Tag: San Diego

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Sigma fp and the Stormy Day

Torrential rains and overly-gusty winds pelt San Diego this Thanksgiving Day. I mark the moment with the first photo from Sigma fp and 45mm F2.8 DG DN | C lens. The last letter refers to “Contemporary”. The kit arrived last week, but I waited to take the first shot—so that it would be memorable, which it’s not. I put the quest for the Holy photo behind me and set instead to practical matters.

The Featured Image is a nearly 100-percent crop of the companion pic. The water droplets on my home office window serve as a quick test of the fp’s autofocus capabilities and image quality—how much detail is revealed. The Fujifilm GFX 50R and Fujinon GF63mmF2.8 R WR lens, which I sold over the weekend, spoiled me with respect to IQ. The Sigma shooter satisfies so far—not that one pic is much of a measure. But, hey, miniature palm trees within the  droplets encourage me.

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The Cats of University Heights: Meadow

Happy Thanksgiving! Our series returns with a many months-old portrait that is outdated. The kitten is an adult now—still quite frisky, quick-footed, and playful enough that I can’t capture a moment better than this one. So here we are, near the end of November, presenting a Featured Image from Feb. 25, 2019.

The feline frolics around where can be found Blue, Blue Two, Chub, and Valentine. The kitty earns nickname Meadow, for the lush greenery that surrounds it. The photo comes from Fujifilm GFX 50R and Fujinon GF63mmF2.8 R WR lens, which I sold last week. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/105 sec, 63mm; 11:09 a.m. PST.

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Hey, Let’s Throw Some Dirt Bikes in Back and Go Ridin’

For about a week last month, I passed by this truck parked on the adjacent street from our apartment. San Diego has a 72-hour limit for staying in one location, and the day I captured the Featured Image, the city’s parking patrol had placed a pink warning notice on the windshield. Since, the vehicle is off-street outside a nearby apartment building.

Vintage vehicles are quite common in Southern California, which sunny climate extends their potential lifespans compared to states like, say, Maine or Virginia, where harsh humidity or precipitation are aging elements. Consider this other long-lifer, a Rambler remembered with kitty Nelson from my “Cats of University Heights” series in December 2017. Months later, someone placed a “for sale” sign in the rear window. In another universe, an alternate version of me bought that classic.

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The Cats of University Heights: Hero

This profile breaks a steadfast rule: Only spotlight felines that live in the neighborhood; those that move away or pass away are ineligible from participating in the series. Problem: The ginger was a resident when I captured the Featured Image, on July 19, 2019, using Fujifilm GFX 50R and Fujinon GF63mmF2.8 R WR lens. His family relocated before I could clear enough of the backlog of photographed, but unpublished, kitties.

Because the beastie was frenemy with Zero, and is missed by the black, he earns exemption and nickname Hero. He lived on Georgia, between Madison and Monroe, in an apartment building across the street from Zero and the new home of Reddy, whose current caretaker has renamed Jinx. Photo vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/240 sec, 63mm; 3:54 p.m.

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The Cats of University Heights: Zero

Three years ago today, I started this series with photo of an apparent stray nicknamed Scruffy. In a neighborhood with a bazillion dog walkers, I expected to exhaust the potential population of felines within 30 days—perhaps a few weeks longer, if lucky. How many cats could there possibly be in woof-woof paradise? Thirty-six months later, not only is this thing still going but should I choose to continue (maybe to that) a backlog of unpublished kitty portraits waits on camera(s) and computer. Quite deliberately, Zero’s profile is 300th; but I waited too long to tell his story and that of his mates.

Our tale begins on July 12, 2019, when, while walking along Georgia Street, I spotted a sleeping, sunning ginger who looked lots like Reddy—and on the wrong side of Madison, which is treacherous for people to cross let alone animals. So I purposely returned over the next several days to see; one week later, he appeared, along with two other beasties.

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The Cats of University Heights: Spunky

I can’t say why—because the composition, presented as shot, demands recropping—but this portrait appeals to me as is; oh-kay, I tweaked highlights and brilliance, but little else. Something from the backlog of unpublished profiles should go first, and I typically wait to get the real name when the beastie wears collar and tag. For now, I’ll call the kitty Spunky and move him (or her) to front of queue.

