Tag: street photography

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The Cats of University Heights: Paws

The Featured Image of our sixty-second putty seen behind window or door won’t win awards—or even be considered for one. The make-do portrait is from a single sighting, and I failed to note exactly where. My guess is somewhere on the West side of Park Blvd. I used Leica Q2 to capture the moment, Adobe Lightroom Classic to crop and edit, and DXO ViewPoint 3 to align the perspective of vertical and horizontal lines. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/1250 sec, 28mm; 12:50 p.m. PST, Nov. 22, 2020. As the shooting date reveals, we’re still working through the backlog of photographed but unpublished kitties.

The tuxedo earns nickname Paws for the distinctive black color between its toes. The contrast is becoming.

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The Cats of University Heights: Dido and Dodger

I profess ignorance about the ways which feisty felines negotiate territory. Two cats regarding one another is a commonly observed occurrence, particularly as the neighborhood’s demographics change—and the number of kitty owners increases. Last week, I passed by newcomer Pepto standing on the fence outside the home where lives long-time resident Daniel Tiger, who sat back-to on a table in his front yard. Likewise, Ash and Nelson often are seen together. All four have different owners.

On Nov. 10, 2020, I observed a new territorially tense pair somewhere on the West side of Park Blvd. Because the house number is so prominently displayed, I won’t disclose location—other than to note that a “For Rent” sign stood outside the property on that sunny morning. Both beasties had collars and tags, but neither would let me approach close enough to read their names. For now, let’s call the black Dido and the tiger Dodger.

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The Cats of University Heights: Bello

My short-lived time with Leica M10 started in early April 2018 and ended the first week of October of that year. The days are many that I regret letting go the camera. My consistent inability to precisely manually focus prompted my decision to sell. However, a change in eye glasses later—and addition of prisms to the prescription—and my vision is probably more than satisfactory for the task. Sigh.

On April 26, 2018, I spotted Tink inside her window and stopped to practice portrait focusing with the new camera. The Featured Image is the first of seven shots, with Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens attached to the M10. Vitals, aperture unknown: ISO 100, 1/1500 sec, 50mm; 9:38 a.m. PDT. In post-production, I used DXO ViewPoint 3 to align the perspective of vertical and horizontal lines.

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Bicycle Brigade

I am ambivalent about the Featured Image and companion, both taken using Google Pixel 3 XL on Dec.8, 2018. Neither means any more than capturing an unexpected moment. I don’t know why the bicycles barreled down University Ave. past Mississippi Street towards Alabama and Florida in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood on that Saturday afternoon. I do recall being miffed at myself for not shooting video and for being disappointed with the seven shots taken.

The best of the lot has the bicyclists approaching with a billboard behind them advertising the local dispensary, which I won’t promote and can’t crop out adequately enough. So that’s awash. The first of the two pics that you see was previously discarded because of the biker partially shown to the right. But on reconsideration, the contrast is worthy-enough, subtle storytelling—the brigade of cyclists easily riding down the hill set against the loner peddling up and out of view (granted, you don’t see the banana bike, but his posture is seated sure enough). He is dressed in street clothes and backpack; they don fancy road jerseys and shorts or pants.

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The Cats of University Heights: Peach

Along Meade, at the corner of North, I witnessed something new to me: A kitten being walked on a leash (and not exactly loving the restraint). The owner of Peach says that they live on Louisiana, where there are lots of cats. I mentioned the orange and white, Pepto, whom the gent knew—and he adequately described fluffball Darth Mew. Daniel Tiger and Huck also live on that block; among others.

I used iPhone XS to capture the Featured Image—the only usable shot from nearly a dozen taken. Peach was excited and energetic, moving about too quickly for the Apple device to keep up. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 25, 1/2208 sec, 26mm (film equivalent); 3:07 p.m. PST, Feb. 4, 2021.

