Lompoc, Santa Barbara, USA by Darren Whiteley

Picture Story

Like many of you by late March the impact of COVID-19 was starting to be felt and much of the local area of California was on lock-down. I had hoped this year would be a chance to get back in to more regular photography trips and it was pretty down heartening to realise many of those plans were now on an indefinite pause. However, as the local temperatures began to rise during the day while remaining relatively cool at night, the regular thick low level cloud and marine layer started to ease in the morning resulting in beautifully muted pastel colours mixed with light mist for a few minutes daily.

While the lock down meant I was not able to travel to more exotic locations to take advantage we are lucky enough to have a view of the local hills from our back garden. At wider angles the view is too messy with a major road and fields of vine dominating the view and telegraph poles and other man-made items protruding exactly where you don’t need them. Thankfully, using the wider end of my 70-200mm lens I was able to isolate some layered peaks which had a nice mix of mist and morning colours. A tripod and a cable release helped stability but I needed to work fast given the speed the sun was rising and burning away the mist and turning the morning for pastel to bright blue. Within minutes of the capture a bright California day rise was all that was left.

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