September 9, 2020 — Oakland/Berkeley Hills, California
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This morning at 8:40 a.m. the sky was a dim red-orange. Sunlight was filtered by fire smoke from a 350,000 acre group of fires in Mendocino county, more than 100 miles to the north. The red-orange light was then diffused through thick fog. Apocalyptic. It was so dark that we had lights on in the house all day.
I wondered what it looked like at the top of the hill. Would it still be immersed in fog or would the road rise above it and look down on the fog deck?
A few miles to the south, it was the latter.
I stood by the side of the road, mask on not just for Covid, but to prevent breathing fallout particles 1–2 mm in diameter. White specks were all over my camera. And me. Many clicks occurred. But for an occasional car driving by, it was dead silent.
I said to a guy standing next to me, “This would be beautiful if it were not so ugly because of the conditions responsible for it.” He agreed.
Another guy, an off-duty fire fighter, said, “So this is the future.”
But I went to photograph it, and that’s what I did. With profoundly mixed emotions.
(Nikon D850, Nikon 24-120mm f/4G VR. RAW processing and initial editing in DxO PhotoLab 3.3; Final editing in Adobe Photoshop.)