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The Cats of University Heights: Clover

I am no expert in the ways of territory—how kitties define and defend it or permit another animal’s presence. Throughout the neighborhood, I will see cats regarding one another, sharing space in fairly close proximity without otherwise challenging or engaging. Such was the occurrence on Feb. 2, 2021, when an intruder sat some distance from the beauty that I call Tortie; in her yard.

The newcomer earns nickname Clover; I couldn’t approach close enough to read the name tag. I used Leica Q2 to take the Featured Image. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 125, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 3:04 p.m. PST. The companion, captured using iPhone XS, is better composed but nowhere near as sharp. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/139 sec, 52mm (film equivalent): 3:06 p.m.

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The Sun’s Sidewalk Art

On my 8-kilometer (5-mile) walk home from the dentist today, bike rack shadows seemed so perfectly placed for a quick photo using iPhone XS. Composed and presented as shot, the Featured Image comes from El Cajon Blvd near Aragon Drive in San Diego community College Area. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 25, 1/2833 sec, 26mm (film equivalent); 10:47 a.m. PST.

A few blocks beyond, I saw someone’s personal belongings being moved from a building to the sidewalk. I wondered if the individual(s) had been evicted, when approaching seeing two cop cars and several officers. Many homeless folks encamp in that area, too. What I observed and heard: A healthy-looking, bossy black woman closing on a white policeman and demanding: “Put me in the car and let’s go”. She sure didn’t have that worn, living-on-the-street appearance. The lady was clean, neat, and articulate.

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Accidents are Inevitable

My relentless criticism of so-called “traffic calming measures”—part of the future Georgia-Meade bikeway—continues with a current look down Meade from Georgia. Click on the Featured Image hyperlink and take a close look at the activity at Alabama, where is the first of the traffic circles that replaces stop signs.

You are witness to a near accident—as two vehicles converge from different directions. Who should yield to whom isn’t always obvious, which is gravely complicated by poor visibility for some approaching vehicles and the speed with which many drivers enter the roundabout intersections. I can’t imagine how much more dangerous will these circles be when the route officially opens to bicycles.

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The Cats of University Heights: Pepper

The portrait I want often isn’t the one I get—particularly when there is need to remove a house number because an obstruction (parked car) limited composition when shooting. In part because of the secondary (telephoto) lens, iPhone XS bested Leica Q2 for capturing a Featured Image more suitably cropped—and that’s no praise for the edited photo. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/1916 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 9:41 a.m. PST, Dec. 15, 2020.

I spotted the tiger tabby along Cleveland Ave. not far from Meade. Perhaps because of the building exterior’s salty appearance, I immediately thought Pepper when looking at the peaceful kitty—hence the nickname. The slumbering shorthair is the sixtieth seen behind window or door.

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The Cats of University Heights: Champagne

With a backlog of photographed but unpublished kitties, I shouldn’t skip a fresh feline to the front of the line. But I am too satisfied with the Featured Image and companion, both captured today using Leica Q2. Vitals for each, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100. 1/125 sec, 28mm; 11:58 a.m. PST.

Nicknamed Champagne, for fur color, he appeared along Louisiana not far from where Gracie lived (she has passed away from old age). My wife, who first spotted the tan shorthair, also observed Ash lurking nearby; I assume the cats regarded one another—as he and Nelson often do.

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Before Meade’s Traffic Circles

I continue to review past photos of San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood for their personal, nostalgic value. Many were edited around the time captured—like the Featured Image, using Leica M10 and Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens—but not published. Until now. Vitals, aperture unknown: ISO 100, 1/2000 sec, 50mm; 5:08 p.m. PDT, May 26, 2018.

The view is from cross-street Georgia; Florida is at the bottom of the hill. Beyond is Alabama, where currently there is a so-called “traffic calming measure” (e.g. circle), supporting the forthcoming regional bikeway. Mississippi follows, then Louisiana (where three years later there is another calming measure). At the stoplight is Texas, where across starts North Park, which name is rudely etched into the two circles on the UH side. That’s but one of the obstructions’ unintended consequences.