The Story Behind Sunset Cypress
Hi, I am Jamie, a nature & landscape photographer from Las Vegas, Nevada. I have been creating art from my photos for almost 20 years, first underwater, now on dry land.
It has always been my dream to become a full-time professional artist. Now that I have been capturing photographs on dry land for a few years, I have an overwhelming urge to travel all the time. I've always dreamt of capturing my two favorite things in one shot, trees and the ocean.
This particular trip was during the torrential rainstorm in the Winter of 2022. It was toward the beginning of the atmospheric rivers of moisture hitting the Western United States one after another. The rain had been coming down in sheets all day. Waves were crashing against the rocks, and the wind was howling. Despite my rain gear, I was drenched and chilled to the bone. However, I was patient and determined to capture the photograph I longed for.
I arrived at the Lone Cypress parking lot just before sunset and began to set up my equipment. Storm clouds were overhead, with only a sprinkle of rain coming from the sky. I became doubtful that the weather would hold out long enough to complete my mission.
The local weather alerts advised people to stay indoors as there was a danger of flooding, fallen trees, and wind gusts up to 48 miles per hour. I understood the risks but simply couldn't let this opportunity pass me by.
As I got out of the truck, I saw the 15-foot waves crashing on the granite hill. The sound of the roaring ocean only renewed my will to succeed. The wind was whipping my hair around, and the chill in the air added to the excitement. I could taste the saltwater mist in the air as the waves crashed against the sea's edge while the smell of the cold crisp ocean air filled my nostrils. I was careful to stay safe from the edge as I did not want to get swept out to sea by a rogue wave.
The wind picked up, and I battled the elements to stabilize my tripod. As the rain remained steady, my heart sank as I realized water spots were soaking my camera lens. Keeping it dry long enough to snap a photo was nearly impossible. Every photo I snapped was just about ruined!
I then realized I had a lens hood in my gear bag! Could it shield the front of my camera from the rain long enough to capture the photograph? I quickly attached it to the front of my lens and wiped the spots free yet again.
The sun was now setting, and I snapped shot after shot, capturing the waves crashing on the granite rock below the famous tree. The Lone Cypress stood tall against the stormy sky, and the rain and waves added to the drama in the background. I knew this was the shot I'd been dreaming of.
I felt a sense of accomplishment wash over me. Photographing the most famous tree in the world was a dream come true, and even a rainstorm couldn't get in my way.
I was proud to have persevered and completed my mission against all odds. The accomplishment of adding such a stunning picture to my professional portfolio brought me closer to my dream of becoming a professional photographer.