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Adventures in Mindfulness

Katie Estes is a freelance designer, art director, photographer and stylist. She sometimes writes too. 

How to Make a Sunset Stressful

Katie Estes

Take a picture of it! 

I was driving across Texas, going 90 I'm sure, when I noticed that an outrageous sunset was setting up. Picture anxiety started to appear, my immediate thought being well sunsets last all of 15 minutes, so I'm already too late. Had I known sunsets in Texas last an hour and half, I would've calmed down a bit. I was armed with my phone, clicking away while driving, but the camera roll was already full of 17 identical windmill pictures in a not amazing pink and purple sky. Then that little dialogue box, "storage almost full" popped up, as it has been for the past year. Then the camera stalled with the blurry background, taunting me like maybe I'll let you take a picture, but I haven't decided yet. Nope. No more room, no camera for you.

So I anxiously deleted, decreasing my speed to a responsible 85. (If cruise control is on, I just go in the back and read a book.) Noticing that the sunset was actually getting better, I made a last minute decision to swerve off to an exit and unleash the big camera. Big Camera is such a source of anxiety. It's so powerful and I use it to about 25% of it's power, so more often than not I just keep it tucked away like that fancy coffee table book you don't want open or touch too much for fear of it actually looking, you know, used. I pulled over, got out without a jacket, the temperature dropped 40 degrees as I was driving, and shivered while setting up Big Camera. I had that mind argument with my camera that I'm sure other photographers have that goes something like, "why aren't you seeing what my eyes are seeing!!!" Or maybe good photographers just change their settings and patiently wait for the perfect photo. :)

Below is the best I got before retreating back inside to the heated seats. The sky melted into deep pinks, purples, blues, and finally into a fiery magenta as I hit Amarillo. Even though I stressed about not being able to properly capture exactly what my eyeballs recorded, I was able to enjoy the sky show quite a bit.