Arc of Glory – Another epic Arizona sunset

(please click on the photo for a larger view)

I always hear from people that Arizona seems to have the best sunsets.  I actually  like a lot of the ones I see shot in Florida by a few photogs I know (example).

But I tend to agree about Arizona. Of course, I’m biased and also haven’t lived anywhere else *grin*

Last night was another one of those. I hadn’t been out in awhile to shoot the sunset, and that was mostly because we just haven’t had much in the way of clouds and weather lately. But this week a giant cold front moves through the southwest and the sky last night ended up being spectacular.

Usually I love it when the sun sets and then illuminates the underbelly of the cloudy sky, but this ended up being a little different. The fluffy clouds didn’t get lit up much, but the high clouds behind it exploded in a glorious arc of color, which ended up almost as a backlight to the forward, lower-lying clouds. It made for a spectacular sight. In some ways, it almost looks like a massive nuclear explosion on the horizon that is slowly expanding.

Technically, this is a merge of two, 3-shot HDRs. I worked on it late last night, and in the morning hours I wonder if I could have straightened the horizon a little more on the left. I may tweak it later before it hits the gallery.

This was shot just about half a mile from my house. Drove down a dirt road lined with tall weeds to find a nice desert shrub to help compose the foreground.

  • Bob Lussier

    Superb! I need to go back to Arizona.

  • Shane Kirk

    Awesome Mike! I love your hdr images! Very well done!

  • jina


  • brian

    ….you are getting too good at this stuff….

  • Mike

    Thanks so much everyone…the sunset did the real work, I was just there to see it 🙂

  • Dana

    Beautiful shot! I live in Chicago, but was fortunate to visit Arizona in ’99. I loved it there.

  • Eddie

    Great photo!

  • Mike

    Thank you Eddi!

  • Chris Pokorny

    Great shot! Wonderful colors… beautiful!