Category: Photo

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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.

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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.

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The Cats of University Heights: Spirit

The main intersection on the neighborhood’s west side is a four-way with stop-signs at Cleveland and Meade. I meandered upon this kitty and the next one profiled on either side of Meade in the alley between Cleveland and Maryland—directions south and north, respectively.

I used iPhone XS to capture the Featured Image on Oct. 17, 2020. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/213 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 10:21 a.m. PDT. Coincidentally, the day marked the series‘ fourth anniversary.

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Delivery Door Art?

Surely you’ve come across something and wondered: “How long has that been there?” That is the question I asked on Oct. 6, 2020, while walking down the alley behind Kairoa Brewing Co., which is located along the main commercial area of San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood. The Featured Image is what I saw on the establishment’s rear door, where I presume supplies are unloaded. What does that image bring to your mind?

For me, the goats (or are they rams) immediately flash subliminal recollection, but not something precisely recalled. Looking at the beasts—bathed in blood red, so to speak, with their pointy horns—elicits creepy feeling that I have seen them before. In a horror movie perhaps—something like a “Constantine” or one of the three original “The Omen” films (1976, 1978, 1981). But somewhere. You do know that, biblically and mythologically, goats are associated with symbols of the devil?

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The Cats of University Heights: Sundown

Four years ago today, I started this series with a presumed stray, sighted only once, that I call Scruffy. Three-hundred-fifty-eight profiles later, the number of furballs to photograph is seemingly inexhaustible. At the start, I expected the series to progress a month, maybe a little longer. Foolish me. In autumn 2016, as explained in post “Why Cats?“, I worked with new eyes, so to speak, following multifocal intraocular lens replacement for cataracts and also ongoing treatment for macular edema—the latter of which is mostly now resolved. Feline field photography acted as a kind of visual therapy.

That brings us to our celebratory kitty, seen in the yard of the home where once lived Giotto and next-door to where you can find Petri (well, until his family moves sometime before Dec. 1, 2020). That makes the black the fifty-seventh putty-tat from Alabama between boundaries Adams and Lincoln. No other street comes close, and I cannot fathom why.

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An Unexpected Request

About a month ago, I observed something odd while waiting in line at the pharmacy. The gentlemen standing at the counter, who looked worse for wear, had come to pick up a prescription. But he met an obstacle. The druggist asked for identification, which the customer didn’t have and he was confused why any would be needed. “It’s a controlled substance”,  the pharmacist explained. But in a sad and naively poignant regard, the gent didn’t understand. The medicine had been prescribed for him, but he didn’t possess any kind of identity card. Please, could he have his medicine?

Unkempt, and likely a recovering addict who belonged to San Diego’s ever-growing homeless population, the guy was plaintive rather than abusive—as someone else might have been. “Come back when you have ID”, the druggist informed. The fellow stepped back from the window and approached me, waiting next in line: “Do you have ID I can borrow?”

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The Cats of University Heights: Pepto

On the same block where lives Daniel Tiger, whom I visited with today, incidentally, resides newcomer Pepto—and, yes, that’s his real name. Within furball spitting distance, you also could encounter: Fluffy, Darth Mew, Ginger, Huck, JediMilo, and Princess Leia—or Snow and Stripe, looking out windows. The block bustles with frisky felines, and it’s a wonder they all tolerate one another so well.

I first saw two-year-old Pepto in early August 2020 and used iPhone XS to shoot a dozen portraits—none of which I would use unless compelled by lack of having anything better. Opportunity presented on September 8, when I lugged Leica Q2, seeking the orange and white for the umpteenth time. The Featured Image is a close crop. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 4:54 p.m. PDT.

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Mona

Among the 355 other profiles in this series, seven were seen or live beyond the neighborhood’s designated boundaries. Mona—and that’s her real name—makes eight. She joins special members: BuddiesChill, EnvyMoophie, Ninja, Promise, and Sammy. My wife and I met the kitty and her owner while walking home from Smart and Final on Sept. 22, 2020—along Mississippi, before Lincoln leaves behind North Park.

I used iPhone XS to capture the Featured Image, at 9:39 a.m. PDT. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/177 sec, 52mm (film equivalent).

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Flickr a Week 41a: ‘He’s Coming To Get You’

We celebrate Sunday with self-titled “He’s Coming To Get You“, which Charlie Marshall captured on May 1, 2019, using Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM lens. Vitals: f/8, ISO 2500, 1/320 sec, 150mm. “I saw this wolf in the HIghland Wildlife Park near Kincraig,” Charlie says of the Scotland shot. “At the time, he was chasing another wolf”. The photo is a keeper for composition and drama.

“I’ve been a keen photographer since I got my first camera at the age of six (I saved up ice-cream wrappers and sent off for a small, leaky plastic camera)”, Charlie says. “I spent a lot of time in my twenties and thirties using disposable cameras, which forced me to focus really hard on composition because there was nothing else to focus on”.