8.10.2012

dear mother nature: thanks for the rain and lightning

So, I got a text the other night--just as I was nodding off at the computer. I hate when that happens--nodding off and texts that wake me up. But not this time.

Bro-in-law: (9:18 p.m.) U see this lightning?
Me: Yeah--I've been sitting on the driveway enjoying it (Note: this was an outright lie. I had seen it flash a few times from my office window while working on other photos but didn't think much of it. Especially since I could barely keep my eyes open.)
Bro-in-law: U should get some pictures. It's awesome.
Me: I've been contemplating going to find a place to shoot that would be interesting (Note: this was the truth, but only after receiving his first text)
Bro-in-law: Esp those slow shutter speed shots
(9:32 p.m.) Went to the garage to see what all the fuss was about. Nice. But it didn't last long.
Me: (9:40 p.m.) Dang rain. I missed my chance. :(
Bro-in-law: That sux
...
(9:45 p.m.) The wheels in my head start spinning. There's no going to sleep now... "Now that I'm awake, maybe I should go get something to eat and just see what this storm is going to do," I thought to myself after sitting in the garage, texting and watching the rain fall.
(9:55 p.m.) Late dinner at Bread Co., watching the rain pour through the open door of a vacant building. "This oughta' make for a cool shot," I thought, and took a few pictures while the floor of the car got drenched.
(9:57 p.m.) Dang. Sixteen shots, and not a single one turned out worth a darn. Dejected, I put the car in drive and went home.
(10:10 p.m.) Uploaded to Lightroom my failed images, just in case there was one worth saving. Nope. 
(11:15 p.m.) Rain started to let up again. "Maybe I'll try again?" And then the internal struggle began. I barely had slept the night before. It was already late, and there was a good chance the rain would start again before I could get anywhere high up and worth photographing. But, what if? So I put on my Sanuks, grabbed the tri-pod and camera bag, and took off for Town and Country. My philosophy when shooting scenery is this: if you look at something twice, it's probably worth making a photograph of. Even if it seems inconvenient. Same theory had to apply here. "Stop trying to talk yourself out of it, Ben. Just go."
(11:40 p.m.) In the car, I head for the St. Louis Temple. "But what if the lightning is coming from the south? You won't have access to the north side of the temple."
(11:41 p.m.) Decided to keep driving anyway.
(12:01 a.m.) First test shots of the St. Louis Temple. Thankfully, no rain yet.
(12:02 a.m.) Eureka! Lightning off to the west. Perfect. Adjusted my settings to properly expose for the bright white of the building and the dark of night. Missed a few good strikes. But then...

(12:06, 12:07, 12:10, 12:15 a.m.) These:
St. Louis Temple during lightning stormSt. Louis Temple during lightning storm
St. Louis Temple lightning storm
St. Louis Temple lightning storm (12:28 a.m.) Couldn't have asked for a better night. Packed up and went home. Again.
(1:06 a.m.) Climbed into bed. Turned off the phone. No more late-night texts.

3 Reader Comments :

Lorrie Munson said...

These are really amazing. Your staying awake paid off in some really beutiful pictures.

The Morgans said...

Ben - these are amazing! Thank you for staying awake! Now go catch up on some sleep.

Kara Pothier said...

Awesome- Totally wroth the lack of sleep!

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