My December 2015 Photo of the Month is Lake of Fire, an image made at Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve.
Lake of Fire Background
As I like to say, to be a great photographer, you need to own your own backyard. For me, this means taking advantage of living next-door to Santee Lakes. In the Winter, with clouds hanging and a low-aligned sun, it really is possible to get this kind of scene several times during the season.
This has become a ritual for me, getting home from the office, then running outside with my camera and tripod to capture the sun after it sets. There is a strip of land separating Lakes 1 and 2. I like to darken this area because it keeps distractions in the image to a minimum, and the black provides an excellent contrast with the sky.
Many of these images are made while I am still wearing business clothing. I usually have to park my car, run inside to grab my camera, then spring across the street. Whatever it takes to get the image, I don’t need style points!
When I made the image, I didn’t realize there was a bird flying just above the trails of Mission Trails from my vantage-point, so that became an extra treat when processing the image.
December is always a tough month for me photographically, because my daughter is here for the holidays and all of the work involved with celebrating takes a lot of time. We also travelled to Colorado, where I thought for sure I would make a keeper. As it turned out, the image I made right next to my home is the photograph I went with for the December Photo of the Month.
As always, thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy the image.
T.M. Schultze is a San Diego-based photographer, traveller, and writer. He writes, photographs, and draws things of the outdoors that have inspired humans for thousands of years. He co-authored the Photographer’s Guide to Joshua Tree Park which can be purchased here.