This past August 9, AAA Washington member Leigh Ann Wathen was doing what she often does on a summer evening: She was outside on her 1-acre property in Yakima’s West Valley, tossing a ball to her border collie mix, Lucy. Between throws, Wathen kept her eye on the sky.
Wathen, who works for the city of Yakima in the finance department, is a serious photographer. In high school, she took every photography class she could, and then volunteered to be the teacher’s assistant when there were no more classes offered.
Although calling herself “a non-professional photographer,” Wathen has shot some weddings and the senior pictures for several of her friends’ kids. But sunsets are her favorite, and she rarely goes outside in the evening without her phone or a camera.
On this Tuesday evening, as the sun dipped beneath the horizon, the sky glowed bright yellow from the West. Yellowish-orange seams burst through pillowy purple clouds above her head. Wathen walked behind the old wooden birdhouse on her property and crouched down a little to find the right angle, snapping the photo on her Samsung A52 cellphone.
“The formation of the clouds really made for a stunning sunset,” Wathen said. “It was just really an amazing sunset, the colors and just the cloud formations and all that combined.”
—Written by Victor Whitman