It’s all about La Nina this year.  It has to be.  Sunsets around here have been absolutely stunning this fall, more so than previous years. Okay, maybe  I’m fictionalizing it a little bit.

Could it be true that the ENSO (El Niño/La Niña-Southern Oscillation) cycle plays a part in the type of sunsets we get? During those El Nino winters, it seems to rain right at sunset, all a photog gets is gray foregrounds and backgrounds.

Whatever the reason, the Red Sky At Night thing has been awe inspiring.  I love news photography, my bread and butter so to speak.  Being artsy is my counter intuitive alter-ego.

And why not?  Sunsets take the edge off stressful days.

If you stare at it long enough, it looks like ripples in water. Shot just off Piner Road in Santa Rosa, Thursday Nov. 18, 2010. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2010

On the newsier side, photographing the announced closure of State Farm Insurance’s Rohnert Park location had it’s own challenge.  According to reporter Jeremy Hay’s story, employees of State Farm were asked not to talk with the media. No one wanted to be photographed either.  Instead, we interviewed owners of businesses close to State Farm to find out what the closure would mean for them.

With a little luck, a nice moment at Mama Mocha’s gave a slice of life look to the community surrounding State Farm.

Neva Hunter, owner of Mocha Mama's drive up coffee shop across the street from State Farm in Rohnert Park, greets regular customer Tim Caldwell of Cotati and his terrier, Tug, Thursday Nov. 18, 2010. Hunter says a portion of her business is from State Farm and will impact her bottom line when the insurance company closes it's doors. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2010

-Kent Porter