Tag: Fuji X100F

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The Cats of University Heights: Mellow

On the same block where is the three-legged Bengal, Mini, whom visited with my wife and I yesterday, and where was the hit-and-run tiger-tabby last week, there lives a Calico—or so we learned while walking down Cleveland Ave. this afternoon. She earns nickname Mellow, for letting me shoot so many photos over the course of three minutes. I tried various vantage points, seeking memorable composition, and the closest came in post-production cropping.

Like other recent captures, I used the Fujifilm X100F, with Velvia film simulation—perfect choice for the lingering lush green and red foliage following unusually heavy winter rains. Featured Image vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/280 sec, 23mm; 4:10 p.m. PDT. 

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Warning: Kids and Cats at Play

This sign, spotted for the first time today, adorns the yard where lives Pepe, whom I featured in the Cats of University Heights series on March 9, 2017. His owners have two preschool children and another feline, and I wonder what prompted the warning because of yesterday’s sad sighting: A dead cat on the side of the road, a block-and-a-half further down Cleveland Ave. towards Washington Street.

My wife and I came upon the short-hair, tiger-tabby while walking to the bank to close out her dad’s account. Annie gasped, seeing the poor creature first. My immediate concern: That he was the three-legged feline that lives two houses away. He appeared in the Cats series on Nov. 13, 2016. Luckily not. Having photographed more than 50 furballs around the neighborhood, I was grieved to stand over the kitty, which someone had mercifully moved to the curb. 

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Surfers in Black and White

The Fujifilm X100F is, conceptually, little different from the original that released in early 2011. Refinements are plenty, reaching the fourth generation (hence the F): focusing is way faster; sensor packs more megapixels (24 vs 12); and controls are more sensibly placed and functional, for example. But largely the same: overall retro-rangefinder styling; shape and size; emphasis on manual dial controls; leaf shutter; ND filter; dual optical and electronic viewfinders; and fixed f/2 lens, among others. Why change what is classic, and clever, from the start?

The Prime lens, matched with the 24.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS III sensor, delivers fantastic IQ (e.g., image quality). Surprisingly, the X100F is more an action-cam that conceptually is in league with interchangeable siblings X-Pro2 and X-T2. Focus finally is fast enough. I got a good taste of both qualities while shooting surfers from Pacific Beach pier. Some of the best captures are black and white, applying Acros film simulation in camera. The Featured Image and two crops following below the fold demonstrate. 

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A Day at the (Pacific) Beach

My wife and I hauled off to the closest tourist beach earlier today; one of her favorite bead stores had advertised a sale. While she shopped, I walked down the Pacific Beach boardwalk. At 11:11 a.m. PDT, I came upon a blonde, back turned, tapping on a smartphone. Her shapely thighs, wavy hair, and posture beckoned for a spontaneous, stealth shot (no face). I grabbed the Fujifilm X100F, right-shoulder slung on the ONA Lima strap, and framed the moment—when she shifted position and turned to face me just as I clicked the shutter. Did she psychically feel the camera?

The close-cropped “Accidental Portrait” is the result. That’s the PB pier off to the right, BTW. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/11, ISO 200, +0.33 ev, 1/250 sec, 23mm. All color photos in this post were purposely shot with Classic Chrome film simulation but accidentally with the positive value exposure compensation. 

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Knick-Knacks Paddywack

My mom was in the hospital earlier this week—and not for the first time in recent months. On March 29, 2017, I walked about the neighborhood while chatting with her on iPhone 7 Plus; left hand to left ear. Over my right shoulder, from the ONA Lima strap hung the Fujifilm X100F, which I am loving for its convenience, easy-carrying, and one-handed operation.

