a daily photo from Southern California's little town in the big city
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
It's the first of the month, and that means Theme Day for participating City Daily Photo bloggers. I missed the last one, but when I checked yesterday found out this month's theme, I knew I had to participate. This month's theme is Big. Well, I certainly have a picture for that. (In fact, I have a whole slew of them...)
As of just past midnight, the Station Fire now exceeds 105,000 acres and may end up on the books as the biggest fire in LA County history.
From our South Pas perspective, it means worrying about friends and loved ones in Altadena, Sunland, Tujunga, Glendale, Acton, La Canada and La Cresenta who are at immediate risk from the unstable blaze. It means worrying about friends and loved ones in Santa Clarita, Palmdale, Newhall and any number of other communities who might end in the path of the seemingly unstoppable firestorm. It means marveling at the miracle work of firefighters who have tirelessly battled for five days and saved countless structures. It means grieving for the two firefighters who gave their lives in the process.
It means mourning the loss of so much forest -- of beloved hiking trails and nature walks, bike tracks and rock climbing spots. And it means mourning the loss of those secret spots off the trail -- the ones where special picnics happened. Where you might have fallen in love or figured out your life.
It means wondering if Mount Wilson is next -- home to the observatory that helped write the birth certificate of our universe, and to the telecommunications towers that hook up our cell phones. (The ones that we keep using every hour to check news updates and blog posts.) It means now knowing terms like pyrocumulus.
From a South Pas perspective, it means being nestled right up against catastrophe but still going about life's business, with smoke-filled days and uneasy nights that now have a fiery mountainside as a nightlight.
UPDATE: 2:15PM Just reported by our friends at the informative Altadenablog:
The Battle for Mt. Wilson: it's on. Flames are in the complex, but there's a lot of "fog of war" as to what's really going on up there. Air support seems to be the only way to fight it now, altho' LA County Fire twittered around 1:45:
*Station IC* LACoFD is sending units to stage at Red Box Ranger Station for structure protection @ Mount Wilson. Lots of aircraft flying over us in East Altadena, apparently headed for Mt. Wilson.
UPDATE: 5:00PM Lots of comments on blogs about aerial water drops over Mt. Wilson. Here's the latest from LA Times. It's eerie outside here in South Pas. Ash rains down on everything. Saw one woman wearing a respiratory mask as she walked down Fair Oaks. Sun blotted by smoke.
In December of 2007, after many years on the west side of Los Angeles (and at least a third of those years spent stuck in traffic on Pico Boulevard) my family settled into a happy little house in South Pasadena. This daily blog covered over 4 year as I put down roots in my new home town.
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Thank you Charlie's Coffee House for hosting my recent photo exhibit, South Pas: Observed. From October 2011 through January 2012 my pictures graced the walls of the best place in town to get a cup of coffee!
Read the nifty story on photo bloggers Petrea Burchard, Ben Wideman, Kat Likkel and little old me featured in the September, 2011 issue of Pasadena Magazine.
For over 4 years, I presented a picture a day from South Pasadena, California -- an incorporated city within the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. All photos up to November, 2008 were taken with a Fujifilm Finepix E900 camera. I added a Fujifilm Finepix S2000HD megazoom in December 2008, a Nikon D3100 in 2010 and a Lumix DMC-DS8 in 2011. I shot with them all. In August 2010 I joined the iPhone camera craze and sometimes included pictures captured by my phone. I regularly cropped images and used basic editing software to adjust the brightness, intensify the contrast, and increase color saturation. Other than that, all images came straight from the camera with minimal alteration. (If I couldn't have done it in a darkroom, I wouldn't do it with a computer.)
The bigger picture:
Consider it a love letter to the place I call home.
You can click on any picture to see a larger version.
All photos and prose on this blog copyright Laurie Allee. Reproduction without written permission is prohibited. (Plus, it's really uncool.)
Run, don't walk to the nearest bookseller and pick up a copy of Margaret Finnegan's delightful debut novel, The Goddess Lounge -- undoubtedly the kookiest, most wonderful riff on Homer's Odyssey ever written. Margaret never ceases to inspire and make us laugh at her blog Finnegan Begin Again. Her book is magical, silly, smart and a wonderful love letter to the all the goddesses among us.
Kevin McCollister of East of West LA blows our minds with haunting images of Los Angeles. But since we can't put his blog on our coffee table, we can buy his fantastic book. I believe Kevin's images truly capture the quixotic and often heartbreaking soul of LA. Don't take my word for it, see what The LA Times had to say.