Sunday, November 6, 2011
I awoke to a cold, damp, and windy campground. Dark clouds surged through the canyon, bringing with them the immediate threat of rain. There was no doubt about it — today was going to be wet.
I love the rain. The sight, the smell, and the sound are invigorating to the senses. As a native San Diegan, the novelty of rain never wears thin. During the first rain after a long dry season, it’s not uncommon to see my neighbors standing inquisitively on their front porch — their open palms sampling the first few drops of the wet season.
Unfortunately, my choice of camera equipment is not well suited for working in a rainy environment. My 8×10 is a lousy choice for the rain, and my 6×17 is mediocre at best. Despite the handicap of my equipment, I was willing to shoot in the rain.
Sunrise was mesmerizing, but very short lived. For what seemed like only a minute or two, the upper most reach of the Towers of Virgin was bathed in a brilliant crimson glow.
The light was magnificent, but it lacked a personal connection with me. Many photographers get caught up in trying to capture every moment — but lose sense of the bigger picture. If I do not feel a personal connection with a scene, I am more than willing to enjoy it as a spectator, but not as a photographer.
I spent much of the day scouting nearby maples. Eventually, I settled on a small cluster of trees located just off the road. I used my 4×5 darkcloth as a rain cover for my 6×17, and it worked surprisingly well!
The intensity of rain picked up as the afternoon progressed. Soon, it was evening, and a slushy mix of rain and ice fell throughout the canyon. The canyon walls high above me were dusted with snow.
I drove through the tunnel to the east side of the park, and found myself in a winter wonderland. The next morning was bound to be magical.