AUG 2014. There were thunderstorms over the Sierra but they did not share their rain with the drought ridden lower foothills and the CA Central Valley. They did, however, produce some beautifully dramatic skies. For this image, I decided to use black and white because I felt black and white would emphasize the drama. I purposely broke the rules about shooting in the golden hours, the hours just after sunrise and just before sunset, when the colors are warmer. I did so because I wanted the strong contrasts and strong shadows afforded by the mid afternoon sun. Here you are looking at dry stream bed; a common occurrence in the foothills in late summer. The stream bed is lined with large oaks and golden grass. Cattle graze despite the lack of moisture. Those old enough to remember the cowboy movies of the 1940â€™s and 1950â€™s will find this landscape familiar.