While ambling up a steep street, I spotted a cute arrangement of child collectibles nestled under a tree. Without interrupting the conversation, I pulled off the lens cap, spun the aperture ring from f/11 to Auto, turned on the camera, and clicked the shutter with my right hand—crouching down for better perspective as I looked through the optical viewfinder. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Riley

About 18 hours ago, my wife and I walked to the mailbox on Park Blvd., then down from Monroe towards Meade. A few doors before the pie shop on the corner, Annie spotted an orange-and-white furball in an apartment courtyard. There we met Riley and owner Kim, who occasionally takes him out for supervised romps. He is a San Diego shelter cat, who was an estimated four years-old when she adopted him nine years ago. He wasn’t neutered beforehand, and Kim remarked on the animal’s street-savvy ways and rippling muscles. Accustomed to foraging, Riley would burrow into garbage bags scrounging for food if left unattended. Every once and awhile, the old habit returns.

I shot 14 pics of the male marauder, choosing Featured Image in part for the unexpected companion—calico Woo, who I hadn’t seen in the courtyard for nearly six months. This capture comes from the apartment complex’s back area—somewhere I wouldn’t otherwise go if not invited by a resident. You see a crop from the Fujifilm X100F, set to Classic Chrome film simulation. Vitals: f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/250 sec, 23mm; 12:23 p.m. PDT. 

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Flamingos, Giraffes, and Koala Bears

Today, the Wilcox couple visited San Diego Zoo for the first time in nearly 10 years living in Southern California, after signing up for a year’s membership. Annie had been to the animal habitat once before, in 1987, with her dad.

His passing, two months ago, is mixed blessing. We have time to be tourists, and in ways we wouldn’t have chanced previously. One, or both, of us stayed close by—particularly during the last 18 months of Bob’s life. We relocated from the Washington, DC area in October 2007 to enable him to live independently in his own apartment. Needs grew more demanding during the last two years, as his energy and mobility, but not mental acuity, diminished. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Veruca

Last night, a calico that I had been looking for since Oct. 29, 2016 finally appeared—about the same time of day and different location on her owner’s porch. I shot the Featured Image at 6:52 p.m. PDT; 10 minutes before sunset. The portrait is straight from the Fujifilm X100F; no post-processing (and big file at 13MB). Vitals, with Velvia film simulation: f/2, ISO 200, 1/90 sec, 23mm.

I met the couple who owns “Veruca”—or “Rukie”; the name will mean something to anyone who is familiar with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. She is five years old and not a big eater, despite from some vantage points appearing to be overstuffed. One of the caretakers calls her voluptuous.

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The Cats of University Heights: Ash

Yes, you are experiencing déjà vu. We have been to this yard before—three times in six days. The furballs are resident pets of the “Wildlife Habitat”, as an official sign states. They must have a time-sharing arrangement, as cats are quite territorial. While walking to The Hub, my wife and I spotted Ash (his real name) around 1:20 p.m. PDT today. I observed the other two, Sebastian and Booger, in mid-morning and late-afternoon, respectively, on different days. The Maine Coon is about two years old and vision-impaired.

I captured the moment using Fujifilm X100F, with Velvia film simulation. Both pics are crops—the Featured Image 100 percent. That one is Anne’s preferred composition, and the other (below the fold) is mine. In both, the framing attempts to use the stones to lead the eye to the kitty. I shot the first photos with aperture manually set to f/8; they didn’t make the cut because Ash was turned away nibbling a plant. The keepers are auto-everything—and meant to see how well the camera handles contrasting light (in the yard) and shadows (where is the cat). Except for slight straightening and the aforementioned cropping, the two portraits are not tweaked for light or color, beyond what the camera does. 

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Caturday Centered

Time comes to revisit a couple of furballs from my “Cats of University Heights” series: BiscuitFrenemy, and Slumber. As an unabashed amateur photographer, I tend to avoid putting the capture’s subject in the centerfield. But sometimes, there is no other choice or such placement pleases the eye—so I believe (gulp) about these two portraits. Both animals live on different blocks along Maryland Ave.

The Featured Image gives better view of the black cat who is Morla the tortoise’s front-yard companion. The fence leads the eye down to the feline, which offset dinosaur adds character to the yard. The JPEG is straightened but otherwise as shot today using the Fujifilm X100F, with Velvia film simulation applied in camera. Vitals: f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/420 sec, 23mm; 9:38 a.m. PDT.