Tag: Leica Q

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A Beloved Tree’s Last Day

One of our apartment’s main benefits: Abundance of urban wildlife visible from expansive windows. Directly across the street from my home office is a magnificent palm tree that is the block’s primary animal habitat. Dozens of birds, of various ilks, fly up into crevices throughout daylight hours all year long. Remember: San Diego is a climate of three Summer seasons: Early, Mid, and Late. Squirrels scurry up the trunk, chasing one another. Who knows what else lives there? Tomorrow, the city plans to remove the tree. I understand the reason but hate it.

According to University California San Diego, invasive, deadly South American Palm Weevils were “first detected in March 2016″—that’s locally. But agricultural experts identified the beetles’ encroachment along the Mexican border five years earlier. The insects essentially infest the heart of the palm crown, destroying it. The bad news from arborists Coastal Tree Care: “When left undetected, this damage is irreversible and will leave you with no choice but to remove your palm trees”. Judging from the topless trees I see in some of the canyons, and the speed with which the weevils appear to spread, infected trees must be destroyed as soon as they show symptoms. A month ago, the palm across the street looked normally healthy. No longer.

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Summer in the Park

No thanks to SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19, during 2020, University Heights Community Development Corporation cancelled concerts normally held Friday evenings throughout July into early August. Presumably, because I see nothing scheduled as […]

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Welcome to the San Diego Housing Boom (I Mean Bubble)

Gulp. San Diego home prices are skyrocketing far worse than my recent essays report. For some unexplainable algorithmic reason, a short news clip from the local Fox affiliate popped up in my YouTube feed, reporting rapid rise in the median home price. One year ago: $671,000. One month ago: $800,000. Currently: $825,000. The clip doesn’t cite a source and my quick online news search didn’t find one. By my math, the annual increase is 22.9 percent. Yikes.

Let’s look at one property on North Avenue in my neighborhood of University Heights. On Dec. 29, 2019, I captured the Featured Image, which because of uncharacteristic underexposure by Leica Q required extensive post-production correction and refinement. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 10:21 a.m. PST.

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This Building…

Is gone—and two others with it, a residence and auto-repair shop. The owner waged a war with graffiti artists, which he (or she) eventually won. The place was repainted several times, despite appearing to be derelict, before being leveled by (presumably) new owners. By all appearances, another fine cathedral of unaffordable housing will rise in the San Diego neighborhood of University Heights, at the corner of El Cajon and Mississippi across the street from BLVD North Park (located in UH, not NP).

I shot the Featured Image on Feb. 25, 2018, using Leica Q; many times since then, I planned to update with something showing more of the corner. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/200 sec, 28mm; 1:19 p.m. PST. Best I can offer for now is the first of two companion captures—a stuffed bear, sitting on the diagonal corner. Photo comes from Leica M (Typ 262) on March 31, 2018. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/9.5, ISO 200, 1/350 sec, 50mm; 11:47 a.m. PDT.

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A Bridge Apart

After my father-in-law passed away at age 95 in January 2017, my wife and I had more free time to spend together; we started taking local excursions about San Diego. Among our jaunts: Several to the Spruce Street Suspension Bridge, which is the Featured Image captured using Leica Q on May 27, 2017. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/2.2, ISO 100, 1/1000 sec, 28mm; 10:12 a.m. PDT; composed as shot.

Now that San Diego has entered the Orange Tier for loosening restrictions imposed by Governor Gavin Newsom in response to SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19, Anne and I will get out more—perhaps to the bridge and there capturing some vertigo-inducing photos.

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The Cats of University Heights: Leery

I continue to review older, unpublished photos and reconsider some of them for the series. The Featured Image, captured on June 28, 2017 using Leica Q, earns a place after I played around with several cropped compositions. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 4:45 p.m. PDT. Nickname: Leery.

I don’t even recall taking this one but see why the rejection. Nearly four years later, subtle improvements in my craft and adapted attitudes about what makes an acceptable portrait lead me to look differently at the grey being partially obscured. The foliage, grass, and shadows are emotional elements—immediately transportive for anyone whose house and yard looked anything similar. Something else appealing: The scene doesn’t look, or feel, anything like San Diego—no cactus, palm trees, or succulents.

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Why is Hollywood Obsessed with Viral Armageddon?

I really want to know. That sentence, the title, and a short list of TV Shows about viral epidemics is as far as this post proceeded when I started it on April 26, 2016. I meant to come back many times over the nearly five years since and really regret the failure following the World Health Organization’s declaration of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 as a pandemic on March 11, 2020.

Still contemplating writing this essay, but not getting to it, I shot and edited the Featured Image on June 11, 2017. San Diego’s Museum of Man (since then renamed to “Us”) featured exhibit “Cannibals: Myth & Reality”. With so many of the virus movies or TV series focused on Zombie apocalypses, the exhibit artwork seemed so perfect illustration. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/1000 sec, 28mm; 2:07 p.m. PDT, Leica Q.

Half a decade later, I wonder: How much did pandemic feature films and TV shows create soil for COVID-19 to grow into a state of global fear—and, as I will opine in six days, far exceeds the real risk posed to the majority of people; whether or not they are infected? Surely, you can guess my answer.

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The Halloween House

Continuing the walk down nostalgia lane, in my San Diego neighborhood, we go out of season—back before SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns tempered some holiday decorating. I used Leica Q to capture […]

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The Tree Tragedy

I can’t speak for my wife, but to me a pair of benefits marshaled my interest in choosing our current apartment: The front windows and what I call the “squirrel tree” majestically before them—as expected, providing plentiful wildlife entertainment for our cats Cali and Neko to watch; for the humans, too. Yesterday, the management company overseeing the property snuffed out magic, and life.

Time is immeasurable this year, thanks to triple-P: pandemic, politics, and protests (e.g., SARS-CoV-2, severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2, also known as COVID-19; Election 2020; and racial riots). As such, I don’t recall how long ago the building manager spoke to me about the tree—two or more months, seems like). He said that the perennial would likely be dramatically trimmed back; being top heavy, the branches pulled the trunk into brickwork before it (see first photo). Some discussion drifted to removal, which I opposed, promising in threatening tone: “The day they cut down that tree is the day I give notice”.

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Flickr a Week 30: ‘Bengal Cricketers’

The week goes to a street shot not for what it is but for what it isn’t: The choice selection from the Photostream of Pietro Tranchida. While week-worthy, self-titled “Bengal Cricketers” isn’t the best example of his art; the eye-poppers are designated All Rights Reserved, and this series only uses images that are released under a Creative Commons copyright.

That said, there is much to like about the sporty pic—for bokeh, clarity, composition, sense of motion, and the camera used: Leica Q, which is not typically an action-associated shooter. But, hey, capable hands work wonders. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/1000 sec, 28mm; Sept. 20, 2017.

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The Cats of University Heights: Hope

SInce shooting the Featured Image and its companion on Oct. 3, 2017, I have long considered adding the tabby to the series but refrained. The mesh on the patio that turned it into a catio obscured too much, particularly given distance away. But like Candor, the kitty earns a place, on reconsideration; he (or she) is the third presented catio cat (King and Jester are the others).

The furball earns nickname Hope, for longing look and my hoping that the beastie still lives in the apartment (unlikely), which is along Carmelina Drive and behind Old Trolley Barn Park. I used Leica Q and iPhone 7 Plus to capture both portraits, respectively. Vitals for the first: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/250 sec, 28mm; 10:08 a.m. PDT. The other: f/2.8, ISO 20, 1/297 sec, 6.6mm; 10:04 a.m.