Tag: street photography

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Brushing University Heights

Some San Diego stoplights take so long to turn that they present unexpected opportunities—like taking the Featured Image. At Madison and Texas, I observed an artist painting the village’s name on a utility box. My wife and I were in the car headed to Costco.

We sat so long at the Red that I could claw Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra out of my snug jeans pocket; unlock the device; launch the camera app; roll down the window; tap 5x zoom; and (finally) compose three shots. Whew. And still there was time to spare!

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: AI

I first photographed today’s feline on Jan. 7, 2023, using Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. But on examination, some guy’s beefy arm could be seen inside the window behind, left of the animal. I thought best not to use that one until remembering Samsung’s Generative AI photo editing, which is available in the Gallery app on S24 Ultra.

The results are scary remarkable. I selected the full frame of the window pane to the left of the cat and let the tool do its thing. Result: Perfectly placed full reflection of the car. Whoa. Wonderful. Icky. Vitals, for the Featured Image: f/4.9, ISO 40, 1/640 sec, 230mm (film equivalent); 11:10 a.m. PST.

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The Cats of University Heights: Champion

The backlog of unpublished cats bulges, so we need to spit them out. We start with one that I refrained from posting because he possibly is a second-sighting, but I am not certain—and the portrait is a good one.

I spotted this fine feline somewhere on Campus, Oct. 17, 2023, and used Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra to capture the Featured Image, which is presented as shot; no edits, no crop. Vitals: f/4.9, ISO 50, 1/400 sec, 230mm (film equivalent); 12:34 p.m. PDT.

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Tree Sign

While walking along Madison, just into North Park, my wife pointed out what looked like a branch placed atop a street-sweeping sign, today. She thought kids, then changed her mind on further investigation. A tree had grown up the metal post and come out on the back side.

This was a resilient, living thing—and another example of how conducive is San Diego’s year-round summer climate and fertile soil to growing seemingly anything at any time.

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A Rosey Outlook

Torrential rains fall this evening across San Diego County. Officials warn of flooding that will rival or exceed last month’s storm surge. When I checked the forecast before bed, last night, showers would start around 3 a.m. and increase throughout the day.

But the low pressure area either slowed or stalled, allowing my wife and I to walk about 4.2 km (2.6 miles) roundtrip to The Hub in Hillcrest for on-sale tuna fish at Ralph’s supermarket. Light drizzle started minutes after we returned to our apartment. Lucky.

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Rascal

For the first Caturday of the month, we have something special: beyond boundaries of the neighborhood, a kitty spotted on the same property where another was seen (and added to the series) on July 4, 2023.

The Featured Image and companions are also the first set shot using Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra‘s new 5x optical zoom and 10x hybrid (telephoto and digital); I am almost disappointed to say that the latter look better than any taken with the S23 Ultra’s true optical 230mm (film equivalent).

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Suspended Spider

I love spiders. What can I say? No one can ever accuse me of killing one, unless by accident—and my rescues of nearly drowned or crushed spiders is legendary in the arachnid community. These eight-leggers know who is their human friend.

So I am surprised to discover the Featured Image, languishing unpublished. Yeah, yeah, the awards-givers won’t be banging on my door, holding trophies immortalizing this shot. But, hey, the thing looks suspended in air, and the photo is excellent smartphone showcase of past capabilities:;10 years ago (almost)—Oct. 11, 2014, using iPhone 6.

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What a Croc!

I don’t much love San Diego neighborhood Hillcrest, so much that if need demands going there, I typically carry Leica Q2 Monochrom—because the dinge, grime, and rainbow flags are better in black and white.

An errand compelled a walk through, ah, Hellcrest on Jan. 24, 2024. Along the way, I passed a discarded Croc shoe lying on University Ave. You would think that with the large number of shoeless homeless, somebody would claim the footwear and its companion, too—not that I saw it nearby.

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The Cats of University Heights: Peep

Well, turns out Buchi isn’t the last photo from Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra after all. You get one more. While we walked after sunset on Jan. 26, 2024, my wife spotted a kitty looking out a second floor window onto an alley somewhere separating Alabama and Mississippi. UPS delivered S24 Ultra earlier that day, but I hadn’t yet time to set up the newer smartphone.

I turned the S23 Ultra skyward and used the 10x optical zoom lens for the Featured Image. My longstanding gripe: focal length undermines the utility of the telephoto in low light, as is so clearly demonstrated here. Vitals: f/4.9, ISO 4000, 1/30 sec, 230mm (film equivalent); 5:36 p.m. PST.

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I Stand with Texas

The Featured Image might seem to you an odd choice for this post’s title but I must disagree. Suddenly, on my walks, I see many more American flags displayed—and in places that are new to my eyes, like this one outside a North Park market. Makes me wonder: Are some San Diegans quietly, but affirmatively, expressing their patriotic support for Texas’ standoff with the Federal government?

Under a program called “Operation Lone Star“, Texas seeks to “hold the line to defend the Southern border”. Bolstering that effort, Governor Greg Abbott has mobilized state national guard units as part of a vanguard laying razor wire and blocking U.S. Border Patrol agents from processing immigrants. A Supreme Court ruling favors Federal efforts to cut (and remove) the razor wire. Abbott and his attorney general are defiant.

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The Cats of University Heights: Buchi

Address undisclosed, I spotted this fine feline, seemingly somewhat forlorn. Perhaps its owner stepped out for awhile. The cat tree is more typically unoccupied whenever I walk by, so finding a resident was quite the treat, today.

The Featured Image could be the last photo taken with Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Its successor is scheduled for delivery tomorrow. Vitals: f/4.9, ISO 125, 1/60 sec, 230mm (film equivalent); 4:30 p.m. PST.

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Seriously Spiked

Nothing about the Featured Image really works. Depth of field is too shallow. Overall quality is too noisy. Composition is cluttered. Light and shadows contrast too much.

But busyness also shows off Southern California climate and diversity: The funny spiked thing, maple leaves, palm trees, sunny skies and wide street—on Dec. 17, 2023. The photo also reminds that even a premiere full-frame camera, Leica Q2, will produce a shot someone might presume comes from a smartphone’s small sensor.