San Francisco Hellscapes

In previous years, when fire season came around I took photos of the city skyline, complained about the raining ash, and marveled at how fires hundreds of miles away can impact our daily lives so much. Unfortunately, this is something I’m used to now, but yesterday was different. The air quality has been much worse than it was yesterday, even in recent weeks, but the sheer mindfuck of seeing the whole city shrouded in orange from dawn to dusk made it a truly surreal day.

I took most of the photos below around 1PM. There’s minimal postprocessing, and the little color correction that I did was to get the white balance closer to reality, instead of the reddish tones that the camera applied to the photos. If anything, these look a bit over exposed, brighter than reality. We’ve worked hard on making our cameras capture light to seem realistic under normal conditions, so it’s easy to forget technology does not actually capture reality. It’s hard to get this right. The map is not the territory.

Waking up to this view out of my window was extremely odd. The day got darker as the sun approached its zenith, and started to get brighter later in the day. The whole thing seemed backwards.

Around lunchtime, we decided to go on a walk to take some photos. The streets were pretty empty.

I was suprised the 24th St. BART preacher didn’t capitalize on the crazy end of days sky. He was doing his usual spiel.

Happy birthday.

2020 is the year to lose your cat.

Climate change is real. I truly hope we figure out a way to keep things a bit more under control going forward. Vote. I can’t.

There are tons of pictures making rounds online that are much better than mine. I particularly enjoyed Chris Michel’s and the San Francisco Chronicle’s photo team’s work, but I’m really curious about how people took yesterday in, so please send yours my way, too!

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