Tag: street photography

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Party Like Your Life Depends On It

Of all the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 oddities that I have seen, this sign might be strangest and yet most appropriate—punctuated commentary, whether or not the intention. The balloons suggest a birthday party, possibly for kids. You are welcome but be prepared for the consequences, especially if masks aren’t required. Meaning: You’re responsible for you.

I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image, today. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/400 sec, 28mm; 10:25 a.m. PST. Location: Somewhere along Maryland Street in San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood.

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The Cats of University Heights: Kittens

While walking along Mississippi Street, between El Cajon and Meade, today, I spotted a four-to-six-week-old kitten scurrying among an apartment building’s greenery then passing through the lattice panels beneath a corner cottage. Not long later, the tyke looked out suspiciously long enough for me to approach and capture the Featured Image, using iPhone 13 Pro. Do you see the rascal? Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 32, 1/2273 sec, 77mm; 12:02 p.m. PST.

When the shorthair vamoosed, so did I—only to see an adult black across the manicured space of an adjacent apartment building. The mom, perhaps? She hung out closer to the alley, so I walked around for a look (and some portraits).

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Bearly Sitting

Somebody give that bear a sobriety test. He looks stuffed—or should I say stiffed—limberly and gleefully slumped in the chair. The evidence of his overnight binge is gone, cleared out by someone collecting bottles and cans for cash recyclable redemption.

I passed by the oversized plushie along Panorama Drive in San Diego’s University Heights district. The walker in front of me grabbed a folding chair, smiling over her find and to me praising its good quality. She should expect no less from where are some of the community’s finest, and presumably wealthiest, homes. Giveaways here aren’t junk.

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The Cats of University Heights: Smokey (Maine Coon)

What a surprise! Today, when walking along Alabama, on a grocery run to Smart and Final, my wife and I met a gentleman and his two-year-old Maine Coon. While the gentle giant likely lives somewhere else in the neighborhood (I forgot to ask where), sighting location makes him the seventy-ninth kitty observed on the street between boundaries Adams and Lincoln.

Five features physically define Maine Coons: Ear tuffs and points, facial structure, fur coat, paws (big), and size (huge)—the latter they tend to reach at around age five or so. Smokey is classically Coon by all appearances, and I am not surprised: His owner says that the cat comes from Russia, because finding a purebred locally is challenging.

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The Cats of University Heights: Happy

The eighty-second feline found behind door or window lives on Lincoln Street, just inside the neighborhood border. I used iPhone 13 Pro to capture the Featured Image on Dec. 19, 2021. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 32, 1/1107 sec, 77mm; 10 a.m. PST.

This slumbering shorthair earns nickname Happy, because that’s what he (or she) appears to be and how I feel looking at him (or her). I wanted to use Nappy, referring to napping, before doing a dictionary check and learning that the word is an American axiom for diaper.

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Just a Reminder

This is what a pandemic looks like—only with body bags stacked up everywhere, assuming anyone survives to fill them. The Featured Image is a Halloween lawn decoration but nevertheless poignant reminder about what a viral apocalypse is and isn’t. I used iPhone 7 Plus on Oct. 31, 2017, near where Cleveland and Monroe meet in San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 20, 1/336 sec, 28mm; 12:05 p.m. PDT.

The reminder is necessary with so many people testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2) variant Omicron. Given the strain’s Measles-like communicability and the ridiculous amount of testing, which includes millions of at-home kits, the high numbers of positive infections aren’t surprising. Disruption of essential services and supply chains come from mandates that require the infected to quarantine, even when asymptomatic or mildly ill; citizens aren’t sicker just captive to public health policy. Nor are some overwhelmed hospital emergency rooms surprising, when news reports create climate of fear and primary care physicians or urgent care facilites direct those testing positive, or worried about having COVID-19, to ERs.

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The Cats of University Heights: Gazer

The series‘ sixth New Years kitty is not the one originally planned. While walking this morning with my wife, I spied a ginger gawking above us; what a vantage to survey and sun. This fine feline joins Lovely (2021), Gem (2020), Storm (2019), Norman (2018), and Chub (2017).

The Featured Image and companion come from iPhone 13 Pro. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 32, 1/499 sec, 77mm; 9:27 a.m. PST. The other is same but 1/513 sec, 10 seconds earlier.

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We End Twenty-Twenty-One with an Electric Story

The last post of the year fulfills one of my personal resolutions for 2021: Publish something here every day, and I have. The process proved beneficial for honing storytelling, which often constructed around one (or more) of my photographs. Rarely did I sit down to write with clear topic in mind; often the prose unfolded as a storytelling process anchored, sometimes loosely, by the illustration.

Similarly, my continual need to have something to write about encouraged me to look for objects to be topics, improving my photographic craft, too. I lack the sense of composition and style necessary to be a professional shooter. My eyes instead see stories in the things I capture. I stare in awe at the pros producing photos as art; I can’t.

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The Cats of University Heights: Cinnamon

For reasons, I can’t guess, most of the kitties seen along Cleveland Avenue and profiled in this series are gone. Let’s review them. Those known to have moved away: Fresh; Levi; Mika; MiniMisty; and Pepe. Likely moved: Black; Black and WhiteLeery; and MellowNot seen recently: CloverLiloPepper; and SleepyStatus unknown: Bell; Hunter; and MandyMissing: Fess (sad story). Special mention: Roly Poly; (second cat to appear in the series; presumed moved); Priscilla (who disappeared before the series started). Still resident: Tortie. That’s only one for certain among 21, plus our newest inductee.

I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image on Dec. 23, 2021. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6. ISO 100, 1/80 sec, 28mm; 9:08 am. PST. For color, this fine feline earns nickname Cinnamon

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The Road Less Traveled

The Georgia-Meade Bikeway, about which traffic circles I have negatively opined, nears completion—and certainly appears to be ready through the University Heights to Normal Heights portion. In observation, and preparation to write about the occurrence, I captured the Featured Image on Nov. 28, 2021. Vitals, aperture manually set for this and the two companion photos: f/8, ISO 100, 1/200 sec, 28mm; 9:59 a.m. PST.

The view looks down Meade Avenue from Georgia Street. The traffic circle at Alabama is clearly visible but barely the one at Louisiana two blocks beyond. Near the horizon to the right is the North Park water tower, which many locals regard as an essential navigational landmark.

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Annie and the Snowman

Merry Christmas! My wife poses with an inflatable along Madison Avenue, between Georgia Street and Park Blvd, in our neighborhood. I photographed kitty nicknamed Alcatraz nearby the same spot 10 months ago; early March 2021, the black and white appeared in my “Cats of University Heights” series.

I left Leica Q2 at home and so used iPhone 13 Pro to take the Featured Image—first of four and best of the lot. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 32, 1/328 sec, 13mm; 10:31 a.m. PST, today. As you can see, the snowman is quite large, and the smartphone’s wide-angle lens let me capture the inflatable and surrounding scene for context. We had heavy rain for the holiday. I’m dreaming of a wet Christmas…