Tag: Leica Q2

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The Cats of University Heights: Petri

Look who has a new neighbor: Lily and Maxie. I have seen Storm, once on the same block, while Giotto and Striker have moved away. But we count them anyway when introducing the forty-sixth sighted Alabama Street kitty. I met 12 year-old Petri and his delightful owner on Jan. 17, 2020. They moved to the neighborhood around Thanksgiving, after driving across America: Three days on the road, and the feline behaved bravely all the way.

The Featured Image, captured using Leica Q2, deserves some context. Petri’s mom and I talked for many minutes while he hung back by the front door. Later, when he ventured out, she asked if he would like some supper. Surely she has posed the question previously, if his reaction indicates anything. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/3.5, ISO 125, 1/50 sec, 28mm; 4:02 p.m. PST.

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The Cats of University Heights: Sparky

Occasionally patience pays, as is the situation with Sparky, whose name I learned today. We made brief acquaintance about 9 months ago outside the home where also lives Herbie, The Love Bug. I have seen the newcomer sometimes since but deferred adding him to the series in hopes of learning his identity and hearing his story. This morning, while walking with my wife, I saw both cats’ caretaker tending the lawn and asked her about him, finally.

She had been a volunteer at the San Diego Animal Shelter, which the County turned over responsibilities to the Humane Society on July 1, 2018. Because of feline overcrowding resulting from the switchover, some cats were scheduled to transition to the animal afterlife, so to speak, rather than to the new facilities. Sparky was on the kill list. That last day of June. Herbie’s owner quite literally saved him from the executioner, by sudden adoption. Conjure up whatever cliché movie moment you like, where a governor pardons someone on Death Row seconds before the lethal injection.

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The Cats of University Heights: Kip

Our New Year’s kitty, Gem, is the last subject photographed with my beloved Leica Q. We follow him (or her) with the first photograph from Leica Q2, which replaces the returned-for-refund Sigma fp that—had shooting experience been different—would have supplanted the Q.

Nicknamed Kip, which is British slang for nap, this ginger is the first of two from the same block of Campus Avenue and fifty-third featured from behind window or door. She looks cozy, eh? I shot the Featured Image at 8:41 a.m. PST, today. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/1000 sec, 28mm.

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The Cats of University Heights: Dash

I can’t recall exactly where in the neighborhood lives this tabby. Maybe Madison, approaching The Point, but there is no record, which typically would be a phone photo to GPS-identify location. There isn’t one. The feisty, focused feline moved along too quickly pursuing something. Many months later, my memory fades. I do recall passing posting a profile, in hopes of a better portrait and identification (from collar and name tag). Waiting is over.

I captured the Featured Image (warning: 18MB file) on June 23, 2019 using Fujifilm GFX 50R and Fujinon GF63mmF2.8 R WR lens, which I sold last week. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/150 sec, 63mm; 12:19 p.m. PDT. The cat earns nickname Dash, for his (or her) speedy departure and chase—given the foliage and time of day, lizard likely.

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The Cats of University Heights: Pace

Our second of five, consecutively-presented Alabama cats is thirty-ninth seen on the street between boundaries Adams and Lincoln, since the series‘ start in October 2016. For perspective, that works out to 14 percent of the 277 profiles published to date. I spotted the first felines there—on the same block and all on the same day—in September 2017: Itchy Valentino, Goldie, and Anthony. I frequently see the three still.

In fact, on July 7, 2019, as my wife and I walked by, Anthony trotted across his yard for some pats; guess he heard us talking and recognized our voices. As Annie bent down to oblige him, movement behind raptured my attention. The Tuxedo had a visitor, who wasn’t feeling friendly towards us. Ah, sorry for the interruption, kitty.

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The Cats of University Heights: Donuts

Eleven days ago, I spotted for the first time a handsome, and lanky, tiger tabby resting in the driveway of a home on Louisiana between Adams and Madison. While we greeted one another on other days, he presented best profile opportunity—and our Featured Image—during that first meeting.

I wanted to immediately add the shorthair to the series but waited, hoping to get his name. For the next week, I purposely walked by the property in search of an owner, whose acquaintance I finally made on May 15, 2018. The eleven year-old cat is Donuts—yes, plural, which makes sense to me, strangely. Donuts’ dad also is from Maine, but down south in Bethel (I grew up in Caribou). It’s a cultural thing. Your sweet thing isn’t singular but in abundance.

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The Cats of University Heights: Coon

Along Florida Street, near Adams Ave., is a house with spacious yard where live at least three fairly large felines—and quite possibly, from reviewing photos, four, if not more. Two days ago, we met the tiger tabby nicknamed Wily. The second, I call Coon. If not a Maine Coon, the longhair is size of one.

Among the three different confirmed cats, Coon is the most frequently seen round about the yard. I have stalked the kitty for more than a month, seeking the right portrait—a task that distance and reach of the Leica Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens hampers. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Burglar

Our newest addition to the series verifies the not-so-old-adage that the best camera is the one with you. Because of the shocking number of Alabama kitty sightings, I now regularly include the street in my regular walking route, looking for more. Few days back, as dusk settled into night, I barely made out a white cat with orange markings sitting in a yard; photo wanted. But as I approached the fence, a dog barked from inside the house. There really wasn’t enough light to use iPhone X, anyway, so I gave up.

Twice yesterday, I walked by the property, hoping to see the beastie again. On the second go, the furball approached from the cross street strutting quickly down the sidewalk my way. Paying no attention to me, the kitty scooted into a yard. By the time I came up to the corner of the fence, iPhone X already out and camera app open, the cat had reached the house and started climbing up the side of the building to a window ledge—or so it seemed. I wrongly assumed that the meowing feline asked to be let in. Failing to understand what was transpiring, I missed the perfect shot—or series of them. Nevertheless I got something memorable, because of the smartphone’s camera.

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The Cats of University Heights: Johnny

The series exits from hiatus, during which my family changed residences in the neighborhood. It’s catchup time! We resume with a Coon-like beauty who reminds me of our long-lost Kuma. But the nose, and his distinctive scar, are missing. I nickname the pretty feline Season, for no particular reason.

We encountered each other, from a distance, on Oct. 11, 2017, as I walked from Park Blvd. The cat traipsed up a hill as I approached but stopped long enough for 10 fast portraits shot with iPhone 7 Plus. The Featured Image is a close-crop, meant to give illusion of being in the wild. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 20, 1/1030 sec, 6.6mm; 11:34 a.m. PDT. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Betty

Some furballs lap up the attention, which I’m happy to give. But their need can really muck up the portraiture, which is the case with Betty (her real name), whom I visited on Nov. 11, 2016 in the alley behind North Avenue up from Madison.

Among the 10 photos shot with Fujifilm X-T1 and Fujinon XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS lens, this is the only truly usable one; it’s marginal, but I want Betty to participate in the series. Featured Image vitals: f/4.5, ISO 6400, 1/58 sec, 21.4mm. I cropped and auto-tuned White Balance in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. The JPEG is converted from RAW. I captured the moment at 5:01 p.m. PST, about 12 minutes after sunset.