My March 2018 Photo of the Month is Layerscape, a photograph made during a stormy afternoon in the Laguna Mountains overlooking Granite Peak.
There probably isn’t a subject I enjoy photographing more than a clearing storm. With the Winter of 2017-2018 being extremely dry for San Diego County, some small storms were significant for us.
This section of Sunrise Highway is often overlooked. It is located below 5,000 feet, so this is in the transition zone from pine forest to California chaparral. This location is East of Cuyamaca Lake, so I suspect many people drive past it. The overlook has a wonderful view North to one of the more prominent peaks in Anza Borrego, Granite Mountain.
Because the sun is to the West in the afternoon, I find that Granite Mountain often has beautiful shadows and highlights on its face. You can stand there for quite some time, enjoying these changes.
I called this image Layerscape because I felt my composition was built in horizontal layers. The cirrus-like clouds transitioned to a layer of storm clouds. The next transition was to the granite landscapes. The final transition was to the desert chaparral.
I have been making more black and white images than usual. A little must be some weariness with sunrises and sunsets. I have a huge backlog of them, and that’s what people post again and again. I have had a feeling that my monochrome images have felt more inspired.
San Diego’s East County also continues to be under-appreciated. Its not that there aren’t a lot of people around. Sunrise Highway can be pretty busy at times. But it mostly is void of the crowds in other areas that make some visits a little unpleasant. May East County remain that way!
As always, thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy the image.
T.M. Schultze is a San Diego-based photographer, traveller, and writer. He writes, photographs, and draws things of the outdoors that have inspired humans for thousands of years. He co-authored the Photographer’s Guide to Joshua Tree Park which can be purchased here.