Category: Fuji

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Warty Witch Remembers

Seven years ago today, I posted a lengthy, revised review of the Nexus 9 tablet. In 2022, I use an 11-inch iPad Pro M1. That’s the state of my current computing life, which is matched by iPhone 13 Pro and 16.2-inch MacBook Pro. Not long ago, I was all-in with Google devices—as recently as 2019. But I eventually bit into the bitter fruit that is Apple, partially because Big G introduced excellent gear that later would be abandoned. Also, I saw increasing need not to be bound to constant Internet access.

That said, I had some satisfying digital lifestyle days using Chromebook Pixel and LS successor, among other Google devices. Pixel C remains one of my all-time favorite tablets, in part for the crisp display and Android utility. I still have one in the closet, languishing; four or five Android versions ago, support stopped. I also still own Pixel 2 XL, which similarly can’t be updated.

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No Vision

New Vision Christian Fellowship closed its University Heights building in May 2019, long after selling the property to a developer for as much as $34 million (I couldn’t confirm the amount). If my observation of apparent sparse attendance—except for free food days—indicates anything, the church hadn’t thrived for some time in the location. Proceeds from the sale created opportunity for relocation (Orange Avenue in City Heights) and funds to expand evangelical work.

But the departure nevertheless left a hole in the heart of the San Diego neighborhood, which would be filled with a towering edifice currently under construction. A modest religious institution will be replaced by a towering cathedral for materialistic worshippers.

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The Band Played

I absolutely have no idea who these guys are. On March 3, 2019, I came upon a parade along The Boulevard in San Diego neighborhood University Heights that ended at the iconic Lafayette Hotel, where festivities continued, including this performance.

The Featured Image comes from Fujifilm GFX 50R and Fujinon GF63mmF2.8 R WR lens—a kit that I sold about eight months later. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/4, ISO 800, 1/60 sec, 63mm; 3:10 p.m. PST. Slower shutter speed introduces intentional motion blur. Composed as shot, the photo appeals to me for reasons I cannot explain.

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Comic-Con’s Crazy COVID Conniption

To close out the month, and first half of the year, we connect the somewhat distant past with the not-so-far-off future. San Diego Comic Con returns July 21-24, 2022 with Preview Night on the 20th. The show floor, or break-out sessions, will look nothing like the Featured Image, taken seven years ago.

SDCC apparently didn’t get the memo that SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 is endemic and no longer pandemic. Locally, people move freely about without being required to wear masks, be tested, or verify vax status. Based on the official tally, the cumulative-calculated case fatality rate in San Diego County is 0.64 percent. Meaning: Your chance of surviving Coronavirus is better than 99 percent, while more than 85 percent of those infected likely show no symptoms.

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Ten Years with Neko

On this day in 2012, my wife and I brought home the ginger that the County of San Diego Animal Services called Dermott. We renamed him Neko, which is Japanese for cat. The shelter took him in on February 15. We would have first seen him on either the 18th or 25th; I don’t recall which but am confident a Saturday. Because he was so handsome, we were surprised to see him on subsequent visits.

Our Maine Coon mix, Kuma, disappeared on January 15. After city workers recovered his collar in a nearby canyon, we had to assume that a coyote took him. But being ever hopeful not, I checked the shelter website most evenings and we walked through the facility every few days looking. All the while, Dermott remained unclaimed, and we soon learned why.

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Why the Maine Coons Lost Their Home

To see where was the golf cart accident that led to yesterday morning’s dramatic chase and capture, my wife and I walked along Florida to Adams, where I shot additional photos. We returned the same way, passing by a man leaning on the porch railing of the house where feral felines Mimi and Sweet Pea lived for about eight years in the spacious backyard. I profiled both animals in my “Cats of University Heights” series in May 2018.

I asked the gentleman about clearcutting the property, which he confirmed started on Aug. 10, 2021. The action was taken at the behest of the broker, who believes there is a 98-percent chance an investor will buy the place, rather than a resident; removing the lush greenery and trees emphasizes the lot’s large size for the neighborhood and increases likelihood of higher bidding during the September 11 auction.

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A Pooch Portrait

Few days ago, Fujifilm unveiled the long-rumored GFX-100S—a 102-megapixel medium-format sensor shooter. I almost regret going back to Leica (Q2 and Q2 Monochrom), after letting go the GFX-50R in late-November 2019. Soon after, I purchased and returned the Sigma fp before buying the Q2. I love Fuji cameras, and the 50R surely satisfied. Problem: The impressive physical size intimidated animals and people, which was my primary reason for selling the thang.

The 100S reminds of what I gave up, with respect to image quality and dynamic range—both stellar benefits of the medium-format behemoth(s). So-o-o, this afternoon, I started reviewing some of my 50R RAW originals and happened upon a pooch portrait that silly me forgot to share with you.

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Flickr a Week 51a: ‘Someone left These’

Brrr. Does self-titled “Someone left These” make you feel cold? I shiver just looking at this fine photo, which Jack Wallsten captured on Feb. 15, 2017, using Fujifilm X-T2 and Fujinon XF35mmF2 R WR lens. Vitals: f/5, ISO 400, 1/1800 sec, 35mm. The provocative, but simple, shot takes the Sunday spot for color, composition, contrast, and creativity—then there is use of light.

The “professional videographer and editor” shoots “mainly street photography, pictures of my beautiful girlfriend, or sights from my balcony in Örnsberg, a southern suburb of Stockholm”. He wants “to improve as a photographer. I believe that no matter what skills you inhabit you are never too experienced to become better or to discover something new about yourself”.

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Flickr a Week 51: ‘La Orotava, Tenerife’

Expressing a sentiment that applies to most photos showcased in this series, Viktor Kirilko says about self-titled “La Orotava, Tenerife“: “Pre COVID-19 era”. No social distancing. No mandated mask wearing. We see life as it was—magnificently depicted, too—one year ago, when, already, SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2) silently spread. How dramatically—no, drastically—life has changed since.

Viktor captured the moment on Dec. 7, 2019, using Fujifilm X100. Vitals: f/16, ISO 200, 1/4000 sec, 23mm. Nearly a decade after its release, the X100 is still worthy in capable hands and eyes. The photo takes the week for clarity, color, contrast, sassy saturation, and three-dimensional depth. BTW, the yellow building to the right is a hardware store: Ferretería Orotava. The Novel Coronavirus hit Spain hard. Did, or will, the shop—and others around it—survive?