Tag: people

Read More

The Last Christmas

On Dec. 22, 2018, I happened by New Vision Christian Fellowship during the latter portion of its Christmas celebration. Clueless me for not knowing what was going on in my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights. But my ignorance only started there. I also didn’t know that the church had sold the property to developers. This would be the last such gathering at the location.

I rather gingerly shot candids, using Leica Q, wanting not to intrude—particularly because of timing: Parents lined up with kids to receive presents of what kind I either didn’t see or simply don’t recall; being otherwise focused. None of the three shots is spectacular; their value is marking a moment passed that can never return or repeat.

Read More

A New Vision

We begin a series of posts looking at what was along Park Blvd between El Cajon and Meade in San Diego neighborhood University Heights and what replaces it. On most Friday afternoons, New Vision Christian Fellowship opened its doors to give away food. Long lines formed, with recipients largely making up two disparate demographic groups: The elderly and Hispanic families.

I used Leica M10 and Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens to capture the Featured Image and companion on April 27, 2018. Vitals for both: f/5.6 (guess), ISO 100, 1/500 sec, 50mm; 5:06 p.m. PDT.

Read More

Waiting to Buy an iPhone

On this exact date six years ago (also a Friday), Apple started selling Apple Watch Series 2, iPhone 7, and 7 Plus. Available as of today: timepiece Series 8 and Ultra; iPhone 14 and 14 Plus; iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. Starting price for new iPhones in 2016: $649. In 2022: $799 (14) or $999 (14 Pro). A maxed-out Max model, with 1TB storage, sets back buyers $1,599. Does anyone remember when a cheap laptop cost as much?

I used iPhone 6s Plus to capture the Featured Image on Sept. 16, 2016. People wait outside Apple Store Fashion Valley, San Diego, to buy the then newest gadgets. Vitals: f/2.2, ISO 25, 1/60 sec, 29mm; 7:51 a.m. PDT.

Read More

The Monumental Monarch

Queen Elizabeth II passed away today. Her death, at 96, marks the end of the United Kingdom’s longest reigning sovereign—70 years. Strangely, in the span of days, the nation has a new prime minister (Liz Truss) and constitutional monarch (King Charles III). A new future unfolds, but tonight we honor the past.

Elizabeth II brought quiet dignity and good manners to Buckingham Palace, all while burgeoning grace, exuding fortitude, demonstrating forbearance, and intelligently disseminating common sense—to wit. The Queen’s legacy, and that of her son’s as he ascends to the throne, is many: The 56 countries belonging to The Commonwealth, of which there are 2.5 billion people.

Read More

The Public Market

Before California’s governor shut down businesses, organizations, schools, and other establishments under the guise of combating SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19, my wife and I frequently visited Liberty Station in San Diego’s Point Loma neighborhood. The former Naval Training Center offers great space to walk around; I relished the green outdoor area with dirt paths, flanked by buildings of intriguing architectural style.

Nearly 30 months after the first of several “stay-at-home” orders and about a half-year since the last meaningfully oppressive mandates, we have yet to resume some pre-pandemic habits—like Liberty Station, which visit was so long ago that I can’t recall when.

Read More

The Band Played

I absolutely have no idea who these guys are. On March 3, 2019, I came upon a parade along The Boulevard in San Diego neighborhood University Heights that ended at the iconic Lafayette Hotel, where festivities continued, including this performance.

The Featured Image comes from Fujifilm GFX 50R and Fujinon GF63mmF2.8 R WR lens—a kit that I sold about eight months later. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/4, ISO 800, 1/60 sec, 63mm; 3:10 p.m. PST. Slower shutter speed introduces intentional motion blur. Composed as shot, the photo appeals to me for reasons I cannot explain.

Read More

The Gardener and Her Friend

A neighbor looks on Ash, one of the “Cats of University Heights“, who has come for some affection. He isn’t her kitty, but she knows him well. The homeowners, husband and wife, keep a beautiful butterfly garden, about which Monarchs are commonplace. Perhaps you recall the chalked “caterpillar crossing” on their sidewalk, a few months back.

The Featured Image is memorable for timing: Jan. 20, 2020. Days later, China locked down Wuhan to combat what would come to be called SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2) that manifests as disease COVID-19. The photo marks a moment of normalcy before a global response closed businesses and ordered citizens to shelter in place. Who could guess what would be?

Read More

Praising the 135mm

In a post dateline eight days ago, Phoblographer publisher Chris Gampat explains “What You Should Know Before Buying a 135mm Lens“. He describes my favorite Prime focal length: “a magical wonder for many photographers”; “optically speaking, no one looks bad on the other end of this lens”; “notoriously hard to get in focus”; and “render[s] super tight if you don’t have a lot of room”. Also calling 135mm a “pain”, he acknowledges: “I’ll admit they can create beautiful photos”.

If shooting an interchangeable lens camera, rather than fixed-28mm Leica Q2, I absolutely would favor 135mm. Honestly, I might go 85mm for close spaces but otherwise mainly use the longer focal length. I love 135mm.

Read More

Bluegrass and Monochrome

The third of four Friday live music concerts filled Old Trolley Barn Park this evening in my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights. Bluegrass greeted descending dusk as I arrived packing Leica Q2 Monochrom. I captured crowd shots—three, and share two.

As an afterthought, I pulled out iPhone 13 Pro for a single color composition, which I chose for the Featured Image. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 200, 1/99 sec, 77mm; 7:37 p.m. PDT.

Read More

Spidey Steaks

As I write, Preview Night is coming to a close at San Diego Comic-Con, which returns for a full festival following a two-year hiatus in response to SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19. The virus overshadows the show nevertheless. Attendees must wear face masks or other protective covering and provide proof of vaccination or negative Coronavirus test within 72 hours.

Interestingly, the popular culture event implemented those rules before recent rise in COVID-19 infections mainly caused by the BA.5 variant. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts SD County in a high-risk category, although deaths aren’t dramatically rising nor are hospitals overwhelmed. Case fatality rate is 0.64 percent, while most people infected show slight to no symptoms. Hey, just saying.

Read More

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.

Read More

Comic-Con’s Crazy COVID Conniption

To close out the month, and first half of the year, we connect the somewhat distant past with the not-so-far-off future. San Diego Comic Con returns July 21-24, 2022 with Preview Night on the 20th. The show floor, or break-out sessions, will look nothing like the Featured Image, taken seven years ago.

SDCC apparently didn’t get the memo that SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 is endemic and no longer pandemic. Locally, people move freely about without being required to wear masks, be tested, or verify vax status. Based on the official tally, the cumulative-calculated case fatality rate in San Diego County is 0.64 percent. Meaning: Your chance of surviving Coronavirus is better than 99 percent, while more than 85 percent of those infected likely show no symptoms.