My subjects were plentiful and diverse, cooperative and encouraging. The light was behaving.

I’ve had it in my head for about six months now that I’d tackle another photography day. The last one was far too long ago — Laguna Beach in 2011. I thought I’d take more pictures than I did, but what I got was more than I had when I woke up this morning, so I guess that’s something.

I parked in the old, familiar parking deck where I’d been so many times before, but this time I was solo. I wandered despite feeling semi-exposed, and went wherever I pleased; down alleys, down sidestreets, without caring who was looking or who was wondering what I was up to. I had a camera, and they didn’t, so there. Neener, neener.

Details, trees, plants and signage filled my memory card. I eventually left the parking deck and switched locations three times, each time hoping my move would allow the sun enough time to shift in the late afternoon sky; I really wanted a picture of the twinkle lights lit up along Harbor, but it didn’t work out today.

After making my way over to the train station, I came upon a memorial for Kelly Thomas. Three younger homeless men were interested in my presence, and I admit that I felt slightly uncomfortable when they tried to make conversation; I was surprised that I forgot about my surroundings for a moment and stumbled into their territory, but was thankful for the daylight. I mustered a faint smile and made a beeline for the tracks, which probably wasn’t any better of a choice. The sun’s position in the sky backlit the trees and illuminated the rails…a perfect photo. Moments later, a freight train sped past the station and the distant sounds that I’ve heard for years, both morning and night, were now accompanied by that distinct smell and rumbling of massive engines. I shut my eyes and inhaled for a few seconds.

As the sun continued its journey toward the horizon, I figured it was time to head home. It wasn’t the most productive day, but it was one that I could finally check off my to-do list, and I was grateful for the time I had which allowed me to do so.

Tonight I am thankful for local adventures and for being able to cross off a 2013 task. I’m happy to have seen new details mere miles from where I live, to have captured them and to be able to have record of today’s events.

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