Tag: Leica Q2 Mono

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The Sleeper

I rarely photograph San Diego homeless, as a silent sign of respect. But, today, one gentlemen so surprised me that I felt compelled to take the shot—well, several. Walking East on Meade Ave., I saw him sleeping on the sidewalk across the way, where Mission cuts diagonally—think 45 degrees—from the intersection at Park Blvd.

The sleep mask is what intrigued me. He looked so unusually comfortable, lying on the cement, which was surprising, too. Foot and vehicular traffic is fairly brisk, and noisy, on a Friday afternoon; then there is the bus stop—a couple meters away, at most. Yet he looked so serene and lay motionless, but in an open space where homeless are otherwise uncommon.

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Pop Pie at Night

T long-delayed ophthalmologist appointment finally occurred today. That meant massive dilation to check my optical implants. My pupils were massively large, such that the iris in each eye rimmed so thinly that my best analogy is the muted corona around last month’s total solar eclipse.

As such, I spent most of the day indoors, hiding from sunlight, and only ventured outside after dark—and what a glorious evening, too. Mild: 16 Celsius (61 Fahrenheit). Despite temporarily impaired vision, I brought along Leica Q2 Monochrom.

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Be a King or Queen for a Night

While black-and-white photography might seem, ah, colorless, it is striking coming from Leica Q2 Monochrom. Take, for example, the Featured Image, which is sharp edge to edge. Pixel-peepers, please, go for it—and to assist you the companion capture is a close-crop for your perusal.

Vitals, aperture manually set: f/8, ISO 200, 1/160 sec, 28mm; 2:31 p.m. PDT, April 2, 2024. The original is composed as shot. Venue: Lafayette, the recently remodeled, iconic hotel located in my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights.

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Changing Priorities

With increasing mayhem—everything from armed robbery to migrant mischief to unpredictable homeless encounters—self-protection gurus council people, particularly among vulnerable populations like older folks, to practice situational awareness. Stated simply: Pay attention to your surroundings.

Most people are clueless, at least around my San Diego neighborhood. Every day, I see dozens and dozens of folks, many of them walking dogs, wearing Apple AirPods—and thus tuning out by tuning in, so to speak. They don’t pay attention—as they should, if for no other reason than the increased amount of traffic precipitated by increased population density. Previously quiet streets suddenly are quite congested.

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Doll and Books

Because Cali overtook my lap—and I let her—posting is later than planned and topic changed. Please pardon another black-and-white Featured Image—from Leica Q2 Monochrom. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/4.5, ISO 200, 1/3200 sec, 28mm; 1:01 p.m. PDT, March 26, 2024. Composed as captured.

I came upon the doll and collection of reference books—put out free for the taking—while walking along Madison Ave within the corridor where North Park wedges between San Diego neighborhoods Normal Heights and University Heights.

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Graffiti Booth

This morning, my wife and I visited with the owner of Guido and Little and long-lost neighborhood favorite Bruce; all three appear in my “Cats of University Heights” series. Meanwhile, despite her disconcertion, tree cutters ravaged her rental property’s plants and trees; landlord’s doing.

Chitchat bounced about topics and somehow trapsed upon payphones—or the lack of them; their disappearance. Coincidentally, on March 26, 2024, I photographed the remanent of one in black and white at the corner of Howard and 30th in North Park.

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The Sitter

I had planned to close-crop the Featured Image but altered after looking at the context in relation to some past posts (follow the links). The young women sits on a wall alongside the Sprouts market; that sidewalk stretch is a frequent homeless hangout.

To the far right is the entrance to the local library’s book sale room, which is open the third weekend of every month. My recent purchases include the first five volumes of Talk to Me in Korean and ye olde history books.

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Whom Do You…

The answer related to the Featured Image is easy: No one. I am a fact-oriented journalist, who trusts nobody—nor should you in this era of mass misinformation. With perhaps the exception of Matt Taibbi, there isn’t a soul among my profession whose news reporting I would accept as factual—that is without some independent verification of my own.

We live at a time when commentary and editorialization—narratives, if you prefer—supplant real reporting. Everyone is an armchair analyst with an opinion, and not enough emphasis is placed on gathering facts and assembling them into a meaningful story that unfolds some current event or reveals something legitimately in the public interest.

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A Fine Fence

There is a purity to black-and-white photography that can make the mundane more—or at least, not less. The Featured Image, captured with Leica Q2 Monochrom, is today’s proposed proof. I unlikely would have stopped to shoot the fence in color, which would have distracted from the rather plain object.

But B&W draws attention to the straight lines of the wood, and even to the structure’s apparent purpose: To protect the tree, which could attract dogs and their owners willing to let the mutts defecate or urinate either upon the grass or at the trunk. Park Blvd in San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood bustles with pedestrians and leashed animals. The simple fence is purposeful.

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By the Grace of God

Along Park Blvd, barely outside my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights, is a church I hadn’t stopped to regard—until yesterday. I simply don’t walk that way often enough to have noticed the stately structure.

Near as I can gather from the official website, Grace Lutheran is a family-oriented, traditional Christian church located in an area where other places of worship cater more to the licentious, cultural mob than to God.

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The Featured Image is more brooding than it needs to be, but the mood remembers what was—and thankfully—what is gone. From before our October 2007 relocation to San Diego until September 2015, The Crypt—a goth, fetish, sadomasochist, sex shop—occupied the corner retail space at Park Blvd and University Avenue. The place closed for failure to pay rent.

The storefront stayed vacant—cursed, if you ask me—for another almost six years. MJ’s Cyclery is the current tenant; refreshing change, too. As the city removes motorized vehicle parking spaces to make more bike lanes, lifestyle and sales opportunities open up for cycle shops.

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More Music in the Park

The day’s mild weather got me looking at past outdoor photos of people gathered together. The Featured Image is a discard for post “Bluegrass and Monochrome“. The close-crop comes from Leica Q2 Monochrom on July 22, 2022. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/4, ISO 200, 1/160 sec, 28mm; 7:33 p.m. PDT.

Setting: Old Trolley Barn Park in San Diego neighborhood University Heights. The community sponsors a concert series for four Fridays every summer—but interrupted during SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 restrictions.