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Get Off My Cloud

Sharon Williams


Behind the Shot

Huddled under the iconic straw hut at Doheny State Beach, photographer Sharon Williams sat alone as the rain started pouring all around her. Earlier she had noticed the skies churning, so she hustled to the shore just in time for the rare sunset storm to begin. 

“Doheny is one of my favorite local beaches—a little slice of that special Southern California surf vibe,” she says. “I went down there that evening because I saw that the clouds were special, and I knew the sunset show would be spectacular.”

The steady cadence of raindrops sounded on the straw roof. Sharon’s skin was damp from the steamy sea breeze as she gazed at the dreamy skies: colors, patterns, light, texture. She wanted to lie in the sand and let the rain stream over her. (Her camera gear begged her to reconsider.)

When the storm stopped, the sunset lit up the soft clouds like an oil painting. Sharon grabbed her long lens and zoomed in on the scene. She captured a print that conveys classic cloud love on a warm California summer night.