After the recent Station fire in the hills above Glendale, La Crescenta and La Cañada Flintridge, a winter-like storm blew from the north this week. With denuded hillsides prime for mudslides, the cities, county and neighbors began preparing for the inevitable. Having been around the Briggs Terrace in La Crescenta for the fires, I knew there would be people working hard to protect their homes from the possible mudslides. As I pulled up on Freeman Avenue near Manzanita Street with steady rain coming down, I saw 12-year-old Jim Smiley putting up sandbags around his home.
Being ready to shoot in all types of weather, I pulled out my raincoat and umbrella from the back of my vehicle to protect the gear as much as possible. As I took a couple of photos of the young man placing sandbags on the ground, his grandfather pulled up with a full load of sandbags in the back of his SUV. I took a couple of photos from outside the vehicle but was not happy with what I had. So I walked around to the rear door of the vehicle and opened it. Looking out from inside the vehicle with rain in the background, I was able to create a natural frame, capture the moment, rain coming down while the young man used will and determination to unload the sandbags to protect his home.
— Raul Roa