Rainbow Power Picture of the Week

Like a lot of photographers,  I shoot a lot more images than I show. Most of them never see the light of day. On each outing—like last week’s rain day—I’ll fire off 50 to 75 shots and when I transfer them to my computer, I’ll have one or two keepers—if I’m lucky. The first thing I do is to delete the mistakes immediately—you know, the accidental shot of my feet that I get when taking the camera out of the bag—or shots that are hopelessly out of focus. Then I look for the best. I really should get rid of the rest, but even though I may never look at them again, I keep them on file.

There are lots of reasons that I reject a photograph. The composition isn’t right, the focus is soft, or the shot didn’t work. As a landscape photographer, I have a thing about power lines. They’re everywhere, and I have to work around them. That means that I’ll drive or walk a bit to remove them from the scene.

Rainbow Power
Rainbow Power – A rainbow seems to rise from high power lines along the Joshua Tree Parkway in central Arizona.

And that brings me to this week’s featured image that I call Rainbow Power. No matter how much we grumpy old photographers groan about them, we still look at pictures of flowers, babies, kittens, and rainbows. We just don’t want to get caught doing it. This week’s image is one of those rejects that I kept returning to it because it shows the range of light last week’s fast-moving storm dragged along the Joshua Tree Parkway as it moved north. Besides, I think rainbows are pretty.

I’ll probably never print this image because of the power lines, but this rainbow was intense and seemed to disappear into the clouds then descend again to the left out of the camera’s view. Oh, and I missed the pink unicorn because it ran over the hill before I could frame the shot. Moments after snapping this image, even the rainbow disappeared. The weather was happening so fast that I didn’t have time to work it—trying different angles, different framing, or changing the site to eliminate the wires. All that I had time to do was capture the moment—warts and all.

You can see a larger version of Rainbow Power on its Web Page by clicking here. I hope you enjoy viewing this week’s post and next week; we’ll show another featured image from the Joshua Tree Parkway.

Until next time — jw

February Storm Picture of the Week

My mother used to tell me that I didn’t have enough sense to come in out of the rain. Did your mom say things like that to you when you were growing up? Mine had a catalog of proverbs, one for every occasion. It’s too bad she’s gone now because after 70 years I finally have a witty retort. Making comments about our mental faculties—my sisters got the treatment too—was slandering our lineage and upbringing. In other words, my parents didn’t give me much intelligence, or they didn’t learn me well. So my behavior was her fault. Take that mom.

Maybe she was right though. Last week, we had a couple of fast-moving storms come through Congress. These weren’t the usual winter fronts that are uniformly gray and dreary. Instead, these storms had layered low clouds with scattered showers interspersed with blue patches. I spent a lot of time staring out of the window watching the changing light, before telling Queen Anne that I was going to play in the rain. You’ll never guess what she said.

After tossing my camera and a spare lens into Archie, I drove up and down the Joshua Tree Parkway a couple of times. It is my current monthly topic after all, and as I said last week, it’s nearby. There were times along the road that I had the sunroof open, so I could stand on the seat to take a shot, mixed with moments where the wipers couldn’t keep up with the deluge. Some shots got away because I couldn’t quickly find a safe spot to pull over. It seemed that there was always a semi filling my rearview mirror. This game of highway dodge-ball went on for a couple of hours before the light got so dim that the exposures were too long to hand hold the camera.

February Storm
February Storm – A winter storm moves north over Malpais Mesa.

Of the shots that I took, I liked this one best. It shows a squall line as it moved north over Malpais Mesa and lots of Joshua Trees in the foreground. I called this image February Storm. I feel that the gold, gray, and even hints of blue captured the essence of last week’s storms. It also shows that there are exciting images to shoot even when the weather’s not perfect. Just remember to bring a cloth to wipe your camera dry.

You can see a larger version of February Storm on its Web Page by clicking here. I hope you enjoy viewing this week’s post and next week; we’ll show another featured image from the Joshua Tree Parkway.

Until next time — jw