Few weeks ago, while walking down El Cajon from Georgia Street in the University Heights neighborhood, I pulled out iPhone XS for a couple dusk shots of The Boulevard sign. They were way too noisy. Tonight, I returned with Leica Q2. Grainy still, DNG files are easier to edit and to recover something from a low-light photo—like our Featured Image. Vitals, aperture and shutter speed manually set: f/4, ISO 6400, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 8:16 p.m. PDT, which was 17 minutes after sunset.
My daylight render of the iconic sign is more appealing—and revealing. But this moment is how I remember first seeing the thing while driving and exploring during one of our first evenings in San Diego; gulp, that’s approaching 14 years ago. Something about the neon and overall design spoke California.