Category: Leica

Read More

It’s Fake!

My wife and I came upon this sign, affixed to a utility pole, today, along Mission Avenue between Louisiana and Mississippi streets. Call me surprised, for having seen no other in our San Diego neighborhood of University Heights. So I got to wondering if a resident attempted a little scare tactic to get dog owners to clean up after their mutts. More effective: Place the notice higherand above, out of reach, a mock surveillance camera.

I walked about several streets inspecting every sign of every kind and all others shared in common: Tiny print somewhere indicating that the thing is the property of the city. By comparison, this one’s credit is “SmartSign.com”, which sells the warning, with a stake kit, for 27 bucks on the website.

Read More

The Cats of University Heights: Parker

Our seventy-eighth kitty from Alabama, between boundaries Adams and Lincoln, is also the seventy-ninth seen behind door or window. Meet Parker—and, yes, that is the kitten’s real name. In the Featured Image, he sits overlooking the alley that separates the street from Mississippi.

I used Leica Q2 to capture the portrait, on Oct. 3, 2021. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/1000 sec, 28mm; 9:14 a.m. PDT.

Read More

Abandoned Homeless Shelter

On Nov. 3, 2021, alongside the Adams Substation (e.g. electrical hub) in University Heights, my wife and I passed by the makeshift refuge that you see in the Featured Image. For concern someone might be sleeping inside, I shot Leica Q2 from the hip, seeking not to disturb the resident. The first companion, taken the next day, looks towards the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses on the alley behind Alabama Street and across from Old Trolley Barn Park.

Vitals, aperture manually set for all: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/400 sec, 28mm; 11:39 a.m. PDT. The other: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/250 sec, 28mm; 11:15 a.m., the next day. In the second photo you can see a bicycle behind the utility box. The entire setup was cleverly constructed but surprising for the busy location.

Read More

Whoa, What’s That?

Mental note: Pay attention. Observe. Don’t assume. Now for an admission: I made a misidentification. On Nov. 25, 2020, I used a commercial sign to illustrate an analysis about SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns precipitating permanent pub and restaurant closures in San Diego. I thought an “a” had dropped off from “Eat’s”, on signage pointing to a presumedly closed eatery down an industrial alley/street in Hillcrest.

As the Featured Image reveals, looking from the other side, the correct spelling is “Eli’s”, referring to Eli Vigderson’s European Car Repairs. Part of the “l” has fallen away. What I thought was a “t” is instead a full letter and part of another. I got to wondering about the sign, after posting “Got Mini?” two days ago; the roadster was parked at an auto shop.

Read More

Got Mini?

A rear-window sticker asked that question, and I mentally lamented answering no. While walking through San Diego’s Hillcrest district, I passed the vehicle parked at Eli Vigderson’s European Car Repairs, which is across the street from Better Buzz Coffee on University Avenue. The auto shop is nearby the Eat’s sign that I used to illustrate a Nov. 25, 2020 story assessing the shocking number of restaurants and pubs permanently closed during California’s lockdowns meant to curb SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 infections.

Hillcrest is so grim, and also such a street photography opportunity, that I typically carry Leica Q2 Monochrom, which captured the Featured Image on Nov. 10, 2021. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/8, ISO 200, 1/800 sec, 28mm; 11:15 a.m. PST.

Read More

The Cats of University Heights: Pixie

I presume, but cannot yet confirm, that the kitty seen on several occasions in the window of the property where roams Boxer is this pretty Tortie, who earns nickname Pixie for no particular reason. My wife and I first saw her on Halloween, along with Boxer. The Featured Image, taken on Nov. 6, 2021, is from when I spotted her alone. The alley house has an Alabama address, making Pixie the seventy-seventh feline found on the street between boundaries Adams and Lincoln.

The first photo comes from Leica Q2. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/250 sec, 28mm; 12:19 p.m. PDT. The other uses the iPhone 13 Pro telephoto lens. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 32, 1/1623 sec, 77mm; 3:02 p.m. PDT, October 31.

