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Electric Sunset, Sierra Foothills

Posted by
Gary Hart (California, United States) on 12 February 2010 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.

People tell me how lucky I am to live in California with all the beautiful scenery that draws people from around the world. And I have to agree, I am indeed lucky. But many say it in a way that implies "If only I didn't live where I live, I could have some really great pictures." With all due respect, I think that's a cop-out.

To be honest, I feel a little envy for people who live in places that get consistently dramatic skies and interesting weather. Because let's face it, weather in California is a little bland--great for tourists, not so much for photographers. Mind you I'm not complaining, I'm trying to point out that every region has its opportunities for the photographer who sees them.

For example, if somebody from Kansas were to lament the flat monotony of their terrain, I'd tell them if I lived there I'd be photographing the skies. I mean have you ever seen a midwestern thunderstorm? Seriously, just give me a simple tree, river, lake, or even a single rock to anchor my foreground beneath a midwest summer sky and I'd be one happy photographer.

When we get one of our rare interesting skies here in California, I don't really feel like I need to be in Yosemite, the Eastern Sierra, Death Valley, Big Sur, or any of California's other world class locales. I just make for the foothills and one of my "go-to" trees or hillsides (which I'm constantly adding to). Finding a scene myself gives me a sense of discovery that in many ways makes the images more rewarding than my more iconic captures.

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Thanks for visiting. Even if I don't respond, your comments are always read and appreciated.

Dulcie from Danville, CA, United States

Electric is the right word...these colors and clouds just please my eye and my heart completely.

12 Feb 2010 7:17am

Tamara from Aarschot, Belgium

Makes me think of the song "Purple rain" ! Marvelous colors... a dreamy landscape. Have a great weekend Gary :)

12 Feb 2010 10:05am

Julie from Easton, United States

Beautiful colors!

12 Feb 2010 3:25pm

Elora from Genoa, Italy

Absolutely stunning, I love how you just filled the frame with the sky!

12 Feb 2010 4:13pm

Louloupix from NEW YORK, United States

Really really nice picture Gary.
Love the sky for its colors and the sun coming through.
Thank you also for your little text very inspiring.

12 Feb 2010 4:23pm

Barbara from Oakland, United States

Gary, thanks for this reminder. I love Briones Regional Park, it has scenes similar to this and is minutes from my home. I am going to get out one day and just mark some good spots to anchor in my memory so that when the sky gets amazing, I can head out. Love the purples in this image. I am sure you are having a great time up in Yosemite!

12 Feb 2010 5:09pm

john4jack from Corvallis, Oregon, United States

Stunning! I love the silhouetted trees.

12 Feb 2010 5:57pm

Paul from summerside, Canada

Nice shot

12 Feb 2010 11:23pm

Self-Indulgence from Chicagoland, United States

I will send you some of my great weather if you send me that sky for just one night in winter ;) Most marvelous and really you do make a point. There is something everywhere.

13 Feb 2010 12:53am

Tracy from La Selva Beach, United States

You make a great point Gary! I also believe that there is always something beautiful or interesting out there to find- no matter where we are. I think that sometimes when we are so used to a place it can start to look a bit boring....After all, we see it every day! In an effort to cut back on using so much gas to go places to photograph, I have been concentrating on areas close to home, and trying to see them in a different light! (literally, I guess!) and I have come home with some nice photos and got home in time for dinner, too!

13 Feb 2010 2:36am

Julie Brown from Indianapolis, United States

Gary, I love the backlit trees and the colors in the sky.

13 Feb 2010 3:03am

Giovanni from Milan, Italy

Such a marvellous sunset! Excellent composition!

13 Feb 2010 8:22am

DarkElf from Perth, Australia

wonderful photo - i love the composition here with the horizon and trees low, low in the frame to let the colours and dramatic sky really take over, and yet they provide a great foreground that fits this scene superbly!

13 Feb 2010 3:08pm

Didier DE ZAN from somewhere, France

Very beautiful composition and very beautiful sky

17 Feb 2010 5:55am

Barbara Kile from Ft. Worth, United States

Wow on the colors and the trees are perfectly lit behind and framed with the color.

19 Feb 2010 5:59am

Vitor Martins from Lisboa, Portugal

Very beautiful composition with a fantastic "electric" color in the sky and nice shadows in the trees.

22 Feb 2010 9:56am