Tag: Leica Q2

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Let the Music Begin

This evening, after a two-year hiatus because of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns (and fear), Friday-night Trolley Barn Park musical concerts resumed here in University Heights.

I passed by minutes before the players took the stage and while people settled in for a pleasant evening shared listening and commiserating. Temperature was a comfortable 22 degrees Celsius (72 F). Even now, as I write, 20 degrees (68 F) refreshes park-goers.

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The One That Remains

Two days ago, I shared with you a palm pair on Oregon Street in North Park; the shorter of the two had been marked by city contractors for removal. More by chance than planning, my wife and I walked by the location this afternoon; the tree infested with South American Palm Weevils is gone.

The other must be healthy because it still stands, as you can see from the Featured Image. Vitals: f/1.7, ISO 100, 1/8000 sec, 28mm; 3:50 p.m. PDT. I used Leica Q2 to make two street shots, choosing the cropped top to include the magnificent, sprawling shadow.

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The Fourth on Fifth Avenue

For an errand, this afternoon, I walked from my neighborhood of University Heights to Hillcrest and back. To celebrate Independence Day, the city put out American flags. The Featured Image captures two on Fifth Avenue beside one of the many controversial, and new, bike lanes.

San Diego is in the process of transforming select streets to connect a regional bikeway. The idea is to gain, ah, independence from carbon-emitting vehicles by encouraging more pedal power. Oddly though, hybrid electric or motor bikes are suddenly everywhere, which makes me wonder about the strategy. One reason: Those riders tend to avoid the bike lanes and flow with traffic; the partially powered two-wheelers are too fast-moving.

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Mourning Moment

As my wife and I walked up Meade Avenue in North Park, today, a sickly palm caught my attention. Crossing Oregon Street, I saw a white X on the right tree, indicating that city workers had marked it for removal. I am uncertain about the health of the other, but no marking indicates that it isn’t slated to be chopped down.

San Diego fights futilely to hold back advance of the South American Palm Weevil, which was observed along the Mexican border in 2011. The first infestations appeared five years later. The insects essentially infest the heart of the Canary Island Date Palm crown, destroying it.

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Guapo

Among the four-hundred ninety-three profiles in this series, thirteen, including today’s newcomer, live outside the neighborhood’s official boundaries: Buddies, CandyChill, CoalEnvy, JadeMonaMoophie, Ninja, PromiseSammy, and Tom and Jerry. Darth Mew initially belonged to the group, until later turning up in University Heights.

This morning, I passed Guapo (yep, real name) leashed by his mom along Adams near Arizona, which is the teensy-bit inside North Park. I met them while walking home from dropping off our car for routine servicing. We greeted, I passed then turned back asking if I could take his portrait.

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The Cats of University Heights: Pan

On the same property where nearly six years ago appeared the series‘ fourth and fifth felines—Skull and Biscuit—another surprised me on June 8, 2022. The Featured Image, taken with iPhone 13 Pro, shows still posture that made me think statue. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 32, 1/881 sec, 77mm; 4:50 p.m. PDT.

Only later did the animal move and, briefly, turn my way—long enough for a portrait using Leica Q2. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/500 sec, 28mm; 4:53 p.m.

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Grow Your Own

Along the fence of the house from which grapevines draped over the sidewalk (August 2021), today I saw something unexpected and presumably quite new—as the Featured Image and companions reveal. Little lending libraries with books are all over my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights (Examples: One, Two, Three, Four). But this is the first seen sharing seeds. Small supply there may be but hopefully growing. I know. I know.

Vitals: f/4, ISO 100, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 6:24 p.m. PDT. The trio comes from Leica Q2, and this one is composed as captured. I chose the angled view to diminish glare and reflection off the glass.

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False Horizon

To mark the first day of Summer, last night I stood outside my apartment and pointed Leica Q2 towards the setting sun. Scattered clouds caught my attention, set against a view rapidly changing as existing homeowners and investors build new structures—smaller within backyards, larger replacing homes destroyed to make way for multiple-unit residences.

In post-production, I throttled up dehaze setting and punched blacks, highlights, and shadows to produce the Featured Image, which is composed as shot. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/8, ISO 100, 1/80 sec, 28mm; 7:53 p.m., or eight minutes before sunset.

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Juneteenth is a Terrible Name

The second celebrated Federal Holiday of the oddly-named Juneteenth is nearly over as I write. Oh, remembering the less formally-designated but also wide-celebrated: Happy Father’s Day to all the dads. My fingers are crossed that you’re happy being one and that the kids share the same sentiment.

Back to the other, the name unruly rolls off the tongue, doesn’t at all tell anyone what the celebration is for, and—go ahead and argue—poorly respects what the holiday represents. Quickly: On June 19, 1865, the Union Army rode into Galveston, Texas and announced the end of black slavery. Emancipation deserves better.

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The Pusher and the Biker

Four days ago, I came across Chris Gampat‘s The Phoblographer commentary “Manual Mode Is Overrated: A Popular, Unpopular Opinion“. Conceding that I am amateur at best, my tendency is to shoot semi-automatic by presetting aperture and fiddling with other settings only when necessity arises.

Chris tramps through several examples of missed opportunities. From the lede paragraph: “You raise the camera to shoot, very sure that you’ve got the decisive moment. But when you chimp the LCD screen, you notice the screen is pure white. Because you were in manual mode, your camera couldn’t adapt and you lost the moment. Had the camera been constantly adjusting the exposure itself, you would’ve probably captured the moment”. Okay, I might have some experience with that.

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A Good Reason to Work From Home

At one of the pricer area filling stations, located where Fourth and Washington meet in San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood, the price of gasoline approaches mountaineering heights. Grab your gear and head for the summit of cash required to fill the tank. For context, rounding to the nearest buck, customers paid $6.60 per gallon on May 27, 2022 and $4.94 on Oct. 15, 2021 at this location.

On the same day as the Featured Image, June 8, 2022, at my University Heights-located Valero, I filled up a half-tank for 30 bucks at $6.09 a gallon around Noon. Lady driving an Acura in the queue before my car paid $69 and some change. When I drove past a few hours later, posted price had jumped to $6.16.

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Bark Art

Trust the wife to have a good eye for the amazing. Today, while walking through Old Trolley Barn Park, which is located in San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood, Annie stopped to regard tree bark and photograph it with her iPhone 13 Pro. I almost walked past, ignoring her interest. But quick examination revealed a mesmerizing mosaic that could easily be a painting hanging in an art gallery.

When she finished her impromptu shoot, I set to work with Leica Q2. For the Featured Image, I used the Macro control—activated by turning a ring around the lens barrel. Vitals, aperture manually set for both: f/4, ISO 100, 1/50 sec, 28mm; 10:57 a.m. PDT.