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on Nov 29, 2013 in Landscape Photography

The Worst Weather can …

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make for the best photography! My rule of thumb is, if I can handle the weather, so can the camera. In this case though, we needed the assist of a big ass hangar. It was Sunday of the Wings Over Houston airshow. As is normal, we got to the Texas Flying Legends Museum hangar well before sunrise to get to work on the sunrise shoot. Driving to the airport, saw the lightning in the distance and looking at my favorite lightning app, RadarCast, I saw a whole lot more was heading right for the airport. We pulled in, got our gear into the hangar and the skies opened up, oh my, did they let loose!!!

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The hangar doors were wide open and chairs set up, SOP. Grabbing a hot cup of coffee and watching the run rise behind all the aircraft with friends is a simple joy, but that wasn’t going to happen this morning. Within minutes, the rain was coming down so hard, it was bouncing up off the tarmac and bouncing into the hangar pushing us back at least ten feet and making us partially close the hangar doors. The heavens were putting on one helluva show, lightning bouncing every which way. As is typical pilot nature, I turn to see everyone standing under the wing of the Shrike even though we were all in the hangar. Then I see Jake setting up his camera … it was one of those Duh…. moments!

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With the D4 / 80-400VR3 set up, I focused on the FG-1D Corsair parked right outside the hangar. It was to be the sunrise shoot but that was scrubbed at this point. What you see here are the photos taken during this time. They are 15sec exposures with all the lighting a combination of lightning and vehicles driving past. The rain pouring so hard created what appears to be ground fog and the long exposure with all the mixed light did the rest. No two images look anything like the next other than the Corsair which didn’t move.

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What if there was no hangar? In this case, if I couldn’t find a wing to stand under, me and my gear would have been tucked away in the truck still. Those times when I can work in the rain, I don’t cover the gear with anything. I do have with me a dry, white towel that I will BLOT my gear dry (never, ever wipe). The thing is this, whenever you have a camera and you wonder if, follow that if especially in bad weather. If you wonder if there is a photo there, go for it! The least that might happen is, you delete that if. And the most, you’ll have a photo to always remind you of that wonder of nature you were able to capture in that click. The worst weather does produce some of the best photos!