Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Drove through a very heavy thunderstorm on the way home from Wisconsin on Labor Day. Torrential rain, lots of lightning. As my wife and I approached Port Washington, the rains lightened as the tempest headed out over Lake Michigan. We drove to the Port Washington harbor to see what we could see.
What we saw, just for a few moments, was the sun breaking through the clouds and casting rays over the harbor. Some large drops of rain were still falling as I fired off a half dozen shots. The tricky thing about this kind of shot is to make sure you've exposed properly, otherwise, you get blown out areas of pure white, and nothing in post processing can adequately fix those. I'd fire a shot, take a peek at the image's histogram and note with dismay the large areas of pure white, make an adjustment, meter on a bright but not too bright area of the scene and fire again, all the while hoping the magical view stuck around until I got it right.
Number six was the charm. And then the scene disappeared.
In post processing, where I only adjusted levels, I noticed that the dark areas of the image were riddled with small white spots. I thought to myself that I must have done something to mess up the camera's sensor while changing lenses in the rain. Great. I checked other images taken after this scene, and strangely enough, the spots weren't there. What was up?
It was only after I had meticulouly removed each and every white spot that I concluded that the spots were backlit drops of rain. Oh.
Maybe I should have left them in.
Photograph © 2010 James Jordan.