Tag: Leica Q

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The Cats of University Heights: Comfy

Along North Avenue, but on the other side of Monroe from where I recently saw Stark, a handsome shorthair slumbered, soaking up the afternoon sun. The kitty changed positions while I snapped several portraits using Leica Q, which nearly silent leaf shutter caused no disturbance. The Q is my venerable camera companion, now that the M10 has gone to a new owner—a story I should tell soon in a future post. My needs are better met with auto and manual focus options, and the rangefinder only offered the latter.

For hopefully obvious reasons, our sleeping beauty earns nickname Comfy. He (or she) reposed on a back porch next to a kitty house. The Featured Image is the last in a series of five shots—all cropped and solely edited to draw out highlights. Vitals, aperture manually set for street shooting: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/320 sec, 28mm; 2:17 p.m., today. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Grape

Strangely, feline sightings along Shirley Ann Place are rare. I have only ever seen two kitties outdoors, and you will meet both consecutively as the series resumes pace after a deliberate slowdown. The first earns nickname Triumph—chosen for posture and demeanor. Our first encounter was Sept. 24, 2018, sitting atop a recycle can. The Featured Image, from Leica Q, was captured the next day. Vitals: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/60 sec, 28mm, 5:42 p.m. PDT.

I shot the companion portrait, during the first meeting, using Google Pixel 2 XL. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 50, 1/289 sec, 4.459 mm; 8:30 a.m. The kitty has triumphantly presented several times since, but these two humble photos are the best ones so far. 

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Happy Halloween 2018!

I am mummified by how many apartments, condos, and homes in the neighborhood are dressed up for Trick-or-Treat day. Many of the decorations are elaborate, and about all are playful. Our Featured Image presents the front lawn inflatable that the owner of Bruce—one of the furballs from my “Cats of University Heights” series—put up; hehe, she paid five bucks for the thing 13 years ago during an after-Halloween sale.

The longhair tiger tabby is deliberately soft-focused, in this portrait captured on Oct. 17, 2018 at 6:29 p.m. PDT., or about 15 minutes after sunset, using low-light trooper Leica Q. Vitals, aperture and shutter manually set: f/1.7, ISO 1600, 1/125 sec, 28mm. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Alfredo

Some felines living around the neighborhood’s canyons have more than nine lives. Some survivors look like they have used them all but linger onward. Such is the case of Alfredo, a feral residing along the ravine at the Adams Ave. overlook—for an estimated 15 years. He was captured ages ago, neutered, and released. This afternoon, I encountered him for the first time since starting the series (two years ago this month) searching for food where E.T. usually eats. I snapped a dozen or so photos, using Leica Q, approaching closer and closer; someone occasionally spoke to the kitty as he meowed grovingly outside a security door.

The gent eventually came out with canned cat food, which despite hunger, Alfredo resisted. If you think the Featured Image portrays a sickly beast, you are right. Alfredo’s caretaker, who grew up in the house, believes the kitty has cancerous lesions around its nose and mouth—malady he has seen before among white furballs. The homeowner hopes to trap Alfredo. The technique is to put food inside the contraption that the cat can eat, then walk away. The food is pushed further inside each feeding until the cage door triggers. But he described Alfredo, no matter how famished, as “wily”—perhaps being cautious having been trapped and released as a youngster.

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The Cats of University Heights: Poise

Along New Jersey, where it intersects Meade and Monroe before Arch and parallel to Maryland, I met a fine tabby on June 30, 2017. I dscovered several portraits of the cat nicknamed Poise, like recently-profiled Prim, when archiving data from 15.4-inch MacBook Pro with Touchbar. About two months ago, Google Pixelbook replaced the Apple as my primary PC.

I captured the Featured Image at 7:33 p.m. PDT, using Leica Q. Vitals: f/3.2, ISO 100, 1/125 sec, 28mm. 

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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 Monroe, 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, July 14, 2018. Understandably, the original DNG RAW was heavily edited. I applied considerable noise reduction, among other tweaks, with Adobe Lightroom Classic CC.