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I Should’ve Been A Boy Scout…

March 17, 2009
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Maybe then I would have learned to be prepared.  A few weeks ago, I learned the hard way just how important it is to know your camera inside and out, to be able to change lenses and settings quickly. I also learned about persistence.

It had been raining for three days straight (and by “straight,” I mean that I’m not sure the rain paused once in 72 hours), so I was startled to wake up  to sunshine and chirping birds. I stumbled out of bed and onto the balcony to a view of the Golden Gate Bridge lit up against a background of black storm clouds. I grabbed my camera and tripod and fumbled to set up my shot, which involved moving some porch furniture and a potted lavender plant and pressing myself against the balcony wall to avoid including the giant eucalyptus behind my building in my frame. (I probably should have gone up on the roof, but I was still wearing my pajamas and fuzzy red zebra-striped slippers, and I had pretty spectacular bed-head. I chose not to expose the neighborhood to that horror.) By the time I composed my shot (which admittedly wasn’t brilliant anyway), a rainbow had appeared arching over the bridge. I was totally exhilarated, and immediately began attempting to figure out the best aperture and shutter speed settings to capture it. Well, by the time I’d gotten it all set up, the rainbow was gone and the clouds had started to cover the bridge.

See those little white dots?  Those are actually birds.

See those little white dots? Those are actually birds.

So I gave up on the storm. Oops. Instead of heading inside to dry feet and warm breakfast, I decided to spend a few minutes playing with my new macro lens. It’s changed my whole world.

Absorbed in taking an indecent number of pictures of the humble little succulent, I didn’t notice until too late that the storm clouds had cleared just over the bridge, effectively spotlighting it. And another rainbow had appeared. I went through the composition/settings dance again, only to capture the following shot:

Boring composition, no rainbow. Drat.

*I should mention that San Francisco weather changes quickly under any circumstances, and things changed very quickly that morning. The rainbow existed for a total of about 90 seconds.  But still.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Alex permalink
    March 17, 2009 4:08 pm

    Beautiful! Especially the second one (too bad about missing the rainbows). You have a really awesome view. . . 🙂

    • bendystrawz permalink
      March 17, 2009 4:18 pm

      Thanks! Happy spring break! 🙂

  2. Jess permalink
    March 18, 2009 9:01 am

    I love the second one! The first and third are, admittedly, not the most brilliant photos ever taken. But I envy and enjoy your persistence in learning real photography.

    PS– I miss you.

    • bendystrawz permalink
      March 18, 2009 3:58 pm

      Aw, thanks! (Emphasis on the persistence – this whole photography thing does NOT come quickly. :))

      PS – I miss you too.

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