I recently went to San Diego. When I go, I always haul my big camera, and this time was no exception. The difference was I only opened the case once, and I never did haul the camera out of it. I ended up carrying that thing through airports and back to my house, where it’s still sitting in its bag. Several times I’ve moved toward freeing it from the case and getting it ready for the shot. I guess I’ll get around to it.
The first shot I got that I really liked was of our ascent out of Salt Lake City over the Great Salt Lake.
On this visit, I had a bicycle at my disposal, and rather than haul a big camera with me, I simply used the iPhone camera that also keeps the tunes I listen to (at a low volume in San Diego’s traffic). With the bike, I covered more ground than usual, and I got some sun and good exercise. I ended up walking that bike up some of the bigger hills, but I surprised myself that I could navigate as many of them as I did without getting off the bike. I’m not so out of shape as I thought.
At one point during my stay, I got frustrated with work and so simply walked out of the house and around a few blocks.
I don’t know what these are, but I love them. Every time I take a walk in San Diego, I see these spiky-soft, red flowers. I never miss them.
Further on that walk, I happened to look up and saw these two palms leaning into each other. Light clouds kept the sky from being pure and uninterrupted blue, as it was so many times while I was there.
One evening, a spooky fog crept up the hills from the ocean. I watched it move toward the house, obscuring everything much past where I stood, in a progressively opaque screen of white, until I could see no further.
That night, I happened to awake and look out the window to see this. I had to remove color from this to make it a more realistic representation of what I saw, but you get the idea. It was spooky beautiful and fun to wake up to.
Sitting in my friends’ front yard, soaking up the warm morning rays, the sun hit this solar lamp just right and I noticed this spider web.
I did venture out several times on the bicycle and captured these two shots of the Sunset Cliffs area.
And then there was this bit-o’-silliness.
I did hate to leave the warmth of San Diego, and the company of my friends, but I had to. Bummer. I’m a window-seat kind of gal. I love the view from there. I had a somewhat better view before the flight attendant asked me to trade seats with a gal with a baby who was in an exit row (and we had together just struggled that car seat into submission!). I got the wing. Still, watching the sun rise at that elevation was a first for me. Even though the pockmarks on the window kept me from getting a clean shot (and it was an iPhone camera, after all), this was a pretty view and I love the picture I got.
When I left Salt Lake City headed home, it was snowing. We had to wait in line for de-icing. Watching the other plane and ours being attended to by these things reminded me of a science fiction movie, and it was too cool a composition to pass up.
And drops on the window.
Another window seat, of course. One time I caught a college-age kid in my window seat and I made him move. I’ll bet he wondered what the big deal was. I love me a window seat!
From Salt Lake to Junction, I sat next to a gal who was traveling to meet friends in Colorado. Because of our delay for de-icing, I didn’t have my ear buds in, trying to catch whatever announcements came across the intercom. As a result of that, she and I struck up an interesting conversation and chatted about her life, her family, her independent daughter and how her independence affects those around her. As we talked, we found our lives paralleled in so many ways. She was some 84 years old and probably only looked a little older than I. She and I were born two days apart in February, and we briefly hit on an astrological link to explain our similarities. She is well-traveled, though; had spent time in Kenya. Married to the same man for 30 years, she struck out on her own and had a relationship with another man for nearly 30 years more. It was serendipitous that we should meet, I think. She had missed her connecting flight the day before because of fog in California. I wish I had asked for contact information, although we did exchange names. I already regret not risking embarrassing myself to ask how I might get in touch with her. Silly silly me.
It was a great Christmas, a great break from cold, and a terrific start to the New Year.
Thank you KC and Doyle!
Since going on that Monument hike, I’ve wanted more opportunities to play with what I learned about night photography. Last night, the opportunity finally presented itself when I wasn’t busy with something else.
Here’s one of the first pictures I took. There’s lots of light in the neighborhood but I still needed to leave that shutter open for a while. Most of my shots were from three to six minutes. Three minutes was the least amount of time I needed to produce something usable; six worked best.
I love how the lights turn into stars. I also enjoyed how light played on the snow and fence below. It’s also cool how soft light shines out of the house on the far right. Except for the light on the snow by the fence, the rest I didn’t see until I brought the picture into Lightroom.
When I crawled out at 4am, it was still snowing. There were fewer lights then, but it was already brighter than the night before. In this picture, a streak of light running up the road, is barely visible. It extends from the white garage on the left to just past the house on the right with the star light—and it cuts through the car in the driveway. During the time the shutter was open, a snow plow drove up the road and through the shot. In this long exposure, the light on the vehicle was captured as it went past, but the snow plow doesn’t show up. What fun is that?!
At about 5am, I grabbed the camera and wandered out in UGG boots and bathrobe to take a picture of the road in front that winds up the hill. Again, the lights look like stars on sticks and I love that look. It’s clear from the ruts in the snow, traffic wasn’t much slowed last night by the weather and the paper hadn’t yet arrived this morning. It also became clear that I need to get something to protect my lenses while I’m standing in active weather.
This was fun. I enjoyed the opportunity for a creative way to end yesterday and begin today. I’m not fond of being cold, but I do love changing seasons and weather. I especially love waking up to the first big snow of the season.
This is a such beautiful place to call home.