One of the benefits of our old apartment was the frequent nesting of hummingbirds. They typically made their appearance about this time of year, which is why I chose the Featured Image taken on April […]
Amazon’s decision to shutter (absolutely no pun intended) photography site DPReview demonstrates why I recommend that creators own their content whenever possible. Speaking from personal experience, I bleed for the hardworking editors, reviewers, and writers (among other staffers) whose body of work may soon be whisked away.
Seven years ago, I discovered that during a publishing system upgrade, CNET expunged my byline from my thousands of stories written for the site. In a separate incident, the analyst firm I had worked for merged with another and all my online musings vanished. What I consider to be the most valuable, posted to the Apple Watch and Microsoft Watch blogs between 2006-09, disappeared from the web in 2010. You wouldn’t know I had written anything professionally online for the 10 years 1999-2009. All was deleted when publishers decided to scrub the sites (or in the case of CNET modernize).
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.
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.
What could be better to celebrate my dad’s 79th birthday than something he might see loose on the family farm? Stephanie Young Merzel delivers, with self-titled “Intimacy“, which is a keeper for clarity, color, and […]
Today, SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—aka COVID-19—claimed an expected victim and long holdout being one. For the first time since its humble 1970 inception, San Diego Comic-Con will not happen as planned (July 23-26). The event joins the County Fair and a multitude of vertically-oriented industry conventions as Novel Coronavirus casualties.
For me, SDCC 2020 already was a non-event: Like the previous two Cons, I failed to secure a pass during Open Registration. For San Diego, which economy depends on tourism, the non-event pandemic is catastrophic. According to the San Diego Tourism Authority, tourism is the “second largest segment of [the local] economy”, employing approximately 200,000 people—or about 13 percent of the jobs across SD County. “It is vitally important to the economic health of the region”.
Self-titled “Selfie” easily takes the Sunday spot for character, clarity, composition, and expression (of the subject and his artistic presentation). Chris Bird used Fujifilm X-T1 and Fujinon XF35mmF2 R WR lens to capture himself, on June 22, 2016. Vitals: f/13, ISO 200, 1/180 sec, 35mm.
In February 2014, Chris joined Flickr, where he posts a vibrantly, intoxicating Photostream. His website is as dynamic.
I started more closely watching what the Wilcox clan calls the Butterfly House—a lush Monarch (and other creature) refuge along Maryland Ave., going down the hill from Meade. A major culling of plumage made me wonder if the residents might be leaving. Yep. Last week, I passed by as a moving truck was loaded. Three days ago, I spoke with one of the tenants. They’re Hawaii-bound, and the future of the mini-wildlife habitat is uncertain. Much depends on whomever resides there next. The longstanding caretakers, who contributed much to the neighborhood by way of their overly-committed gardening, bought a house and acre of land on the Big Island. Their tending will be missed by many.
For a small sense of what will likely vanish, please click through to the “Cats of University Heights” profile of Wink, laying low in the middle of the magnificent front yard. Incidentally, two other felines—Flower and Skull—were previously profiled in the adjacent properties on either side of the Butterfly House.
The Leica Q has one of the best autofocus systems of any digital camera that I have used (and the list’s long). But when there’s failure, the scale is grand—as was the case yesterday morning where Adams Ave. ends at the overlook adjacent to Golden Gate. I hadn’t planned to stop there, but beyond the automobile guardrail and wire fence, I saw the clear shape of a cat sitting back to me. That put him on the canyon side, which would be a treacherous place from where a human could fall. He contently watched wildlife, mainly birds, with little care about me—although he moved away some when I approached to the side for better sight to shoot. The feline could have been looking out onto the Grand Canyon, for the scale set before him.
The kitty is blurry in every one of the seven shots, even the three where I manually focused. The auto-system stopped at the fence. I did only marginally better for the last capture, before the cat sauntered off. Problem: While only 8:31 a.m. PDT, the sun seared fiercely ahead of a heat wave, compelling me to wear sunglasses that make the electronic viewfinder’s visual focus cues difficult to make out when rushed—as I was. I fumbled to safely put down the protective eyewear, as the beastie waddled off; having stepped partly over the guardrail for better vantage point, I could have carelessly let the glasses fall away.
Grey May descended yesterday, as persistent clouds preceded expected weekend rains. As my wife and I trudged up Maryland Ave., not far beyond Morla the tortoise’s house—but across the street—Anne spied in an alley a cat perched by a woman sitting on a ledge talking to another neighbor. The lady explained that the all-outdoor furball responds to name BeBe, or nothing. The animal’s mother is a feral grey tiger-stripe that no longer breeds (she was fixed). The daughter had one litter before her operation.
BeBe accepts food and attention from people whom she knows. As I am a stranger, she shot round a car when I approached. But she stayed to the side rather than scurry beneath, allowing me a dozen shots while not moving too close to her. Vantage point is important. I like to get down low, and she let me. The Featured Image is last among the 12, captured using the Fujifilm X-T1 and XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS kit lens at 4:56 p.m. PDT, with Classic Chrome simulation set. Vitals: f/4, ISO 200, 1/140 sec, 55mm. The portrait is straightened and cropped but not enhanced.
Yum. Yum. Moment captured on April 23, 2017 at 6:03 p.m. PDT using the Fujifilm X-T1 and XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS kit lens, with Classic Chrome simulation set. Vitals: f/4, ISO 200, 1/1250 sec, 55mm. The birds are […]
As my wife and I walked up Maryland Ave. late yesterday afternoon, something hiding in the flowers caught my attention—and I missed the perfect portrait when the meower came out to greet us. The Featured Image isn’t from the feline’s first approach but second, when she temporarily moved up the steps, before coming back to the street for more pats. Vitals: f/3.6, ISO 200, 1/1700 sec, 35.6mm. I captured the moment using the Fujifilm X-T1 and XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS kit lens at 5:59 p.m. PDT, with Classic Chrome simulation set.
The day marked the first return to service for the digital camera. I boxed up the X-T1 and posted for sale on Craigslist twenty-nine days ago, after seeing selling prices for new hadn’t budged from $1,699—despite release of the X-T2. I decided to recover some of my investment, being satisfied enough with the Fuji X100F received on February 28th. About an hour-and-a-half before our couple’s walk, a potential buyer from Orange County contacted me. He wondered about the X-T1’s condition and probed on price, seeing as mine was so high ($1,100 in prime condition). He surprised me. The bottom had fallen, and I hadn’t seen: Adorama, Amazon, and B&H all are discounting the mirrorless-and-lens kit by $500. As such, no one, if anyone, would buy from me for even $900. It’s pointless giving up so much value; it’s a wonderful shooter. I unboxed the kit, attached Hard Graft Atelier Hang Camera Strap, and updated the body’s firmware to version 5.10.