As I was digging through recent shots for possible entries in a local photo contest, I came across this. Captured about two months ago in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, it’s a good example of how intense the light from a southwest sunset can be.
It was one of those afternoons that would tempt you to write of any chance of there being good light for photography, but a careful look to the west revealed just a few small breaks in the clouds. Perhaps as the sun set it would shine through one of those openings. It was a long shot, but I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t take the chance.
I drove to the preserve and hiked to an area that I’d yet to explore. After finding what looked like a good composition, I waited for the sun to drop down into one of the small openings in the wall of clouds. It finally happened— just as the sun reached the horizon—and only lasted for a minute or two! Sometimes it seems that the shorter that window of sunlight through clouds is, the more intense it seems to be.