Tag: San Diego

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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: E.T.

As my wife and I approached the Adams Ave. overlook on April 7, 2018, she spotted a beautiful, bushy-tail tabby skulking behind two cars parked before the canyon. The furball then lay low beneath one of the vehicles, barely visible in the shadows. I have only ever seen one other cat, Grand, in this location— most recently in July 2017.

I am a deliberate shooter, who typically captures an average three photos per subject. But in this instance—laying down on the ground wearing sunglasses and manually focusing Leica M (Typ 262) on a darkened subject—I shot blindly about a dozen-and-a-half portraits from two vantage points while turning the focus ring (and adjusting the aperture). Among them, only one is truly worthy, while denying you glimpse of the magnificent tail (sorry about that). 

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The Cats of University Heights: Torbie

The series serves up more tortitude, with, like Lucy, another tortoiseshell seen on Georgia between Meade and Monroe. Dancer is another from the street, but closer to Mission; ChunkSunshine, and Tortie live elsewhere in the neighborhood. Earning nickname Torbie, for what appear to be some tabby-like features, the feline is the twenty-first featured behind a window.

We acknowledged one another on April 4, 2018, at 9:26 a.m. PDT, as I walked by. I used Leica M (Typ 262) and Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens to capture the Featured Image. Vitals, for the heavily-edited crop: f/4.8, ISO 200, 1/350 sec, 50mm. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Lucy

Nearby the same building where, on Georgia at Monroe, I met Peso in May 2017, another kitty greeted me and my wife on April 2, 2018. As I knelt down to snap some portraits, a woman walking by with a child said that “her name is Lucy”. I had not encountered the long-hair tortoiseshell before—and doing so suddenly caused concern that I hadn’t seen Peso for several months. I do hope that he is okay.

Lucy gave grovely meows but never approached Anne or I—that day or April 4, when I captured the Featured Image, using Leica M (Typ 262) and Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/11, ISO 200, 1/45 sec, 50mm; 4:30 p.m. PDT. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Holiday

This place is going to feel like a real meowy beastie blog, while the backlog of photographed but not featured felines clears away. Apologies, I got behind posting to the series while furnishing my daughter’s new apartment. Four of them look out from glass, like today’s wonderful white, who is the eighteenth behind a window—and unbelievably the sixteenth sighted on Alabama Street. Monkey, who recently passed away, lived on the same block. Laramie, Lupe, and Smokey remain residents.

I waited weeks to profile the kitty that earns nickname Holiday, seeing that it’s April and a Christmas wreath still hangs on his owner’s door. Somebody often cracks a window for Holiday, who is a fixture when days are sunny and warm. I held back the profile hoping to meet his caretaker(s) and get a name. I first photographed the cat on February 17, 2018. That’s long enough ago to abandon the quest and move onward. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Sebastian, Too

Meet the second Sebastian to appear in the series. The first lives near the Vermont Street Bridge, which is more than a mile (1.6 km) from his namesake, who romps with two other kittens around a home on Mississippi between El Cajon and Meade. One of them, Persepolis, posts simultaneously but separately.

Sebastian and his mates were adopted together, which wasn’t the owners’ original plan. But the three were obviously a bonded set, having been fostered together, and they couldn’t conscientiously be separated. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Apple

What other nickname could I possibly give this fine feline than Apple? Luckily somebody isn’t putting paws to keyboard. Eh? Among the 148 kitty profiles since the series started in October 2016, Apple is the seventeenth behind a window. But the first sighting was beyond a door, few weeks back—and I almost tried to get a portrait then. But distance and rudness shooting deep inside the apartment kept my finger from the shutter. Hehe, but not yesterday.

I captured the Featured Image and its companion at 3:48 p.m PDT, along Mississippi Street between Adams and Madison, using Leica M (Typ 262) with Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens. Vitals for both, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/2000 sec, 50mm. I shot the second photo first and the other immediately after, when Apple turned. The closeup is a crop; the longer-distance portrait is framed by the window edges. I let Adobe Lightroom Classic CC auto-adjust both. 

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My Leica M (Typ 262) Adventure Begins

I am no fan of Daylight Saving Time, which commenced today. Grumble. But warm breeze and sunlight pouring through billowing clouds, following heavy rains, made me want to walk—and carry along the Leica M (Typ 262); I need to practice manual focusing on the camera, which has been in my possession for a scant three days.

While the rangefinder pleases, a few gripes are unavoidable: Either my focusing skills are really bad, or the Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens that came with the Oberwerth Set isn’t as sharp as the Summilux 28mm f/1.7 lens built into Leica Q. The aperture ring is a bit too smooth for me, such that I inadvertently change the f-stop when moving the manual focus knob. Someday, soon hopefully, muscle memory will keep stray fingers off the Summarit lens. What did I say about the importance of practice? Eh? 

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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.