la cumbre, sunset, Santa Ynez Mountains, California

La Cumbre

For the majority of my life, the summit of La Cumber Peak, which towers over Santa Barbara, offered few photogenic views of the sunset. This was quite frustrating as a photographer, because the potential for such a location was tremendous. It was not restricted by the normal private property signs or bad access, but rather a tall healthy jungle of Chaparral, that is the native vegetation of this Mediterranean climate. I grew up looking at La Cumber peak, but never explored it photographically until much later in life. Then in 3 days a wild fire burned most of the South facing escarpment of La Cumber Peak, including the area near the summit. Finally for the first time in my life there were images to be created on the summit. This image was taken on a evening when I left my home office, threw the camera in the car and floored it all the way up the long windy mountain road to just make it in time for the clouds to turn color. This image was created with what was at the time, my new and very first Nikon D800 camera.

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