I’m a fan of all kinds of landscape photography, and one of my favorites is a picture of hills or mountains receding into the hazy distance, with the colors getting foggier and more washed out the farther away they are. Here’s an example if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

I’ve tried taking pictures like this all my life, but they’re never any good. The photo never captures what the scene looks like in real life. On Saturday I was seduced once again as I was driving out to Silverado Canyon. There they were: our local foothills, receding into the distance. I felt like a bit of a chump, but I stopped and took some pictures. Then some more a mile later. Then some more. And some more. Finally I gave up and headed to the canyon.

When I got home, I was shocked: several of the pictures turned out pretty well. The best of the lot shows eight different shades counting the sky. And it required no manipulation at all except for some exposure compensation (the original was overexposed). I’d like to capture something even better, so I can’t quite check this photo cliche off my bucket list. But I almost can.

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Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

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It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

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