A final sliver of light

There is nothing more fun to me than finding an old photo you forgot to process, especially if it’s something you are excited about. This shot was taken back in January of this year out in the Usery Mountain area northeast of Phoenix. I had been sitting in this one spot waiting for the sun to set and for the clouds to move off the top of the Four Peaks. There was snow on them from a winter storm that blew through and I was worried that the clouds would never lift and it would be a wasted trip. If you haven’t seen that photo before…well, the clouds did indeed rise above! These aren’t the Four Peaks above, but they were just to the south of my location.

The trip taught me one of my early photography lessons: Don’t be so focused on one thing that you ignore what’s going on around you. It was easier here because I was sitting for over an hour and looking around was natural. But the key moment came when the sun hit those Four Peaks and I was so worried about them I almost missed a few other gorgeous views.

This was one of them. The sun’s appearance below a line of clouds until it disappeared for the day lasted maybe 15 minutes. It was a short window of opportunity and that’s what I love about this photo. You can see the sun is only cast on part of the scene…a sliver of light before it left completely. The cactus stand alone, cloaked in shadow, while the hills appear bathed in warm light. Was so peaceful out there that night. Fond memories.

On another note…Arizona is gorgeous. I’ve wanted to move for a really long time…the summers are brutal here and being a native, they seem to get worse for me. But in the last year my desires have changed somewhat I think. I blame photography of course. There is just so much beauty here…I’m a long way from done shooting this state.