Category: Aspiration

Read More

Pooh Party

One of my posting goals for 2022 is more people photos. But my catalog of recent choices is paltry pickings, so I reach into the past for the Featured Image, which comes from a church picnic in Greenbelt, Md. on  Sept. 18, 2005. I used Canon EOS 20D and EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens for the portrait. Vitals: f/8, ISO 400, 1/400 sec, 43mm; 12:18 p.m. EDT. Composed as shot.

This is the first photo published using Capture One 22. In post-production, I applied styles “Stockholm 1” and “Effect—Red Only”, working from a JPEG original.

Read More

Lemons and Oranges

Winter, or what I call late Summer, is when citrus trees bear luscious fruit in Southern California. Consider this lovely lemon tree that greets residents of quaint cottages along the Alabama-Florida alley. Who wouldn’t want to live in such a charming retreat, tucked away and lush?

But bring your high-paying job. Charm isn’t cheap in San Diego, given rising real estate costs. Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $2,095, according to Zumper (about which I am largely unfamiliar). When I last cited the company’s data, February 2021, the median was $1,810. Yikes! Two bedroom: $2,895.

Read More

The Road Less Traveled

The Georgia-Meade Bikeway, about which traffic circles I have negatively opined, nears completion—and certainly appears to be ready through the University Heights to Normal Heights portion. In observation, and preparation to write about the occurrence, I captured the Featured Image on Nov. 28, 2021. Vitals, aperture manually set for this and the two companion photos: f/8, ISO 100, 1/200 sec, 28mm; 9:59 a.m. PST.

The view looks down Meade Avenue from Georgia Street. The traffic circle at Alabama is clearly visible but barely the one at Louisiana two blocks beyond. Near the horizon to the right is the North Park water tower, which many locals regard as an essential navigational landmark.

Read More

Annie and the Snowman

Merry Christmas! My wife poses with an inflatable along Madison Avenue, between Georgia Street and Park Blvd, in our neighborhood. I photographed kitty nicknamed Alcatraz nearby the same spot 10 months ago; early March 2021, the black and white appeared in my “Cats of University Heights” series.

I left Leica Q2 at home and so used iPhone 13 Pro to take the Featured Image—first of four and best of the lot. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 32, 1/328 sec, 13mm; 10:31 a.m. PST, today. As you can see, the snowman is quite large, and the smartphone’s wide-angle lens let me capture the inflatable and surrounding scene for context. We had heavy rain for the holiday. I’m dreaming of a wet Christmas…

Read More

To See Differently

Two years ago a new optometrist recommended adding prisms to my eyeglass prescription in response to slight vertical misalignment in my vision. I was skeptical and made an appointment for another refraction with a doctor at the office that performed my cataract surgery. He confirmed slight double vision, but after attempting to make corrective adjustments with prisms he recommended against them. Their therapeutic value was uncertain, he concluded.

But the first optometrist was so insistent, when I returned to make my eyeglass order and the Varilux lenses came with satisfaction guarantee: The Essilor lab would make a new set should the prescription change—all within 90 days of purchase. I relented. The overall quality of the lenses satisfied so much that I decided to give my brain and eyes some time to adapt. But I never got to choose: The SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 pandemic made the decision for me, as my wife and I hunkered down during February 2020 and lockdowns started weeks later.

Today, I switched lenses, with a new prescription. Prisms are gone.

Read More

Hang On, Woody!

In what could be a real-life scene from film Toy Story, Sheriff Woody precariously hangs from the back of a Toyota Tacoma spotted along Mission Avenue in San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood. Where is Buzz Lightyear to the rescue? Take a closer look at either the Featured Image or companion and you will see that the cowboy doll is pad-a-locked in.

Both photos come from iPhone 13 Pro, yesterday. Vitals: f/1.5, ISO 50, 1/1698 sec, 26mm; 1:07 p.m. PST. The other: f/2.8, ISO 32, 1/319 sec, 77mm; 1:06 p.m. When I showed my wife the second shot, taken first, she observed that it’s not absolutely apparent that Woody hangs off the ground. So I took another.

Read More

Tiger Moth Caterpillars

While walking along Louisiana today, Annie and I came across two of our neighbors tending their flower garden. Gracie, one of the “Cats of University Heights“, belonged to them before she passed away at age 19. Seeing my camera, the wife turned my attention to three caterpillars munching leaves.

I immediately exclaimed “Woolly Bear caterpillars!”—for their colors and fuzziness. But the resemblance ended there. My memory is a larva with orange band in the middle and black at both ends. If I rightly recall, and please correct me if mistaken, that caterpillar eventually becomes the Isabella tiger moth.

Read More

Who Skewered Teddy?

Yesterday, as my wife and I approached the blue-and-white house where flew the American flag at half-mast in September 2021, a tiny teddy came into view—back-to. As we passed, I stopped, pulled out Leica Q2, adjusted the aperture, and snapped the sole shot that is the Featured Image. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/2000 sec, 28mm; 12:51 p.m. PST.

The front-view of the stuff bear looks across Lincoln near the corner at Alabama in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood. I want to know why the plushy is so unceremoniously placed. Is it meant to signal something? Was it found on the sidewalk or street and put up where more easily seen?

Read More

Big, Boastful Branding

I smile—and occasionally chuckle—when walking by this camper sticking out into the alley separating Cleveland and Maryland, not far from our old University Heights apartment. My Maine hometown is the same name, which I admit is part of the appeal. Brrr, in Caribou, its 3 degrees Celsius (37 F) and raining as I write from warmer San Diego, where the evening sky is partly overcast and the temperature is 13 C (56 F).

The camper’s vintage is unknown to me, and who could guess from the little visible from the alley? But the thing is loved—looking at the pristine wooden door—and source of the owner’s pride. Otherwise, why let the branded top front boastfully hang out in view?

Read More

Tick-Tock

What an unexpectedly appropriate Featured Image. Being the first day of the year’s last month, I am thinking about time and how to meaningfully fill the 31—okay, now thirty—days that remain. Expect my report in early 2022.

My wife and I passed by the wall clock along the alley separating Louisiana and Texas streets behind the liquor store and its parking lot located on Meade Ave. I often see Princess Leia in the vicinity, but not today. She joined my “Cats of University Heights” series in June 2018.