Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Sunday sunset 2

with 24 comments

8:10 PM

On each of the four Sundays in January you’re seeing sunset pictures from the state whose license plates proclaim it the Land of Enchantment.

8:18 PM

These three photographs date back to June 10, 2017, at Camel Rock, 11 miles north of downtown Santa Fe. I don’t notice any overlap between the first two pictures. The third, however, zooms in on an area recognizable near the bottom of the second photograph, so you can see how cloud shapes and colors had changed in five minutes.

8:23 PM

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 14, 2018 at 4:54 AM

24 Responses

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  1. The first one is ethereal.


    January 14, 2018 at 5:01 AM

  2. Love the shades of golden colour!!


    January 14, 2018 at 6:29 AM

  3. I especially like the second image. The combination of a purer yellow and gray is so attractive, and yellow is an unusual sunset color around here. I like the diagonal streaking in the clouds, too, and the interplay of light with the streaks.


    January 14, 2018 at 7:16 AM

    • The second photograph was the last one I added to this post. Because a vertical orientation isn’t typical for a sunset photograph, I was eager to include it. To check the accuracy of my impression that vertical sunset pictures are uncommon, I just did the image search at


      and found, sure enough, that a large majority of the photographs are horizontal. Maybe when we watch sunsets we should turn our heads sideways part of the time.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 14, 2018 at 9:51 AM

      • I just looked in my sunset files, and found sixteen images that are composed vertically. Perhaps that’s part of the explanation of why I liked yours so much.

        As for sunset watching, it’s only been in the past year or so that I finally learned to turn around to see what was happening in the sky opposite the sunset. The light surely can bounce around, and the best effects aren’t always in the west.


        January 16, 2018 at 8:07 AM

        • Sixteen out of approximately how many?

          You’ve reminded me that light, like an ache in the body, surely can bounce around.

          In New Zealand, whenever I approached a street, I kept reminding myself: “Look right, keep left.” With sunsets, the watchword is “Look everywhere.”

          Steve Schwartzman

          January 16, 2018 at 8:28 AM

          • The total in the folder is 123. About 50 are duplicates, so I’d say there are 70 sunsets, give or take.

            Too bad we don’t have those extra vertebrae that allow the raptors a 270 degree swivel.


            January 16, 2018 at 8:38 AM

            • That would make better drivers, walkers, and lookers of us all.

              Based on your sample of sunsets and the one from Google, it seems you’re more disposed than average to vertical sunset pictures. Vertical landscape pictures are also a lot less common than horizontal ones.

              Steve Schwartzman

              January 16, 2018 at 8:48 AM

  4. All three are beautiful views, but the 8:18 shot has some real drama going on up there.

    Robert Parker

    January 14, 2018 at 8:26 AM

  5. The first one is very summery. And I love how quickly the clouds change. I could cloud watch all day 🙂


    January 14, 2018 at 8:44 AM

    • I’ve usually found the biggest change of all to be when the colors abruptly fade at the end of a sunset.

      I remember watching clouds in rural Honduras in 1968 and hearing a Brahms symphony on the short-wave radio. Ever since then I’ve associated moving cumulus clouds with Brahms.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 14, 2018 at 10:12 AM

  6. Enchanting.


    January 14, 2018 at 9:34 AM

  7. You see some amazing country and take some amazing photos, Steve! I love the way clouds catch the quickly changing colors at the bookends of the day. My favorite cloud colors are in the rose to rose gold part of the spectrum. I forget whether I ever asked you if you ever captured a green ray effect in progress.

    Lavinia Ross

    January 14, 2018 at 2:02 PM

    • You’re right that we’ve traveled a lot in the last two years. With five big trips in that time, each to multiple places, I sometimes get confused about which trip a certain thing was on. I wish Austin had more and better sunsets, like some of the ones we saw on those travels.

      No, I’ve never been asked about or heard of the green ray effect. I looked it up:


      Now it’s one more thing to keep an eye out for.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 14, 2018 at 5:02 PM

      • If you’re ever in the Russian River area of California, go down to the town of Jenner, at the mouth of the river where it flow into the Pacific. You’ll see some great sunsets there.

        Lavinia Ross

        January 28, 2018 at 10:25 AM

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