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Where to Photograph in a State Largely Veiled in Smoke?

The Canon EOS R5 system is on order, and I’m waiting to see if it all ships on August 24 or not vs a partial order delivery.

CA is a smoky mess, mostly

In spite of the massive fires in California, we’ve largely been spared here in the San Francisco Bay Area. The weather here at my home has been the most mellow and enjoyable summer in 38 years of living here. A few hot days (100°F), a few humid days (60-70%), and so on, but on the whole it has been awesome, hitting not more than 80°F for some days now, and today is awesomely cool at about 75°F. I cannot remember any summer as pleasant as this year. Though last August was insanely bad smoke.

We’ve had 2 or 3 days of bad air, but only briefly unhealthy (AQI 150 or so). It’s been hanging in the AQI 60-80 range for a few days. That’s not clean air, but it’s not terrible and the orange sunsets and moon at least add some interest—seems like the smoke has held high up there because I cannot smell it. air quality map (Apple Safari won’t draw the map; use Firefox or Google Chrome)

Eastern Sierra

OTOH, it’s hideously bad in the direction of the smoke plumes, which leads me to “where the heck can I photograph besides home?”

Because when I check the AQI over in the Eastern Sierra at around 150 today, it’s an unhealthy nightmare most days. Don’t worry about airplane contrails wrecking the blue skies over there—haze dominates all!

So I’ll start with some introductory coverage around home, and hope the smoke conditions improve over in the Eastern Sierra. OTOH, these fires might burn until December unless we get lucky with an unseasonally early rainstorm in September—which used to happen a lot.

UPDATE, August 27: some days in AQI range of 50-70 were not too bad, but today is smoky nasty.Very few places to go for good air.

Air quality index (AQI) 2021-08-27, via

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