Category: People

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Dan Wilcox emailed a couple of photos today of us as youngsters. The Featured Image, dated 1970, would put our ages at about 16 and 11, respectively. Cuz was always taller (and better looking), even in adulthood. Ah, to look on my fine, blonde hair and remember having it.

The film SLR belonged to Dad. If I rightly recall, he used a Kowa, probably the seT R2. Like Leica Q2 (my primary camera), the Kowa utilized a leaf shutter, which I believe was located in the lens, rather than the body. The design made for nearly silent shooting—an appealing feature for wildlife photography.

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The Threesome

I don’t take out Leica Q2 Monochrom often enough. The camera’s super sharp f/1.7 Summilux 28mm lens, supported by the 47.3-megapixel mono sensor, produces photos from which emerge so many possibilities. Take, for example, the Featured Image that is a close-crop of three people—one of them back-to in the hammock—during one of the summer concerts in Old Trolley Barn Park, which is located in San Diego neighborhood University Heights.

The naturally-produced graininess feels film-like enough, at least to my eyes. Is the young man looking at me? I would be surprised, since I shot from the sidewalk at the hip. This is about a 95-percent crop, for perspective.

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Tennis This Time

San Diego’s three-season summer weather creates all kinds of outdoor activities that would be uncommon elsewhere. Consider public schools: Many are indoor/outdoor, meaning classrooms are enclosed but kids go out to move among them. Costco eateries are on the outside of the warehouses rather than within. The examples abound.

As such, I shouldn’t be so amused, but am, about the older gent watching sports programs out of doors. On Aug. 9, I passed him riveted to a baseball game—all by his lonesome. Tonight, it’s tennis—and he has a friend. “Say, could you pass a can of Modelo Especial?” (Because Bud Light is boycotted, the Mexican beer is now top-seller.)

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Batter Up!

The appropriate action would be to ask this gentleman why he watches television outside. But I instead chose to shoot stealthily from across the street because mystery makes the moment. The answer could ruin the curiosity.

Perhaps his partner or spouse doesn’t like baseball. Maybe he is lonely and hopes the outdoor game will draw some company. Perhaps ambiance is the reason: He wants a taste of remembered experience of going to the stadium and watching the game. I will never know and don’t want to.

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Mom’s Prom Dress

Mom passed away six years ago today. Last night, I came across a portrait digitized a few days later but not published. This evening, I spent some time editing, and also applying preset black-and-white filters, but in the end present the Featured Image as it was recovered in August 2017.

Photographer is unknown, as is timing. Mom is dressed for prom, but I am not sure what year of high school. She doesn’t appear to be pregnant, as she was during 12th grade. She already was married during junior year, having eloped to Canada at (sweet) sixteen.

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Exit Strategy

For lack of people posts, let’s have one with a big crowd—mass of Comic-Con attendees leaving the San Diego Convention Center at the event’s close on Sunday, July 27, 2014. What luck this year that Hollywood is on strike.

The Featured Image is memorable for camera: Nokia Lumia Icon Windows Phone. Microsoft may have fumbled the mobile market and let Android and Apple make winning touchdowns, but the shooting hardware was best of class.

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Big Band Bubble Brigade

Summer never really ends in San Diego but ebbs and flows throughout the year. Yet the last Friday night live music event in Old Trolley Barn Park feels like end of the season, even as the dog days of August are yet to come.

I walked over this evening, beckoned several blocks away by the boisterous big band sound of Sue Palmer & Her Motel Swing Orchestra. She drew quite the crowd, and sizable group—mostly older folks—danced before the stage. If mosh pits were for kids and grandmas, well I observed one tonight.

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Blues and Americana at Old Trolley Barn Park

July means live music Fridays at Old Trolley Barn Park, here in San Diego neighborhood University Heights. Despite feeling crappy all day, I walked over tonight for a look and some photos—oh, yeah, and surprise. Performer: Chickenbone Slim and the Biscuits. Perhaps you remember my sharing about the blues band back in November 2021, after finding them performing impromptu outside our auto mechanic’s shop, which is closed weekends.

The venue and crowd was way bigger this evening. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra didn’t deliver the kind of shots I have come to expect. Highlights are blown out and color is way oversaturated for the dozen captures. Details are muddy, too, as you can see from the Featured Image. Vitals: f/4.9, ISO 200, 1/60 sec, 230mm (film equivalent); 7:38 p.m. PDT.

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Mission (Beach) Accomplished

Last night, my wife strongly suggested that we make an early coastal excursion today. Honestly, I was a bit ambivalent but followed along. Advice to myself: Listen to Annie. We both enjoyed the simple outing, which turned out to be unexpectedly productive, too. Destination: San Diego’s Mission Beach.

We arrived close to 9 a.m. PDT to find ample parking (still) but masses of people already gathered for the July 4th holiday weekend. In addition to sand and sea, Belmont Park, with its iconic rollercoaster, is the other main attraction. Annie and I traipsed about before rides or stores opened, coming upon a sign for holiday special: annual pass for $98 (discounted from $120).

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He Waits for What?

We end the month, and first half of the year, with a somber Featured Image captured tonight. I typically avoid taking photos of San Diego homeless, out of respect for them and their plight. With the high cost of housing, anyone could end up in their situation—particularly with the rising number of renovictions: landlord removes long-time tenants and makes upgrades to justify drastically raising rents.

According to the Regional Task Force on Homelessness, number of the city’s—what I will politely call—street dwellers is up 35 percent from 2022. Broadly, across San Diego County, people aged 55 or older make up 29 percent of the homeless population and about 46 percent are newly in this condition. That circles back to long-time tenants, sometimes for several decades, living in rentals they can manage but being evicted and unable to find affordable housing.