Tag: Leica Q2 Mono

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The Bug House

I don’t take out Leica Q Monochrom nearly often enough. Maybe intimidation is the reason—because black-and-white photography requires so much more attention to composition than perhaps my sensibilities seem capable of. But, this evening, with clouds covering the soon-to-setting sun, I hauled out the camera for a lower-light expedition.

Thing is, I didn’t get far before capturing the Featured Image; yes, dusk settled but nowhere near darkness. Vitals, aperture and shutter speed manually set: f/2, ISO 400, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 7:42 p.m. PDT, which was about 18 minutes before sunset.

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Be Ready for Face Mask Discrimination

Before the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns, my wife and I were devout Trader Joe’s shoppers. But we lost faith during the months when long lines of people waited to be blessed entrance into the small stores. Our attention turned to humbler grocery cathedrals Food4Less, Grocery Outlet, and Smart & Final, which welcomed our presence and provided as good (and often better) sustenance for considerably lower cost. But with California slowly reopening, we occasionally return to Trader Joe’s—more to reminisce while grabbing a couple bananas.

We also go there for rolls of quarters, as I did this morning. The previous two trips, when getting cash back and casually telling the cashier about my plans, I was told: “We no longer give out quarters”. But when I traipsed over to the service desk, the gracious employees willingly exchanged a Twenty for two rolls. Last time, the gentleman even opened their new cash storage safe—installed sometime during last year’s coin shortage and after the nearby Wells Fargo branch closed, and never reopened, because of the pandemic.

Something changed today.

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Five Years Later

Eldest daughter. Second born. Older twin. There are many more appropriate ways to describe my sister Annette but none more than loss. She unexpectedly passed away five years ago today. Left behind: Three children. All adults and parents of their own. Must be mentioned being Mother’s Day.

I used Leica Q2 Monochrom to capture the Featured Image, made from a print. The copy can’t be better than the original, which isn’t sharp. Maybe soft focus was the photographer’s intention; he or she is unknown. The re-creation is edited with a fair amount of noise reduction applied (due to ambient overhead lighting ISO is 16000).

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Day of the Dead Rabbits

Rushing out the door, on April 18, 2021, lugging Leica Q2 Monochrom, I stopped: suddenly seemed that our resin rabbits would look quite good in black and white. Hence the Featured Image. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/4, ISO 640, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 6:49 p.m. PDT.

On Halloween 2019, my wife repainted them in her version of a Day of the Dead motif. The cobwebs collected about them add ambience to the photo. Don’t you think? They are supposed to be creatures of the, ah, nice netherworld. Our bunnies were good and would never go to Hell. But they might stand guard.

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How I use a Camera Differently Than a Smartphone

On March 16, 2021, approaching the Vermont Street Bridge, I stopped for a single shot using Leica Q2 Monochrom. When wielding the camera, or my regular (e.g. color sensor) Q2, my habit is this: Stop, compose, capture one or two photos—single more likely, as is the case with the Featured Image. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/400 sec, 28mm; 11:21 a.m. PDT.

When handling iPhone XS, I point and shoot, with little to no regard for composition—typically taking four to six shots, minimum. One reason: The display isn’t easy enough to see in the bright San Diego sunlight. Additionally, when there is motion, such as a frisky feline for my “Cats of University Heights” series, the smartphone proves more able, because of its smaller size but big screen for fast, on-the-fly composition.

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Don’t You Mean Four Bucks?

Someone tell me where Joe Wallace lives, because I want to go there. Yesterday morning, I read his Wall Street Journal story, “Leap in Gas Prices Puts $3 a Gallon in Sight“, in state of disbelief. In sight, as in coming? Because here in San Diego, that reference means looking back. We passed three bucks a gallon well more than a month ago. In fact, before President Executive Order killed off the Keystone Pipeline, the price had been $2.86 for months—and that was up 30 cents from Summer 2020—at my local economy filling station.

“Gasoline prices at pumps in the U.S. hit an average of $2.88 a gallon over the past week, according to the AAA”, Joe writes. “In California, the most expensive market, average prices stand at $3.88, according to AAA”. Hours later, I shot the Featured Image, with Leica Q2 Monochrom, specifically to illustrate this essay. Granted, Chevron charges more than many competitors but not outrageously greater than the $3.88 at nearby Valero. 

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San Diego County Partly Reopens, But Not Soon Enough for Some Businesses

One year ago today, California bars, breweries, and eateries stopped serving customers indoors, shifting to delivery and take-out services only—as ordered by Governor Gavin Newsom. On March 19, 2020, he issued a “stay-at-home” order for all Californians that went into effect the next day. Restrictions would later lift only to be reimposednearly as harsh during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays as the pandemic‘s early-declaration days.

Today, after months of onerous prohibitions upon local businesses, San Diego County rose from the most restrictive tier, which permits malls and retailers to operate at 50-percent capacity; aquariums, churches, movie theaters, museums, restaurants, and zoos to allow customers indoors at 25-percent capacity; and gyms and hotels to operate at 10-percent capacity. Oh joy. Beat me with the stick, because it feels so good compared to the baseball bat you were whacking with.

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Fear is the Contagion

The four words of this essay’s title are exactly my reaction to learning about China’s massive quarantine for the Novel Coronavirus in late-January 2020. I warned my wife and anyone else to prepare for the spread of fear: How it would infect and disrupt distribution of goods and services; how panic would lead to supply shortages; how desperation might cause people to react violently. But following the World Health Organization declaring a pandemic, one year ago today, the outcome over 12 months is much worse than I expected.

Society didn’t suddenly break down from widespread contagion, like portrayed by Hollywood films and TV shows. Instead, the economic and social fabrics shredded over longer time, as well-meaning citizens obeyed orders to “shelter-in-place“, “social distance“, and close their businesses. My contention: When Science catches up with collated data, the forensic analysis will show that governments over-reacted with lockdowns that inflicted more harm than the virus that everyone feared. Meaning: The cure is far more damaging than the disease, which danger is overblown.