Tag: Leica M10

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Hello, Mini

What a strange place to find a classic: Carport along a nearby alley. So which of my neighbors has been hiding this lovely? With no license plate. Apparently good condition. Cool color. Best of all: Steering wheel on the right side! It’s a British beauty.

Had there been a license plate—out of respect for the owner’s privacy—I wouldn’t have stopped to capture the moment. No identifying information encouraged me to take license (ah, hum, dumb pun) with Leica M10 and Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Nala

As I turned down Massachusetts from Madison going towards Golden Gate, a pretty tabby looked up from the sidewalk, on Aug. 12, 2018. I crouched down with Leica M10 and Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens, snapping several portraits while slowly approaching. Then she turned towards the adjacent house, but not because of my closing in. Someone came out the front door, through which she squeezed by.

The young man standing on the step was movie star handsome—and I almost said so. But post-#metoo, compliments that could be misconstrued are better left unsaid. If he isn’t an actor or model, Hollywood let getaway a young Robert Redford. Explaining that I had just taken a photo of the cat, I asked her name. “Nala”, he answered—and added not seeing my recognition of the meaning: “Like in the Lion King”. I pretended, by affirming “yeah”, to have understood. Shameless liar I am, but polite doing so. 

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Why We Went to Julian

Our family relocated to San Diego in October 2007 with a purpose: Being close to my father-in-law, so that he could continue to live independently, which he did until his passing, at age 95, in January 2017. Eleven years is long enough. The Wilcox clan, or part of it, contemplates exodus, because the area is increasingly less desirable: Cost of-living and recent zoning changes that will increase population density by way of building more multi-unit housing.

My wife and I are considering many different possible locations to move—anywhere from Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico or Texas to Delaware, North Carolina, or the Mid-Atlantic region we left to come here. That said, closer-by would be more practical, particularly if we were to buy a home. Earlier today, Annie and I spent several hours in Julian, Calif., where we looked at four houses for sale. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Tuna

For International Cat Day, we celebrate with a shorthair named for every kitty’s favorite food. We regarded one another from a distance, on July 27, 2018. Just as I crouched down with Leica M10 and Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens, a gentleman came out a door above the animal. I asked for a name. He hesitated, then answered: “I call her Tuna”. There you go. Yum. Yum.

I captured the Featured Image at 6:54 p.m. PDT, just after the gent walked by. Vitals: f/4, ISO 200, 1/250 sec, 50mm (EXIF mistakenly reports f/2.5). On two other separate occasions, I saw Tuna on the steps when passing the property, on Georgia between Mission and Monroe. Last night, my wife and I stopped to look, and Tuna surprised by strutting down the steps to great us. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Backyard

The twenty-fifth Alabama Street cat might not be around much longer, so I rush her profile past others planned to post sooner. One neighbor on the block between Adams and Madison posted about the kitty on July 26, 2018, wondering who she might belong to. Followup on August 3: “Looks like she will be having babies really soon. Friendly but definitely seems weary of people”. I presume the author meant wary, making a common confusion between the words. If expecting—or recently losing—a litter, she might very well be “weary of people”; hence the nickname.

Today, there is quite a bit of banter back and forth among neighbors on the Nextdoor social network about trapping Weary and taking her to the local animal shelter. Her time in the neighborhood ends soon, methinks. Although, as I post, she hasn’t given up her status as an Alabama cat. I am still clueless about why there are so many felines on the street compared to others in University Heights.

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The Cats of University Heights: Stoic

Along Howard Ave., between Florida and Georgia, I spotted the series‘ twenty-ninth window watcher on the morning of July 15, 2018. Nicknamed Stoic, for no particular reason, the kitty presented setting worthy of black-and-white conversion in post-production.

I captured the Featured Image at 10:17 a.m. PDT, using Leica M10 and Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens. Vitals: f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/250 sec, 50mm. (The EXIF states f/4, which the camera wrongly estimated). 

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The Cats of University Heights: Brumble

With more than 200 profiles in the series since its start in October 2016, picking nicknames for new additions grows more difficult when the real ones are unknown. I chose Brumble for this blackie, because the first kitty sighted in the yard along Florida between Howard and Polk is called Bramble—for the thick brush that I shot through.

Brumble follows Shrub, who came to the same brush line and presented better photographic opportunity—both on July 19, 2018. I considered waiting for another visit to the property but opted instead for portraits that are unlike any others so far. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Shrub

What an unexpected surprise. I hadn’t traversed Florida Street between Howard and Polk for many months—well, until July 19, 2018. Along the way, I spotted Bramble, who joined the series on Groundhog Day this year. Gasp, three other felines moved about the property, looking like the whole caboodle came from their afternoon meal.

Shooting through branches presents problems that Leica M10 and its manual focus technique somewhat overcomes. I got the better portraits of the shorthair that earns nickname Shrub. Another, whom I dub Brumble, is next up. The fourth putty-tat must wait for another day and another attempt. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Cupcake

Feline sightings along Mission Cliffs Drive are fairly rare. Since the series started in October 2016, only two have been profiled: Aylin and Fraidy. Meet a third! So there’s no misunderstanding: This Tuxedo-like furball is grey not the traditional black—and, as you can see, quite handsome.

I shot the Featured Image and its companion on July 13, 2018 using Leica M10 and Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens. Vitals: f/4, ISO 200, 1/250 sec, 50mm; 6:25 p.m. PDT. The other, taken one-minute later and after he stretched out, is same except for 1/180 sec shutter speed. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Georgia Twain

While looking for Luci, who was lost but later found, I spotted an orange kitty cross the street and go into a yard at Monroe and Georgia. The shorthair later emerged, moseying into an apartment complex. There a pair of cats lounged far down the walkway. The newcomer’s invasion drew them close to the front, making a moment possible.

I shot the Featured Image one-minute to sunset, 7:52 p.m. PDT, and its companion one-minute after, on June 3, 2018. Leica M10 and Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens is a low-light super combo. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 1600, 1/180 sec, 50mm. The companion’s EXIF is identical except for the timestamp.

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The Cats of University Heights: Gazers

Yesterday, while walking along Mississippi Street between Meade and Monroe, I spotted a pair of kitties looking at birds. They are the twenty-seventh and twenty-eighth window watchers featured in the series so far. They presented poses that were irresistibly poignant.

I assume these are indoor beasties, but they do wear collars with tags, indicating perhaps some outdoor excursions. The Featured Image, which is modestly cropped, sets the scene. The two companions close in on the putty-tats.