Orange and Black – Sunset from Windy Hill California

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The Santa Cruz Mountains of California, silhouetted against a uniformly orange sky at sunset, from Windy Hill Open Space.

Most of the time, Sunsets are usually judged by their explosiveness and drama. Towering clouds, for instance, or bright rays, a full spectrum of vivid colors… those are the things that usually make a memorable sunset. However, that type of sunset can be hard to come by in California. The atmosphere there is much drier than in my previous homes, which means fewer cumulus clouds, and very empty skies. But they can also be very beautiful in their own way. They draw your attention more towards the shape of the land. And in California, the land can take some pretty cool shapes. This panorama I took from Windy Hill Open Space is a prime example. The blanket of fog above the Pacific Ocean turned the sky above into a totally blank slate. When the sun dipped under the horizon, the sky turned a more uniform shade of orange than I think I've ever seen before (in a sky). This drew my eye away from the sky and towards the beautiful curves of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The gentle slopes of the hills have an almost sensual beauty about them. In fact, even the power line pylons, which I usually consider a huge distraction, seemed helpful by adding another unique shape into the scene.

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