“Peaceful, easy feeling” is how this photo has been described to me. I think that fits. It does have a certain calmness to it. The muted colors, the openness of the countryside, the sense that time moves more slowly here than in the rest of the world… all serve to reinforce that calm, peaceful, easy feeling. Every time you go by it you want to stop and follow the road around the bend.
The Montezuma Hills are in the southeast corner of Solano County, along the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, just south of Rio Vista. Historically the area had been used for what is called “dry farming”, and there’s pretty much no other reason to go there. There are no state highways into the area, nor do any bridges cross over into the area. If you find yourself in the Montezuma Hills it is because you went there purposely or you’re lost. Option C does not exist.
California, in general, is known for its wonderful scenery. A photographer’s paradise. California is also known for its smog and air pollution. And this day was one of those days. I actually went out to shoot this road in the other direction, where there is a barn in a valley. Problem was, the sky was so brown it ruined the shot.
I took a few shots anyway, then as I was packing up I turned around and saw this. This spoke to me. I composed the shot, purposely cropping the sky out of the picture, and here’s the result. What’s ironic is that the smog acted as something of a diffuser and gave the scene the muted look that you see. In this case the air pollution actually aided the photo.
I guess the moral of the story is to always keep an open mind and an open eye. And just in case you’re wondering, yes, I do have this one on my wall.