Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cholla at night

There's something I've been wanting to try ever since I got the remote trigger hardware for my flash. I've wanted to get some pictures of various cacti at night, back-lit by the flash. I was reading a newspaper this afternoon and it said it was going to be a lot colder tonight. Turns out I was reading a two week old newspaper, but it got me to thinking. I don't take many pictures at night in the summertime because when the sun sets, it's time for me to go to bed. I get cranky if I don't get my sleep. I don't take many pictures at night in the winter (when the sun sets long before my bedtime) because I get cold standing around taking pictures. Well, the sun sets pretty early now and it isn't cold at all, so now's the time to get some night pictures.

I went to Bulldog Canyon so I could enjoy the quiet and so I wouldn't stir up the Ufologists (I thought I made that word up, but it's in my spellchecker) with flashes of light. I got everything set up and discovered something I hadn't though of beforehand. I've encountered this before, but I forgot. It's next to impossible to get a camera focused in the dark. The small LED flashlights I had with me didn't provide enough light. The flash was on the other side of the cholla, so it wasn't any help. I did the best I could to manually focus with a tiny flashlight. I'm surprised the pictures came out as good as they did, considering. I didn't know until I got home if any of them were any good, so I only took a few pictures of one cholla on this trip. Next time I'll take along my 2 million candlepower flashlight.

Something funny happened while I was out there. First a little background. I work for a big company that does all sorts of bio-medical stuff. They test their notification system every year or so by calling employee's home numbers to be sure they know how to get in touch with people in case the offices are closed down by inclement weather or something. This years test was today. Being the scatterbrain that I am, I neglected to tell anybody at home. Turns out that Lindsey was the only person at home. She called me around 6:30 or 7:00. I couldn't answer because the phone was in my backpack and I was on my way down a steep rocky slope in the dark. Her message said something like, "Dad, your company keeps calling about some emergency notification, and you're not here and you're not answering your phone. I just hope there isn't some Resident Evil s**t going on." The fact that she was watching The Mist didn't help any, either. So I called back and said, "*gasp* The nanobots ... escaped ... they're taking over! Aaauuugh!" She didn't laugh.

OK, just one more thing. Wow, lots of yakking and just one picture. Anyway, remember that I was taking pictures of a cholla. Of course, I had to walk back and forth between the camera and flash to adjust things a few times. That means I was walking around the cholla a lot. Anyway, I got home and sat down and relaxed a few minutes. Then I unlaced my boots and tried to pull one off and wow those cholla spines hurt. One of them went for at least a quarter of an inch just under the surface of the skin. I could tell by the welt it left after I pulled it out. I had at least 5 spines in my fingers but now I can only tell where one was.

1 comment:

Skid Plate said...

When I took long exposure pictures of the glow sticks I turned all the lights on, did an autofocus, turned off autofocus, and turned the lights back off. I guess you don't have a light switch out there.

Our great company called our house three times last night. I let Garrett talk to the recording.