Tag: street photography

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Guapo

Among the four-hundred ninety-three profiles in this series, thirteen, including today’s newcomer, live outside the neighborhood’s official boundaries: Buddies, CandyChill, CoalEnvy, JadeMonaMoophie, Ninja, PromiseSammy, and Tom and Jerry. Darth Mew initially belonged to the group, until later turning up in University Heights.

This morning, I passed Guapo (yep, real name) leashed by his mom along Adams near Arizona, which is the teensy-bit inside North Park. I met them while walking home from dropping off our car for routine servicing. We greeted, I passed then turned back asking if I could take his portrait.

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The Cats of University Heights: Pan

On the same property where nearly six years ago appeared the series‘ fourth and fifth felines—Skull and Biscuit—another surprised me on June 8, 2022. The Featured Image, taken with iPhone 13 Pro, shows still posture that made me think statue. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 32, 1/881 sec, 77mm; 4:50 p.m. PDT.

Only later did the animal move and, briefly, turn my way—long enough for a portrait using Leica Q2. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/500 sec, 28mm; 4:53 p.m.

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Grow Your Own

Along the fence of the house from which grapevines draped over the sidewalk (August 2021), today I saw something unexpected and presumably quite new—as the Featured Image and companions reveal. Little lending libraries with books are all over my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights (Examples: One, Two, Three, Four). But this is the first seen sharing seeds. Small supply there may be but hopefully growing. I know. I know.

Vitals: f/4, ISO 100, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 6:24 p.m. PDT. The trio comes from Leica Q2, and this one is composed as captured. I chose the angled view to diminish glare and reflection off the glass.

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Table Creature

Three minutes before sunset, 7:57 p.m. PDT, I came across a discarded table that piqued my interest, because the thing reminded me of an animal. You disagree? Be a kid for 10 seconds, put on your seeking-creatures-in-the-clouds mind, and take another gander.

The clinical term for finding animals, faces, and the like in clouds or other objects is Pareidolia. I’m not sure that applies to this table, for which no specific beast comes to my mind. Rather, I see something inanimate that could come to movement, when looking at the spacing of the legs and what could be a head sticking from the flat board body.

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The Cats of University Heights: Chocolate

Hey, that’s not Paws. Same window, different kitty. I shot portraits using Leica Q2 and iPhone 13 Pro, but the Featured Image comes from the cellular device; telephoto lens and 95-percent post-production crop wins the day. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 32, 1/622 sec, 77mm; 1:56 p.m. PDT, May 28, 2022.

The ninety-fourth feline found behind glass and/or screen earns nickname Chocolate for fur colors. She (or he) is a Snowshoe like Willow, yes?

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The Cats of University Heights: Arrow

In the driveway where I met Peohe in December 2017, a tabby appeared on April 25, 2022. He (or she) presumably belongs to the family that purchased the property sometime during the first two years of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 restrictions.

I used iPhone 13 Pro to capture the Featured Image and companion. f/2.8, ISO 32, 1/1488 sec, 77mm; 9:56 a.m. PDT. The other is same but 1/645 sec. Location: Mississippi Street, some place between El Cajon Blvd and University Avenue (I know where but won’t say).

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Juneteenth is a Terrible Name

The second celebrated Federal Holiday of the oddly-named Juneteenth is nearly over as I write. Oh, remembering the less formally-designated but also wide-celebrated: Happy Father’s Day to all the dads. My fingers are crossed that you’re happy being one and that the kids share the same sentiment.

Back to the other, the name unruly rolls off the tongue, doesn’t at all tell anyone what the celebration is for, and—go ahead and argue—poorly respects what the holiday represents. Quickly: On June 19, 1865, the Union Army rode into Galveston, Texas and announced the end of black slavery. Emancipation deserves better.

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The Pusher and the Biker

Four days ago, I came across Chris Gampat‘s The Phoblographer commentary “Manual Mode Is Overrated: A Popular, Unpopular Opinion“. Conceding that I am amateur at best, my tendency is to shoot semi-automatic by presetting aperture and fiddling with other settings only when necessity arises.

Chris tramps through several examples of missed opportunities. From the lede paragraph: “You raise the camera to shoot, very sure that you’ve got the decisive moment. But when you chimp the LCD screen, you notice the screen is pure white. Because you were in manual mode, your camera couldn’t adapt and you lost the moment. Had the camera been constantly adjusting the exposure itself, you would’ve probably captured the moment”. Okay, I might have some experience with that.

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Tattered Tome

March 7, 2022, along Howard Avenue, down the block from the University Heights library, I came across discarded, open book Basta!: Land And The Zapatista Rebellion In Chiapas by George A. Collier and Elizabeth Lowery Quaratiello. Copyright 1994 and 2005.

Say what? Published by Food First Books? Self-described, the organization “has been working to end the injustices that cause hunger since 1975…Food First has published over 60 books and hundreds of articles and research reports”. Ah, okay. Mottos like “where food justice grows” illuminate the group’s progressive politics and policies. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Juicy

So long ago that I can’t recall when, a tabby kitten looked out through the same spot. Glare prevented a portrait. But not on this sighting—and look who grew up! The ninety-third feline found behind door or window resides somewhere West of Park Blvd, but, ssh, I won’t say where.

I used iPhone 13 Pro for a fast Featured Image on May 31, 2022. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 50, 1/99 sec, 77mm; 10:45 a.m. PDT. I chose the nickname for being a synonym to succulent.

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The Cats of University Heights: Fabby

The ninety-second feline found behind door or window made an unexpected, and singular, appearance along the alley between Florida and Alabama, which makes the putty the eighty-ninth from the latter of the two streets to appear in the series. Perhaps I will see her again, but so far not since April 30, 2022.

I shot portraits using iPhone Pro 13 and Leica Q2, but the handset’s telephoto lens produced the better (e.g. larger-size subject) Featured Image. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 32, 1/602 sec, 77mm; 9:58 a.m. PDT.

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Coal

Surprise! Meet yet another beyond boundary beastie. A half-block into North Park along Meade, on April 10, 2022, my wife and I came upon a black that we assumed to be stub-tailed Ninja. But the shorthair had a long tail.

The kitty came close, rolled around, but accepted no pats—being skittish about vehicular noise (damn cars). But she (or he) hung around long enough for 11 photos captured using iPhone 13 Pro. The Featured Image and two companions are favorites. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 32, 1/227 sec, 77mm; 9:47 a.m. PDT. The others are same but 1/266 sec.