Sunset Over Camarillo, California
February 24, 2010
Photographer: Sue Lang
Summary Author: Sue Lang; Terrill Evon; Jim Foster
The photo above shows a bloodshot sunset as observed near Camarillo, California on January 24, 2010. I noticed how beautiful the sunset was from my home, so I grabbed my camera and jumped in the car to try and get an unobstructed look. I knew I couldn’t drive too far before losing the stunning colors. Unfortunately, the closest clearing was cluttered with utility poles. Funny thing: my home is in a neighborhood where the power lines are underground. In any case, this memorable sky easily overwhelms the unsightly sea of poles and wires.
On occasion, an otherwise ordinary day can have a spectacular end if the setting Sun, clouds and or aerosols come together just so. By late in the afternoon, the light responsible for blue sky we may have enjoyed earlier is nearly completely extinguished. When the Sun is near the horizon, its longer path-length scatters out the shorter wavelength blue and violet colors from our view, leaving brush strokes of gold, tangerine and crimson in the western sky. However, if there isn’t anything to reflect or scatter the waning sunlight such as clouds, bits of dust or ash, salt particles, and the like, the sunset won’t be remarkable at all. On a crystal clear day, the Sun will simply sink as an orange/red blob in an unimaginative sky. Fortuitously, on this winter’s evening a deck of altocumulus clouds was in just the right place to capture the day’s final rays.