THE Traveler: Mick Richards of Burnsville.

The scene: A Divi divi, or watapana, tree turns golden at dusk on Aruba, a Dutch Caribbean island off the coast of Venezuela. These trees are known to point to the southwest. The northeast tradewinds bend the trees and help give them their fantastical, irregular shapes.

The destination: “Aruba has some beautiful coral beaches. Their weather is usually 85 degrees year round with very little rain, and they’re out of the hurricane belt. It’s a beautiful destination,” Richards wrote in an e-mail.

How he got the shot: Richards waited about 45 minutes for the sun to set and the clouds to pick up the gorgeous hues he knew from experience would arrive. Just as the sun was setting, a sailboat glided into view. “The boat appeared in the frame for about 15 seconds or so and I took about 12 shots. … It was a lucky shot,” Richards wrote. “I liked the colors of the clouds and the Divi tree in the foreground. The sailboat on the horizon was an added plus,” he added.

The equipment: Richards used a Pentax K5II S camera, with a 12-24mm lens.

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