Racing Against the Light

High tide blows in with a cold front, Lake Pontchartrain's north shore. (Copyright 2011 / Andrew Boyd)

High tide blows in with a cold front, Lake Pontchartrain's north shore. (Copyright 2011 / Andrew Boyd)


I was crossing Lake Pontchartrain the other evening right after a line of violent thunderstorms had blown through, heading from west to east. The clouds were impressive and heavy but hints of sunset were starting to show up around the edges of some of the formations. I headed for a favorite boat launch on the north shore of the lake, hoping I could get there before the light was all gone.

Racing against the light: isn’t that what we frequently do as photographers? I think about my best photographs, and rarely are the memories of careful and thoughtful contemplation. Usually, I’m shooting fast and furious, working to capture the essence of something fleeting and fabulous.

Good light is a rare thing, isn’t it? A gift.

This day was no different. The wind was cold and blowing hard when  I got there and water was already starting to cover the low-lying roadway. I put on a coat, got out my tripod and camera and began to make pictures.

I tried a few different things before and after this image, not sure at the time what would work out, if anything. I experimented mostly with exposure time, trying some things that I thought might work. Then it was back to the warmth of the car and home.

I wasn’t sure about this image until I cropped and toned it. I like the shimmer on the water, the drama in the clouds, the sense of foreboding that I get looking at it.

Racing against the light. A rare gift indeed.

Hi, I’m Andrew Boyd, a.k.a. The Discerning Photographer, and I hope this post has been interesting and informative. Please leave me a comment about it, let me know what you’d like to see more of on the site! You can also sign up for email delivery of all future articles or my RSS feed. Thanks!–DiscerningPhotog

Posted in: Gallery

About the Author:

Photographer, videographer and photo editor. Host and creator of The Discerning Photographer web site. Currently a Canon shooter.

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