Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Sunset over the Guadalupe Mountains

with 13 comments


Not long after we’d left El Capitán and the sumacs behind us on November 9th last year, I glimpsed colors in my rear-view mirror that were not only brighter than those of fall foliage but also more ephemeral. I pulled over, put a long lens on the camera, and took pictures looking back while the light lasted. Notice how the stray illuminated cloud in the upper left partly counterbalances the dark profile of the Guadalupe Mountains at the lower right.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 14, 2017 at 5:00 AM

13 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Is that a stray cloud, or an extension of the lighted clouds below that’s been obscured by a layer of closer clouds? It surely looks as though there are striations in that stretch of black across the sky, and it seems to be a different black than that at the top of the photo. In any event, it certainly makes a beautiful image even more interesting.


    January 14, 2017 at 7:11 AM

    • In answer to the “or” in your question I’ll be inclusive and say that both make sense. Across much of the top of the photograph there does seem to be an obscuring band, which to my mind turns that cloud in the upper left into a stray, at least in terms of the composition of the resulting picture.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 14, 2017 at 7:30 AM

  2. How often do I glimpse a sunset in the rear mirror and wish I had a camera pointing in that direction. Frustratingly there are hardly ever any places to pull in to until far too late.


    January 14, 2017 at 7:50 AM

    • One good thing I found in the wide open spaces of west Texas is that it wasn’t hard to pull over whenever I wanted to. Elsewhere I’ve sometimes had your experience of not finding a spot to stop when I wanted to.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 14, 2017 at 9:52 AM

  3. Ah, the rear view mirror… how many times does it lend a stunning, almost “afterthought” of our journey. Very beautiful capture, Steve!


    January 14, 2017 at 8:20 AM

    • Your notion of an afterthought is apt here. The pictures showing this sunset were the last I took on our long trip. The next day, the twenty-sixth of the adventure, we traveled home to Austin and I didn’t take a single photograph.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 14, 2017 at 9:56 AM

  4. Great shot, Steve. To me, it looks somewhat threatening.


    January 14, 2017 at 9:05 AM

  5. Hey Steve .. so powerful! I would have stopped too. Very pleased that you did …


    January 18, 2017 at 12:20 PM

    • Yes, I was compelled to stop. Only after I got out of the car could I look back and see clearly.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 18, 2017 at 2:10 PM

  6. A beautiful molten sky, Steve! I don’t comment too often, but I am always impressed with your work, and there is always something new to learn on your site. Those rapidly changing scenes at day’s beginning and end are ephemeral. Sometimes I have been lucky, often I am too slow.

    Lavinia Ross

    January 22, 2017 at 9:55 PM

    • Thanks, Lavinia. I appreciate your continuing interest in my pictures from nature. I never get tired of learning, and as a long-time teacher I enjoy passing along new knowledge.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 22, 2017 at 9:59 PM

  7. […] we continued on to New Mexico, the dark clouds played a role in the dramatic sunset you saw here early last […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: