Monday, June 2, 2008

Racing with the light...

Yeah, that's right. Yesterday evening I had a race with the light. I think the last time I did that was last May and I was in Italy. I was running through the streets of Rome at 4:00 in the morning trying to get to the Coliseum in time to catch the perfect light. I had overslept, and I was literally losing my chance at the right light. It turned out okay, and I might post that shot someday.

This time, I was running up the side of a mountain. The sad part is that I had been up there an hour before and I had looked at the clouds and the sun, and said to myself, "Self, if you go down and get the camera, hike back up and wait for an hour, there might be some magic here." I decided that I wouldn't. I was out to enjoy the woods and check out the Good Medicine area, not particularly to photograph anything. So I hiked down. At my car, I debated again with myself as I watched the sun lower. I even got out my camera and sat there on the curb for a minute looking at the sun. I took a quick picture of the church steeple next door and then I just left. About 15 minutes and five miles later I sat in the Arby's parking lot and the sun popped below the clouds. Suddenly, the light that I had suspected was coming was there hitting me right in the face and dancing off everything around me. The light was so pretty that I started to go nuts. I was stuck in the drive through lane wishing that I could get out. I simply could not resist, and I decided to go back. I drove back to the trail head, debated for a second what lens to take, decided by grabbing my whole camera bag and tripod, and proceeded to run up the trail. I quickly realized that I was not going to make it to where I wanted to be before the light was gone. So I stopped right there and took this shot. I almost missed it. I didn't have a tripod mount on my big lens, and when I tried to quickly put it on, I got the wrong hole and the the whole affair wouldn't mount on my tripod. In a moment of desperation I finally bagged the tripod and handheld this shot, which worked fine anyway.

The light didn't last long, but shooting over the tops of the trees made for an interesting shot. Two minutes completely changed the whole scene, and while sunset photos are a dime a dozen, I sort of like this one. I probably couldn't have timed it better if I had tried. It always amazes me how my mood bleeds into the photograph. I was in a most calm and serene state of mind, and I think it shows up here in this image.


Anonymous said...

I can see in my mind the fight with the tripod. It's a great shot. I'm glad you changed your mind at Arby's.

Anonymous said...

You know how I feel about this photo. I think it is one of the best you have taken. There was magic in the air and you caught it and translated it into this gorgeous shot. I feel like a bird and this is my view. I am usually unsatisfied with sunset photos but this one surpasses most with the brilliant composition of the trees in the foreground and the shades of dark in the clouds. Perfect.