Tag: San Diego

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The Cats of University Heights: Cocoa

As my wife and I walked up Maryland Ave. late yesterday afternoon, something hiding in the flowers caught my attention—and I missed the perfect portrait when the meower came out to greet us. The Featured Image isn’t from the feline’s first approach but second, when she temporarily moved up the steps, before coming back to the street for more pats. Vitals: f/3.6, ISO 200, 1/1700 sec, 35.6mm. I captured the moment using the Fujifilm X-T1 and XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS kit lens at 5:59 p.m. PDT, with Classic Chrome simulation set.

The day marked the first return to service for the digital camera. I boxed up the X-T1 and posted for sale on Craigslist twenty-nine days ago, after seeing selling prices for new hadn’t budged from $1,699—despite release of the X-T2. I decided to recover some of my investment, being satisfied enough with the Fuji X100F received on February 28th. About an hour-and-a-half before our couple’s walk, a potential buyer from Orange County contacted me. He wondered about the X-T1’s condition and probed on price, seeing as mine was so high ($1,100 in prime condition). He surprised me. The bottom had fallen, and I hadn’t seen: Adorama, Amazon, and B&H all are discounting the mirrorless-and-lens kit by $500. As such, no one, if anyone, would buy from me for even $900. It’s pointless giving up so much value; it’s a wonderful shooter. I unboxed the kit, attached Hard Graft Atelier Hang Camera Strap, and updated the body’s firmware to version 5.10. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Bonde

What could the owners possibly call this fine specimen? My nickname comes from our chance encounter, as I almost missed the kitty while walking down Monroe Ave. nearby North. The furball crouched just outside an open door, from which I could hear the television inside. I shot six photos at three different manually set apertures, using the Fujifilm X100F, with Velvia film simulation. I chose not to approach and risk causing a scaredy-cat calamity. The Featured Image is a 75-percent crop. Vitals: f/4, ISO 200, 1/105 sec, 23mm; 6:38 p.m. PDT.

I recognize the house, BTW. My wife and I walked through it in 2016, or perhaps the year before, when up for sale. Guess that means a new cat moved into the neighborhood—and I remain surprised finding more to add to this series

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The Cats of University Heights: Mellow

On the same block where is the three-legged Bengal, Mini, whom visited with my wife and I yesterday, and where was the hit-and-run tiger-tabby last week, there lives a Calico—or so we learned while walking down Cleveland Ave. this afternoon. She earns nickname Mellow, for letting me shoot so many photos over the course of three minutes. I tried various vantage points, seeking memorable composition, and the closest came in post-production cropping.

Like other recent captures, I used the Fujifilm X100F, with Velvia film simulation—perfect choice for the lingering lush green and red foliage following unusually heavy winter rains. Featured Image vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/280 sec, 23mm; 4:10 p.m. PDT. 

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Surfers in Black and White

The Fujifilm X100F is, conceptually, little different from the original that released in early 2011. Refinements are plenty, reaching the fourth generation (hence the F): focusing is way faster; sensor packs more megapixels (24 vs 12); and controls are more sensibly placed and functional, for example. But largely the same: overall retro-rangefinder styling; shape and size; emphasis on manual dial controls; leaf shutter; ND filter; dual optical and electronic viewfinders; and fixed f/2 lens, among others. Why change what is classic, and clever, from the start?

The Prime lens, matched with the 24.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS III sensor, delivers fantastic IQ (e.g., image quality). Surprisingly, the X100F is more an action-cam that conceptually is in league with interchangeable siblings X-Pro2 and X-T2. Focus finally is fast enough. I got a good taste of both qualities while shooting surfers from Pacific Beach pier. Some of the best captures are black and white, applying Acros film simulation in camera. The Featured Image and two crops following below the fold demonstrate. 

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A Day at the (Pacific) Beach

My wife and I hauled off to the closest tourist beach earlier today; one of her favorite bead stores had advertised a sale. While she shopped, I walked down the Pacific Beach boardwalk. At 11:11 a.m. PDT, I came upon a blonde, back turned, tapping on a smartphone. Her shapely thighs, wavy hair, and posture beckoned for a spontaneous, stealth shot (no face). I grabbed the Fujifilm X100F, right-shoulder slung on the ONA Lima strap, and framed the moment—when she shifted position and turned to face me just as I clicked the shutter. Did she psychically feel the camera?

The close-cropped “Accidental Portrait” is the result. That’s the PB pier off to the right, BTW. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/11, ISO 200, +0.33 ev, 1/250 sec, 23mm. All color photos in this post were purposely shot with Classic Chrome film simulation but accidentally with the positive value exposure compensation. 

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Knick-Knacks Paddywack

My mom was in the hospital earlier this week—and not for the first time in recent months. On March 29, 2017, I walked about the neighborhood while chatting with her on iPhone 7 Plus; left hand to left ear. Over my right shoulder, from the ONA Lima strap hung the Fujifilm X100F, which I am loving for its convenience, easy-carrying, and one-handed operation.

While ambling up a steep street, I spotted a cute arrangement of child collectibles nestled under a tree. Without interrupting the conversation, I pulled off the lens cap, spun the aperture ring from f/11 to Auto, turned on the camera, and clicked the shutter with my right hand—crouching down for better perspective as I looked through the optical viewfinder.