On the way to take my wife to see a movie tonight, we waited at a red light and I had to get a quick shot of this impending sunset. It’s not a great picture, and it’s far from a gorgeous sunset, for that matter, but this is actually a good example of my favorite kind of light: the kind that streaks across the sky and creates sharp silhouettes.
There are lots of small mountains to the west of Las Vegas, but they usually appear to be just a drab, uniform row of jagged rocks. But, at the right time of day, at the right time of the year, the sun sets at an angle just right for sending its rays through the gaps between them, reminding us that they’re actually layered silently and dozens of miles apart.
In the picture above, starting in the middle and looking left, there are four distinct mountains visible, each highlighted by a unique brilliance of sideways light; a different quality of sunlight slides down diagonally through the spaces separating them.
Light shows us the size of the empty space that was invisible before, while giving each of the pieces of mountain stacked side by side over there its own personality.
Some of my favorites as I review the contents of my tablet from the last two months:
Sunset at North Las Vegas Stake Pioneer Day, Saturday, July 26, 2014
At Zion National Park, August 2014, approaching the Narrows. In canyons, I like the contrast between high stone walls and sky. Here, I also like the dark tone.
And here I like the bright tone.
Great shade of blue in this one.
I like this view of receding canyon walls, lapping like waves.
It was a cloudy day, which created some nice contrasts, such as here, with darkness in the foreground and light farther off.
Preparing to splash around with the kids in the Virgin River.
Directly above the previous picture.
At Spring Mountain Ranch, west of Las Vegas, August 29, 2014. We went to see a production of Shrek, and it was a ton of fun, but I always like the wait–standing out there just before sunset creates some excellent chances to see light streaming sideways through these mountains.
And into this nearby field.
A small pool created by the setting sun.
Sun’s almost done for the day, and the light rays are stronger now.
My favorite view of the Salt Lake Temple: Saturday, August 30, 2014.
Sunrise on my way to work, Friday, September 5, 2014.
The horizon is giving birth to a sun.