Fire Trucks

Fire trucks at Hogan Lake

We see these trucks almost everyday and if you are driving on the road and see these in your rearview mirror, then you better make sure you give way to them by pulling to the right/left. These are the turcks used by the fire department in US. They are very colorful and vibrant when compared to the ones we find back home.

During a recent camping trip, a fire broke out pretty close to our camp site. Luckily it was put off with the help from these guys. Govi and I couldn’t control our curiosity and headed to the location with the camera. By the time we reached the place, these guys were just packing up. I even have a beautiful fire fighter picture (need to find some time to process it).

The 2 trucks stood in the hot sunny afternoon ready to head out. Since I was reading up on High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging, wanted to try my hand at it. This picture is a combination of 3 exposures taken at -2, 0, +2 hand held. The HDR was generated using Photomatix and later tone-mapped. Its very common to find HDR images which are processed to an extreme values. At the moment it hasn’t caught my interest, but what some folks do is to use HDR to generate a more realistic looking image (mostly in landscape shots) which is really cool. Though I haven’t figured out how to do them, I had to settle at a border line with this one, just enough to bring out the “artistic” feature of HDR in it.

View Large On Black

New Hogan Lake Camping

2009-08-08_005

Last year, my friends asked me to join them for camping, I had to say no. This year, I was more eager than anybody to do it :). I had my reasons for saying “no” last time. Nidhi was still not old enough for it. Probably I should say I wasn’t ready with Nidhi to do camping. I was more worried about addressing her needs in a remote place. Now that she has turned 2, we were more prepared and joined our gang of friends for 2 nights stay at New Hogan Lake camp grounds which is near Valley Springs, CA.

Since my friends had all the camping gear between them, there was no need for me to purchase anything. But the spendthrift in me took this opportunity to get some sleeping bags for the family. I’m sure it’ll come handy in future trips.

We decided on taking 2 cars rather than 3 as our campsite had only 2 slots for parking. Though my car was heavy, it still gave me a 35.5 mpg for the entire stay…cool eh! I’m not going to mention the speed of my driving…though many of you know that its a constant one. Since we were starting on a Friday evening, we did hit some traffic on the way. But we were prepared to pitch the tent at night time, which was fun.

I was happy that I could get away from light pollution of city and be in the midst of clear darkness. The air was so pure that you couldn’t get any kind of reflection. Usually in the city when you take night shots, you tend to get that hazy light towards the horizon and in the sky, but out here it was a cool blue. I tried my hand at capturing star trails and it turned out pretty ok.

The lake near our camp site had dried up due to the summer heat, but there was still plenty of water in it for people to try out their water sports. Too bad there wasn’t any rentals available out there, otherwise we could have used some water sports on that hot day. Did manage to get some shots of people having fun though 🙂

We didn’t spot any rattlesnakes or any other other wild life, but the scary part came from the sirens of fire engines. Apparently Govi and Sandy boy saw a thick smoke on their way back to the campsite (after getting some needed supplies). The two fire trucks were out there trying to put off the fire that engulfed some part of the campsite near the amphitheater. Luckily it was brought under control and put-off, otherwise we would have to vacate the campsite in a hurry 😦

We spent most of our time either cooking, exploring the area and just being plain lazy 🙂 Nidhi had a blast of a time too, though the heat was terrible. Wonder how I’ll cope up when I visit Bangalore next time…bay area chilliness is screwing up my tolerance for warm weather.

All in all we had really a great time camping. Next summer I do intend to camp more often and with my friends out here, all I have to do is just hint and we’ll be set 🙂

Photos taken during this trip have been uploaded and can be accessed here