Impulse Decision (Nothing To Do With Shoe Shopping or Dog Adoption)

I was driving home on the 280, post redwood shoot. It was clear in San Jose, but as I headed north, I could see the thick cloud cover building over the mountains to the west - almost certainly meant that SF would be enshrouded in clouds also.

Almost 8pm, just past Palo Alto, extremely hungry and very tired, I saw a break in the clouds over a Crystal Spring reservoir, east of Half Moon Bay. It was glorious, even from my car. And I just so happened to drive by a sign for Next Exit: View Point. An impulsive decision. I took the exit and wound my way up to the crest of a hill, grabbed my camera and ran to the view point, as sooner or later the clouds would close.

The same view framed three ways. The first emphasizes the clouds, the second the tree, and the last - actually, I pay most attention to the foreground texture of the weeds. The last composition feels a bit unbalanced (left heavy? however I prefer this to a centered image), but it is the least cliche (rays of light over water? tree silhouette? everyone's been there, done that). There might be a story to this third one - if only I had a person or dog in the photo.

As I headed back to the parking lot, another person dashed out of his car with his camera, and walked swiftly to the viewpoint. We were the only people on the wind-chilled, darkening hilltop, and I didn't speak to him, but how odd that I understood what compelled him to delay dinner, pull off the freeway and lose oneself for a few moments.