Category: Photo

Read More

Party-Pooping Politics

The first of two presidential conventions convening this month is underway. The Democrats are meeting, if you rightly can call it that, in Milwaukee, Wisc. Most of the speeches are being given individually, rather than before crowds, from remote locations, because everyone is scared into a tizzy about spreading—or worse—catching SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2); better known as COVID-19. I suppose that it would be bad form for 77-year-old Joe Biden, running mate Kamala Harris, or anyone among the party’s esteemed elite to catch Coronavirus and die. Surely members of the opposing party can hope.

Speaking of the Republicans, their greet-and-not-meet event starts on Aug. 24, 2020, in Charlotte, N.C.. Flag-waving, MAGA-hat-wearing supporters can likewise stump for their candidates, Donald Trump and Mike Pence, before televised, remotely-given speeches. Every vote counts, unless your constituents catch COVID-19 and die before Election Day; so it’s better they don’t gather together. Eh?

Read More

Newsom’s Gruesome California

Today, while walking along the Campus-Cleveland alley, between Tyler and Van Buren, in the University Heights neighborhood, I saw something stranger than the rubber duck that appeared in mid-July—and on the same rooftop. Were these clothes laid out to dry during another day of scorching heat? (San Diego County is sweltering hot this weekend, and there is a weather advisory.) Maybe someone left them for homeless folks or anyone else wanting, or needing, the garms?

Spring and Summer 2020 are nothing less than alien, societal landscapes—an apocalyptic drama that commenced with Governor Gavin “Gruesome” Newsom’s mid-March order that effectively shut down California to (supposedly) slow spread of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—better known as COVID-19. The sterilization of normal behavior meant few (I saw two) garage/yard sales and little to no opportunity to donate items to thrift stores—or shop in them. Residents’ response: More giveaways placed in alleys for whomever might what them; quality of the stuff is significantly better than typical, too.

Read More

Flickr a Week 33: ‘A Life Worth Living’

Some people are genuinely too modest. Peter Kurdulija describes himself as an “amateur photographer”. I could say the same about myself, but the measure of my talents are minuscule compared to his. The man is an artisan, with an astute eye for composition. Any selection from his Photostream would be more than worthy of this humble series.

I chose self-titled “A Life Worth Living” for composition, serenity, and storytelling. “A picnic at the end of the jetty by Lake Mahinapua, just south of Hokitika, epitomises New Zealand way of life—slower pace of the West Coast, a connection to nature and to each other”, he explains of the landscape portrait captured on March 31, 2019, using Nikon D7100 and 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. Vitals: f/9, ISO 125, 1/320 sec, 44mm.

Read More

The Strong Arms of Defiance

Around the corner from where was the Urban Pumpkin is the local gym, which closed during California Governor Gavin “Gruesome” Newsom’s first state-shuttering order in mid-March 2020 but has since defied the second shutdown, started July 13, that restricts indoor activities at many commercial businesses and institutions (like churches). Four days ago, San Diego County issued an order for the “immediate closure of Boulevard Fitness”; compliance “may be enforced by the San Diego Police Department”.

In meaningless sense of solidarity—the way flabby, beer-gut spectators feel good when watching their favorite sports team compete and win—I have checked daily for more than a month to see if the gym is open, silently cheering that it was. But on a Monday morning, following the “cease and desist” order, would Boulevard Fitness welcome patrons of exercise and good health?

Read More

Flickr a Week 32a: ‘I Couldn’t Resist’

Self-titled “I Couldn’t Resist” certainly could be me—or perhaps you—walking by, seeing the sign, and taking the shot. But the moment belongs to Tom Driggers, who explains: “How very appropriate! This humorous sign was standing near the register at a well-known sandwich shop in Atlanta, GA”. The composed juxtaposition—big, sharp sign to the right and blurred cook to the left—just works.

Tom used Fujifilm X100F on Jan. 25, 2019 to capture our Weekend Winner. Vitals: f/2, ISO 640, 1/125 sec, 23mm.

Read More

The Cats of University Heights: Snowy

We celebrate International Cat Day with an odd find from Aug. 1, 2020: Snowy, who lives within a block of Benny and John Adams and like them wears a GPS collar. Nowhere else have I seen furballs so outfitted and must wonder: Why these three neighbors?

Snowy (yep, real name) bears some resemblance to poor Maeven, who was killed by a coyote last month. 🙁 I offered condolences to his owner on Nextdoor not long before I quit again; so I am no longer cat connected there.

Read More

Park Your Butt, Not Your Car

Southern California continues to suffer from the self-inflicted economic devastation imposed by our esteemed governor, Gavin “Gruesome” Newsom. He has imposed a partial, second statewide shutdown in response to increasing confirmed SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—also known as COVID-19—cases. Pandemic deaths aren’t rapidly rising, which, in my journaled opinion, is the metric more important to making policy that harms millions of businesses and leads to massive job losses.

What is the harm? Locally, according to San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation: “Forty-one percent of businesses surveyed saw revenues decline by 81 to 100 percent; 93 percent saw staffing declines of one to 50 employees”. Additionally, “minority-owned small businesses have been disproportionately impacted by COVID”. Explicitly: “More than 90 percent of minority-owned businesses have seen their revenue decline, with most experiencing steep revenue declines of 81 to 100 percent”. EDC released the most recent data—collected May 28 to June 8, when the state started reopening—on July 1, or 13 days before Newsom reimposed new closure measures.

Read More

Flickr a Week 32: ‘Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park | Deltron 3030 Concert Spectator’

The last of three consecutive entries discovered searching for “spectator” demonstrates how to get close in from far away. Michael Tapp captured self-titled “Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park | Deltron 3030 Concert Spectator” on July 19, 2014, using an unidentified Sony Alpha camera (presumably) and Pentacon 135mm f/2.8 lens (certainly). If I owned an interchangeable lens camera, rather than fixed Leica Q2, 135mm would be my go-to focal length on Prime glass—as it was during the mid-Noughties when shooting Canon EOS 20D.

With “social distancing” the norm for the foreseeable post-pandemic future, time is right for street shooters to rediscover the mighty telephoto. A good one-thirty-five closes the distance—more so on APS-C cameras when applying the crop-factor—while delivering sharp detail and beautiful bokeh. Michael’s portrait is a keeper for both and excellent use of natural light. Unfortunately, EXIF isn’t available, which is typical of his photos; some photographers choose to expunge the metadata. 

Read More

The Cats of University Heights: Alvin and LB

On Christmas Day 2016, I met Comet, Herman, RomanWillow, and their owner as she let the kitties run about for a few hours. The woman had lived in a studio apartment for 19 years. But a few months later, she and her pets were gone. The property owner decided to renovate the entire complex, ahead of haughty rent increases. That’s the sad state of San Diego affordable housing: Tenants paying less are evicted before improvements are made to woo residents willing to pay much more.

Three-and-a-half years would pass before I would see any felines frolicking about the same open courtyard: June 20, 2020. My wife and I spotted the shorthairs as we walked by. I stopped for some quick shots, using Leica Q2, before chatting with the owner, who said the Siamese is Alvin, and he calls the Russian Blue LB. Vitals for the Featured Image, aperture manually set: f/8, ISO 250, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 9:36 a.m. PDT. In my rush to capture the moment before the cats moved—and they did seconds later—I failed to see the open mail box door encroaching on the frame; removing it majorly determined the edited composition.