The Cats of University Heights: Lupe

Meet Lupe, who lives in the same home as Laramie and on the same block as Smokey and Monkey. What is it with the letter L in the household? The family also owns dog Lincoln. Hehe. One of my high school classmates had seven siblings—and all eight kids had names beginning with G. L works for me!

On some mornings, I see Lupe sleeping  on a chair in the yard. The Featured Image, captured on Dec. 3, 2017 at 9:08 a.m. PST, using iPhone X, puts him on the porch. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/510 sec, 6mm. The companion photo is a contrast in timing and lighting—bright sunlight versus darkening dusk. The smartphone could never have produced usable portrait. 

I captured the moment using Leica Q on Nov. 21, 2017 at 4:52 p.m.—eight minutes after sunset but already diminished light because of cloud cover. Something else: I happened upon Lupe after a long walk, when the sun was still bright and with the camera set for street shooting; preset smaller aperture and fixed shutter speed. Mix it together and you have a recipe for a photo shot with super high ISO. Vitals: f/8, ISO 25000, 1/250 sec, 28mm. The camera’s 24-megapixel full-frame sensor delivers admirably. iPhone X could never compete, or produce usable image even with considerably lower ISO.

Both photos are from the same cropped original, made by shooting through one of the spaces between a picket fence. The first is adjusted in Adobe Lightroom CC to reduce noise. The other is the grainy, unedited original.

Update Feb. 16, 2019: Lupe’s last day. Her owner is moving to Tucson, Arizona, in about 24 hours. Housemate Laramie will remain in San Diego, but his fate is less certain. I captured the additional portrait, which is close-cropped, using Fujifilm GFX 50R camera and Fujinon 63mm GF63mmF2.8 R WR lens. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/2000 sec, 63mm; 9:19 a.m. PST.

Update Feb. 17, 2019: Lupe’s owner couldn’t get her into the cat carrier, so he left her. Someone else will be staying in the rental house for a few weeks and feeding her and Laramie. But beyond that is uncertainty. Local non-kill shelters have long waiting lists, and the owner thought best to leave the animals for now rather than risk them being euthanized.

Update, March 10, 2019: Laramie and Lupe moved to a foster home, with the rescue organization promising that they would be adopted together, as a bonded pair.

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