Hahns Peak, Colorado
A week, an hour, a split second. The decisions that led me to be sitting on this particular hill on this particular night unfolded continuously as time rushed toward this moment. I had been here once, twice before in different conditions but was still unsatisfied with the results. I was at a nearby lake when the sun started to lean towards the pine-spiked horizon and I knew that this was the night.
A foot-tapping rush on my drive melted into serene patience once I had crossed the muddy flats and arrived at the small hill, found the spot I marked out from last time, and waited. The sun and clouds danced in a thousand 'just-right' moments, but this one emerged from my own doing: while all the other images were zoomed in, a less depth-filled take on just the far flowers and mountain, for this one I zoomed out and let the expanse of the scene flow into the lens. Although I did not know it yet, I would end up very glad for that experimental impulse.
But I sat for a while longer, even as the light faded and the temperature fell. Earlier on the evening's show made me audibly cheer on the sun; I decided I was going to stay for the credits.