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Thread: Murphy's Light

  1. #1
    NedL's Avatar
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    Murphy's Light

    This post is just a place to grumble. Feel free to ignore or commiserate.

    A couple years ago, I was standing at a pullout overlooking Anza Borrego in Southern California with the sun setting over the mountains behind me. Anza Borrego is in a broad flat plain, and I watched the shadow of the ridge behind me race across the plain at an almost unbelievable speed. The shadow moved miles in seconds. It was an amazing sight that I'll never forget.

    Fast forward a couple years. The past few weeks I've been driving by a tractor parked in the middle of a wide flat neatly plowed field. It casts neat long shadows in the late afternoon, and I've been meaning to stop for a photo. Yesterday I drove by it on the way to walk the dog and I thought to myself, "the light will be just perfect on the way home". So on the way home I stopped, but I was a little late. The sunlight was on the top 5 feet or so of the cab, but the base of the tractor was already in shadow. It still looked interesting and the light was dramatic. So I braced my camera on a fence post and as I was framing the picture, the fence post moved and made me release the shutter by mistake. I advanced the film, raised the camera to my eye, and the light was gone. There was no longer sunlight on the tractor at all. Couldn't have been more than 15 or 20 seconds. Wow.

    There is a ridge off to the West of the valley that the sun went behind, and it made me think not only of Anza Borrego, but how many times I've had the light change suddenly just when I wanted a photo!
    Last edited by NedL; 10-31-2013 at 04:24 PM. Click to view previous post history.

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    I've had shots I've been composing for years and haven't nailed the light just perfectly.
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    I get a few days twice a year when the setting sun is directly 'down river' .. then overcast must be elsewhere. Photographers as sculpture artist's. Attempting to capture the vision in the chosen medium.
    Earth is rotating at 15 degrees an hour. Not much time when your cutting the edge. Might try photographers ephemeras app. for rise set and angle. That is one fast moving edge to catch. Best of opportunities to you.

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    hey ned

    sometimes i go by a building and then the next time i am there with my camera
    the building has been torn down ... no rhyme or reason, here one day, gone the next!
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    hey ned

    sometimes i go by a building and then the next time i am there with my camera
    the building has been torn down ... no rhyme or reason, here one day, gone the next!

    hilarious.


    You know about the light, it just won't stop long enough. It's what makes things beautiful, and enticing. my wife still doesn't understand when i point to the wonderful pastels and how beautiful they are. even though i do B&W.

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    I went to Tennessee with my mother this year and would get out of the car and wait for the perfect formations of clouds and light conditions.

    I remember waiting two hours in Gum Swamp in the mountains and hearing her say "I'm gonna shut the god damn light off!" LOL

    needless to say I will be solo next time I go
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    NedL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    hey ned

    sometimes i go by a building and then the next time i am there with my camera
    the building has been torn down ... no rhyme or reason, here one day, gone the next!
    Ha! EXACTLY! I've got stories like that. I'm half convinced that if you see a photo, think about it, and then even for half a heartbeat think "I'll come back and get it later", whatever is in the scene will just disappear into a parallel universe.

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    Murphy's light. I like that. =)

    And nanian. I know exactly what you mean. I have many pictures which if I hadn't stopped that day would no longer exist because of destruction... trees, buildings, you name it. Of course there are many more images that I didn't stop for and are now lost... beauty, in all it's guises, is an ephemeral thing.

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    The picture that got away.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Dougherty View Post
    Murphy's light. I like that. =)
    Murphy is an optimist!

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