What about the Featured Image and companion appeals to me? The shimmering effect is something someone might add during post-production, but not here. What you see is authentic—heat-distorted air rising into the night sky.
Both photos come from Canon EOS 40D and attached EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens. Vitals: f/5.6, ISO 400, 1/60 sec, 115mm; 9:40 p.m. PDT. The other is same but 135mm, two minutes earlier.
Location: San Diego’s Mission Bay Park. When: July 25, 2008. Both photos are composed as shot, and neither is altered; they’re straight from the camera.