Tag: Leica Q

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The Cats of University Heights: LilyTiger

Since seeing Sebastian and Persepolis in March 2018, I have looked for their sister, LilyTiger, who was too rambunctious to photograph back then. She presented herself, quite unexpectedly, on August 10. While walking down Meade Ave., I spotted a kitty reclining on the other side of the street along Mississippi. I had seen Amanda in the exact same spot months earlier and assumed that it must be her. Nope.

LilyTiger moved onto her owners’ charming, lush property, as I approached. But she stayed close enough to the front, on the steps, for portraits. I shot the Featured Image and its companion using Leica Q. Vitals: f/1.7, ISO 200, 1/60 sec, 28mm; 7:32 p.m. PDT—four minutes before sunset. I chose the wide aperture for bokeh but narrowed for the other to draw out Sebastian cozied up on the front porch. Vitals for the second: f/5.6, ISO 2000, 1/60 sec, 28mm. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Prim

Six weeks ago, I started using Google Pixelbook as my primary PC. Transition from 15.4 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is still incomplete and taking way longer than anticipated. I have 27 months of data committed to Apple platforms and my methodical exploration relentlessly reveals content tucked into digital nooks and crannies where they would be lost or left behind following a MBP erase-and-restore operation. Patience pays.

Today’s feline is good example of a recovered gem. I spotted the beastie, who earns nickname Prim, on Sept. 28, 2017. For reasons I can only guess, the portraits were never processed. I used Leica Q to capture the Featured Image and its companion at 6:33 p.m. PDT. Vitals: f/4, ISO 320, 1/60 sec, 28mm. The second is same except for ISO 250.

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The Cats of University Heights: Patriot

Because of goings-on best discussed some other time, my regular writing is irregular at best. But the cats! They’re piling up on the sidelines, and there comes time to free up the logjam and make this site look even more like a homage to the beasts. It’s not, and their presence wouldn’t loom so large if other content filled the spaces between their profiles.

Whiny introduction aside, we resume the series with a kitty nicknamed Patriot—I would hope for obvious reasons. I captured the Featured Image and its companion, using Leica Q on July 17, 2018, along Louisiana between Adams and Madison. Vitals: f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/250 sec, 28mm; 6:55 p.m. PDT. The other is same, shot first, except for f/4. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Ginger

Along Louisiana Street, between Meade and Monroe, on July 1, 2018, my wife and I spotted the furball appropriately nicknamed Ginger. I am fairly confident this is the same cat we saw moseying up Monroe behind Royal nearly a month earlier. Then, Ginger turned down the alley behind, which is where he, or she, went through a yard not long after I snapped the Featured Image.

I am rather dissatisfied with the portrait and its companion; for now they must do until another opportunity presents—and that time could be long coming, if ever. I captured both photos using Leica Q, three minutes to sunset (7:58 p.m. PDT). Vitals for the first, aperture and shutter speed preset for dusk street shooting: f/1.7, ISO 250, 1/250 sec, 28mm. The other is the same, except for ISO 1000. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Caddy

Shooting kitty portraits after sunset—in this case 26 minutes later—presents challenges, particularly when the subject hides under a parked vehicle. The furball strutted down the sidewalk as I approached along Florida Street between Madison and Mission avenues, then fled beneath a Cadillac; hence the chosen nickname.

The Featured Image is the last of a half-dozen portraits, all of which were manually focused using Leica Q; such control made the impossible shot manageable; okay, barely. Vitals: f/1.7, ISO 3200, 1/60 sec, 28mm; 8:24 p.m. PDT. Understandably, the original DNG RAW was heavily edited. I applied considerable noise reduction, among other tweaks, with Adobe Lightroom Classic CC. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Friends

We follow up Georgia Twain with another pair. But the two are one less than they should be. I typically see three cats in the same apartment courtyard, on Florida between Meade and Monroe, but typically too far back for meaningful portrait. I stalked the trio for six months before capturing a shot of these, ah, Friends on July 14, 2018. They sat relatively close to the sidewalk.

The three live a few houses down from Lucy and diagonally across the way from Mew and Wonder. I will be lucky to ever get a usable portrait of the third or distinguish it from the other black. But I will try and update appropriately. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Stella

The next four featured felines are those for which I shot passible portraits that were held back with hope of making something better. Time is come to let them loose, like we did with Abby the Bengal, who was profiled one week ago. First among them is Stella—and that is her real name—whose likeness I captured with Leica Q on March 6, 2018 at 11:35 a.m. PST.

On other occasions, I had seen Stella looking out the screen door of a house on Monroe near Alabama but unsuccessfully captured the moment. On this morning, her owner was inside with her, and I asked about taking her photo. “Everyone does”, he answered, opening the door and trying to coax the fluffball outside. She wouldn’t budge. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Abby

For months, I have pursued Abby, looking to capture a portrait worthy of her beauty. Time has come to go with what I have. She is too wily a rascal for my amateur photographic skills.

The Featured Image starts where sightings began, on Jan. 23, 2018, in a yard on Adams Ave. where she hangs out but doesn’t live. A resident confirmed her name. I captured the moment with iPhone X, using the second camera to 2X zoom. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/873 sec, 6mm; 12:47 p.m. PST. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Wonder

Sunset was 7:25 p.m. PDT on April 24, 2018. Nearly 20 minutes later, what looked like a bushy-tailed black and white shorthair trotted down Florida between Meade and Monroe before scooting up some stairs to a row of apartments/condos. Two months earlier, I had seen the kitty nicknamed Mew in the same vicinity. Second-sighting? I’ll never know, because another beauty perched above and stayed steady for several portraits.

Because of fast-falling dusk, I carried Leica Q, which packs a magnificently detail-capturing, fast lens. I set aperture wide-open and shutter speedy, letting the camera auto-crank ISO for shooting along the dimly-lit street. Vitals for the Featured Image: f/1.7, ISO 16000, 1/250 sec, 28mm, 7:44 p.m. The companion, taken one minute earlier, is same except for ISO 2000. I manually focused both.

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The Cats of University Heights: Lucky

I can’t imagine why we have come to either the fourteenth or fifteenth black cat—depending on whether or not Betty and Betty, Too are the same animals—without one being named, or in this instance nicknamed, Lucky. The others: Black, FangFarfisa, Frenemy, MikaPee-Pee, PeoheSiestaSkull, Sky, Token, and Wink.

My wife and I encountered Lucky on April 11, 2018 by the same apartment complex where Blue Too and Chub hang out—and presumably live—along Campus Ave. beyond Madison approaching the overlook. I used Leica Q to capture the Featured Image at 8:41 a.m. PDT. Vitals, aperture and shutter speed manually set: f/5.6, ISO 320, 1/250 sec, 28mm. 

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The Cats of University Heights: STAR

This beautiful kitten earns nickname Blend for being somewhat camouflage-colored against an area in the neighborhood known as the Point. My wife and I encountered her quite unexpectedly on April 10, 2018, frolicking about and seeking attentive pats, which you can see Anne giving in the Featured Image and its companion.

We were both concerned about the calico’s interest in the canyon below. Anne and I have often joked about scaling down the hill to Wendy’s for a burger; the fast food place looks so close. There be coyotes, which wouldn’t bother us but could make a snack of our new-found friend.