Read More

A Rose by Any Other Name is Gone

Following “The Tree Tragedy” that destroyed the provider of shade (for us) and food and refuge (for birds and squirrels), I was ready to give notice and move out of our apartment. One problem: In December 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom essentially closed down the state for the entire month in response to a reported surge in SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 cases (e.g., positive tests for infection).

But Spring (e.g., Early Summer in San Diego parlance) brought more birds than any other year—many flocking to a hedge nearby our assigned parking space. Across the street, they, and other animals, used the mighty date palm as a majestic habitat. But South American Palm Weevils infested the tree, which the city destroyed in late July. The bugs are not indigenous and removal of infected palms seeks to slow their spread.

Read More

Juicy Fruit

I frequently see Loki, who was profiled in my “Cats of University Heights” series, jump onto a fence and into a yard where he doesn’t live. Two catio captives, nicknamed Jester and King, call home the place right next door. Today, while walking by, my wife and I saw something else on the fence—the owner’s generosity. Don’t you want one? C`mon, confess! The persimmons sure look delicious.

What I initially missed, and Annie pointed out, is the tree bearing the fruit. It towers in the blurred background of the Featured Image. The companion provides context, by focusing on the leaves and hanging persimmons, but would be meaningless without the first photo.

Read More

Bell Weather

Santa Ana winds brought unseasonable heat to San Diego on this Thursday. By contrast, elsewhere: Parts of Minnesota and North Dakota are hunkering down for blizzard conditions. The high in my neighborhood of University Heights reached 30 degrees Celsius (86 F). By contrast, where white-out conditions are forecast: Watertown, SD is 0 C (32 F); as I write.

This morning, searing sunlight purged the frigid memory of living one winter in Minneapolis (decades ago). While walking along the Campus-North alley, between Adams and Madison, I came upon the discarded bicycle helmet that is the Featured Image. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/400 sec, 28mm; 9:42 p.m. PDT; Leica Q2. Consider the photo, composed as shot, as homage to the warm weather.

Read More

Roarin’ Riders and the First-Responders

A whole lot of activity goes on in the Featured Image—and more than I realized until sitting down to edit in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic. The nearly 100-percent crop comes from Leica Q2, on Nov. 6, 2021. Vitals: f/8, ISO 100, 1/250 sec, 28mm; 2:01 p.m. PDT.

As I walked up Meade Ave. in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood, I heard jovial talking and motorcycles revving ahead of me and found them on cross-street Idaho. I crouched down behind a car and, after changing the aperture, managed to click the shutter once before they rode off in choreographed procession; there was a precision to their group riding that evoked safety and conveyance. They roared towards El Cajon Blvd.

Read More

The Cats of University Heights: Jack

Years ago, a striking dark-fur sprinted from view as I walked by. The owner happened to be outside, so I inquired. “That’s Jack!” she answered. The property is adjacent to where Reddy now calls home, with Zero. I frequently mosey down the street, looking to visit either, never really expecting to see their neighbor once more or to have chance to shoot a portrait.

But Jack appeared, and posed, on Oct. 22, 2021. A few occasions since, I almost added him to the series but restrained hoping to see his owner and confirm the identity. Few days ago, I came upon her lugging tires and she did just that. So at last, we present Jack.

Read More

Birthday Beans

Saturday supper is a burpy (or, ah, gassy) memory for some folks back home in Maine tonight. Baked beans are a traditional meal for the day—classically cooked buried in the ground under hot coals. Growing up in Aroostook County, I remember grocery stores selling Saturday fresh baked beans and bread—by the pint or quart and loaf. Yum.

Like some United Kingdom residents, we would eat beans on toast (usually cold on hot crust), typically for breakfast. As a youngster, I saw it as poor-man’s-food when short on other options, not realizing that we consumed something quite tasty and traditional.