Tag: Leica Q2

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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: Mimi

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 Tigger. 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: Lilly

Where do they come from—all these putty-tats on Alabama? I have spent more time walking along Campus, Cleveland, or Maryland, for example, and they can’t, combined, match the number of beasties living on—like the Lynyrd Skynyrd song—”Sweet Home Alabama”. Meet the thirteenth cat from the street to appear in the series; there are four others that I have sighted but not presented, for poor photographs or none yet made. Surely, there are more.

The others (so far): Bella, Burglar, Cal, Goldie, Itchy Valentino, Laramie, LupeMr. Kitty, MonkeyAnthony, Smokey, and Willow. The newest member of the SHA Club earns nickname Tipsy, because the tip of her tail is bent as if it had been broken but healed crooked. She wore a striking pink collar but without ID tag (damn it). The shorthair and I visited yesterday morning, about midway between Mission and Madison. 

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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.