Seeing Things, Saying Things

Musings About Writing, Photography and Teaching

My Most Vivid Sunset in Colors and Memory

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It is the last day of a trip I made to California in 1981. It is Halloween and I spent the day driving my rental car up the Pacific Coast highway north of Los Angeles. Later this evening I would board an Amtrak train in LA and head for Kansas City.

There had been a forest fire on this day and a guy I met at an overlook said that that would create a beautiful sunset.

I stayed around and found out that he had been right. Oh, had he been right.

I do not know the location of this image, only that is is somewhere along the Pacific coast of California. I had a star filter and I used it in this image, which was made on slide film.

Sunsets and sunrises are among my favorites photographs to make. I’ve made hundreds of late day images over the years and seen many nice sunsets.

Yet I’ve never saw a sunset quite as intense as this one with its vivid red colors.

Maybe these are routine along the California coast, particular when there is a forest fire sending smoke out over the Pacific.

Whatever the case, I’m grateful that I met a stranger who tipped me off to what waiting around could bring.


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