Category: Photo

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Neko in the Blades

We let outside one of our two cats for romps in the apartment building courtyard. Neko is older, slower, and too big to fit under the front gate. Cali is younger, quicker, and skinny enough to squeeze through in pursuit of birds or squirrels. He asks to go outdoors, she doesn’t (thankfully). Today, Neko played hide-and-seek, so to speak, among the center area greenery. I happened to be carrying Leica Q2, because we (Annie and me) had prepped for a neighborhood walk before letting the fluffball walkabout; supervised, as usual.

The Featured Image is nearly a 100-percent crop. Yep, the camera captures loads of detail—and I can trust the autofocus, even shooting through foliage. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/320 sec, 28mm; 1:43 p.m. PDT.

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Fill `Er Up

Maybe you heard how high are gas prices in California compared to most other states. The Featured Image attests to the gouging that we experience at the pumps. In a nice twist, and keeping with the Cal progressive push for equity, all grades cost the same. Well, if you’ve got to pay more, all the same is a small, but not meaningless, consolation.

Alas, the equity price hike didn’t last long. Hours later, regular grade sold for $4.06 a gallon. Now there’s a tactic for making you feel good about the high cost of gasoline. Four bucks six cents seems so reasonable when you could pay $4.83 more. (Wink. Wink.)

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‘Not Politically Correct’

Yesterday, as my wife and I walked along the alley separating Louisiana and Mississippi, between Meade and Monroe, she stopped, then said: it’s “not politically correct”, referring to a framed poster that I hadn’t seen. People put out giveaways all the time, and art ranks low on my interest meter; hence my blind disregard for an object worth inspection. Not only is her statement accurate, it could explain why someone discarded the thing. With all the hubbub about systemic racism, the caricatures could offend someone. Perhaps raised awareness led the owner to let go the wall hanging. Click through to the Featured Image, and you tell me.

I used Leica Q2 to make the moment, choosing to leave the framed poster leaning as we found it, rather than repositioning for the shot. Composition intentionally reveals some of the alley, for context. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/4.5, ISO 100, 1/500 sec, 28mm; 9:29 a.m PDT.

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The Cats of University Heights: Sweetie

On the same block where live (self-relocated) Reddy and his (self-adopted) mate Zero, my wife and I spied a striking Tortoiseshell today. The kitty unsuccessfully tried to come over a wooden gate for pats, which would have allowed me to read her name tag, as well. The tortie returned to a door step, where I got an acceptable portrait by peeking around a fence from an adjacent apartment building parking lot.

I used iPhone XS to capture the Featured Image, which is nearly a 100-percent crop. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/156 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 4:16 p.m. PDT. While seemingly a contrite choice, this beauty earns nickname Sweetie for colors that remind me of a chocolate-covered peanut butter cup (e.g. Reese’s).

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The Patriotic Palm

The menacing palm is suddenly sort of cheerful—and patriotic. He’s dressed as Uncle Sam for forthcoming Fourth of July; and early about it (I love the bowtie). But there’s still some ghastly about his face—and the outstretched arms are grabby. Considering that Sammy is a symbol representing the Federal Government, the decorative grimly tree is something of an appropriate metaphor for gruesome, grubby Washington, D.C. bureaucracy (insert your choice of branch(es) or agency here).

I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image, which is composed as shot. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/1600 sec, 28mm; 11:38 a.m. PDT, today. I debated about going back for full sunlit illumination but in the end decided that the shadow cast creates illusion of a ghostly body. Hehe. Uncle Sam rises from the grave!

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My Prime Day Booty

For the first Prime Day in years, I purchased something—two pairs of Levi’s jeans. They fit, or I send them back. With denim-wear these days, sizing is like gambling: Sometimes you hit the jackpot, usually you don’t. Why is that? I have pairs of 28-30 and 29-30 Hollister jeans that are just right but another 29-30 that is way too tight. What’s up with that?

I hope the two 30-29s that an Amazon driver delivered tonight will fit. I’ll find out after posting. Priorities, priorities. My preference would be to shop local, but I couldn’t find that measurement, unless considerably less than 100-percent cotton. Since when is 85 percent, mixed with polyester and elastane (e.g. Lyrica, spandex), jeans?

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The Bug House

I don’t take out Leica Q Monochrom nearly often enough. Maybe intimidation is the reason—because black-and-white photography requires so much more attention to composition than perhaps my sensibilities seem capable of. But, this evening, with clouds covering the soon-to-setting sun, I hauled out the camera for a lower-light expedition.

Thing is, I didn’t get far before capturing the Featured Image; yes, dusk settled but nowhere near darkness. Vitals, aperture and shutter speed manually set: f/2, ISO 400, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 7:42 p.m. PDT, which was about 18 minutes before sunset.

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Vintage 1970s, Do You Think?

While walking along the alley separating Cleveland and Maryland in San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood, my wife and I came upon an abandoned gas stove that oh-so reminded me of one my parents used during my middle school years. You might think that someone put out this thing for trash pick up. Oh no, some scavenger surely will snag the range—for repurposing or perhaps dismantling for parts. Little left in the alleys, outside of the actual garbage bins, is wasted. The appliance is a lucky rummager’s treasure.

Annie and I both stopped for photos. The companion closeup is mine, but she did better for the full-on shot. My composition of the entire stove looks straight on and is dull. Hers, the Featured Image, is more dimensional. Vitals, for the first: f/1.8, ISO 25, 1/789 sec, 26mm (film equivalent); 9:50 a.m. PDT. For the other, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/200 sec, 28mm; 9:50 a.m. She used iPhone XS and I used Leica Q2.

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The Cats of University Heights: Carrot

As my wife and I walked along Georgia yesterday, two kitties presented from different buildings looking out at birds. I could only get a portrait of the second, somewhere between Howard and either Polk or Lincoln—not sure which. As usual, I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image, at 9:29 a.m. PDT. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/640 sec, 28mm.

This fine feline earns nickname Carrot for the orange patches—particularly on the head. His (or her) portrait is a compromised crop, for: the poorly-placed palm trees grudgingly used to frame the photo; the management company sign removed by recomposition. Carrot is the series‘ seventy-first cat seen behind door or window.

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The Cats of University Heights: Husky

Last night, approaching El Cajon from Georgia—on my way to shoot The Boulevard sign—I passed by a ginger lounging upon grass. He came out to visit, during which time I unsuccessfully tried to capture several good portraits; sun set 15 minutes earlier, and I needed more ambient light, or narrower aperture, for less noise and wider depth of field.

Only after the kitty got his fill of pats and returned to the property from whence he came could I get something usable. The angle makes the cat look unflatteringly flabby, when he is furry and fit; big paws reveal a naturally husky boy; hence, the nickname. I manually focused Leica Q2 to take the Featured Image. Vitals, aperture and shutter speed manually set: f/1.7, ISO 6400, 1/250 sec, 28mm; 8:14 p.m. PDT.