Author: Joe Wilcox

Read More

The Cats of University Heights: Puss

How surprising: I am seeing some new kitties along North, where it intersects Madison, or in the alley between Campus. Four appeared today, but two vanished before I could close the distance for photos (you’ll see them soon). I encountered the series‘ newest addition, nicknamed Puss, for no particular reason, on Oct. 30, 2020. The Featured Image comes from iPhone XS. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 40, 1/122 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 9:16 a.m. PDT.

Somebody’s outdoor space is luxury. Look at the cat trees and surrounding plants. In perennially sunny San Diego, the cat can have indoor furniture outside for much of the year. What a habitat! My question: Does he (or she) spend time within the caretaker’s residence, too?

Read More

Flickr a Week 45a: ‘Welcome to Paradise’

Two years ago today, the Northern California town of Paradise largely burned to the ground during the raging Camp Fire, which destroyed in excess of 18,000 structures and displaced more than 26,000 people. Ninety-percent of the community’s residents have fled, and the majority won’t return anytime soon; if ever.

There are several documentaries about the disaster. Tonight, National Geographic will air my pick for best: Ron Howard film “Rebuilding Paradise“, which my wife and I rented and watched about four months ago. The doc tells the story of those who stayed.

Read More

The Cats of University Heights: Sadie

Meet the fifty-fourth meow-meow looking out from behind window or door. Sadie is a sweetie, living a less lonely life than in her previous residence. Sickness took Sadie’s owner away, and she stayed alone inside the house for about a year—tended to and fed twice daily by kindly neighbors. Eventually, he passed away, which is how she came to be taken into a new home not long later by a friend of the cat’s caretaker.

A few days ago, I got the full story from the friendly woman with whom Sadie now lives. But the Featured Image, captured along Madison beyond the West side of Cleveland, is from Sept. 28, 2020. I used Leica Q2 to make the moment. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/8, ISO 100, 1/320 sec, 28mm; 8:37 a.m. PDT.

Read More

Flickr a Week 44b: ‘Storm Coming’

I agonized choosing today’s entry like no other in the series. The United States is two days away from a potentially transformative Presidential election. I reviewed hundreds of photos, finding none available with Creative Commons license that truly captured the right sentiment. At one point, to commemorate Day of the Dead and to punctuate how we all might be living the Zombie Apocalypse as the votes are tallied, and thereafter, I considered choosing something like “It’s Almost Time for Day of the Dead” by Richard Cawood.

Instead, the Sunday spot goes to the more foreboding, and location appropriate, self-titled “Storm Coming“, which Mike Maguire captured on July 1, 2017, using Sony α7S II. Vitals: aperture unknown, ISO 100, 1/2000 sec. Mike says about the moment: “About 30 minutes before heavy rain hit Washington, DC.” I picked the photo for metaphorical topicality, film-like graininess that adds character, and punchy black-and-white contrast that amplifies the atmosphere.

Read More

The Cats of University Heights: Prowler

Like Spirit, this fine feline appeared in the alley between Cleveland and Maryland on one side of Meade—not far from our old apartment, actually. Our long, lost Maine Coon-mix Kuma hung out in the same area, favoring his ledge. Real name unknown, I dub the shorthair Prowler, for its cunning, slinky movements.

Unfortunately, I carried along iPhone XS and not trusty Leica Q2. The Featured Image, which is cropped a little more than 100-percent, is good enough from the smartphone but would be great from the camera. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/489 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 9:15 a.m. PDT; Oct. 5, 2020.

Read More

Flickr a Week 44: ‘Looking Out’

When choosing from the Photostream of Spiros Vathis, I considered four contenders—all captured using the (now) iconic Nikon Df: Self-titled “Dome” and “Obeliscus Aegyptiacus” for composition; “Piazza della Rotonda” for shooting style (getting down low); and the winner, “Looking Out“. Bokeh and composition are intriguing. My eye immediately goes to the larger blurred building, before refocusing on the other and then finding the gent gazing from a window. I like the visual foolery.

Spiros captured the moment on June 17, 2016, using an 85mm f/1.8 lens. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/320 sec, 85mm. Nikon Df has only appeared one other time in the series (so far)—”Superwoman Lost in London” for Week 4. Released in 2013, the full-frame dSLR features fully manual controls. Heck, I want one. The camera is a classic.

Read More

Look What Parked Next to Me at Costco

For cultural reasons that I don’t understand, Halloween is a big holiday in San Diego. Decorations are everywhere adorning homes and lawns. That’s not enough for some people, as this grim ghoulmobile demonstrates.

The thing spooked from the space adjacent to mine in the Mission Valley Costco parking lot. Proximity made no good way to photograph the entire machine. So I fumbled for composition and ambience, using iPhone XS.

Read More

Flickr a Week 43a: ‘Lunch, San Francisco 2018, GR II’

I accidentally came to the Photostream of Greg Parish by way of his compelling portrait “7“, which would have taken the Sunday spot if not for my discovering “Lunch, San Francisco 2018, GR II“; the self-title identifies year and make of the Ricoh camera. Vitals: f/8, ISO 800, 1/2500 sec, 18.3mm; April 16.

What’s not to like? Clarity, color, composition, contrast, graininess, light, shadows, texture, and tilt are recipe for a street shot that’s as tasty as the noodles the subject soon will eat. Yummy.