Fire in the Sky

Fire in the Sky

Tuesday morning--like most weekday mornings--I was getting Jason's breakfast ready as Juliette was on her way out the door to go to work. The door had scarcely closed behind her when she came back in and said "Come out here and look." Through the open garage door I was greeted by this explosion of color as the sun came up over the hills. I just stood there and gaped at it for a few seconds before rushing to grab my camera out of the trunk of my car. In the space of the few minutes it took me to get my camera, switch lenses, and snap a few frames, the light had already changed and the brilliant orange color faded to gold and then to yellow. I missed the best colors, but fortunately I was able to catch a few shots that were almost as good.

Technical info: Shot with a Nikon D40 and Nikkor 55-200mm VR DX lens, in manual exposure mode. Focal length 65mm, aperture f/16, shutter 1/60 sec, ISO 200. Post-processing in Aperture 3: Daylight WB preset, cropped out some on the left and bottom, curves to recover highlights, deepen shadows, and intensify the color a bit.

Thoughts for improvement: What I would have loved is to be able to get this shot from up on my roof with a much wider angle. Either that or to have been in the back yard of my neighbor across the street, whose yard opens up onto a canyon. As it was, from ground level in my own driveway I had to settle for a much narrower angle of view, which unfortunately doesn't portray the same feeling of majesty that the entire scene had.

Mira Mesa Street Art

It's become a bit of a joke to Juliette how oblivious I can be to my surroundings, but since I started taking pictures seriously again, I've been noticing a lot more of the world around me. Last week I was driving home from work when a flash of color caught my eye. I looked over and saw this:

Someone had a sense of humor, it seemed. I came back the next evening to take that picture, and along the way I noticed several more electrical boxes that had been painted. Figuring that there had to be a story there, I did a little digging. It turns out that a group of high school students has been taking part in a neighborhood beautification project, and electrical boxes all over Mira Mesa have been getting spruced up. Saturday morning I grabbed my camera, put Cooper on his leash, and set out to perform a little photographic study.  Here are some highlights:

Oddly, the best picture I got all day wasn't of the boxes at all, but of a crosswalk:

It's funny how much your perspective of a place changes when you're on foot instead of whizzing by in a car. I must have driven by the Mira Mesa Community Park, for example, hundreds of times, but until this weekend I'd never actually walked through it. I'd never noticed the senior center or really looked at the baseball fields or grassy areas before. Makes me wonder what else I've been missing.