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Monday, August 15, 2011

Once-in-a-lifetime shot ... he gets it off before the buzzer ... it's ... a ... real ... brick

     When I saw the traffic light was red and the sun an unimpeded orange ball, my antennae went up. I figured I'd have time for a couple decent shots. As cliched as it may be, I'm a sucker for silhouetted tree shots and one was approaching on the right.

     I'm as far from a techno wiz as William Bendix was on "The Life of Riley," so all I did was guess on how to set the camera. Since I'd be shooting directly into the sun, I figured I'd adjust it for bright sun (one of the general settings), shoot at maybe 400 ASA and let the blurry photo chips fall where they would.

     And fall they did

     In self-defense, I only had time for one shot (the light changed when I pulled up) and it was on a busy road where lolly-gagging as I would to photograph a Show-Me State donkey on a little two-lane road wasn't possible. Speaking of mules, I was also driving myself to get to work by 7, deadline-day start time at the News Bunker.

     Part of the problem with the photo is the random focus. Had I focused on the tree, it would've been a better shot. Had I focused on the sky near the sun, it might've been passable. Had I focused on the sun (and known what I was doing to compensate for the intense light), it would've been even bester!
     
     But with a single shot and little time to make those kind of decisions, I shot into the void and got a blurry picture. One thing I can say: there was nothing staged about it. It's natural blurry void photography at its sub-finest!

    But wait, there was a bonus! Call it A Silver Lining Moment. When I began to click the shutter, the pea-shooter flash on my Olympus popped up and fired when the shot was taken. The flash clearly reflected off the pick-up truck in front of me, part of it making its presence known in the driver's rear-view mirror. I saw the driver turn his head toward the mirror and accelerate slowly, thinking that he'd tripped an evil traffic cam. 

     Even if he hadn't done anything wrong (which he didn't), when something like that happens the tendency is to think the worst of yourself. It's a byproduct of primordial guilt. Who knows, maybe the driver was Jewish, maybe Catholic. I'm guessing that he'll be looking in his mailbox for a traffic summons in the next 10 days to two weeks.

    I know I would.

    On balance, my ill-conceived photo wasn't what I wanted, but I was still compensated. For one moment, I had the force of traffic-camera intimidation in my hands.





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