We briefly crossed paths on Oct. 9, 2019 along Lincoln, where it parallels Washington, which the Vermont Bridge crosses over. Along the same street stretch, which is a boundary between the neighborhood and another (Hillcrest), you might also see: CoolDainty, Glass, KittyLittle Miss, or Sky. The Featured Image comes from iPhone XS. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/144 sec, 52mm; 3:55 p.m. PDT.

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The Cats of University Heights: Chums

Among the 298 profiles in the series, nine others feature multiple animals. This one should show three beasties, but I only snatched shots of two. Barely. On June 18, 2019. The group hasn’t presented since, so after long delay—and dashed hopes of getting names from their tags as well as better portraits—here we are.

They’re preceded by (listed alphabetically, rather than chronologically):  Bonded Pair, BuddiesFerals, FriendsGazers, Georgia TwainMates, Siamese Twins, and Twain.

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The Cats of University Heights: Kitty (Oh, Boy)

The house,  editorial style for this series is one animal name, single-use only. But that approach stumbles when repeats appear—owner-given, not something I made up when not knowing the real one. Consider Charlies One, Two, Three, and Four as nomenclature nightmare examples. That brings us to our second Kitty, and gender switcheroo—the other being female.

I met Kitty and his owner on Sept. 9, 2019, while walking along Lincoln, between Maryland and Vermont, from the grocery store. He has been with her for about three years—and, if I rightly recall, the Tuxedo was abandoned by someone (or some family) who moved out of the neighborhood. Funny how these cat sightings are: I began this series around the same time the owner started caring for Kitty, and I have walked by the property many dozens of times since without seeing him. No wonder the number of furballs is seemingly constant.

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The Cats of University Heights: Namaste

On Sept. 11, 2019, setting out for a reminiscent walk recollecting the national calamity 18 years earlier, I consciously chose to leave behind a digital camera. The decision meant unexpectedly using iPhone XS to take portraits of Namaste, stretched out and shaded under a car. Grumble. I have returned since, several times, but the kitty hasn’t re-presented for better-quality shot.

According to Wikipedia, Namaste is a Hindu greeting, meaning: “I bow to the divine in you”. And, yes, that is the kitty’s real name, as reported by the owner who put the animal’s age at about one year. Namaste lives along Adams Ave., nearby E.T. and the now-deceased Alfredo and Shadow. Vitals for the Featured Image: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/489 sec, 52mm; 9:34 a.m. PDT. Other is the same, except for 1/484 sec.

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The Cats of University Heights: Jedi

Amassing a backlog of unpublished kitty pics isn’t all bad. Delay posting the Featured Image generated opportunity to add some unexpected, and opportune, companions—all captured using iPhone XS. Vitals for the first, from July 3, 2019: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/197 sec, 52mm; 5:30 p.m. PDT. (Metadata records 6mm, but I now state film equivalent.)

Initially, I thought the black and white might be Boss, who lives on the same block of Louisiana. Fleeting sightings followed before one quite unexpected on September 3. As my wife and I walked along, Darth Mew ambled up purring and demanding attention. Presumably, he is companion to Princess Leia, who also resides on the street. He left us and moved unthreateningly into the driveway of the apartment building where lives the shorthair beastie, who hissed at the intruder.

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The Cats of University Heights: Steppy

Way, way, way behind with photographed furballs, my slow catchup begins with a Tuxedo sighted in the alley between Louisiana and Mississippi on Aug. 17, 2019. I haven’t seen the beastie since, but there is plenty of evidence: Cat scratcher put out in the morning and food/water dishes in the afternoon. As acceptable as the iPhone XS-snapped Featured Image is, a camera-captured portrait should be so much better. So I will keep looking.

I nickname the kitty Steppy, for location seen. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/165 sec, 52mm; 5:39 p.m. PDT. Metadata records 6mm, but I henceforth will state film-equivalent for Apple device shots.