Category: Photo

Read More

The Cats of University Heights: Keen

When not scaring off beasties, Fujifilm GFX 50R, with Fujinon GF63mmF2.8 R WR lens attached, produced consistently better portraits for this series than Leica Q2. The 51.4-megapixel, 43.8 x 32.9 mm medium-format sensor matched to 50mm film-equivalent glass delivers fantastic detail and dynamic range, allowing the shooter to crop-in during post-production. The more compact, 28mm, fixed-lens, 47.3-megapixel full-frame (24 x 36 mm sensor) Q2 needs to be closer to subjects because of focal length, which cannot be physically changed. Proximity often isn’t an option for felines, particularly one suspected of belonging to a feral colony.

The Featured Image, of a tabby that I nickname Keen for alertness, is example. The Q2 portrait, while good enough, is less than what I’ve come to expect from using the 50R. But that camera is gone, and the Leica better fits my shooting style. I’ll explain why in an eventual product review. For now, photo vitals, aperture manually set: f/4, ISO 100, 1/250 sec, 28mm, 2:21 p.m. PST, Jan. 19, 2020. Location: Georgia, near Monroe.

Read More

The Cats of University Heights: Spy

Nestled along the neighborhood’s canyons are several dead-end streets where I rarely venture—being they’re out of the way and some guy carrying a camera is an attention-getter for home Nest and Ring surveillance, of which there is plenty. On Jan. 22, 2020, on a whim, I walked down Proctor Place for the first time in months, and there spotted the series‘ fifty-fifth feline found behind door or window.

I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image—the best portrait of several where the shorthair looks at something in the foliage. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/100 sec, 28mm; 3:24 p.m. PST. I dub this kitty Spy, for its spying eyes and mine perceived to be if any nosey, Nextdoor neighbor noticed me.

Read More

Flickr a Week 6: ‘Paris’

The week goes to Matteo Pezzi, for self-titled “Paris“. Juxtaposed subjects sharing something unexpectedly in common makes the moment. The modern woman using smartphone is passé, unsurprising. But the nun! Who represents what some people would regard as anachronistic!

Matteo describes himself as an “Italian nostalgic photographer, living in Strasbourg”. The street shot is “nostalgic” because of its composition, location, and subjects. He captured the image on Feb. 25, 2018, using Fujifilm X100F. Vitals: f/8, ISO 200, 1/180 sec, 23mm. Yesterday, Fuji announced the camera’s successor, the X100V, with larger sensor, updated fixed lens, and articulating rear LCD screen.

Read More

The Cats of University Heights: Ash, Too

The Louisiana parade follows Huck with another: Ash (yep, real name). The grey and white lives on the next block, where he plays territorial tippy-toe with Bandit and buddies up to Nelson; the two are street mates, not house companions, which makes their getting-along a surprising relationship.

My quest to photograph Ash has been challenging—so much that my failure over several days to snag even a single focused shot greatly contributed to the decision to abandon Sigma fp and return for refund. Even Leica Q2, which produced the Featured Image and companions, missed the mark. The best composed portrait puts the focus point somewhere else, and the cat is completely blurred. Finally, on Jan. 23, 2020, when Ash made his best appearance yet, patience and manual focusing got good enough photos. They’re not as sharp as I would want, being close crops, but the banter with Nelson makes them keepers—and I would have been monumentally miffed if they hadn’t been.

Read More

Flickr a Week 5a: ‘Union Jack Flag and Rollercoaster’

This first day of February 2020 brings Brexit to its inevitable, real beginning. At 11 p.m. GMT, yesterday, the United Kingdom officially severed its 47-year membership with the European Union. The turbulent exodus started with a June 2016 referendum and ended with a December 2019 Parliamentary election that brought to power a UK government capable of ratifying an agreement with the EU.

I mark the occasion with an additional entry this week—self-titled “Union Jack Flag and Rollercoaster” by Nick Page—that is most appropriate. Surely the nearly (estimated) 68 million peoples begin a roller-coaster ride that will last, at the least, through the eleven-month, EU separation-transition period that concludes on the last day of this year.

Read More

The Cats of University Heights: Huck

Is that a neighborhood newcomer I see—but not yet a yearling? As my wife and I walked along Louisiana today, Huck (real name) appeared from behind a car, at the same property where Princess Leia and I first met about 19 months earlier. Last year, the Wilcoxes considered renting an affordable apartment in the same building. But the two bedrooms received no meaningful direct sunlight, making them too cold and dim for our liking.

Anne and I may not be Huck’s neighbors, but he has plenty—some of which may hissy-fit over territory. Among the other profiled, feisty felines seen on the street—along the four blocks between Adams and Meade—or known to live there: Amazon, Bandit, Daniel TigerDarth Mew, DonutsFluffy, Ginger, Gracie (deceased), Jedi, Milo, Nelson, Patriot, Royal, SnowStripe, and Topper.

Read More

Flickr a Week 4a: ‘The Cow–Aberdeenshire, Scotland’

When curating photos for this series, two criteria matter: Creative Commons copyright and presenting a variety of different subjects and styles. Cuts can be brutal. All choices are subjective, of course, and not everyone will share my taste. I wonder what the reaction will be to self-titled “The Cow—Aberdeenshire, Scotland“, which Giuseppe Milo captured on Sept. 28, 2018, using Fujifilm X-Pro2 and Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR lens. Vitals: f/9, ISO 400,  1/750 sec, 55mm.

The self-described “travel and street photographer”, who lives in Dublin, Ireland, joined Flickr in September 2012. He also is a programmer and web developer, as he explains on his personal site. His nature shot takes the Sunday spot for composition, color, contrast, use of light, and being interesting.

Read More

The Cats of University Heights: Buttercup

Along most sidewalks in the neighborhood, trees—the majority palms—line the streets. Telephone poles, and their accompanying tangle of above (or below) ground wires, are relegated to alleys behind. The fifty-forth feline found behind door or window illustrates just how ugly and knotted the high-wires can be. There’s a metaphor here somewhere about California culture’s obsession with all things pretty and manicured being a facade for frightful chaos within.

On Jan. 17, 2020, using Leica Q2, I captured the Featured Image of this sleeping, sunning beauty in the alley between Georgia and Park Blvd. First sighting was weeks earlier, however. I waited for the kitty to nap during a time of day that provided maximum illumination with minimal shadows. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/640 sec, 28mm; 3:15 p.m. PST.