The Hour After

Photographers call the light just before sunset - "the magic hour." The low, saturated illumination makes for memorable images. From my perch high above Berkeley with the panoramic view of San Francisco Bay I have a slightly different take on the lights of the evening. I often walk in the neighborhood during that last hour of waning light at sea level but I like to get back to the eighth floor for the view that follows.  You see after the neighborhood down below falls into darkness the sky is still bathed in color up here. Sure sometimes the fog blots out the light or the sun sets into a marine layer but tonight was one of those meteorologically perfect combinations of light and high cloudless sky.

At this time of year the sun sets directly behind the skyline of San Francisco. For a time the city is backlit in brilliant orange that slowly darkens to blood red. The skyline appears as if cut from black silhouette paper and the bridges stand out with only their lights to define them.

Tonight the air was calm making the clarity of the scene so acute, as if an opthamologist were flipping another lens tweaking ever more intensity into the picture with each passing moment. At times like these I feel a strong sense of loneliness, not so much that I am alone in the world but rather that there is no one sharing this brilliant visual sensation. As if the sight were really too much for one person to behold. Shared vision, shared awe.
these are not my droids, nor my photos