Tag: Leica M10

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The Cats of University Heights: Monarch

Black kitties are the most difficult to identify, particularly from a distance. Our newest inductee was spotted on Sept. 15, 2018 in the same yard as Skull, the fourth feline to participate in the series (October 2016). Next door, at the Butterfly House, another Halloween cat, Wink, made an appearance nearly a year later (August 2017). Are they all the same, or three different shorthairs? From the various photos, they look distinct enough to me. But who can say?

The Featured Image is one of the last captured with Leica M10, which I sold a few weeks later. Last night, someone bought the other of my two Leica lenses—90mm / f4.0 Macro Elmar—which I used for this portrait. The Blackie earns nickname Monarch, for location seen and timing of this profile; keepers of the butterfly refuge recently relocated to Hawaii. Vitals: f/4, ISO 200, 1/90 sec, 90mm; 6:29 p.m. PDT. 

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Where Did My Leica M10 Go?

I never expected to part with Leica M10 six months after acquiring it. But such was the circumstance on Oct. 5, 2018. So shocking the suddenness, I waited three months to explain. The camera was my dream shooter—a magnificent manual rangefinder that fit my personality. Problem: Too often I couldn’t focus fast enough, or with appropriate precision. Perhaps another six months of use and practice would have made perfect.

But my wife and I were looking at possibly moving from San Diego to Julian, Calif. So serious our intention that we had put down an offer on a house, where we went for formal inspection that fine Fall Friday. Thinking about living in the mountains in nature, I couldn’t imagine using the M10. For the wild woods, autofocus and telephoto lens would be better. So I had posted the camera for sale, with intention of replacing it with a Fujifilm mirrorless. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Bashful

We celebrate National Cat Day with a feline that I nickname Bashful, for cautiously approaching me during our first meeting but pulling back because of passing cars; good thing for saving any (or all) of the nine lives. I captured the Featured Image, using Google Pixel 2 XL during our first encounter on Oct. 1, 2018. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 52, 1/1017 sec, 4.459mm; 4:17 p.m. PDT. The companion portrait is second-to-last photo—the other of the same animal—taken with Leica M10. I since sold the camera, which fate will be explained in another post. Vitals: f/4.8, ISO 200, 1/350 sec, 50mm; 4:14 p.m.

Bashful lives in the same cottage complex as Friends, but along another corridor. I have seen the kitty several times since, often in the same vicinity. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Shine

On Aug. 26, 2018, while walking home from the grocery store, my wife and I passed by what is the series‘ thirty-first window watcher looking out on Tyler Street. While I shot several portraits using Leica M10 and Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens, Annie urged me to move along. Someone working behind a backyard closed fence on the property poked out several times—and unhappily, she said. Rudely, I held fast until capturing the moment.

Vitals for the Featured Image: f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/180 sec, 50mm; 9:50 a.m. PDT. I nickname the pretty putty Shine for no particular reason other than it feels appropriate. 

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You’re So Vane

Late afternoon today, I took a purposeful walk around the neighborhood carrying Leica M10 with Macro-Elmar-M 1:4/90 attached. I had hoped to shoot the first portraits from the lens for my “Cats of University Heights” series. I met no felines, sadly, but some of their prey tickled my fancy around the property at Cleveland and Madison.

I captured the Featured Image  and its companion at 5:03 p.m. PDT. Vitals for the first: f/11, ISO 200, 1/180 sec, 90mm. The other is same except for 1/250 sec shutter speed. I cropped both, but only really edited the second—seeking to make the birds more lit than silhouette, so to speak. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Honey

Something like nine months ago, I caught fleeting glimpse of a calico going into an apartment courtyard, up to a second floor landing and being let inside a door. I missed the moment, which returned on Aug. 16, 2018. The shorthair hung outside the building—and not visibly for just the one day that week but several. I seized the first opportunity, as my wife and I carried home groceries, and let alone the kitty on the others.

Earning nickname Honey, the beastie is the twenty-seventh sighted along Alabama Street. As we greeted, and I snapped portraits, No. 11, Cal, looked down from an open window. I shot the Featured Image and the first companion using Leica M10 and Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens. Vitals: f/4.8, ISO 200, 1/180 sec, 50mm; 9:12 a.m. PDT. The other is same except for 1/250 shutter speed and 9:10 a.m. timestamp. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Snoozy

The first caturday of the month begins with the twenty-sixth feline seen on Alabama. I know, the number seems endless. Out of the 219 profiles to date, 12 percent are from the one street—and you will meet yet another next. During a twilight walk, I spotted a second cat on the same property—between Howard and Polk—chowing supper; no photo was possible with my phone for distance and darkness; expect to read about that beastie someday.

Need you explanation for the chosen nickname of this blackie, whose mug I captured through a gated fence, which presence greatly determined composition of cropping in post-production? The Featured Image comes from Leica M10 and Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens, on Aug. 14, 2018 at 11:33 a.m. PDT. Vitals: f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/90 sec, 50 mm. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Night

In the same multi-unit property where live Luci, Maven, and Peso—all of which get some outdoor time—another feline frequently looks through a screen. I nickname the blackie Night for color and, to be ironic, seeing her (or him) during daylight. Night has the distinction of being the thirtieth window watcher featured since the series started in October 2016.

Rarely a day passes that I don’t see Night when walking by the property. Of the several portraits taken over several weeks, I chose as Featured Image one captured, using Leica M10 and Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens, on Aug. 3, 2018 at 6:34 p.m. PDT. Vitals: f/3.4, ISO 200, 1/90 sec, 50mm. 

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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.