Tag: urban photography

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Sound Sentiment

Now that I am (cough, cough) sixty-five, shock and awe rankle me. I always thought of people this age as being old; ancient, really. Now, here I am—one of them. I don’t feel old, but age is apparent from my reflection in the mirror or when walking outside. What seems like a fast pace to me can’t keep up with that of the younger folks; not even close.

Sometime recently, Ron Howard-directed Cocoon came to be available on one of the streaming services. The film released in summer 1985, and I was 25 at the time. I easily identified with the Twenty- and Thirty-something aliens, and I chuckled at the absurdity of the elderly folks hoping to regain some youthful vitality. Gasp. Now I am their age, and that realization caused eerie, queasy emotions while rewatching Cocoon.

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Politics Stress Relief

As I write, the first Presidential debate, between presumptive candidates Joseph Biden and Donald Trump, is underway. For now, my intention is not to watch. Later, I will start with clips and possibly peek at a recorded version through which I can fast-forward and pause. The live event promises to be pure poison.

Or stated differently: Various manifestations of elder abuse. Seriously? You ask. Yes, Biden for his sheer presence and demand to stand and be mentally present for 90 minutes or so. Trump, for the abrasive handling by the hostile CNN moderators.

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Bee Passionate

The crazy thing about San Diego is the way flowers, plants, and trees grow. Anywhere. Everywhere. Unexpected places. Along an alley across from fencing where grapes grow, I passed passion fruit today. That’s two different neighbors’ fence lines.

I initially whipped out Galaxy Samsung S24 Ultra for a shot of four fruits lined up. But busy bees brought my attention to the flowers, where luck delivered good-enough composition and a bee in flight. What’s not to like about that?

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What Happened Here?

My wife and I walked around Mission Valley Mall—no longer a Westfield property—today. More stores are local small businesses, although some big brands are present—like Target.

The big surprise: The apparently permanently closed Temple Custom Jewelers and the mysterious signs you see in the Featured Image and companion. I knew that the establishment was black-owned but have no idea what were the circumstances leading to the signs. Googling gave no answers, tonight.

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Games We (Poorly) Play

Yesterday, one my neighbors expressed surprise about filling out paperwork at a doctor’s office, where she was presented with choice of a dozen genders. I would think that a medical practice would stick to the science: Humans are biologically either male or female. How people feel about themselves is something else.

All through the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns, we kept hearing about the science—physicians and researchers following it, and we should, too. In 2024, should a doctor’s office do no less? Meaning: Put basic biology before social culture?

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Croak or Caw?

Along Adams Ave., at the end of the bridge above Texas Street, I spotted some huge birds in the trees below. The vantage point presented another opportunity to see how good (or bad) Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra could be shooting distant objects.

Unlike the S23 Ultra, which packs 10x optical lens, the newer model relies on 5x optical and in-camera close-cropping 50-megapixels to produce something that is supposed to be as good as, or better than, the last-generation smartphone. You judge.

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I Found It!

The Bat Cave! Hiding in plain sight. Who would have guessed? I should have believed the angry TikTokers whining about the Dark Knight fleeing crime-infested Gotham for San Diego. What good is capturing criminals when the DA won’t prosecute and they return to the streets in mere minutes? No wonder he headed West.

Problem: Catch-and-release policies are rampant across California. Prosecution deferrals are increasingly commonplace. Can the Caped Crusader save us? Please!

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Pay More For Less

Take a good, long look at the Featured Image. This apartment building epitomizes how dramatically have rentals risen in San Diego over scant number of years. Something seems wrong here—and I mean more broadly. This place merely reflects a trend in explosive increases that feels funny—fixed, unnatural—for a typically dynamic capitalist market.

I’ll illustrate. In June 2021, a 1,000-square-foot flat listed for $1,495 monthly and presumably rented, since the listing was removed eight days later. Available now for $2,325, in the same building: 530-sq-foot studio. Oh, and Zillow estimates that if the larger unit was marketed today, the landlord should charge $3,063.

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Pop Pie at Night

T long-delayed ophthalmologist appointment finally occurred today. That meant massive dilation to check my optical implants. My pupils were massively large, such that the iris in each eye rimmed so thinly that my best analogy is the muted corona around last month’s total solar eclipse.

As such, I spent most of the day indoors, hiding from sunlight, and only ventured outside after dark—and what a glorious evening, too. Mild: 16 Celsius (61 Fahrenheit). Despite temporarily impaired vision, I brought along Leica Q2 Monochrom.

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Lily Pads No More

What makes a place historical? I ask because of the Featured Image, showing a sign which you can read and then try to answer. If the frog pond still existed, still stocked more than 120 years later, now that would be noteworthy. But, as you can see, stone wall is all that really remains—dirt filled, covered with grass. Remove the signage and who would ever guess what was?

Often enough, I have walked by this thing, here in my neighborhood of University Heights, and had assumed it to be a deliberately designed structure to slow traffic along a very residential street. I never imagined that the thing predated cars and had other meaning.

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Color Me Orange

Chill. Don’t complain about more flowers. Appreciate them—as do I. Walking along an alley today, I passed by clinging-vine Nasturtium that had taken over  a backyard gate and fence.

The simple, cheerful scene charmed me enough to pull out Leica Q2 and take a single shot. Vitals for the Featured Image, aperture manually set: f/4, ISO 100, 1/500 sec, 28mm; 3:17 p.m. PDT. I reduced orange saturation during post production.