|Sunset on the North Coast, 2012|
I grew up in Bakersfield where it was a greater challenge to find colorful sunsets and sunrises. I worked many night shifts on the railroad, and saw my share of sunrises and sunsets, but because I mostly worked nights; I saw many more sunrises.
The air in the lower San Joaquin Valley is trapped in the cauldron that is created by the surrounding mountains. The predominate air flow is from north-to-south, and the dust and pollutants rapidly build up, and have no exit. The air will clear after a storm blows through, and views of the mountains and sky are temporarily cleared. It usually only takes a day or so before the inversion layer recreates the opaque screen that filters the view.
I gauged air quality in Bakersfield by looking toward the mountains. If I could see Breckenridge and Bear Mountains then I knew I could look for opportunities to photograph landscapes. I will admit that looking toward "my" two mountains was normally the first thing I did when I lived and worked there.
|Bear Mountain from the Foothills Near Sandcut, East of Bakersfield, 2006|