One of the reasons I like going down south in the winter (and there are many) is the incredible sunsets in the desert.
It seems like every day is a clear blue sky day with no clouds and then, as the day goes on, the clouds move in just in time for sunset.
There are stages to the sunset that we just don’t get on the coast. Or perhaps it doesn’t happen frequently enough that I noticed the stages before.
The part I like most happens after the sun dips below the horizon. For a quick moment there is still an orange streak on the horizon and just when the sky starts to get darker and you think the show might be over, the underside of the clouds light up and turn an intense shade of red. I like this even more when the clouds break up a little and there is some of the dark purple/blue sky behind them, as the sky gets ready for twilight. You get all the best parts of sunset and twilight in one sky.
It doesn’t happen very often, but every once in awhile all the necessary elements for a perfect sunset align, like it did when I made this desert sunset photo at Joshua Tree National Park.
Please click the image to view a larger version.
I probably go out for a sunset shot 100 times before I get a sky like this. The thing is, it only lasts a moment, and you have to be ready. It’s even better if you can get a subject with an interesting shape in the foreground to form a silhouette.