is below the fold. Vitals, respectively: f/1.7, ISO 100, 1/800 sec, 28mm; 11:04 a.m. PDT and f/1.7, ISO 100, 1/1000 sec, 28mm; 11:03 a.m. PDT. Both are crops.

For a compact camera with fixed lens, the Leica Q‘s focus and shutter response is fast. Easily, the entire series of shots as the cat approached is useable. The morning was overcast, which I consider to be perfect photography weather. At f/1.7, shutter speed was plenty fast enough to stop motion. Both pics are crops, BTW.

Read More

Pop Pie Art

After months of anticipation—mainly because construction seemed to go on forever—the Pop Pie Co. finally opened for business late-September 2016 here in San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood. Sometime later came the terrific art you see […]

Read More

The Cats of University Heights: Dusk

One of Leica Q’s best benefits is its dual-focus system: auto and manual—the latter of which uses a mechanism similar to the German camera maker’s pricey rangefinders. There is a dedicated focus ring and adjustment knob around the lens, which when activated, cause the electronic viewfinder to magnify the shooting subject and present visual cue—green “peaking“—when in focus. This feature is particularly handy because: the lens is wide-angle (28mm); the f/1.7 Summilux glass and 24-megapixel full-frame sensor capture so much detail that cropping-in can replace a telephoto; but when shooting wide, with multiple objects, the auto-focus system can hone in on the wrong one.

On May 28, 2017, as I walked down Campus, midway between Meade and Monroe, I spotted a Siamese not seen before. I lay down on the sidewalk to capture the moment. Since the kitty was so still, I took a few extra seconds to switch to manual focus. Interestingly, as dusk settled, none of the auto-focus shots were right. The Featured Image is spot on the cat, in this close crop. The original, which is below the fold, gives actual perspective and illustrates how much detail the Leica Q captures. Vitals: f/1.7, ISO 100, 1/250 sec, 28mm. Time: 7:12 p.m. PDT, about 40 minutes before sunset.

Read More

The Cats of University Heights: Peso

I am a pitiful Southern Californian resident—for not speaking, or reading, a word of Spanish. Fortunately, Google gave my linguistic handicap a little boost yesterday evening, when encountering the large-pawed beast who is our featured feline this cool Caturday. Walking down Monroe from Park Blvd. towards Texas Street, I heard a furball meowing on the other side of a tall hedge at Georgia. I rounded the corner and peaked inside. The beastie came running out on the sidewalk to greet me.

The number of owned street cats without collars surprises me, but this friendly brute was an exception. As he rolled around for pats, I looked at his tag, which gave a phone number followed by “Gracias” on one side and “Mellamo Peso” on the other. I may be ditz-for-non-English-language brain but nevertheless recognize “Thank You”. But the other, I assumed was a first and last name, or perhaps a nickname. I whipped out iPhone 7 Plus and Googled “Mellamo”, only to discover that it means “my name is”. That caused me to resume petting with one hand and lifting the tag with the other; maybe I misread, because who calls their cat Peso? Crazy thing, makes sense. He is one big boy, and the name translates to “weight” (or so says Google). He is Maine Coon size but leaner. 

Read More

‘Edna Scissorhands’ Cuts Me Quick

Sometimes stupidity is a bad habit—or that’s how I feel about making immensely idiotic mistakes mishandling the Leica Q today. A camera with manual controls demands that the shooter be smart enough to check the dials between outings. Last night, while hunting for subjects to add to my “Cats of University Heights” series, I set the shutter to 1/125 sec. Couple evenings earlier, motion blur spoiled several potentially good portraits of a black and white that I call Fraidy and another not yet featured. Because the digicam’s auto-mode had preferred low ISO and slower shutter speed, I chose what seemed right for late-yesterday’s lighting.

I should have sorted out my mistake this afternoon in San Diego’s South Mission Hills neighborhood. My wife had taken me on an outdoor expedition to two close-by destinations: The Spruce St. Suspension Bridge, which crosses a deep canyon in Banker’s Hill. Edwin Capps designed the pedestrian walkway, completed in 1912. I stupidly shot no photos there. Doh. From the footbridge, we drove to the “Edna Scissorhands” (e.g. Edna Harpertopiary garden on Union Street, where distracted by two cats, I turned attention first to them without checking the shutter—dumb, dumb, considering I took time to turn the aperture to f/5.6. 

Read More

The Camel

For one of her birthday activities, my wife Anne wanted to ride the Skyfari Aerial Tram across San Diego zoo. We walked back through the park to the exit, despite detours due to massive construction of new habitats. Among my favorite animals: Camels and llamas; if you have never read my absolutely true llama story from 1980, please do!

Norwegian designer and photographer Martin Fagerås inspired me to even attempt a camel shot because of this brilliantly captured moment using Leica Q, which I also carry. I came across his Flickr when looking for shooters using the amazing full-frame compact. Obviously, I couldn’t compose anything as compelling as he did, particularly at the zoo. 

Read More

The Cats of University Heights: Haiku

What a surprise. Nearly across the street from where I spotted the Tortoiseshell for the first time on May 15, 2017, a grey and white tiger-tabby greeted my Mrs. and me four days later. We visited the ever-friendly Haiku (real name) where Cleveland Ave. meets Golden Gate. I shot the Featured Image using Leica Q. I cropped the original DNG, for composition, before exporting the JPEG from Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Vitals: f/7.1, ISO 100, 1/100 sec, 28mm; 9:13 a.m. PDT. 

Read More

The Cats of University Heights: Tortie

I am amazed whenever discovering a never-before-sighted furball so close-by to my apartment. This tortoiseshell made my acquaintance from a distance late-afternoon May 15, 2017—one block away, on Cleveland just past Madison before the overlook. She sat on a doorstep waiting for someone to let her in. From the empty driveway, it’s a guess the owner hadn’t come home from a day at the job.

The Featured Image is the second-to-last of 13 captures, and I debated about choosing this one because the kitty’s distinctive bob-tail is obscured by bushes. I captured the moment at 5:35 p.m. PDT, using Leica Q. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/800 sec, 28mm. The pic is close-cropped from the original, which shows the yard and the next (I shot from the sidewalk). 

Read More

Clever Homeless Habitat

The Vermont Street bridge, passing over Washington, separates my neighborhood of University Heights from adjacent Hillcrest. It’s not uncommon to see tents below, as some of the area’s homeless seek shelter from the elements. But bright colors make them obvious.

While looking over the side, I saw something either new or so camouflaged it hadn’t previously caught my attention. At first, I thought a palm tree had collapsed or perhaps city workers had gathered fronds. But stepping back for different perspective, I could see an entrance. The Featured Image is a crop (see the original below the fold), shot using Leica Q at 12:02 p.m. PDT today. Vitals: f/4, ISO 100, 1/800 sec, 28mm.